- Meals on Ship
- Select Shore Excursions
Day 1 APRIL 17: DEPART US
Board your overnight flight to Bucharest.
Day 2 APRIL 18: EMBARKATION – GIURGIU, ROMANIA
Embark your ship in Giurgiu. Tonight gather on board and meet your fellow passengers. (D)
Day 3 APRIL 19: GIURGIU – ROUSSE, BULGARIA
Experience the best of Bucharest, Romania’s capital, known as the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Then visit Bulgaria’s ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to explore Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings. (B,L,D)
Day 4 APRIL 20: VIDIN
Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. (B,L,D)
Day 5 APRIL 21: SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES
The Iron Gates are some of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)
Day 6 APRIL 22: BELGRADE, SERBIA
Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Alternatively, visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family, and the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery, followed by a panoramic tour of Avala Mountain. Later in the day, choose from a hike to Kalemegdan Fortress, known for its winding walking paths and incredible river views, or join a guided bike tour. (B,L,D)
Day 7 APRIL 23: NOVI SAD, ILOK CROATIA
Discover Novi Sad, the “Serbian Athens,” on a walking tour to Dunavski Park and through Stari Grad, the Old Town center. If you prefer a more active exploration, join a guided biking tour or hike to Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. Later in the day, cruise to Vukovar, a Croatian symbol of resistance, which you’ll better understand on your city tour showcasing the Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Alternatively, choose a wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times, where you’ll sample its famous Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines. (B,L,D)
Day 8 APRIL 24: MOHÁCS - PÉCS, HUNGARY
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohács. You’ll then visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for wine connoisseurs, you’ll want to go to the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago. You may also take an exhilarating guided bike tour around Mohács. (B,L,D)
Day 9 APRIL 25: BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark your cruise in Budapest. (B)
Enhance Your Journey
APRIL 14: DEPART USA
Board your overnight flight to Turkey.
APRIL 15: ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.
APRIL 16: ISTANBUL
Depart your hotel for an enriching guided walking tour, during which you will explore the Hagia Sophia, formerly a church before becoming a mosque and finally a museum. A beautiful example of Old-World architecture, this museum showcases lovely Christian murals and Islamic symbols throughout. After the Hagia Sophia, visit Istanbul’s similarly beautiful Blue Mosque, named for the Blue İznik tiles that cover its interior. For those who are interested, be guided to the lively Grand Bazaar and venture through the market before returning to your hotel. (B)
APRIL 17: ISTANBUL
Admire the grandeur of the spectacular Ottoman Sultans’ Grand Palace of Topkapi, home to every Sultan from the 15th-19th centuries. During your tour, marvel at the private chambers of the Sultans, the Harem (women’s quarters) and the Imperial Treasury’s vast collection, including the jewel-encrusted Topkapi Dagger and the stunning 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. (B)
APRIL 18: ISTANBUL – GIURGIU - EMBARKATION
Check out of your Istanbul hotel and fly to Bucharest. Transfer to Giurgiu where you will embark your ship for your Gems of Southeast Europe cruise. (B, D)
Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion
BUCHAREST & BRASOV Pre-Tour
APRIL 13: DEPART USA
Board your overnight flight to Romania.
APRIL 14: ARRIVE IN BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Arrive in Bucharest and check in to your lovely hotel.
APRIL 15: BUCHAREST
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, has earned its nickname, the "Little Paris of the East," with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a visit to the city’s most impressive sites—including the historic city center and the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest administrative building in the world. Or take a walking tour of Bucharest’s Old Town and visit the Open Air Village Museum which showcases traditional Romanian village life. (B)
APRIL 16: BUCHAREST – SINAIA – BRAȘOV
Stop in Sinaia to visit Peleș Castle, considered by many to be one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Tour the castle, which was once the residence of the royal family. Later, head to Braşov for a tour and check in to your hotel. (B)
APRIL 17: BRAȘOV – SIGHIȘOARA
Enjoy a walking tour around Braşov. Afterward, dracula lovers will be in for another treat with an excursion to Sighişoara, birthplace to Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula. It’s hard to believe that this perfectly preserved UNESCO-designated town filled with resplendent pastel-colored buildings, stone lanes, medieval towers and pedestrian-friendly Old Town was Vlad’s place of birth. His home is still here, marked with a placard; however, today it houses a kitschy restaurant called "Casa Dracula." (B)
APRIL 18: BRASOV – EMBARKATION – GIURGIU
Depart your Brasov hotel and continue on to the legendary region of Transylvania, a place deeply rooted in myth and history. You’ll visit Transylvania’s legendary Bran Castle, forever linked with the legend of Dracula, before boarding the ship in Giurgiu. (B,D)
Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion.
Saturday, April 17, 2021From $3199