The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest

Price per person
from £2,690

Price based on
London Heathrow
24th Oct 2018 departure

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 12 days

  • Romania

  • River cruise

A deluxe Danube River cruise from the Danube Delta to Budapest is the highlight of this inspiring holiday through Eastern Europe. Explore the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife and then sail through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge. See the sights with a Certified Local Guide in Romania's lively capital of Bucharest, Constanta on the Black Sea, Arbanassi in Bulgaria, Belgrade in Serbia, and Budapest, the grand capital of Hungary, where your adventure concludes with guided sightseeing over two nights.

At a glance


What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes

Overview

Total meals included:

  • 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners

Bucharest

Day
1

Travel to Bucharest where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a one night stay at the Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest (or similar).

No meals included

Bucharest - Fetesti (Embarkation)

Day
2

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Much recent history has taken place in Romania's capital city, and its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I—have gained it the name 'Paris of the East'. During your included tour this morning, see the main sights including The Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Travel by coach to Oltenita, where your ship is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

St. Gheorghe

Day
3

This morning during breakfast, dock in St. Gheorghe, from where the excursion into the delta will start. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe's deltas, this area hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometres in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river. Depart St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small celebration to mark Km "0"—the end of the Danube's journey. This afternoon a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an on-board lecture.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cernavoda

Day
4

Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit the National History & Archaeological Museum. From Cernavoda this morning, an excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial centre in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A certified local guide shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the Natural Histroy & Archaeological museum is included. This afternoon relax on board as you cruise westward towards Rousse.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Rousse - Svistov

Day
5

Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse. Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. A comfortable coach ride away is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, and the Patriarch's Church. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Then, journey to Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its Ethnographical museum, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the Church of the nativity, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an included sightseeing tour of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Vidin

Day
6

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port in north-western Bulgaria. Its medieval fortress, known as Baba Vidin, is the town's primary landmark. It served as Vidin's main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Iron Gates

Day
7

Included today: Cruise through the Iron Gates gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition. The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe's Alps in the North-west from the Carpathians in the south-east and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. After lunch dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive Lepenski Virlepenski Exhibition centre housing archaeological artefacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Belgrade

Day
8

Included today: Guided sightseeing Early today, arrive in Belgrade. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world's largest orthodox church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city's lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, relax in the park, or walk along the city streets and browse the local shops. Late tonight, depart for Vukovar in Croatia.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Mohács

Day
9

Relax on board this morning before arriving in Mohács, the first stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the undergroudn tombs — now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site —many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an organ concert. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Budapest (Disembarkation)

Day
10

Early this morning dock in the country's capital. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for hand crafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. Bid good bye to your crew before joining a guided tour of the city. See Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fisherman's Bastion with its spectacular views of the city and the 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Budapest

Day
11

You have time today to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvellous views of the city from its viewing platform. Or maybe you would like to join one of the optional excursions on offer.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Budapest

Day
12

Transfer to the airport for your return journey to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.

InterContinental Budapest

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to panoramic views across the River Danube. Admire the Chain Bridge and the former Royal Palace from one of the hotel's beautifully appointed rooms, or treat yourself to a gourmet Hungarian dinner with views of Buda Castle. Official rating: 5 stars.

  • Location

    Just a leisurely stroll away from the historic Castle district, this luxurious hotel sits on the banks of the river Danube in the heart of Budapest. 

  • Facilities

    • Restaurant and bar
    • Gym
    • Spa
    • Indoor heated pool
    • Sauna and steam room
InterContinental Budapest

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge hotel has an enviable position overlooking the River Danube and Budapest's famous Chain Bridge, and many of the 357 rooms come with a view of the river. A Swarovski water fountain, luxury spa, original art and a French-Hungarian restaurant make this hotel a special base for your time in Budapest. Official rating: 5 stars.

  • Location

    The hotel boasts a prime location near the River Danube, Hungarian Parliament, Hungarian State Opera and Castle.

  • Facilities

    • Luxury spa
    • Atrium restaurant
    • Bistro restaurant
    • Bar
    • Luxury spa

Avalon Illumination

Avalon Illumination accommodates 166 passengers. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama Suites with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform into a unique open-air balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the unique opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, a fitness centre, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro.

Ship facts

  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: Suite ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 47
  • Number of cabins: 83
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 166 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: EUR
  • Number of decks: 4
  • Length (m): 135
  • Width (m): 11.45
  • Speed in knots: 13
  • Launch year: 2014

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, double sinks, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity, well-stocked minibar, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, a sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, and a writing desk.

Details

  • 300 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, a contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, writing desk, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity and a well-stocked minibar.

Details

  • 200 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These staterooms feature an alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, an elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, memory foam mattress toppers, soft and firm pillows, two windows, well-stocked minibar, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, nightly turn-down service, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, vanity and a writing desk.

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restriction

Avalon Waterways do not accept bookings for children under 8. There are no special arrangements or activities on board for children and they cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied children under 18 years of age and any travellers under this age must share the adult’s accommodation.

Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways will try their best to accommodate dietary requirements if they are mentioned at the time of booking.

Disabled Facilities

Passengers must report any disability to Avalon before any reservation is made so that Avalon may advise whether they and/or their suppliers for any particular holiday are able to accommodate the passengers. Avalon may rely on the information provided to them by the passengers regarding the details of any disability in order to make a decision as to whether the passengers can be accommodated. Avalon will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled passengers, in accordance with the applicable laws.Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting or walking. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate within a group.All of the ships have lifts, however they do not service the SkyDeck. Additionally most stateroom doors and bathrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings.For safety reasons passengers cannot be carried on ramps in ports when the ship is docked. In certain circumstances, they may ask that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person capable of providing any assistance required.

Dress Code

The dress code for dinner is casual and comfortable. The Welcome and Farewell Dinners give you a chance to dress up but are not formal.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is only allowed on the ships outside decks where ash trays are provided.

Deck Games Area

Relax after a long day and play a game with your fellow guests at the game area towards the rear of the deck.

Fitness Centre

The ship is fitted with a fully equipped Fitness Centre for you to release some tension.

Hairdressing Salon

Situated on the Royal Deck you might like to take advantage of the onboard hairdresser to indulge in a manicure or hair styling.

Sky Deck & Whirlpool

The Sky Deck has a shade system, with premium loungers for luxurious relation. The warm Whirlpool is situated along side for when guests fancy a quick dip.

Club Lounge

Enjoy a quiet moment in the Club Lounge whilst enjoying a cappuccino.

Library

Guests will find a small Library onboard and guests may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. 

Observation Lounge

The Observation Lounge on the Royal Deck, gives guests a prime view to enjoy the premium spirits.

Sky Lounge

On the Sun deck you will find the Sky Lounge, where you can relax and catch the sun's rays whilst enjoying a drink or snack from the nearby Sky Bistro. 

Internet Centre

Complimentary Wi-Fi access and free use of computers or laptops is available to help you stay in touch with friends and family while you enjoy a coffee at the Internet Cafe. 

Shore Excursions

On shore, Avalon includes a great range of comprehensive sightseeing excursions led by knowledgable Certified Local Guides. They also provide individual personal audio headsets to ensure you still have the freedom to roam through some of Europe's most famous attractions without missing a moment of fascinating commentary.

If you'd like to experience something slightly off the beaten track, they offer unique alternative excursions in select destinations. In many cities they also give you a choice of sightseeing pace: 'Traditional' to see all the major sights, 'Leisurely' available on walking tours when you want to take it slower, and 'Independent' allowing you to explore on your own. Have a chat with your Cruise Director to learn about the available options.

They even provide Nordic walking sticks to put that extra spring in your step!

Dining Room

A spacious, open-seating dining room with elegant dining service and large panoramic windows is situated on the Sapphire deck. With an elegantly simple design, you can enjoy a full buffet breakfast or lunch with special options for those who wish to eat lightly, and delicious four-course dinners in the evening. 

Panorama Bistro & Lounge

The Panorama Lounge & Bistro, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view, offers a casual atmosphere for guests to enjoy a variety of regional and tapas-style dishes, hand-paired with local wines.

Room Service

Room service is available for Continental breakfast & beverages.

Sky Bistro

On a sunny day, enjoy hand carved meats and expansive buffets including fresh salads and amazing homemade soups, all a view courtesy of the Sky Bistro.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

  • Fitness Centre
  • Deluxe Staterooms

Deck 2

  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro & Lounge
  • Bar
  • Internet Corner
  • Reception
  • Hair Salon
  • Club Lounge
  • Panorama Suites 
  • Royal Suites

Deck 3

  • Galley
  • Dining Room
  • Panorama Suites

Deck 4

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium Lounge Chairs and Shade Awnings
  • Deck Game Area

Why book with Archers Holidays?