Grand Danube

  • 18 Days

  • Czech Republic

Discover some of Europe’s best-kept secrets on a river cruise which takes you from Prague to Bucharest. Spend three nights in Prague, an overnight in Bucharest, and enjoy plenty of leisure time in Budapest and Vienna to explore on your own. From an 11th century Benedictine Abbey in Melk to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site and rock formations of Belogradchick, tap into a rich seam of European history and natural beauty. Enjoy beer tasting in Regensburg and cruise through the Main Danube Canal and the dramatic Iron Gates gorge.

Your journey starts here

Highlights

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

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3

  • Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7

  • Day 8

  • Day 9

  • Day 10

  • Day 11

  • Day 12

  • Day 13

  • Day 14

  • Day 15

  • Day 16

  • Day 17

  • Day 18

of 18 days

Your detailed itinerary

Cruise departing on 14th August 2018

Meals included: 17 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners

Overview

Note: Owing to lock closures and planned maintenance of technical equipment on the Main-Danube Canal, this itinerary will be modified slightly on some departures. On 17th April 2018 departure, embarkation will be in Passau and the itinerary will be adjusted accordingly.

At a glance

Bucharest Visit the Royal Palace Square, scene of riots in 1989 which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship.
Vienna Discover the city’s opera house, palace and cathedral.
Budapest Visit Heroes Square and the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fisherman's Bastion.

Extensions

• 2 nights hotel stay in Transylvania

Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an extension

Day 1

Prague

Fly to Prague where you will be met and transferred to the Hilton Prague (or similar) for three nights.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 2

Prague

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Prague is a 1,200 year old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures on a guided walking tour, including the Old Town's astronomical clock, Hradcany Castle grounds, St Vitus Cathedral and the Charles Bridge. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books, mingle with the locals in Wenceslas Square, an important meeting point and the site of famous demonstrations against the communist regime, or watch performers on Charles Bridge.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 3

Prague

A free day for you to explore the city at leisure. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the banks of the Vltava River; discover the Jewish Quarter; or wander around Prague's medieval Old Town, dating from the 10th century. Your Cruise Director will have lots of suggestions for things to do.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 4

Prague - Nuremberg

After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your cruise ship is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 5

Nuremberg

Included today: Choice of guided sightseeing of Roth or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour. This morning the choice is yours - join a Certified Local Guide for a Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour, or a guided sightseeing of the nearby town of Roth. This delightful town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial centre for textile manufacturing. Visit the interesting Industrial Museum, and then in contrast take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 6

Regensberg

Included today: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting. Arrive in Regensburg today. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of historic interest. Architectural highlights of your guided walk include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasise their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included snack at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we'll introduce you to some of Germany's famous beers.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 7

Passau

Included today: Guided sightseeing in Passau. This morning, dock in Passau. Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 8

Melk - Vienna

Included today: Guided sightseeing. This morning, enjoy an included guided visit of Melk's magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You'll be captivated by the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking. Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent Baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Vienna this evening. An optional concert is available tonight.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 9

Vienna

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Also known as the 'City of Music', Vienna inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss and was once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire. See the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, with its Vienna Boys' Choir and Lipizzaner stallions, the impressive neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral on your included city tour with a local guide. Stroll on the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrüdel in a classic Viennese coffee house. This afternoon, set sail for Budapest.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 10

Budapest

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Today's guided city tour takes in the massive hilltop castle complex, Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, perhaps strolling across the famed Chain Bridge, a symbol of Budapest built in 1849 that connects ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. Or why not visit St Stephen's Basilica, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 11

Budapest

A full day to explore on your own and do as you please. If you need suggestions for things to do, your Cruise Director can help.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 12

Mohács

Included today: Guided sightseeing in Pécs, visit underground tombs; organ concert. This morning, cruise to Mohács and join the included excursion to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. With a Local Guide, visit the early Christian Underground Tombs, many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes that are now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, enjoy an organ concert.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 13

Belgrade, Serbia

Included today: Guided sightseeing. 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 14

Iron Gates Gorge

Included today: Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise the Iron Gates Gorge. After breakfast, dock at Donji Milanovac and drive to the impressive Lepenski Vir Exhibition Centre, a rich archaeological site that also offers unique, striking views of the Danube Gorge. After lunch back on board, cruise amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe's Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast, which forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 15

Cetate - Belogradchik

Included today: Visit the cultural port of Cetate; special tasting; excursion to Belogradchik rock formations. This morning stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port, now turned into a cultural centre. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to taste some of the locally made products. 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 and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 16

Rousse

Included today: Veliko Târnovo guided sightseeing and Ethnographical Museum and Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, or Rousse guided sightseeing. A comfortable ride from the river port of Rousse 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. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), 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. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and Ethnographical Museum, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the town's oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. If you don't wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you can stay on board, relax and join a guided tour of Rousse.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 17

Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation) - Bucharest

Included today: Guided sightseeing. After breakfast say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name 'Paris of the East'. During the included tour this afternoon, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei - 'Victory Avenue' - Bucharest's most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafés and fine houses. You will then be transferred to the Athénée Palace Hilton (or similar) for one night.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 18

Bucharest

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Your ship

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.

Amenities
  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery
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
Available cabins on this cruise
Royal Suite

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

Panorama Suite

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

Deluxe Stateroom

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 onboard

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.

 

Why book with Archers Holidays?