The Magnificent Danube East Cruise - this beautiful cultural cruise on the majestic Danube through seven countries and five historic capitals. Along the way there is plenty of time to enjoy the luxury river cruise aboard the ms River Discovery II, while you explore Central Europe's magic.
Take a trip on the Danube River - Europe's river of life - and enjoy the new and old Europe, the Danube River flows smoothly as we travel through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. We see all five capitals, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade before we finish the journey in Bucharest.
What is included in the tour
8 Sightseeing Tours and Shore Excursions:
- VIENNA, AUSTRIA: City tour including Belvedere Palace
- BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA: City tour with mini-train ride and Primate Palace
- BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: City tour including Fisherman’s Bastion
- OSIJEK, CROATIA: City tour with wine tasting & live entertainment
- NOVI SAD, SERBIA: Walking tour including Petrovaradin Fortress
- BELGRADE, SERBIA: City by bus & walking tour
- VIDIN , BULGARIA: City tour including Baba Vida’s Fortress
- BUCHAREST, ROMANIA: City tour including Parliament House (exterior)
- Arrival and departure transfers (if airfare purchased through us)*
- Cruise accommodations for in the river-view cabin category of your choice
- Total of 30 meals: 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners
- Free wine/beer/soda for lunch and dinner daily while on the cruise portion
- 24-hour coffee and hot chocolate station
- Early-riser breakfast, afternoon cakes, and late night snacks
- Live 2-piece band playing each evening
- Professional English-speaking Cruise Directors and local guides
- 1 night first class hotel + buffet breakfast in Bucharest**
- **First class hotel: Novotel, Capital or similar
- Shore excursions, daily sightseeing programs, onboard lectures and folklore performances/music concerts as outlined in the itinerary (excludes optionals)
What is NOT included in the tour
- *Transfers if purchasing Cruise-Only (must be arranged and paid for in advance)
- Any travel and document fees including Visa requirements (none currently required)
- Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, liquor, souvenirs, etc.
- Tips to Crew, Cruise Directors, local guides and other staff along the route (10 eu pp/pd)
- Increases in costs due to unforeseen circumstances such as: additional fuel surcharges, exchange rates or Government imposed taxes & fees not known at this time.
- Welcome drink on arrival and info meeting
- Lectures on Balkan History and Modern Balkans Today
- NEW: Concert of cultural Gypsy Music (Budapest)
- Serbian Folklore performance and fashion show on board (Belgrade)
- Farewell cocktails and Captain’s Gala Dinner
- Audiovox devices for all shore excursions and free Wi-Fi (wherever available)
Day 1: Vienna, Austria
After arriving we go out together and see some of the city, including the chic and colorful Hundertwasserhus. Then we have some time on our own before we go to the ship. While our luggage is carried to the cabins, we receive a welcome drink and are introduced to the ship's crew.
Day 2: Vienna, Austria
We continue yesterday's city tour in Vienna's Old Town with the pleasant streets and impressive Art Nouveau buildings. Stephansdom is centrally located in Vienna, and we look into the impressive cathedral. We also see the Spanish riding school and Hofburg from the outside. There will be some time on our own before we return to the ship where breakfast is served. In the afternoon there is again the opportunity to enjoy Vienna on its own. There is a metro about 500 meters from the boat, so it is easy to get to the old town. You can also choose to participate in two great extra events:
Optional Tour: Schönbrunn
Embark on a nice afternoon getaway to Schönbrunn, the emperor Maria Theresia's wonderful summer residence. We see the park and the great imperial gems where Emperor Franz Josef spent most of his life.
Optional Tour: Vienna Concert
What's more obvious than seeing a true Viennese concert, now we are in Vienna? The program varies and offers different classical music by composers like Strauss, Mozart, Lehár or Kalman.
Day 3: Bratislava, Slovakia
We arrive in Slovakia's small charming capital Bratislava. The day begins with a city tour, where we visit the Bratislava castle complex with a small tourist train. The castle rises 89 meters above the city, and its characteristic four towers can be seen from most of the city. Earlier Hungary was ruled out of Bratislava's castle complex, but today the area is museum. We continue on foot in the old town with little alleyways, elegant squares and well-kept houses in white, yellow and green shades. The most famous of the buildings is the Primat Palace, which is painted in a characteristic pink color. There is plenty of time on your own in the cozy city. The ship puts you right into the center so it's easy to discover shops and enjoy life at the many pavement cafes and cellar bars. Prices are extremely reasonable. The evening offers delicious food and plenty of freshness
Day 4: Budapest, Hungary
On a bus tour, we experience the city's elegance, history and melancholy. We get past Saint Stefan Cathedral, the Hungarian State Opera and the city's landmarks, the Parliament, which is an architectural masterpiece from 1904. The English Parliament was a great example, and the architect has gained inspiration in both the Renaissance and Gothic architecture. We will of course also enjoy the view of the city from the Gellért mountain range. On the Castle lies the famous Fisherman's Bastion and the castle quarter with the pleasant streets. We will have lunch on the ship before there is time on our own in Budapest.
Day 5: Budapest, Hungary
The day can be used on your own in Budapest. Do you have a courage in a little adventure, we recommend one of Budapest's many spas. The Gellert bath is the most famous and popular among tourists. Szechenyi is hard to pronounce, but extremely popular among the locals. The tour guide is helpful with the logistics, and then just jump in one of the countless pools. There is also the opportunity to attend two exciting extra events.
Optional Tour: Hospital in The Rock
In the morning, we will visit one of the most fascinating and unique, historical monuments of Budapest. Under the Buda Castle in the heart of Budapest there is an emergency hospital, which was built into the raw rock in the 1930s. The hospital was in operation until 1960 and still stands, as it did at that time. In the old underground spaces, we get a unique insight into how the hospital worked especially during World War II. More than 200 wax figures are set in the bunker, and they make the visit extremely lively.
Optional Tour: Puszta
In the afternoon, go to Laza Lovas, one of Hungary's largest horse studios. Here we welcome you with wine, Hungarian snacks and a glass of Palinka, which is the local brandy. There is a possibility to visit the stable where the many horses are housed before we attend a formidable ride show with the Hungarian cowboys.
Day 6: Osijek, Croatia
Welcome to Croatia and Osijek, which is the country's fourth largest city. Osijek is located on the banks of the Drava River, which is a tributary to the magnificent Danube River. Among other things, the city is known for its many well-preserved Baroque buildings and the Habsburg Fortress. Together we go for a walk through the pleasant streets, where we pass one of the old city ports, the central square with the pest colony, the music school and not least the Habsburg fortress. The rest of the afternoon you can use as you wish before we meet for dinner on board the ship.
Day 7: Novi Sad, Serbia
We cruise to Serbia's third-largest city, Novi Sad. On a small city tour we enjoy the cozy city on foot. Novi Sad is Serbia's third largest city and its main city in the Vojvodina region. In Novi Sad, Albert Einstein lived with his family in the last century, and the Serbs gladly tell you that Einstein's Serbian wife had a finger in the game in his groundbreaking relativity theory. The city is today a charming and lively city. For long periods, Novi Sad was a part of the Habsburg Empire and has a very European expression. Here are nice pedestrian streets with cafes and parks not far from the Danube, which is the city's livelihood. In 1999 the bridges in the city were bombed and the ruins hampered for several years of sailing through the city.
Together with the tour guide we go for a walk through the small streets of the central part of the city. We visit the fishermen's market where we experience the local life before we see a little more of the city on a small bus tour. While the tour guide tells us, we pass the synagogue, parliament and university. By bus, we drive across the Frihedsbroen and continue to the Petrovaradin fortress that thrones on the other side of the Danube. The fortress marked the border between the Austrian and Turkish empire, and from the fort we have breathtaking views of Novi Sad, Danube and Fruska Gora Mountains. We are driving back to the ship to enjoy the breakfast. The rest of the afternoon can be used to discover the cozy city or to relax on the ship's sun deck.
Day 8: Belgrade, Serbia
We start the day with a bus tour in Belgrade, where we see, among other things, the famous Kalemegdan fortress and the city's impressive Saint Sava Cathedral, which is still being built. We also experience the atmosphere on the city's cozy pedestrian street Knez Mihajlova. Here you will find many cafes and shops within walking distance of our ship. Breakfast is served in a private home in the small village of Jarak. In Serbia you eat well - especially in the countryside. We taste the local dishes and of course the glorious flower-brewed Slivovitsa, while the village's musicians entertain. In the evening awaits dinner aboard, followed by a show with Serbian folklore. Between the numbers there are fashion shows with the famous handmade Sirogo jumper jerseys and jackets with embroidered landscape motifs.
Day 9: Iron Gate Gorge
Today, one of the most important highlights of the trip is waiting for us. We will sail a total of 100 kilometers through the famous Iron Gate - a long, dramatic gorge, designated as a botanical natural park. Here the river is more than 80 meters deep in several places. In 1972, a hydropower plant was opened and an extensive system of locks has tampered with the previously so feared piece of the Danube. It is a pleasure to sit on the sun deck and enjoy the Djerdap's natural masterpiece. In the evening we are invited to the captain's gala dinner. We enjoy a delicious 5-course menu, and after dinner there is the possibility to exercise the legs when the ship's musician take center stage.
Day 10: Vidin, Bulgaria
In the morning we wake up in the Bulgarian port city Vidin. Although we are far from the sea, Vidin is known for its yard industry, which provides extra life around the river. We see the fortress Baba Vida from the 13th century, which is Bulgaria's best-preserved medieval fortress. After a small city tour, there is time to enjoy the city on its own. You can also choose to participate in an extra trip.
Optional Tour: Belogradchik
Take an excursion to Belogradchik, located 50 kilometers south of Vidin. Here is a fascinating landscape of rock formations. The chisel into the rocks thrives Belogradchik fortress, whose history dates back to Christ's birth. If you want to take full advantage of the trip, it is important that you go well as we have to walk a few hundred yards uphill. On the other hand, the reward for the walk is great as we get an amazing view of the Belogradchik cliffs that rise 200 meters above the surrounding beautiful landscape. The many rock formations of sandstone resemble everything from schoolgirls to gorillas, and there are many exciting legends associated with the filthy formations.
Day 11: Bucharest, Romania
In the morning we leave the ship and berth in Turnu Magerele. From here there is about 2.5 hours drive to Bucharest, where on a short city tour we experience the city's biggest sights from the outside. Of course, we pass Ceauşescu's huge prestige project the People's House - the Parliament of Romania, before we drive to the airport for your flight home.