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Grand Danube Cruise 2018 (Prague to Bucharest)

18 days with Avalon Waterways   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Fly from $299 per person in economy class from select gateways on select 2018 European river cruises in certain cabin categories. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $1,500 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement on this trip. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices

Day 1 Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic
Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring.

Day 2 Prague
Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars. A Local Guide shows you its treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslas Square, where people demonstrated against the communist regime; or watch performers on Charles Bridge. (Breakfast)

Day 3 Prague
Enjoy a free day to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; or stroll along the Vltava River. Your Cruise Director will have other suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast)

Day 4 Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation)
After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your ship is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5 Nuremberg
Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Regensburg
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 emphasize 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. Here—where the locals congregate—feel 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 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 and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. Alternatively, choose from several full-day optional excursions while your ship continues to sail into Austria. Rejoin your vessel in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Melk, Austria–Vienna
Enjoy a 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. Words cannot describe the splendor 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. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights shown to you by your Local Guide during your included CITY TOUR. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! In the late afternoon, leave Vienna for Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Budapest, Hungary
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted 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 palpable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—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. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica; shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika at one of its 180 vendor stalls; wander around the Royal Palace grounds; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs
This morning arrive in Mohács, the last stop in Hungary, from where 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 your Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 Belgrade, Serbia
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, or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade’s largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city’s principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14 Excursion to Lepenski Vir–Iron Gates
This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship for lunch and then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Cetate, Romania–Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik
This morning, stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain-shipping port that is now a cultural center. 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. Then, on to Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria, from where, after lunch, an included excursion takes you to nearby Belogradchik to 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 Nikopol. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Rousse
This morning, stop in Nikopol from where an excursion takes you to 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. 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. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, remain on board and relax, then join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 17 Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation)–Bucharest
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 honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this morning, 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. (Breakfast)

Day 18 Bucharest
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast) 

Map
All This Included
The name of this river cruise says it all—this multi-stop, multicultural journey through several countries in Central and Eastern Europe is grand indeed! With stops in the most intriguing cities along the Danube River and exciting excursions farther inland, you’ll be immersed in historical sights, cultural events, splendid scenery, and sumptuous cuisine—a little to a lot of something for everyone!

Begin this adventure in beautiful Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time with many historical treasures, such as Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410, and once the envy of all Europe. Board your river cruise vessel in Nuremberg, Germany, and visit this thousand-year-old city with a Local Guide. In Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, guided sightseeing shows you the splendid architecture of the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), Porta Pretoria, and much more. Here, enjoy some of Germany’s famous beers and Bratwurst! In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic 11th-century Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. Take in the picturesque scenery as you sail through the Wachau Valley before you are drawn to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music.” St. Stephens Cathedral, the impressive Hofburg Palace, and the Vienna Opera House are all sights you’ll see on your guided tour. Sail to Budapest and explore Hungary’s lively capital, before continuing your cultural journey on an excursion to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop in Serbia’s Belgrade and cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge. In Bulgaria, visit Belogradchik’s eclectic rock formations, the ancient capital Veliko Tarnovo, and Arbanassi with its Church of the Nativity housing an outstanding collection of frescoes.

Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, will be your last stop on this fabulous Danube river cruise vacation. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures. Explore the city known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and showcase of architecture.
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés; Welcome dinner; Daily Afternoon Tea; Daily Night Fare; Farewell dinner; Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
  • Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
  • Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Personalized room options & excursions
Highlights
  • Cruise: deluxe 13-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Prague: welcome to the Czech Republic; guided sightseeing on Day 2, see the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradcany Castle grounds; free time on Day 3
  • Prague–Nuremberg (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour
  • Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting
  • Passau: guided walk
  • Melk–Vienna: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk
  • Vienna: guided sightseeing
  • Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square; day at leisure
  • Mohács. Excursion to Pécs: guided sightseeing in Pécs, visit the underground tombs; organ concert
  • Belgrade: guided sightseeing
  • Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
  • Cetate–Vidin–Belogradchik: visit the cultural port of Cetate, special tasting; excursion to Belogradchik to see the rock formations
  • Nikopol. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Rousse: guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
  • Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest
  • Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • Enjoy a local treat of sausage, sauerkraut & beer, and attend an onboard performance of Bulgarian Folk Dances.
Accommodations
Prague: Hilton Prague
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Passion or Avalon Illumination 
Bucharest: Athenee Palace Hilton
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Prague:
in single room from $170 to $550, in twin room from $95 to $320

Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $145 to $225, in twin room from $75 to $125
Notes
  • Port charges: $312.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Avalon Waterways terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.