Stay overnight in lively Budapest before sailing along one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers
Contrast cultural cities including Budapest, Belgrade and Rousse with the dramatic mountain scenery of the Iron Gates gorge and the natural wonders of the scenic Danube Delta. This fascinating cruise offers many wonderful sights and experiences en route to the beautiful Black Sea coast.
1 night in a hotel, 8 aboard the ship
26 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
UK to Bucharest
Fly to Bucharest and transfer to the locally rated 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest (5Q) for an overnight stay with dinner included.
Bucharest to Tulcea via Constanta
Travel to Tulcea today, calling at Constanta for an included tour. This ancient metropolis on the Black Sea is said to be Romania’s longest continually inhabited city as well as its chief port. Lunch is included and you’ll have some free time to explore. Continue to Tulcea and embark Regina Rheni II which remains moored here overnight. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board.
Tulcea to Danube Delta
Set off in the early hours and sail through the stunning Danube Delta, a wetland biosphere that is Europe’s second largest delta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reed beds and groves of willow, oak and poplar provide sanctuary for over 300 species of bird! An optional half-day trip exploring aboard a smaller boat is available.
Spend the morning exploring the Romanian port town of Braila, an important trading port in the 19th century and home to some elegant merchants’ villas as a result. In the Old Town you’ll find some interesting churches and a theatre named after a famous Romanian actress. Perhaps take a tram ride – the electric tramline system established in the 19th century is still going strong! Regina Rheni II sails through the night towards Rousse.
Rousse to Svistov
You can explore Rousse independently this morning. The city prospered from its location on the Danube and is home to many grand and beautiful buildings, earning it the nickname ‘Little Vienna’. Stroll around the historic city centre and see Freedom Square with its pretty fountains and grand monuments. Alternatively, an optional excursion visits Veliko Tarnovo, a lovely town set astride three hills. A reconstructed fortress – Tsarevets Castle – contains the archaeological remains of the medieval town. Regina Rheni II departs at lunchtime for Svistov, where she moors overnight.
Svistov to Nikopol
Depart Svistov this morning. Spend a couple of hours exploring Nikopol or perhaps join an optional city tour of ancient Pleven, the ‘city of museums’. The town is famous for the 1877 siege which saw Bulgaria breakaway from Ottoman rule. Set sail again this afternoon and cruise through the night towards the Iron Gates.
The Iron Gates
Cruise along the Danube as it passes through the southern stretch of the dramatic Carpathian mountains and the foothills of the Balkans to the ‘Iron Gates’, a gorge framed by sheer cliffs. In ancient times the water level was much lower, making it treacherous to navigate.
Belgrade to Novi Sad
This morning, perhaps join an optional tour of Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, one of the oldest cities in Europe and the meeting point of Eastern and Western Europe. Highlights include the National Museum, the parliament and St Sava Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in the world. This afternoon perhaps join an optional excursion to Novi Sad, and see the Petrovaradin fortress. Built between 1692 and 1790, the upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of passages and galleries, with officers’ residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. Today, it’s home to a museum and a hotel.
Mohács to Kalocsa
Today you arrive in Mohács with a couple of hours to explore the home to some of Hungary’s most exciting folk traditions. Perhaps join an optional full-day excursion through the Hungarian lowlands where you can enjoy a performance of traditional horsemanship. Excursion participants rejoin the ship when Regina Rheni II moors briefly in Kalocsa before continuing to Budapest.
This morning, disembark Regina Rheni II for your return flight to the UK.