Imperial Cities & Black Sea Cruise HBR20

Resort: Imperial Cities & Black Sea Cruise HBR20
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Czech Republic
Price From: £2795.00

Overview

Extend your cruise adventure and explore the two European giants
of Prague and Berlin. From Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance
architecture, to landmarks that have had much significance within
our lifetimes, experience centuries in just a few days.

Highlights

  • 7-night cruise on board the Amadeus Silver II
  • Guided tour of Bucharest
  • Experience the wildlife and scenery of the Danube Delta on a safari
  • Constanta
  • Sailing through the Iron Gates Gorge
  • Guided tour of Belgrade
  • Mohcs
  • Guided tour of Prague
  • Guided tour of Berlin

whats Included

  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation
  • Direct flights from London to Bucharest
  • 7-night cruise on board the luxurious MS Amadeus Silver II, featuring excellent amenities, spacious cabins and a dedicated crew
  • All rail and coach travel throughout your tour and a fully escorted return journey by rail back to London
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from London to Bucharest and from Budapest to London

Itinerary

Days 1-2 – Bucharest

After meeting your group in London, this evening you’ll take a
direct flight to Bucharest, the lively capital city of Romania. On
arrival we transfer to our hotel for the night, checking in and
enjoying a three course dinner to kick off our adventure. We set
out on a guided city tour on Day 2, discovering
the palaces, remains of medieval homes and 21st century modernist
skyscrapers that all mesh together to make for a remarkable and
surprising destination.

You have some free time for lunch and might like to try out one
of the many al fresco restaurants tucked away amongst the tangled
network of streets and verdant parks. We transfer to our ship this
afternoon, the Amadeus Silver II, where we’re welcomed with a
drink. There’s time to settle into your cabin before our first
five-course dinner.

Day 3 – Danube Delta safari

We hop aboard some smaller safari boats today for a nature
cruise through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, formed by the river
as it splits into thousands of tributaries on its way to the Black
Sea.

This specialist biosphere reserve is jam-packed with wildlife,
including many rare and endangered species such as golden jackal,
European hoopoe, white-tailed eagle and lesser-spotted woodpecker.
Back on board we enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing back to
Fetesti.

Days 4-5 – Constanta and Veliko Tarnovo

After breakfast, we’re driven by coach to the nearby port town
of Constanta for a guided tour. Here we uncover Constanta’s ancient
history from its Greek origins to its Roman ancestry and Persian
influences. Some of the attractions we’ll see include the great
mosque, art-nouveau casino and Genovese lighthouse. A short visit
to the city’s History and Archaeology Museum is also very
enlightening, and there’s even some time to take a stroll along the
pristine beach before we return to our ship.

We begin sailing towards Ruse, in Bulgaria, docking on Day 5 for
an excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. The city was once the cornerstone
of Bulgaria’s 14th century empire, and boasts impressive medieval
churches and an Old Town of timber-framed buildings for us to
explore on our guided tour.

Day 6 – The Iron Gate Gorge

Today is spent at leisure on board as we make our way towards
Belgrade. During the afternoon we pass through the ‘Iron Gate’
Gorge. Enjoy the cruise director’s informative commentary as we
witness towering mossy cliffs interspersed with ornate and detailed
carvings hewn straight from the rock face.

Day 7 – Serbia

We moor in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this morning, heading
out on a guided walking tour to see the attractions of a city whose
varied history can be documented through its architecture. First up
is the Kalemegdan Fortress; the oldest surviving part of the city
and dating back to the 3rd century BC, it also offers wonderful
views across the Danube and Sava rivers. Next we swing by
Belgrade’s National Museum before seeing the parliament building,
Terazije Square and lastly, the Palace of Princess Ljubica. With
it’s Asian influences, this is an unusual building for this part of
the world, one which was built in the 1800s for the wife of Prince
Milo – the eponymous Princess Ljubica. 

Following lunch on board we set sail for Mohcs.

Day 8 – Hungarian puszta tour

We arrive into the port of Mohcs this morning, close to the
Hungarian border, and embark on puszta tour by coach that takes us
Kalocsa whilst enjoying stops along the way.

The puszta itself is an area of Hungary defined by its grassland
ecosystem set amongst the Great Hungarian Plains, and which has a
certain ‘wild west’ feel to it. Our first visit during our time
here is to a paprika house.

One of Hungary’s most famous and important cooking ingredients,
paprika was once known as ‘red gold’ in this region, and we get to
taste it in a variety of dishes while learning about the spice’s
historic significance and how it help shaped the lives of the
people who resided here. We continue to the former home of a
wealthy 19th century family where we are treated to a performance
of traditional folk music and dancing before heading out into the
great plains themselves to try some more local delicacies, meet
Hungarian half-blood horses and experience a wagon ride hauled by
these magnificent and powerful creatures.

We meet the Amadeus Silver II in Kalocsa and have time to
freshen up before tonight’s gala dinner.

Day 9 – Budapest to Prague

After disembarking the Amadeus Silver II for the final time, we
enjoy the sights of Budapest before transferring by coach to the
station. Here we catch the train directly to Prague, in the Czech
Republic, for two nights.

Day 10 – Discover Prague

We enjoy a guided tour of the Czech capital today, starting at
Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. We also
walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues
along its walls, and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus’ Cathedral,
into which entrance is included. The rest of your day is at leisure
before dinner back at the hotel. We recommend a visit to one of the
cities ‘hospodys’ or beer houses, these taverns serve some of the
world’s finest beers, many of which are brewed right here in the
Czech Republic. You may wish to delve deeper into the Old Town,
with its grand churches and squares, or explore the Jewish
Quarter.

Day 11 – Exploring Berlin

This morning we travel by rail to the German capital of Berlin.
After some free time for lunch we meet up and embark on a guided
tour of Berlin, soaking up the sights of this once divided city
including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a monument important to
Berliners because of what it represents; the gate was part of a
city that was heavily bombed and fiercely fought over prior to the
surrender of Germany in 1945 but the neoclassical arch survived
with only minor damage. We’ll also see a section of the Berlin
Wall, as well as the Reichstag, meeting place of the current German
parliament. Tonight we enjoy a final group dinner together at our
hotel.

Day 12 – Return to London

We travel by rail directly to Paris this morning, where we join
the Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.

Days 1-3 – To Berlin

From London St Pancras, we take the Eurostar to Brussels
followed by the train to Cologne where we overnight.
On Day 2 we continue by rail to Berlin
where we spend the night of at the Maritim Berlin Hotel.

On Day 3 we embark on a guided tour
of Berlin, soaking up the sights of this once divided city
including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a monument important to
Berliners because of what it represents; the gate was part of a
city that was heavily bombed and fiercely fought over prior to the
surrender of Germany in 1945 but the neoclassical arch survived
with only minor damage. We’ll also see a section of the Berlin
Wall, as well as the Reichstag, meeting place of the current German
parliament. This afternoon we catch the train directly to
Prague, in the Czech Republic, for two nights.

Day 4 – Discover Prague

We enjoy a guided tour of the Czech capital today, starting at
Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. We also
walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues
along its walls, and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus’ Cathedral,
into which entrance is included. The rest of your day is at leisure
before dinner back at the hotel. We recommend a visit to one of the
cities ‘hospodys’ or beer houses, these taverns serve some of the
world’s finest beers, many of which are brewed right here in the
Czech Republic. You may wish to delve deeper into the Old Town,
with its grand churches and squares, or explore the Jewish
Quarter.

Day 5 – Prague to Budapest

After breakfast we transfer to the station and make our way by
rail to Budapest, on arrival you’ll have a guided coach tour of
Budapest as you transfer to your ship, the Amadeus Silver II and
are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner. Later
take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city.

Day 6 – Hungarian puszta tour

We arrive into the port of Mohcs this morning, close to the
Hungarian border, and embark on puszta tour by coach that takes us
Kalocsa whilst enjoying stops along the way.

The puszta itself is an area of Hungary defined by its grassland
ecosystem set amongst the Great Hungarian Plains, and which has a
certain ‘wild west’ feel to it. Our first visit during our time
here is to a paprika house.

One of Hungary’s most famous and important cooking ingredients,
paprika was once known as ‘red gold’ in this region, and we get to
taste it in a variety of dishes while learning about the spice’s
historic significance and how it help shaped the lives of the
people who resided here. We continue to the former home of a
wealthy 19th century family where we are treated to a performance
of traditional folk music and dancing before heading out into the
great plains themselves to try some more local delicacies, meet
Hungarian half-blood horses and experience a wagon ride hauled by
these magnificent and powerful creatures.

Day 7 – Serbia

We moor in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this morning, heading
out on a guided walking tour to see the attractions of a city whose
varied history can be documented through its architecture. First up
is the Kalemegdan Fortress; the oldest surviving part of the city
and dating back to the 3rd century BC, it also offers wonderful
views across the Danube and Sava rivers. Next we swing by
Belgrade’s National Museum before seeing the parliament building,
Terazije Square and lastly, the Palace of Princess Ljubica. With
it’s Asian influences, this is an unusual building for this part of
the world, one which was built in the 1800s for the wife of Prince
Milo – the eponymous Princess Ljubica. 

Day 8 – The Iron Gate Gorge

Today is spent at leisure on board as we make our way towards
Vidin. During the afternoon we pass through the ‘Iron Gate’ Gorge.
Enjoy the cruise director’s informative commentary as we witness
towering mossy cliffs interspersed with ornate and detailed
carvings hewn straight from the rock face.

Days 9-10 – Constanta and Veliko Tarnovo

We begin sailing towards Ruse, in Bulgaria, docking for an
excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. The city was once the cornerstone of
Bulgaria’s 14th century empire, and boasts impressive medieval
churches and an Old Town of timber-framed buildings for us to
explore on our guided tour.

On Day 10 we have a free morning on
board the ship. This afternoon we’re driven by coach to the
nearby port town of Constanta for a guided tour. Here we uncover
Constanta’s ancient history from its Greek origins to its Roman
ancestry and Persian influences. Some of the attractions we’ll see
include the great mosque, art-nouveau casino and Genovese
lighthouse. A short visit to the city’s History and Archaeology
Museum is also very enlightening, and there’s even some time to
take a stroll along the pristine beach before we return to our
ship.

Day 11 – Danube Delta safari

We hop aboard some smaller safari boats today for a nature
cruise through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, formed by the river
as it splits into thousands of tributaries on its way to the Black
Sea.

This specialist biosphere reserve is jam-packed with wildlife,
including many rare and endangered species such as golden jackal,
European hoopoe, white-tailed eagle and lesser-spotted woodpecker.
Back on board we enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing back to
Fetesti.

Days 12-13 – Bucharest

We arrive in Burcharest this morning and set out on a guided
city tour, discovering the palaces, remains of medieval homes and
21st century modernist skyscrapers that all mesh together to make
for a remarkable and surprising destination.

You have some free time for lunch and might like to try out one
of the many al fresco restaurants tucked away amongst the tangled
network of streets and verdant parks. We transfer to our hotel for
the night.

Following breakfast on Day 13, we disembark and
make for the airport for your flight back home.

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