From the Black Sea to the North Sea

Resort: From the Black Sea to the North Sea
Operator: Avalon Waterways
Destination: Austria
Price From: £6610.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1 Bucharest.

Fly to Bucharest where you will be met and transferred to the Athne Palace Hilton hotel (or similar) for one night.

Day 2 Bucharest – Fetesti.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Much recent history has taken place in Romania’s capital city, and its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphebuilt in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWIhave gained it the name ‘Paris of the East’. During your included tour this morning, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, was the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Later, a coach ride takes you to Fetesti, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B, D)

Day 3 St Gheorghe.

Included today: Danube Delta excursion; see ‘Km 0’. Arrive in St Gheorghe early this morning. After breakfast, join an excursion by small boat into the Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds and 45 species of freshwater fish. The Danube stretches 2,845km from its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea. Km markings can be seen on the banks along the length of the river and today you can celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey at ‘Km 0’. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Cernavoda.

Included today: Choice of full or half day excursion to Constanta; guided sightseeing and visit to Natural History & Archaeological Museum.
From Cernavoda this morning, a excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial centre in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A CERTIFIED LOCAL GUIDE shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included.This afternoon relax on board as you cruise westward towards Rousse. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Rousse.

Included today: Veliko Trnovo guided sightseeing and Ethnographical Museum and Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, or Rousse guided sightseeing.
Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Trnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces, 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. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an included sightseeing tour of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will re-join the ship. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik

Included today: Guided sightseeing to Vidin’s fortress; excursion to Belogradchik.
Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port in north-western Bulgaria. Its medieval fortress, known as ‘Baba Vidin’, is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. 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!. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Iron Gates Gorge. Excursion to Lepenski Vir

Included today: Cruise the Iron Gates Gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site.
More spectacular scenery as you cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast, that forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania. This afternoon, dock at Donji Milanovac and drive to the Lepenski Vir Exhibition Centre, a rich archaeological site that also offers unique, striking views of the Danube Gorge. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Belgrade.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Reaching the Serbian capital Belgrade, set at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers, a local expert will show you its main sights including St Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church, and the city’s principal landmark: Kalemegdan Fortress, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. The surrounding park is the largest and most beautiful in Belgrade. There’s free time to enjoy the city centre’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafs. This afternoon, a fascinating on board lecture introduces the Balkan region. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Mohcs, Hungary. Excursion to Pcs

Relax on board this morning before arriving in Mohcs, the first stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pcs. 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 a Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND TOMBSnow part of a UNESCO World Heritage Sitemany of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pcs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafs. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Budapest

Included today: On board wine tasting.
Today enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing , before reaching the countrys capital. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europes liveliest cities. Whether youre 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 Caf, Budapests unique energy is positively palatable. On an INCLUDED TOUR with your Local Guide, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermens Bastionwith spectacular views of the cityand 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the citys eight bridgesmany famous sights in and of themselveswhich 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. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Budapest

You have time this morning to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvellous views of the city from its viewing platform. This afternoon, set sail for Bratislava. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Bratislava – Vienna.

Included today: Bratislava guided sightseeing; Schloss Hof Palace.
This morning, dock in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Today’s sightseeing with a Local Guide will introduce you to the charming Old Town and its Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit the Gothic St Martin’s Cathedral, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Later, set sail for Vienna, stopping to visit the Schloss Hof Palace on the way. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Vienna.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Vienna, known as the ‘City of Music’, inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna is a showcase of gilded architecture. See the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard and awe-inspiring St Stephen’s Cathedral on a guided tour. Shop on the Krntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a local caf. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Drnstein – Grein.

Included today: Guided walks in Drnstein and Grein.
Cruise through the heart of the picturesque Wachau Valley wine region to Drnstein, known for its magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue faade. A Local Guide will take you on a walking tour of the town and tell you the tale of the castle ruins perched overlooking the town, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. This afternoon, cruise to the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Join a Local Guide for a guided walk to admire the turreted houses on the main square. Its castle is the oldest residential castle in Austria, and its theatre, built in 1791, is Austria’s oldest theatre. (B, L, D)

Day 15 Linz.

Included today: Guided walk.
Arriving before lunch, your Local Guide will introduce you to Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and an important river port. See the 13th century Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column. Alternatively, join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. (B, L, D)

Day 16 Regensburg.

Included today: Guided walk; beer tasting
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided walk this morning include the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria – gates to the Roman fort built in 179AD. Enjoy a tasty snack at Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th century Historische Wurstkche (Old Sausage Kitchen). After dinner sample some of Germany’s famous beers. (B, L, D)

Day 17 Nuremberg.

Included today: Choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour.
This afternoon is dedicated to 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. Choose from 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. (B, L, D)

Day 18 Bamberg.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
This morning, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germanys most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic centre, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the towns serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. This afternoon cruise along the Main River to Wurzburg. (B, L, D)

Day 19 Wrzburg.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Surrounded by steep, verdant vineyards, Wrzburg is known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’ and makes an immediate impression with views of its beautiful Marienberg Fortress and 15th century Old Main Bridge. Today’s guided sightseeing tour visits the magnificent Bishop’s Residenz, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure, perhaps join the optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (B, L, D)

Day 20 Main River Village

Included today: Guided walk.
On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. Half timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centres, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographers delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (B, L, D)

Day 21 Rdesheim – Rhine Gorge.

Included today: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; cruise through the Rhine Gorge.
Whilst in pretty Rdesheim, a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum is included, as well as free time to explore the Drosselgasse. Afterwards, sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge and pass the legendary Lorelei Rock, where it is thought the sweet songs of sirens lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (B, L, D)

Day 22 Cologne.

Included today: Choice of Guided city walk or Jewish Cologne tour.
Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent Gothic cathedral. This afternoon, choose between an included Guided City Walk or a ‘Jewish Cologne’ tour. The Old Town offers up a great choice of cafs, shops and taverns so be sure to try a Klsch the favourite local beer and shop for a bottle of 4711, the original ‘eau de cologne’. (B, L, D)

Day 23 Amsterdam.

Included today: Canal cruise.
This morning you arrive in Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafs, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s ‘Golden Age’. There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city – your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. If you are fit and feeling energetic, or perhaps join a biking optional excursion (weather permitting). (B, L, D)

Day 24 Amsterdam.

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)

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