Welcome to Budapest, the beautiful 'Pearl of the Danube'. This evening, join your Cruise Director for a welcome cocktail and brief chat about how you can enjoy the city to the fullest!
One of Eastern Europe's most dynamic cities, Hungary's capital spans the Danube in a majestic way. Awaken refreshed and dig in to a hearty breakfast before disembarking and deciding how you would like to explore. Choose your activity:
* Take an enjoyable, 2-hour walking tour that includes some "Fungarian" instruction of useful local words and phrases.
* Ride a bicycle on a guided cycling tour along the bike paths and car-free areas for a safe and enjoyable way to see the city's most fantastic sights.
* See the best of Budapest on a city sightseeing tour featuring Heroes' Square, Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias Church, and an inside visit of the Opera House.
Afterwards, you have free time to shop for Hungarian paprika or hand crafted souvenirs, to savour a piece of cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café, or to join an optional tour of Budapest's limestone cave system or to play nine holes of golf. This afternoon, transfer to the Avalon Luminary for embarkation. After a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow shipmates at a welcome reception. As your ship pulls away from the dock, be sure to have your camera ready for an unforgettable view of the beautifully illuminated Parliament. At dinner, your ship's chef will delight your taste buds with Hungarian specialities. Later, as scenic panoramas of the Danube Bend drift by, consider toasting your adventure with a cocktail on the Sky Deck. Your ship docks for the night near Visegrad.
Another exciting day is on tap. After breakfast, choose your activity:
* Cheer your favourite champion at a Mediieval Knights Tournament at Visegrad's Lower Castle.
* Spend your day on a guided walk through Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to eagles, falcons, bats, fire salamanders and other wildlife.
This afternoon, your ship passes by the mighty Esztergom Basilica, coronation church of Hungary's monarchs. Relax on board as we sail upstream towards Austria. After a delectable dinner of Viennese specialities, experience the first of 10 locks your ship will pass through on this cruise.
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You're spoilt for choice when it comes to panoramic views across the River Danube. Admire the Chain Bridge and the former Royal Palace from one of the hotel's beautifully appointed rooms, or treat yourself to a gourmet Hungarian dinner with views of Buda Castle. Official rating: 5 stars.
Just a leisurely stroll away from the historic Castle district, this luxurious hotel sits on the banks of the river Danube in the heart of Budapest.
The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge hotel has an enviable position overlooking the River Danube and Budapest's famous Chain Bridge, and many of the 357 rooms come with a view of the river. A Swarovski water fountain, luxury spa, original art and a French-Hungarian restaurant make this hotel a special base for your time in Budapest. Official rating: 5 stars.
The hotel boasts a prime location near the River Danube, Hungarian Parliament, Hungarian State Opera and Castle.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative similar standard hotels to those shown.