Balkan Discovery 2019

10 day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

Cruise WBO

From 

£2,044  pp

Cruise only

Departing 25 June 2019

From 

£2,534  pp

Cruise with flights & transfers

From London City

Showing 2019 information. Switch to 2020

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Overview

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing - so you don’t miss a thing!

You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion.

On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, where you’ll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless Eastern European river cruise, a stay in Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe, built in honour of WWI soldiers.

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing - so you don’t miss a thing!

You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion.

On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, where you’ll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless Eastern European river cruise, a stay in Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe, built in honour of WWI soldiers.

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 Budapest, Hungary


The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2 Budapest

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Enjoy a guided city sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.

Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city’s cafés and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube.

You may choose to enjoy Hungarian cuisine in an optional wine–and–dine dinner this evening.

Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections.

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to shop in the Great Market Hall or take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas, then lunch in a garden or rooftop eatery. This afternoon, board your Suite Ship®.

This evening enjoy a dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS

Day 4 Mohács

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Archaeology, Architecture and an Ancient Watermill.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a morning guided sightseeing tour of Mohács - the quiet Danube harbour town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill - one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone–ground grain processing, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th–century Christian underground tombs with fascinating murals, as well as Turkish architecture. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

Day 5 Belgrade, Serbia

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Attend an onboard lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations and culture of the Balkan states.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided sightseeing tour of Belgrade - where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge - and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava - one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.

Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street - Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops and cultural spots.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship before dinner.

This evening, you might like to join an optional typical Bohemian dinner in the quartre of Skadarlija.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC

Day 6 Donji Milanovac. Excursion to Lepenski Vir - Iron Gates Gorge

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided tour to Lepenski Vir - an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge.

After lunch on board, you’ll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge - a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE

Day 7 Cetate, Romania

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Bygone Era and New Mountains to Climb.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Join your Avalon Adventure host for a run along the river bank.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Visit the Danube’s old grain-shipping port on a guided tour of Cetate, including a tasting of local specialties.

Sail to Vidin this afternoon.

Vidin, Bulgaria

Rocks and Ruins - Things of Beauty in Bulgaria

Join a guided tour to Belogradchik to see the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NIKOPOL

Day 8 Nikopol. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cliffside Dwellings and Castle Ruins of Bulgarian Kings.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a full-day guided tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo - with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra river. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian revival architecture in the 15th–century town of Arbanassi.

As an alternative, sail with your ship to Rousse.

Rousse

Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”.

You may choose to stay with your ship today on its way to Rousse - dubbed “Little Vienna” for its baroque and neoclassical buildings.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided sightseeing tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Join an afternoon run through the park with your Avalon Adventure host.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

Day 9 Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation) - Bucharest

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

A Night in Bucharest - the “Paris of the East”

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree–lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe–honouring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square - the scene of the city’s 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafés, museums, beautiful homes and churches along Victory Avenue.

Day 10 Bucharest

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Ship details

Onboard every one of our Suite Ships you'll find the same exacting standards and attention to detail. They all feature our one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, and beds facing the incredible views. This cruise operates on the following ships.

Avalon Passion

Yet another beautiful Suite Ship graces the rivers of Europe in 2016. The Avalon Passion welcomes passengers to their home-away-from-home with two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than industry standard and ideal for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use in public areas, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, an elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Deluxe Stateroom (D,E)
172 sq.ft., Indigo Deck
Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward - floorplan
Picture of Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward (172sq ft)
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Panorama Suite (A,B,P)
200 sq.ft, Sapphire and Royal Decks
Panorama Suite - Sapphire Deck Aft - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite with floor-to-ceiling windows - Sapphire Deck Aft (200sq ft)
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Open-Air Balcony with spacious seating area
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Royal Suite (S)
300 sq.ft., Royal Deck
Royal Suite - Royal Deck - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite with floor-to-ceiling windows - Royal Deck (300sq ft)
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Open-Air Balcony with spacious seating area
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen or one king
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Deck Plans
Avalon Passion deck plan

Deck plan key

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Deck Game area
  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception/Guest services
  • Lift
  • Atrium
  • Club Lounge
  • Galley
  • Dining room
  • Fitness centre

Stateroom categories

  • Royal Suite
  • Royal Deck
  • Category P
  • Royal Deck
  • Category A
  • Sapphire Deck Forward
  • Category B
  • Sapphire Deck Aft
  • Category D
  • Indigo Deck Aft
  • Category E
  • Indigo Deck Forward

Avalon Illumination

Avalon Illumination accommodates 166 passengers. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama Suites with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform into a unique open-air balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the unique opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, a fitness centre, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro.

Deluxe Stateroom (D,E)
172 sq.ft., Indigo Deck
Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward - floorplan
  • Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one queen-size bed
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Panorama Suite (A,B,P)
200 sq.ft, Sapphire and Royal Decks
Panorama Suite - Sapphire Deck Aft - floorplan
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to transform the living space into a large Open-Air Balcony
  • Open-Air Balcony with 6-person seating area
  • Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one queen-size bed
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Royal Suite (S)
300 sq.ft., Royal Deck
Royal Suite - Royal Deck - floorplan
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to transform the living space into a large Open-Air Balcony
  • Open-Air Balcony with spacious seating area
  • Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twin beds, one queen-size bed or one king-size bed
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Deck Plans
Avalon Illumination deck plan

Deck plan key

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Grill
  • Sky Deck Whirlpool
  • Premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Deck Game area
  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception/Guest services
  • Lift
  • Atrium
  • Club Lounge with well-stocked library, board games and self-service beverage station
  • Galley
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Fitness centre

Stateroom categories

  • Royal Suite
  • Royal Deck
  • Category P
  • Royal Deck
  • Category A
  • Sapphire Deck Forward
  • Category B
  • Sapphire Deck Aft
  • Category D
  • Indigo Deck Aft
  • Category E
  • Indigo Deck Forward

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