Fly to Bucharest where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for one night (Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest or similar).
Included today: Guided sightseeing. Much recent history has taken place in Romania's capital city, and its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I—have gained it the name 'Paris of the East'. During your included tour this morning, see the main sights including The Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Travel by coach to Oltenita, where your ship is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.
This morning during breakfast, dock in St. Gheorghe, from where the excursion into the delta will start. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe's deltas, this area hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometres in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river. Depart St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small celebration to mark Km "0"—the end of the Danube's journey. This afternoon a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an on-board lecture.
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.
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"British customers undervalued?"
"Comfortable accommodation, good quality food but not gourmet. Well thought out programme of excursions, though..."
"Excellent service throughout"
Cruise director was excellent so we're all of the other staff. They always are that is why we have been with them 5times
Not sure what this refers to?
"Having enjoyed your first class service last year we booked again this year and was..."
Having enjoyed your first class service last year we booked again this year and was disappointed that the standards have dropped.
Last year prior to departing we received all documents including full details of all available trips in a cheque book style book together with proper luggage labels and a cloth folder with your logo to keep everything in.
This year WE had to print off all documents and trip details ourselves together with a A4 luggage label which WE had to fold!!!! Whilst this in itself showed falling standards we then find out on our cruise ship that all other guests EXCLUDING those from Great Britain had received all the above. It was considered quite funny by others who thought all guests were treated equally!!!
As one of the trips was called off as a result of heavy rain the Cruise Director advised all guests that we were to receive a 100 dollar voucher per person against future cruises. I have received an e-mail forwarding £150 voucher without explanation made out to to wrong name!!! I am somewhat confused by this.
Also we had requested twin beds but we had two singles pushed together with one double mattress across both. Their situation was rectified after one night but we would consider that if twin accommodation was requested on our original booking we should have had this without having to arrange it ourselves during our holiday.
Not as interesting as Budapest to Praque
"A great ship and a wonderful holiday"
The Avalon Passion was a lovely ship and kept in pristine conditon. Our cabin was clean and inviting and had everything we needed. The beds were so comfortable, with wonderful mattresses and soft, downy pillows. The staff were all helpful and friendly and the food was great. Avalon cater for all diets and it was amazing that the chef and maitre de would consult you each day to see what you would like prepared.
The car service provided to get us to the ship and home again after the cruise was an extra bonus and the drivers we had were exellent.
The one "niggle" was that we did not get to the delta because the Danube was too low for the ship to sail there. This was presented to us as something that was unpredictable, but apparently it is well known that July is the month that the Danube is low. We feel that the delta should not be offered in July, but the alternative cruise we had should be offered instead. Other than that, an asterisk with the explanation that it would be quite likely that the ship would not make the delta would forewarn passengers and give them the choice to accept or decline a July cruise.
Overall our experience was wonderful and we would certainly recommend Avalon.
It was a wonderful holiday, which started from the minute we closed the front door and got into the car which was sent for us, to the time we got out of the car bringing us home and carried our bags indoors.
"First time river cruise - expectations exceeded!"
First river cruise. Standard of vessel and cabin met or exceeded expectations. Food superb and very well presented and served by an excellent staff. Challenge of closure of lower Danube very well met by the company.
Many excursions included longer bus trips than expected - more research before hand would have revealed that!
Exceeded Expectations in all respects
"The best holiday we have had! (and we are usually difficult to please!) "
Everything was perfection. The organisation was fantastic, everything went like clockwork. The attention to detail was noticeable. The restaurant service never failed to impress, the ship itself was lovely, the cabin was excellent and always maintained spotlessly. The tours were well thought out and executed.
"My service feedback with Avalon Cruises"
Great boat. And crew looking forward to the next trip
"My service feedback with Avalon Cruises"
Enjoyed the talks by local speakers.
"My service feedback with Avalon Cruises"
Lovely cabin, great service both on board and admin prior to departure
Some interesting visits and excellent local guides
"An unfortunate error at the time of booking, gave an incorrect return date. This was…"
An unfortunate error at the time of booking, gave an incorrect return date. This was put right and from then on everything went well.
An opportunity to see the various Balkan cultures and witness the varying degrees of poverty. All are making great strides in rebuilding after the Soviet era. As before, the ship was very comfortable and the food and service excellent. Although the scenery for the first half, was not very notable, it was interesting enough and then through the Iron Gate locks and gorge- became spectacular. Both Bucharest and Budapest are wonderful cities and would repay a longer time in each.
"The boat was excellent, no doubt to some extent because it was new. The cabin…"
The boat was excellent, no doubt to some extent because it was new. The cabin and restaurant service were excellent. Other than for the Crew Entertainment evening, which was great, the evening entertainment was sadly lacking. On one occasion we left the lounge because the music/entertainer were painfully loud, and did not return after dinner for the remainder of the cruise.
The tours/guides were generally very good, although sometimes the afternoon tours suffered from too much 'free time' when many would have preferred to get back to the boat on time or slightly ahead of time in order to get ready for dinner. Pre-tour arrangements/instruction were sometimes lacking (headsets). Time (45 minutes) spent in the tiny Check-In area at Budapest Airport before the BA desks opened (2 hours before departure) was very uncomfortable.
Limo pick-up and return to our home was very good, other than I had to call to enquire why we were being picked-up at midnight when the drive to Heathrow is 2 hours and the flight was 11 AM.