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The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest

Begin your exciting holiday with one night in Bucharest, Romania, before embarking on your river cruise along the beautiful Danube River to Budapest, Hungary. Bucharest is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and historical treasures. Here, you’ll see the Arc de Triomphe—built in honour of WWI soldiers—and the historical Royal Palace Square. You’ll take part on an exciting excursion to the serene Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Constanta and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Târnovo. Visit the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi, and take pictures of Belogradchik’s eclectic group of rock formations and the spectacular scenery of the Iron Gates gorge. Visit Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Continue your cultural journey on an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are countless memorable moments on this fascinating river cruise through Eastern Europe, and it doesn’t end until you’ve experienced the unique energy of Budapest. Set along the banks of the Danube River, the capital of Hungary offers an eclectic mix of activities. A local expert introduces you to the must-see sights, such as Heroes’ Square. And with free time to explore on your own, perhaps walk across one or more of the city’s famous bridges, shop for Herend porcelain or handcrafted embroidery, and bask in the coffee house culture with a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe. From the Black Sea to Budapest, your European river cruise will take your breath away with the spectacular beauty and grace of the legendary Danube River and its stops along the way.

Your cruise at a glance

  • Bucharest
    • Visit the Royal Palace Square, scene of riots in 1989 which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship.
  • Belgrade
    • See St. Sava, the world's largest Orthodox church, and peruse some of its many museums and art galleries.
  • Budapest
    • Visit Heroes Square and the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fisherman's Bastion.



Multiple itineraries are available:

Day 1 Bucharest

Travel to Bucharest where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a one night stay at the Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest (or similar).

Day 2 Bucharest - Fetesti (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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.

Day 3 St. Gheorghe

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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.

See dates and prices


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:


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.


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.


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.

Prices & cabin details

Choose departure airport and date for prices


Staterooms available

Price per person


InterContinental Budapest

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.

  • Location
    • 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. 

  • Facilities
    • Restaurant and bar
    • Gym
    • Spa
    • Indoor heated pool
    • Sauna and steam room
InterContinental Budapest

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

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.

  • Location
    • The hotel boasts a prime location near the River Danube, Hungarian Parliament, Hungarian State Opera and Castle.

  • Facilities
    • Luxury spa
    • Atrium restaurant
    • Bistro restaurant
    • Bar
    • Luxury spa

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative similar standard hotels to those shown.


"Excelent service"

30th November 2017 - Trusted Customer

"I never give reasons because I never give five stars........"

1st November 2017 - Miss Sally Woolacott

"Smooth and hassle free..."

1st November 2017 - Mr David Palmer

Smooth and hassle free

"Simple and easy to us website. Not too many complicated questions to answer and information..."

1st November 2017 - Mrs Robyn Mary Davies

Simple and easy to us website. Not too many complicated questions to answer and information is easy to retrieve through the booking number.

Good itinerary but a little rushed at times. Understand that there are some long distances to travel between cities. The Passion was very clean and comfortable and all staff were helpful.

"Very interesting holiday"

4th October 2017 - Trusted Customer

Well organised - great accommodation - interesting locations The option of having a teapot at teatime should be made. They are available at breakfast!

No purchases made other than an extra tour

"Extremely good all round performance..."

4th October 2017 - Mr William Eyres

Extremely good all round performance

"British customers undervalued?"

9th August 2017 - Trusted Customer

The provision of pre-tour information, while comprehensive enough was only available on line and lacked a professionally touch. Luggage labels, for example, were required to be printed and '....attached to your luggage or if preferred, inserted in your own luggage tags.' Previous Avalon cruises (and incidentally other cruise lines) provided proper luggage labels. Similarly, information about extra excursions was also only available on-line not in the form of a booklet. Initially we assumed that these deficiencies were due to economic reasons and gave us thoughts that the cruise would be similarly affected - fortunately that did not prove to be the case. However in conversations with other passengers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, South Africa we discovered that only British guests had been subjected to these 'economic' measures. All others had been supplied with proper labels and a booklet with details of extra excursions. We are left with the conclusion that perhaps Avalon has become rather indifferent to British customers and as a result we can award only four stars.

Gold and Glamorous Excursion in Budapest and Hungarian Puszta Farm, Horse Show with Lunch were very good. The latter for spectacle and the former for the stunning 'Glass Paintings of Miksa Roth'

"Comfortable accommodation, good quality food but not gourmet. Well thought out programme of excursions, though..."

9th August 2017 - Mr Philip Murray

Comfortable accommodation, good quality food but not gourmet. Well thought out programme of excursions, though free time was sometimes a little rushed.

"Excellent service throughout"

9th August 2017 - Mrs Claire Pilkington

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..."

9th August 2017 - Trusted Customer

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

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