The Black Sea to Budapest - Westbound 2020

The Black Sea to Budapest - Westbound 2020

Operator: Tauck
Ship: MS Joy
Starts: Bucharest, Romania on Sun, Jul 19, 2020
Ends: Budapest, Hungary on Fri, Jul 31, 2020

Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia

Rivers Visited

Danube

River Cruise Itinerary

Explore the romantic lower Danube through the heart of Central Europe, where East and West meet and intertwine in fascinating cultures and turbulent history... Glide past medieval monasteries, citadels and villages...Discover resort towns along Romania’s Black Sea Coast, explore an ancient Christian necropolis in Pecs, and visit "Dracula’s" castle in Transylvania... dine in the Soviet-style People’s Palace in Bucharest... Share homemade refreshments in the home of a Croatian family rebuilding their lives in postwar Vukovar, and listen to Béla Bartók’s piano music at a recital in his Budapest home. Experience authentic local cuisine, music and dance, and a wealth of architectural wonders as your river cruise winds its way through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, with nights on land at luxury hotels in the popular cities of Bucharest and Budapest (the Paris of Eastern Europe).

Day 1 (Sun, Jul 19, 2020): Bucharest, Romania

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. A transfer is included from Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport to the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of the city, ideally located adjacent to Bucharest's monumental Palace of Parliament – the site of tonight's Tauck Exclusive, after-hours gala welcome reception and dinner, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and Tauck Directors to kick off this extraordinary lower Danube cruise in true Tauck Style.


Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 (Mon, Jul 20, 2020): Bucharest, Romania

A choice of sightseeing today echoes the legacy of 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler"), thought to be the historical model for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. You may choose to take a full-day excursion to Transylvania’s 14th-century Bran Castle, which Tepes once used as a fortress during his military campaigns; the excursion includes a brief walk and lunch in Brasov. Or you can opt for a trip to Targoviste to see the ruins of Tepes' palace, including its imposing watchtower, restored in the 19th century; you'll also visit the army barracks (now a museum) where Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was tried and executed in 1989. Your third option today is an excursion into the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania for a visit to Peles Castle and Sinaia, with lunch at a local restaurant and a return to Bucharest for free time spent as you please. If you wish, have dinner at the hotel tonight, or choose to enjoy a lunch or dinner at the hotel at another time during your stay.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 (Tue, Jul 21, 2020): Bucharest, Romania

Discover more of Romania's capital on a morning sightseeing tour with our local guides, seeing such sights as Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch, and ending in Bucharest's Old Town. The rest of the day and evening are yours to spend pursuing what interests you most in this fascinating city.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 (Wed, Jul 22, 2020):

Before embarking your riverboat today, drive to Romania's popular Black Sea coast – first to the popular resort town of Mamaia for lunch and some "beach time," then on to the port city of Constanta. Here, in what was originally the ancient Greek colony of Tomis, you'll view numerous Greek and Roman antiquities, an Art-Nouveau casino, and a monument to the Roman poet Ovid, who spent years in exile here, then board your riverboat in Constanta to launch your unforgettable Danube cruise. Meet the captain and crew at a welcome reception, followed by dinner onboard at your leisure.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 (Thu, Jul 23, 2020): Ruse, Bulgaria

Your cruise continues in Bulgaria; largely offlimits during four centuries of Ottoman rule and decades behind the IronCurtain, the country's rich natural beauty and history is yours todiscover today. Disembark in Ruse – often referred to as“Little Vienna” for its Art-Nouveau homes, Austro-Hungarian architectureand lively cafés – for a choice of sightseeing today. You may joinus for a guided walking tour of Ruse, or a lovely hike to the celebratedRock Churches in the village of Ivanovo, whose stony chambers carvedinto steep, cliffside caves reveal stunning medieval frescoes inside; avisit is richly rewarding. Return to the riverboat for dinner this evening.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 (Fri, Jul 24, 2020):

There’s something special about just “kicking back” during a leisurely morning cruising the Danube, enjoying picture-perfect views of the passing landscapes. Onboard activities throughout your cruise, such as special lectures and presentations, cooking demonstrations or music and dance performances, are an important part of the Tauck river cruising experience. Today, after the riverboat arrives in Vidin, Bulgaria, join us for a walking tour of Vidin’s cobblestone streets, including a visit to Baba Vida fortress. Back aboard the riverboat this evening, enjoy musical entertainment by a local classical ensemble, followed by the Chef's Signature Dinner in the Compass Rose.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 (Sat, Jul 25, 2020):

Spend today aboard your riverboat as you sail along the Serbian / Romanian border, enjoying great views of the Transylvanian Alps. As you cruise, keep an eye out for a kingly face carved into the Danube's rocky bank on the Romanian side; it's a monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus, who defended his kingdom from the invading Romans – and it's the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. Glide through Romania’s Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a spectacular two-mile-long series of gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, en route to Serbia; the ship arrives in Belgrade overnight.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 (Sun, Jul 26, 2020): Belgrade, Serbia

Wake up today in Belgrade, Serbia’s eclectic, cosmopolitan capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers. You can choose to spend the morning touring the "New Belgrade" section of the city by bicycle with a local guide (you'll need to be comfortable riding a bicycle in a city environment); or join our local guides for a city tour that includes visits to Tito’s Memorial and the formidable Kalemegdan Fortress, and views of busy Slavija Square (now one of the city’s major squares, but once a large pool where residents hunted wild ducks!), Parliament, Republic Square and City Hall. After lunch onboard, you have the afternoon free to spend as you please. Following onboard entertainment by Serbian performers during cocktail hour, you'll return to shore for this evening's sparkling Tauck Exclusive – dinner at the Royal White Palace of the Serbian Royal Family in Belgrade, built in the 1930s for members of the Yugoslavian royal family and set within the same complex as the Royal Palace of Dedinje, today home to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 (Mon, Jul 27, 2020): Vukovar, Croatia

Your riverboat crosses the border from Serbia to Croatia and arrives in historic Vukovar today. Preceded by an onboard lecture on Croatia's turbulent history by a local expert, your tour of this venerable 10th-century city – once showcasing opulent 18th-century Baroque mansions, but now a mix of old and new – poignantly symbolizes the effects of the 1990s war. Visit with a local family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, as they share homemade refreshments with you in their private home. You'll have some time at leisure in Vukovar before the riverboat continues on to Hungary tonight.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 (Tue, Jul 28, 2020): Pecs, Hungary

Arrive in Mohacs, Hungary, this morning for an excursion to Pécs and a tour of its 11th-century cathedral. Here you’ll also explore the fascinating Christian Necropolis, a complex dating back to the 4th century that includes underground burial chambers and chapels adorned with early Christian art and frescoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 19th century, Pécs was famous worldwide for the exquisite Zsolnay porcelain manufactured here, and your visit includes a stop at the Zsolnay Museum for a look at its stunning examples of Art Nouveau stoneware, tiles and pottery. Visit a winery in Villány for lunch (this region is renowned for its red wines) then return to Mohacs. Tonight, attend the ship's farewell cocktail reception and dinner as your Danube cruise draws to a close.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 (Wed, Jul 29, 2020): Budapest, Hungary

Bid your Danube cruise – along with your captain and crew – farewell as you disembark the riverboat in Budapest. Your exploration of the Hungarian capital, once the independent cities of Buda and Pest, begins in Pest with a visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica, the city’s neo-Renaissance cathedral, and continues with views of Heroes’ Square, bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary, and such Budapest treasures as City Park and tree-lined Andrassy Avenue. When possible, visit the Parliament building, a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece. Stop to browse at Central Market Hall before checking into your hotel; the rest of the day and evening is at your leisure in Budapest.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 (Thu, Jul 30, 2020): Budapest, Hungary

Today, you can choose to spend the morning touring Budapest by bicycle with a local guide (you'll need to be comfortable riding a bicycle in a city environment). Or you can do some Buda sightseeing in Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where a guided walking tour introduces architectural landmarks such as well-known Fisherman's Bastion. Revisit Budapest's World War II and Cold War days at the Sziklakórház ("Hospital in the Rock"), a re-creation of underground military medical and facilities in a former secret bunker and hospital hidden below Buda Castle. After time to explore this fascinating city as you please (or, if you wish, visit Dohany Synagogue with a Tauck Director), we invite you to join us at this evening's farewell reception and dinner at the Festetics Palace in Budapest.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 13 (Fri, Jul 31, 2020): Budapest, Hungary

Tour ends: Budapest, Hungary. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and Budapest-Keleti Station. Allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in.


Meals Included: Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Inclusions

Explore the romantic lower Danube through the heart of Central Europe, where East and West meet and intertwine in fascinating cultures and turbulent history... Glide past medieval monasteries, citadels and villages...Discover resort towns along Romania’s Black Sea Coast, explore an ancient Christian necropolis in Pecs, and visit "Dracula’s" castle in Transylvania... dine in the Soviet-style People’s Palace in Bucharest... Share homemade refreshments in the home of a Croatian family rebuilding their lives in postwar Vukovar, and listen to Béla Bartók’s piano music at a recital in his Budapest home. Experience authentic local cuisine, music and dance, and a wealth of architectural wonders as your river cruise winds its way through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, with nights on land at luxury hotels in the popular cities of Bucharest and Budapest (the Paris of Eastern Europe).

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Exclusive evening at Belgrade's Royal White Palace
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $2,412
  • Two nights at a hotel in Budapest and two nights in Bucharest at a hotel with an ideal location next to the Parliament Palace
  • Choices of bicycle excursions in Budapest & Belgrade
  • Dinner at the massive Parliament building (the "People's Palace") in Bucharest  

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Ship Information

MS Joy


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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.


AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Tauck. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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