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Transylvania & Enchantment of Eastern Europe on Emerald Sun

Transylvania & Enchantment of Eastern Europe on Emerald Sun

Operator: Emerald Waterways
Ship: Emerald Sun
Starts: Bucharest, Romania on Sat, Sep 25, 2021
Ends: Budapest, Hungary on Thu, Oct 07, 2021


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Countries Visited

Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria

Rivers Visited

Danube, Black Sea

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 (Sat, Sep 25, 2021): Bucharest

When you arrive in Bucharest, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your perfectly situated hotel, including a one-night stay in Bucharest.

Day 2 (Sun, Sep 26, 2021): Bucharest - Brasov

After breakfast, your Transylvanian adventure will begin. You will board coaches to the medieval town of Brasov, located in the centre of Transylvania. On your way you will visit the world-famous Bran Castle, also known as the castle of Count Dracula. The 14th century Bran Castle, which surrounded by an aura of mystery owes its fame more to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula than to its imposing towers and turrets. We will also visit the Bran Castle museum, displaying an impressive art and furniture collection of Queen Marie.

Included Excursion
Visit of Bran Castle en route to Brasov

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 (Mon, Sep 27, 2021): Brasov

Join us today in a panoramic city tour of Brasov, including a visit of the First Romanian School Museum and the St. Nicholas Church, which were for centuries one of the leading learning centers of the Romanian community. The museum hosts a compelling legacy: more than 4,000 rare books (many printed or copied by hand right here), several hundred rare documents, the oldest Romanian Bible (printed on a goat's skin) and much more.  You will continue with a guided walk through Brasov's historical medieval downtown and discover the German heritage while having an inside visit of the Black Church - the largest Gothic church east of Vienna.

Included Excursion
City tour of Brasov

The UNESCO fortified Church Prejmer (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 (Tue, Sep 28, 2021): Brasov

While being in the heart of Transylvania, you may want to explore on own some downtime in Brasov, visiting the Old Town Square, wander through the narrow colourful streets, or hike up Mount Tampa. If you wish to venture out of Brasov you can join one of the two full-day DiscoverMORE programs tailor-made for you: Sibiu and Clay Castle Valea Zanelor or Sighisoara & Viscri Village. 
If you decide to opt for Sibiu, you will get to to see the largest and wealthiest of the seven citadels built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons. Sibiu is a multicultural city, where Romanian, Saxon, Hungarian and Roma minorities are living together peacefully throughout centuries, in a city which managed to transform its diversity into a brand. After being European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu stepped up on the international culinary stage, as a holder in 2019 of the title "European Region of Gastronomy". 
Those interested in Sighisoara will be rewarded with a delightful walk through the town's hilly streets with their original medieval architecture, magical mix of winding cobbled alleys, steep stairways, secluded squares, towers and enchantingly preserved citadel. At noon you will reach the picturesque Viscri Village, where you will taste the delicious homemade cooked lunch at the locals and then visit the UNESCO fortified Church Deutschweisskirch.  

Sibiu & Clay Castle Valea Zanelor OR Sighisoara & Viscri Village (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 (Wed, Sep 29, 2021): Brasov - Bucharest

After breakfast, check out at the hotel and board coaches back to Bucharest. We will take a scenic drive while crossing south the Carpathian Mountains to reach Sinaia, the “Pearl of the Carpathians”. Sinaia is home of the Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces. It was once the summer residence of the Romanian kings and it is now one of Romania’s most important museums. Begun in 1875 and inaugurated in 1883, the castle has 160 rooms, it is opulently decorated with leather, ebony, walnut and mother- of-pearl, with invaluable collections of art and furniture. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 (Thu, Sep 30, 2021): Bucharest - Giurgiu

After enjoying the plush surrounds of your hotel this morning, you will get the opportunity to learn about some of Bucharest’s most iconic highlights during your guided drive around the city, including a visit to the Spring Palace, before enjoying some time to explore the leafy boulevards at leisure.
After your insightful tour, you will be transferred from Bucharest to Giurgiu, on the banks of the Danube, where a warm welcome awaits you from your captain and crew on board your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship.

Included Excursion
A guided drive through Bucharest

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 (Fri, Oct 01, 2021): Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi

Today, you will have the opportunity to learn about Bulgarian history as you explore the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire with your local guide, an ancient city that was strategically positioned overlooking the surrounding area. On your included tour, you will have the opportunity to traverse its cobbled streets and witness its medieval fortifications.
Afterwards, you will be taken to neighbouring Arbanasi, situated overlooking the Yantra River, a tributary of the Danube that is known for its many scenic gorges. Your local guide will enable you to explore the past, as your tour touches on a number of traditional houses and ancient churches.
If you would prefer to do something more active, then you could instead choose to embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, known for their famous 14th-century frescoes.
Tonight, your crew will welcome you back on board for a welcome reception and dinner.

A choir concert in Arbanasi

Hike to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo

Included Excursion
A tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 (Sat, Oct 02, 2021): Vidin

Viticulture forms the heart of life in the most western town in Bulgaria, where sun-kissed vineyards pepper the banks of the Danube and the region has prospered from winemaking for generations. Your included tour of Vidin will introduce you to a peaceful side of life that revolves around wine, as you weave through a local vineyard and learn about their produce, before enjoying a tasting. Afterwards, your local guide will take you to Baba Vida, a fortress that was originally constructed at the turn of the 10th century; known for being one of only a handful of beautifully preserved castles in the country.
If you are feeling more active, then you may instead choose to embark on a guided hike to Belogradchik Fortress, located on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It’s easy to imagine how this stronghold would have offered the Romans a perfect lookout point. 

Hike to Belogradchik Fortress

Included Excursion
Visit a local vineyard for a tasting

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 (Sun, Oct 03, 2021): Donji Milanovac - Golubac

This morning, relax on board and admire your surroundings as we sail along the mighty Danube to Donji Milanovac, where a visit to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, one of Europe’s best-hidden gems, awaits. Located right on the riverbanks, the Palaeolithic site is one of the most important of its kind on the continent, effortlessly capturing more than 8 millennia of history. Archaeologists from around the world have used this site to learn about a number of different Stone Age settlements and the way that prehistoric cultures moved across Europe.

Included Excursion
A visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 (Mon, Oct 04, 2021): Belgrade

Serbia’s vibrant capital is yours to explore today, as your local guide takes you on a coach tour through the heart of the city, highlighting its many landmarks and the iconic Belgrade Fortress. Your coach will pass through the centre, where you will be able to catch glimpses of Serbia’s turbulent recent past, set amongst now quiet and peaceful streets. Witness the ornate beauty of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest religious buildings in Europe, before stopping for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. If you are feeling more active, then you may instead choose to learn about Belgrade’s history during a guided bike tour.
This evening, you will be invited to the Horizon Lounge to watch a traditional Serbian folklore show.

A Serbian folklore evening show

A guided bike tour

Included Excursion
A guided tour of Belgrade

A tour of the National Opera Theatre (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 (Tue, Oct 05, 2021): Osijek

Today, you will have the opportunity to explore one of Croatia’s postcard-worthy historic university towns, full of delightful waterfront promenades and quaint cobbled streets. As you walk around the city, you will notice that damage from the Homeland War is still visible, but it’s difficult to imagine turbulent times in this peaceful area.
Embark on a guided walk around Osijek Fortress, a true icon in the romantic old town. This traditional star fort houses a number of different buildings, including a military hospital and armouries, making it perfect for times of conflict. Your EmeraldPLUS experiences today are certain to be a highlight of your trip, as you dine on traditional cuisine with a local Croatian family and meet some students from a local village.
Enjoy an evening of sailing further up the Danube towards Hungary, before joining your fellow passengers for a farewell dinner.

A home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family

Meet the local village students

Included Excursion
A guided tour of Osijek Fortress

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 (Wed, Oct 06, 2021): Kalocsa

In the morning, we will sail away from Osijek and on to Kalocsa, a place known for its paprika production and colourful festivals. Discovering Hungary’s culture is an easy task in Kalocsa, where traditional folk art can be found around every corner and old traditions pave the way for daily life.
Later, you will venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, to visit a traditional Puszta horse farm. Your guide will teach you about the traditional performances of the Magyar cowboys, and you will have the opportunity to witness some of their exceptional equestrian skills first hand, as they perform for you during their horse parade and showcase some of their memorable exercise drills.

Visit a Puszta horse farm

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 (Thu, Oct 07, 2021): Budapest

After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, taking memories of a traditional Puszta equestrian performance and viticulture on the banks of the Danube with you.

This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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

Ship Information

Emerald Sun




Life on Board


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.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
Professional Staff
Repeat with Operator
Value for Money

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Ratings based off 6 reviews - currently showing 1 reviews with comments only

Great river cruise, the operator Emerald Waterways did not disappoint. On board service was exceptional and the tours were very good. Only thought would be that having a little more free time during site visits would have made the excursions good to great.

AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Emerald Waterways. 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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