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Enchantment of Eastern Europe & Istanbul on Emerald Dawn

Enchantment of Eastern Europe & Istanbul on Emerald Dawn

Operator: Emerald Waterways
Ship: Emerald Dawn
Starts: Budapest, Hungary on Sat, Jun 05, 2021
Ends: Istanbul, Turkey on Wed, Jun 16, 2021

Overview

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Itinerary

Rivers Visited

Danube

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 (Sat, Jun 05, 2021): Budapest

When you arrive in Budapest, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to greet you.
This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Eastern Europe’s liveliest city at leisure. The “Paris of the East” is a truly breath-taking sight, where dozens of lights adorn the stone bridges that cross the mighty Danube, separating both sides of the city.
This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board


Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 (Sun, Jun 06, 2021): Kalocsa

In the morning, we’ll sail out of Budapest towards Kalocsa, best known for its vibrant paprika festivals. Traditional folk art and culture are yours to discover here, as you sail through one of the oldest towns in Hungary.
This afternoon, you’ll venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, for a traditional performance showcasing the exceptional equestrian skills of the Magyar cowboys. Relax as you watch their spectacular horse parade and witness their exercise drills, most of which were readily practiced for wartime.
Tonight, your crew will welcome you for a Welcome Dinner & Reception.

EmeraldPLUS
A traditional Hungarian horse show 


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 (Mon, Jun 07, 2021): Osijek

Cruise into the border region of Croatia and into Osijek, a historic university town full of leafy boulevards and promenades. Damage from the Homeland War is still visible across the city, but it is easily forgotten when you immerse yourself in the peaceful surrounds that can be found here.
Today, you will be able to meet students from a local village who will be delighted to perform for you during your EmeraldPLUS excursion, before embarking on a walk around Osijek Fortress, nestled in the centre of the romantic old town. This ensemble of well-preserved Baroque buildings is laid out like a traditional star fort, with bastions, armouries, a guardhouse and a military hospital all protected within its walls.
Later, sail further down the Danube and into Serbia, where remnants of recent conflicts can be seen on the riverbanks.

EmeraldPLUS
Visit the home of a local Croatian family

EmeraldPLUS
Meet the local village students

Included Excursion
A guided tour of Osijek Fortress


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 (Tue, Jun 08, 2021): Belgrade

The capital of Serbia awaits you today, as a city tour introduces you to the highlights of one of Europe’s oldest cities, including Belgrade Fortress. Relax as your coach takes you through the centre of the city, where remnants of a chaotic past look out of place among peaceful surrounds.
Witness the symmetrical façade of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the world’s largest church buildings, and stop for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. Enjoy learning about the life of the leader of the Partisans, Josip Broz Tito, and the way that they became one of the most effective resistance movements in occupied Europe. Alternatively, learn about the history of Belgrade during a guided bike tour of the city.
This evening, relax in the Horizon Lounge and watch a traditional Serbian folklore show.

EmeraldPLUS
A Serbian folklore evening show

EmeraldACTIVE
A guided bike tour

Included Excursion
A guided tour of Belgrade

DiscoverMORE
A tour of the National Opera Theatre (extra expense)


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 (Wed, Jun 09, 2021): Golubac – Donji Milanovac

In eastern Serbia, within the Majdanpek municipality, the town of Donji Milanovac sits on the right bank of the Danube. Today, you will have the opportunity to visit the Palaeolithic site of Lepenski Vir on an included excursion. Enjoy learning about the importance of this archaeological site and its illustrious history, spanning more than 8 millennia. Archaeologists have used this site to track the development of prehistoric culture in Europe, and numerous Stone Age settlements have been found in the area.
The day ends as we sail through the Iron Gates, a scenic narrow gorge that meanders between the Carpathian Mountains and the European Alps.

Included Excursion
A visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 (Thu, Jun 10, 2021): Vidin

This morning, we’ll arrive in Vidin, a beautiful town in north-west Bulgaria. Situated on the right bank of the Danube, it is one of the oldest along the Bulgarian Danube bank, prospering from the surrounding countryside, renowned for producing wines. Your included tour will introduce you to the best of Vidin’s viticulture, as you stroll through a local vineyard and enjoy a tasting of their produce.
Later, venture to Baba Vida, a medieval fortress whose name can be translated to mean “Granny Vida”. Construction began on the fortress in the 10th century, and it has been steeped in legend ever since. Alternatively, hike to Belogradchik Fortress, a well-preserved stronghold that sits against a series of impressive rock formations.

EmeraldACTIVE
A hike to Belogradchik Fortress 

Included Excursion
Visit a local vineyard for a tasting & Baba Vida Fortress


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 (Fri, Jun 11, 2021): Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi

Today, your Star-Ship will cruise into Rousse. You will have the opportunity to visit Veliko Tarnovo, stopping to learn about its rich history as the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. This medieval city was built atop three hills, and its fortifications and cobbled streets are certain to delight history lovers.
Nearby, Arbanasi sits on a high plateau overlooking the Yantra River. Each street in the area is lined with traditional houses, and old churches offer centuries of exploration during your guided tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi.
Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a complex of churches, chapels and monasteries. Witness the incredible nature of the 14th-century painted frescoes and learn about their composition and the emotional atmosphere that they convey, something that was far ahead of its time.
Tonight, your crew will welcome you on board for a Farewell dinner.

EmeraldPLUS
A choir concert in Arbanasi

EmeraldACTIVE
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, Jun 12, 2021): Giurgiu – Bucharest

This morning, relax and enjoy the passing scenery as we drive towards Bucharest, including the Romanian city of Giurgiu, set amongst the mud flats and marshes of the Danube.
Visit the Spring Palace to see the elegant exterior of a well-kept secret and the plush interior of the private residence of Nicolae Ceausescu, before enjoying free time to explore the city at leisure. Learn about Bucharest’s vibrant history on a guided coach tour, passing by the Palace of Parliament.
This evening, settle into the comfortable surrounds of your hotel, perhaps going for a stroll down one of the wide avenues or leafy boulevards that give Bucharest a distinctly French feel.

Included Excursion
A guided drive through Bucharest


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 (Sun, Jun 13, 2021): Bucharest - Istanbul

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Istanbul, one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities of the world history. You will be met at the airport in Istanbul and taken to your centrally-located hotel, with a three-night stay included in your itinerary.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 (Mon, Jun 14, 2021): Istanbul

Today, you will explore some of the Istanbul’s highlights – such as the famed Hippodrome Square which was once the sporting and social center of Constantinople that hosted the chariot races until the Middle Ages. You will get to see the Blue Mosque, probably one of the most famed masterpieces of Ottoman religious architecture. Standing in great prestige with its six minarets and perfect proportioned dome, it is named after its Turquoise colored tiles made of quartz minerals. Ottoman Sultans preferred to pray in this timeless shrine due to its incomparable beauty until when the empire collapsed after the World War I. Afterwards, you will carry on to the Basilica of Saint Sophia, one of the largest Christian shrines ever built in history. 

DiscoverMORE
Topkapi & Harem section AND/OR Whirling Dervishes Ceremony (extra expense)

Included Excursion
City tour of Istanbul


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 (Tue, Jun 15, 2021): Istanbul

We start the day with a tour of the Underground Cistern known by the locals as the Sunken Cistern. From there you will continue your exploration with the bustling atmosphere of the Spice Market, dating back to the 17th century, but still the most popular bazaar visited by locals to shop for fresh ingredients to spice up the dishes prepared in the kitchens of Istanbul. Afterwards, you will experience a very unique aspect of the city by boarding private boat for an unforgettable cruise on the waters of the Bosphorus. During your cruise on the famed strait running between the two continents, your guide will share with you all the legends and myths about the Bosphorus and its impressive mansions and palaces. As well as the scenery of the historical edifices, you will be overwhelmed by the skyline of Istanbul ornamented with domes and minarets of Byzantine and Ottoman cultures.

DiscoverMORE
Turkish Bath at Roxelana AND/OR Street Food tour (extra expense)

Included Excursion
Bosphorus cruise & Spice market tour


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 (Wed, Jun 16, 2021): Istanbul

After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow guests as you are transferred to the airport for your onward or homebound flight.

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 Dawn


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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.

Cruises Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.4
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
4.4

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Ratings based off 37 reviews about Emerald Waterways Tours - currently showing 13 reviews with comments only

Emerald was awesome. It offered us cultural experience that was unusual and authentic. We felt like we got to know the countries we visited. We are looking to book with Emerald again in Europe. Local and tour Director was the best

first emerald waterway tour was excellent ! excellent and unique excursions included plus good optional tours offered loved the Vespa ride, ox cart and rickshaw ride Hoi Ann and Halong bay are highlights emerald staff very welcoming to us

The staff and crew of the ship was fantastic. Christmas Markets are not to be missed.

Although this is my first river cruise, so I cannot compare with other companies, I was very happy with Emerald with a few exceptions. They advertise that it is all inclusive and do offer several free tour options at each port, but that also sell Discovery options that are more money. We did 4 of those which increased the cost for 2 by $600. If you like to workout, forget the gym, which had one rowing machine, an exercise bike and some dumbbells with enough room for 3 people at most. The staff were all great, the food was very good and the itinerary was excellent. They have a small swimming pool and late night activities. Good diversity with most people from US, Canada, Australia and new Zealand.

Was great, food was good, cabin small but nice, excursions were good.

This trip was wonderful, with only 160 passengers we were treated royally. Everyone on board the ship worked with only one thing in mind to please the customers.

Derek was very thorough and easy to work with. Our trip was what we expected.

We were fortunate the trip went as planned. A lock was damaged and the ship we were scheduled for was unavailable. Emerald provided a different ship and we completed our full itinerary. Great job Emerald. The trip wonderful. Great staff, tours and food. Our Affordable agent Allyson fulfilled all our needs efficiently providing excellent customer care.

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.

Our third river cruise but found the baths on this particular ship to be very small. The crew, though, was excellent, especially the director!

This trip was all we expected and more. The booking and planning by Affordable Tours weas very helpful. The Emerald Radiance was a joy. The ship and crew were unbelievable. The Douro Valley is so very beautiful and Portugal an amazing destination-just need to explore it further.

Emerald provided a very memorable experience. Everything went according to plan. There were many activity options to pick from. The food and drink and staff were excellent. I liked the pool and bikes which gave us additional activities to enjoy, which Viking Cruises did not offer when I went on a previous river boat cruise with them 3 years ago.

I absolutely loved the cities and towns we visited. I met mant new friends on this trip. The staff were very friendly, professional and attentive to my needs.


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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