Balkan Discovery with 1 Night in Budapest & 2 Nights in Transylvania

12 Day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

Cruise WBOY

Was from

£3,742pp

Now from

£3,217pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Showing 2021 information
Switch to 2022

Print

Overview

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! This vacation has something for everybody—relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing! You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion. On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. The lively pedestrian boulevard of Knez Mihailova is dotted with historical buildings and charming cafés and you’ll see St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church. Continue your river cruise through the dramatic views of Iron Gates Gorge, visit Belogradchik’s fascinating rock formations, and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. In Arbanassi, visit the Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes. From Oltenita, transfer to Bucharest for guided sightseeing. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe. Take a trip to Transylvania to visit the Bran Castle—of Dracula Fame—the city of Brasov, and beautiful Peles Castle.
See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! This vacation has something for everybody—relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing! You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion. On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. The lively pedestrian boulevard of Knez Mihailova is dotted with historical buildings and charming cafés and you’ll see St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church. Continue your river cruise through the dramatic views of Iron Gates Gorge, visit Belogradchik’s fascinating rock formations, and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. In Arbanassi, visit the Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes. From Oltenita, transfer to Bucharest for guided sightseeing. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe. Take a trip to Transylvania to visit the Bran Castle—of Dracula Fame—the city of Brasov, and beautiful Peles Castle.

Book your cruise with or without flights

Cruise prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home when you disembark! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your cruise with or without flights

Itinerary

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:

Classic

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.

Active

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.

Discovery

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.

Classic
<p>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.</p>
Active

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.

Discovery

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.

Day 1 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY


Welcome to Budapest—Hungary’s Captivating Capital
The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2 BUDAPEST

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

Classic

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.

Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.


This afternoon, board your Suite Ship®. This evening enjoy a dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS


Day 3 MOHÁCS

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill
Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

Classic

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.

Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács—the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill—one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone-ground grain processing, OR:


Classic

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.

Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating murals. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.


EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ILOK


Day 4 ILOK, CROATIA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

History and Culture of Croatia

Classic

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.

Join a Guided Tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage.


Enjoy a brief cruise to Novi Sad while having lunch onboard.

NOVI SAD


Classic

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.

Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications.


EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE


Day 5 BELGRADE, SERBIA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

Classic

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.

Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade—where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge—and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava—one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.


Discovery

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.

Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.


Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.
This evening, you might like to join an Optional authentic Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI GOLUBAČ


Day 6 GOLUBAČ–DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR–IRON GATES GORGE

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

Classic

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.

Visit the Fortress of Golubač, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You’ll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control for defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire.


Enjoy a brief sailing to Donji Milanovac.

Classic

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.

Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir—an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge.


Sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge—a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN


Day 7 VIDIN, BULGARIA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Rocks and Ruins—Things of Beauty in Bulgaria
Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

Classic

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.

Join Guided Sightseeing in Vidin, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.


AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROUSSE


Day 8 ROUSSE. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cliff Houses, Castle Ruins, Fortresses, and Folklore

Classic

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.

Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo—with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi, OR:


Classic

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.

Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:


Active

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.

Join a walk through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.


Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA


Day 9 OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)–BUCHAREST

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Disembark your Ship and transfer to Bucharest.

Classic

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.

Take a Guided Tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square—the scene of the city’s 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.


After the visit drive to Brasov for the night.

Day 10 BRASOV

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner


Classic

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.

Enjoy a Guided Tour of Brasov and admire its gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture.


In the evening depart for Bran Castle of Dracula lore.

Classic

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.

Take a Guided Tour of Bran Castle—the 1377 legendary home of the famed Romanian vampire, followed by a dinner in this amazing location.


Day 11 BRASOV–SINAIA–BUCHAREST

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

A Night in Bucharest—the “Paris of the East.”

Classic

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.

Enjoy a Guided Tour of Visit Peles Castle the summer residence of the royal family until 1947.


Drive out the Carpathians to Bucharest and spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafés, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.

Day 12 BUCHAREST

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Start sooner, stay longer

Start sooner, stay longer. Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship details

Onboard every one of our Suite Ships you'll find the same exacting standards and attention to detail. They all feature our one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, and beds facing the incredible views. This cruise operates on the following ships.

Avalon Passion

We're so passionate about our Suite Ships®, we christened one the Avalon Passion. Joining our fleet of Suite Ships® in 2016, the Passion graces Europe's waterways with style and relaxed luxury as only Avalon can deliver. Passengers board their home-away-from-home to find two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM, featuring wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that create river cruising's only Open-Air BalconySM. Spanning 200 square feet, the Passion's Panorama SuitesSM are 30% larger than the industry standard. It's the perfect place to stretch out on your window-facing Comfort CollectionSM bed with the world at your feet. Host a private cocktail party in the spacious sitting area-comfortably accommodating six guests. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use in public areas, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, an elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare. Pack your own passions and cruise your way on the Avalon Passion.

Royal Suite (Suite)
300 - sq.ft - (Royal)
Royal Suite  (Suite) - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Double sinks
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P)
200 - sq.ft - (Royal,Sapphire)
Panorama Suite  (Cat. A, B, P) - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E, D)
172 - sq.ft - (Indigo)
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom  (Cat. E, D) - floorplan
Picture of Avalon Deluxe Stateroom
  • Two windows
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Deck Plans
Avalon Passion deck plan

Avalon Imagery II

If image is everything, the Avalon Imagery II is the real thing. Added to Avalon's all-suite-ship fleet in 2016, the Imagery II continues all of Avalon's outstanding traditions. Passengers can choose from two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM, featuring wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that transform the living space into river cruising's only Open-Air BalconySM. At a spacious 200 square feet, our Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording the incomparable opportunity to awaken each morning with Europe's splendid scenery at your feet. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, elevator, alternative light menu options in the Panorama Bistro or al fresco grill lunch at the Sky Bistro. Relax to your heart's content on the an expansive Sky Deck's premium lounge chairs, take a dip in the whirlpool, get cool in the shade on deck, and play deck games too! Your image just got a lot more relaxed.

Royal Suite (Suite)
300 - sq.ft - (Royal)
Royal Suite  (Suite) - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Double sinks
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P)
200 - sq.ft - (Royal,Sapphire)
Panorama Suite  (Cat. A, B, P) - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E, D)
172 - sq.ft - (Indigo)
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom  (Cat. E, D) - floorplan
Picture of Avalon Deluxe Stateroom
  • Two windows
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Deck Plans
Avalon Imagery II deck plan

Hotels

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