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Avalon Waterways From the Black Sea to the North Sea with Transylvania (WOAE)

26 days from Bucharest to Amsterdam 
This enchanting Danube river cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam is truly an adventure. You’ll begin with an overnight excursion from Bucharest to Transylvania, explore Romania’s capital, sail to the very mouth of the Danube River, and then westward to Amsterdam, gliding past quaint towns, beautiful scenery, and historic buildings along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. In Transyvlania, visit Bran Castle of Dracula fame. Then, enjoy guided sightseeing of Brasov and visit Peles Castle in Sinaia—considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. In Romania’s lively capital, Bucharest, you’ll see the Arc de Triomphe—built in honor of WWI soldiers—and the historical Royal Palace Square. Travel to Fetesti and set sail for the mouth of the Danube River. Visit the exquisite Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and enjoy guided sightseeing in Constanta and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. 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. Then your river cruise takes you to the capitals of four countries: Belgrade, Serbia; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Austria, where Local Guides will show you the highlights and you’ll have time to explore on your own. In the heart of the Wachau wine region, go on a guided walk of charming Dürnstein, and later visit Melk’s famous Benedictine Abbey. In Germany, there’s guided sightseeing in Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Würzburg. Cruise the Main Danube Canal, a true feat of engineering, and pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water.

This river cruise vacation concludes in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam where you get a unique perspective of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”

Ships: Passion
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 08/06/18
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • $299 air from select cities on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/30/18
  • Save $1,500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/30/18
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Bucharest: welcome to Bucharest

Day 2 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania-Brasov: guided visit of Dracula’s Bran Castle

Day 3 Brasov–Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Brasov and Peles Castle

Day 4 Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation):
guided sightseeing in Bucharest; onboard welcome reception

Day 5 St. Gheorghe: excursion to Danube Delta; Km 0 celebration; onboard lecture

Day 6 Cernavodă: excursion to Constanta, guided sightseeing, visit the National History & Archaeological Museum

Day 7 Rousse. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi: guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse

Day 8 Vidin, Belogradchik: guided sightseeing to Vidin’s fortress; excursion to Belogradchik to see the rock formations

Day 9 Iron Gates: cruise through the Iron Gates gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition

Day 10 Belgrade: guided sightseeing

Day 11 Mohács: Excursion to Pécs: guided sightseeing; organ concert

Day 12 Budapest: Day at leisure

Day 13 Budapest:
guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square

Day 14 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 15 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 16 Dürnstein-Melk: guided walk, see the Stiftskirche in Dürnstein; cruise through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting

Day 17 Passau: guided walk in Passau

Day 18 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 19 Roth-Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing in Nuremberg or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour or guided sightseeing of Roth

Day 20 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town

Day 21 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 22 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 23 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge

Day 24 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 25 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 26 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Related Avalon Tours

WOA - From the Black Sea to the North Sea – Westbound

Itinerary (2018)

Day 1Bucharest, Romania.
 Welcome to Bucharest, where you have free time to relax and begin exploring this unique city.
Day 2Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania–Brasov.
 Head out of the city to your first stop, a visit of BRAN CASTLE, of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then continue to Brasov for the night, with a free afternoon to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 3Brasov–Bucharest.
 This morning join a local expert for GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Brasov. In the afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit PELES CASTLE, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, before returning to Bucharest. (B,L)
Day 4Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation).
 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 honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” During your INCLUDED TOUR this morning, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Later a motorcoach ride takes you to Fetesti, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 5St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion.
 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 kilometers 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 affords the chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE. (B,L,D)
Day 6Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta.
 From Cernavoda this morning, an excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A CERTIFIED LOCAL GUIDE shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the NATIONAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. This afternoon, relax on board as you cruise westward towards Rousse. (B,L,D)
Day 7Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Svistov.
 Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the Patriarch’s Church. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Then, journey to Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik.
 Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS, Baba Vidin, is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular. (B,L,D)
Day 9Iron Gates. Excursion to Lepenski Vir, Serbia.
 The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. After lunch dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER housing archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. (B,L,D)
Day 10Belgrade.
 Early today, arrive in Belgrade. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade’s largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city’s principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers.. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, Kalemegdan Fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. (B,L,D)
Day 11Mohács, Hungary. Excursion to Pécs.
 Relax on board this morning before arriving in Mohács, the first stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND TOMBS—now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site—many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés. (B,L,D)
Day 12Budapest.
 Enjoy a free day today to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (B,L,D)
Day 13Budapest.
 Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest; visit St. Stephen’s Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (B,L,D)
Day 14Bratislava, Slovakia.
 Today, arrive in Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join a Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Later, enjoy free time to explore on your own. Tonight, depart for Vienna. (B,L,D)
Day 15Vienna, Austria.
 Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 16Dürnstein-Melk.
 Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region, is known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch and visit the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY. Melk’s abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe’s largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region. (B,L,D)
Day 17Passau, Germany.
 Today, choose from full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights, or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (B,L,D)
Day 18Regensburg.
 Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEER. (B,L,D)
Day 19Roth-Nuremberg.
 This morning, relax on board, before docking in Roth. After lunch join a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of nearby Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. (B,L,D)
Day 20Bamberg.
 This morning, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! This afternoon, cruise gently along the Main River as you head for Würzburg. (B,L,D)
Day 21Würzburg.
 Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (B,L,D)
Day 22Main River Village.
 On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (B,L,D)
Day 23Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge.
 Today, arrive in Rüdesheim, a quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then head downstream from Rüdesheim, through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. (B,L,D)
Day 24Cologne.
 Arrive in Cologne this morning. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)
Day 25Amsterdam, Holland.
 Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. With over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Get a unique perspective of the city on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (B,L,D)
Day 26Amsterdam (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$528

Gratuities to Local Guides & excursion drivers are included.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $145 to $225, in twin room from $75 to $125

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $185 to $355, in twin room from $115 to $245

Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $625
B / Sapphire Deck / $3,611
A / Sapphire Deck / $3,768
P / Royal Deck / $4,083
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $6,283

Avalon Notes

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
04/30/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $9,888.00
08/06/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $9,688.00
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