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Avalon Waterways Iconic Rivers of Europe - the Rhine, Main & Danube with 2 Nights in Transylvania (WAOE)

25 Days Amsterdam to Bucharest 
From Holland to Romania, with a host of exciting stops along the way, this river cruise vacation across Europe is truly an adventure! Amsterdam, Holland’s lively capital, is set amongst sophisticated architecture and classic squares and canals with countless museums, cafés, shops, and restaurants to explore. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten. On to Germany for a guided city walk in the 2,000-year-old Cologne. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge the most beautiful view of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water and stop in delightful Rüdesheim. There’s guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, and Nuremberg, and you’ll sail the Main Danube Canal connecting the Main and Danube Rivers. In Melk, Austria, visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, then sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley. Guided sightseeing in each city introduces you to two capitals: Vienna, Austria; and Budapest, Hungary. Continue your river cruise adventure on the Lower Danube with an excursion to 2nd-century Pécs, Hungary, where you’ll visit underground burial chambers now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop in Serbia’s Belgrade and cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge. In Bulgaria, visit Belogradchik’s eclectic rock formations, the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo, and Arbanassi—with its Church of the Nativity housing an outstanding collection of frescoes. To round out this timeless European River Cruise, enjoy guided sightseeing in Bucharest, known as the “Paris of the East” and a stay in Transylvania with a visit to Dracula’s Bran Castle.

Ships: Passion - Impression

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Amsterdam: Canal cruise

Day 3 Cologne: Choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: Cruise through the scenic Rhine Gorge with breathtaking views of ancient castles, towering cliffs, and the legendary Rock of the Lorelei; choice of visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum or cable-car ride to the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim

Day 5 Main River Village: Guided walk

Day 6 Würzburg: Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 7 Volkach: Choice of walking tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 8 Bamberg: Choice of guided tour, see the Old Town Hall or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 9 Roth. Excursion to Nuremberg: Choice of guided tour in Roth, or hike with your Adventure Host, or guided tour in Nuremberg, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; onboard lecture

Day 10 Regensburg: Choice of guided tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 11 Passau–Linz: Guided tour in Passau; free time in Linz

Day 12 Melk–Wachau Valley–Vienna: Guided tour of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk or hike with your Adventure Host; scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley; free time in Vienna

Day 13 Vienna: Choice of guided tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 14 Budapest: Scenic cruising into Budapest; choice of guided tour, see Heroes’ Square or hike with your Adventure Host

Day 15 Budapest: Day at leisure

Day 16 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs: Choice of guided tour in Pécs, visit the underground tombs, or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermill or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 17 Ilok–Novi Sad: Ilok guided tour; choice of Novi Sad guided tour or walk with your Adventure Host

Day 18 Belgrade: Choice of guided tour or walk with your Adventure Host; onboard lecture

Day 19 Golubač–Donji Milanovac–Iron Gates: Visit to Golubač fortress; choice of visit Lepenski Vir archaeo-logical site or bike with your Adventure Host; scenic cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge

Day 20 Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik: Choice of guided tour in Vidin, excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations or hike with your Adventure Host

Day 21 Rousse–Excursion to Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi: Choice of full-day excursion, visit to Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo and to the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi, or guided sightseeing in Rousse, or walk in the park with your Adventure Host

Day 22 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: Guided sightseeing in Bucharest

Day 23 Brasov: Brasov guided tour; visit Bran Castle

Day 24 Brasov–Sinaia–Bucharest: Visit Peles Castle

Day 25 Bucharest: Your vacation ends this morning

Itinerary (2024)

Day 1AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION)
 Welcome to Holland. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

During tulip season, you may take a Guided Optional Excursion to the gardens at Keukenhof—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths as well as other bulbs, planted each year. Outside of tulip season, consider joining a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses.

Spend free time exploring the colorful streets, bridges, and canals of Amsterdam—with its many cafés and art galleries.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

(D)
Day 2AMSTERDAM
 Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam with a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

This afternoon choose among the Guided Optional Excursions available.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO COLOGNE

(B,L,D)
Day 3COLOGNE, GERMANY
 Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

ACTIVE Enjoy a bike ride like the locals in Cologne with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites, OR;

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—explore the Old City and see its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years! This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO RÜDESHEIM

(B,L,D)
Day 4RHINE GORGE—RÜDESHEIM
 Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

En route to Rüdesheim, sail through the Rhine Gorge (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Take in the breathtaking views of ancient castles perched on cliffs 400 feet above the water, and pass the legendary Rock of the Lorelei—where the mythological siren’s songs lured ill-fated sailors.

ACTIVE Take an open-air cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument. Ride or walk back down through the vineyards; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat, OR:

DISCOVERY Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.

Later, local musicians will join us on board for live entertainment.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

(B,L,D)
Day 5MAIN RIVER VILLAGE
 Beauty on the Main River

Ask about today’s energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Walking Tour of a picturesque Bavarian village.

Spend free time riding a bike through the beautiful villages on the Main River shores.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 6WÜRZBURG
 A Perfect Day in the Pearl of the Romantic Road

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Würzburg with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress, and baroque Bishop’s Residenz—with the largest known ceiling fresco.

Enjoy the city on your own or visit a local winery.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN WÜRZBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 7VOLKACH
 Storybook Settings

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg. See the local sights and enjoy the fairytale atmosphere that has inspired artists. Sail to Volkach and get ready for your afternoon activity.

ACTIVE Bike along the Main Danube Canal with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Walking Tour of the quaint town of Volkach with its half-timbered houses and cobblestoned streets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

(B,L,D)
Day 8BAMBERG
 The City of Seven Hills

ACTIVE Your bike is ready! Hop on and bike along the canals in Bamberg with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of the former home to imperial dynasties, and see its Romanesque cathedral, Old Town Hall, and seven hills crowned with churches.

Later, enjoy live entertainment performance while sailing this evening.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTH

(B,L,D)
Day 9ROTH. EXCURSION TO NUREMBERG
 Legends and History Lessons

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

ACTIVE Explore Roth's Lauter valley with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the Bavarian town of Roth—with its half-timbered houses, market square, and 1535 hunting lodge Schloss Ratibor, OR:

CLASSIC Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.

DISCOVERY Enjoy an Onboard Lecture about the Main-Danube Canal—linking these two rivers to make a vital connection enabling navigation between the North and Black Seas.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 10REGENSBURG
 Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

ACTIVE Explore Walhalla by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the Benedictine Monastery in Weltenburg. Alternatively, spend a free afternoon exploring Regensburg on foot or by bike through its charming streets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

(B,L,D)
Day 11PASSAU
 Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet

CLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”

You may join a full day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, the city of Mozart, or a full-day Guided Optional Excursion to the picturesque Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. Alternatively, cruise to the lovely town of Linz.

LINZ, AUSTRIA

Legendary, Lovely Linz

This evening, feel free to explore Linz on your own. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK

(B,L,D)
Day 12MELK—WACHAU VALLEY
 Frescoes Above and Vineyards Below

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Hike through Melk’s beautiful countryside, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ of Melk’s Benedictine Abbey.

Enjoy a coffee or cocktail on the Sky Deck as you sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to wonderful Vienna this afternoon.

VIENNA

Viennese Waltzes on the Blue Danube

Consider joining a Guided Optional Excursion to attend a Royal Waltz Concert in an elegant hall this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

(B,L,D)
Day 13VIENNA
 Royal Collections and Amusing Attractions

ACTIVE Explore Vienna's Danube Island by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Explore the Habsburg Empire with a morning Guided City Tour of Vienna’s gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the iconic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Join a Guided Optional Excursion to Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg family or choose a Guided Optional Excursion to fascinating Bratislava. Consider a tram ride to Vienna’s Prater amusement park or to one of the many museums nearby. Later, enjoy live entertainment as you sail to Budapest.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST

(B,L,D)
Day 14BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
 The Pearl of the Danube

ACTIVE Hike up to a magnificent viewpoint in Budapest with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing tour of Budapest, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.

This afternoon choose among the Optional Guided Excursions available or enjoy Budapest on your own. Indulge in a piece of cream cake in one of the many cafés. Consider a scenic hike above the Danube.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST

(B,L,D)
Day 15BUDAPEST
 Time to Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections

Take free time to shop in the Great Market Hall, take photos on the Royal Palace grounds, or visit Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS

(B,L,D)
Day 16MOHÁCS
 Hungarian History in a Harbor Town

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

ACTIVE Enjoy an easy bike ride in Mohacs with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC 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 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

(B,L,D)
Day 17ILOK, CROATIA
 History and Culture in Croatia

CLASSIC 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, SERBIA

The Athens of Serbia

ACTIVE Enjoy a relaxing walk in Novi Sad with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC 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.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

(B,L,D)
Day 18BELGRADE
 Fortresses and Folklore

ACTIVE See Belgrade's central walkway with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC 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 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. Alternatively, enjoy one of the Optional Excursions on offer. This evening, you might like to join an Optional Excursion for an authentic Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO GOLUBAČ

(B,L,D)
Day 19GOLUBAČ—DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR—IRON GATES GORGE
 Ancient Artifacts and the Iron Gates

CLASSIC 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 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.

ACTIVE Explore Donji Milanovac by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to the Mesolithic archaeological site of Lepenski Vir with unique views 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

(B,L,D)
Day 20VIDIN, BULGARIA
 Rocks, ruins and Balkan Beauty

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

ACTIVE Enjoy an easy hiking experience in Vidin with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC 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

(B,L,D)
Day 21ROUSSE. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
 Fortresses and Folklore

ACTIVE Join a walk through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC 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 Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church.

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

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

(B,L,D)
Day 22OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)–BUCHAREST
 Disembark your Ship and transfer to Bucharest.

CLASSIC 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.

(B,D)
Day 23BRASOV
 

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

(B,L)
Day 24BRASOV–SINAIA–BUCHAREST
 The “Paris of the East.”

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

Drive out the Carpathians to Bucharest; On the way, enjoy a local lunch. 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.

(B)
Day 25BUCHAREST
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$630

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation details and prices. Triples not available.

Avalon 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.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
*05/05/2024 $11,997.00
*05/24/2024 $11,997.00
*08/10/2024 $11,997.00
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