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Budapest to the Black Sea
(Eastbound)

12 days with Tauck  Rating: Deluxe

Tauck Offers for this River Cruise


  • Receive one pre-or post-tour hotel night on this trip. Expires May 27. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Single travelers pay no supplement on river cruises in Category 1 cabins. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some offers are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Your adventure begins in Budapest
Your Budapest river cruise begins at 6:00 PM at the Boscolo Budapest. A transfer is included from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and Budapest-Keleti Station to the Boscolo Budapest in the heart of the city. Meet your fellow travelers and Tauck Directors at the welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the Festetics Palace in Budapest. (D)
 
Day 2 Discovering Pest, past & present
Once independent cities located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest joined together when they were linked by the Chain Bridge in the mid-19th century to become Hungary’s cosmopolitan capital, Budapest. Join Tauck’s local guides for sightseeing in Pest starting with a visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest’s neo-Renaissance cathedral completed in 1905. Continue on to experience Pest’s impressive mix of architectural masterpieces and historic monuments as you view City Park, patriotic Heroes’ Square with its statues of Hungarian leaders through the ages, the Gothic-Revival Parliament building and tree-lined Andrassy Avenue. Spend time wandering through bustling Central Market Hall, a veritable showcase of Hungarian life from food to gifts and cafés. The rest of the day and evening are yours to enjoy the city as you like; if you wish, you may join your Tauck Director on an optional visit to Budapest's Holocaust Memorial Museum this afternoon. (B)
 
Day 3 Buda sights & embark cruise
Today's exploration of Buda begins with a visit to the Hungarian Parliament building, rich with history; it is nothing short of an architectural masterpiece. Next up is a visit to Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where a guided walking tour introduces architectural landmarks such as well-known Fisherman's Bastion. Go back to the days of World War II and the Cold War at the Sziklakórház ("Hospital in the Rock"), a museum recreating underground military medical and civil defense facilities in a former secret nuclear bunker hidden beneath Buda Castle. Enjoy some time to explore more of Budapest as you please, then board your riverboat to begin your Budapest river cruise. Join us tonight for a welcome reception followed by dinner onboard. (B, D)
 
Day 4 Antiquities & more in Hungary
Arrive in Mohacs this morning for an excursion to Pecs and a tour of its 11th-century cathedral. Here you’ll also explore the fascinating Christian Necropolis, a complex dating back to the 4th century that includes underground burial chambers and chapels adorned with early Christian art and frescoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the 19th century, Pecs was famous worldwide for the exquisite Zsolnay porcelain manufactured here, and your visit includes a stop at the Zsolnay Museum for a look at its stunning examples of Art Nouveau stoneware, tiles and pottery. Visit a winery in Villány for lunch (this region is renowned for its red wines) then return to Mohacs for dinner aboard ship. (B, L, D)
 
Day 5 Vukovar, Croatia & Novi Sad, Serbia
Your riverboat exploration of the lower Danube cruises into Croatia; an onboard lecture by a local expert provides insights into the country's culture and history. Dock in the Baroque city of Vukovar, once showcasing opulent 18th-century mansions, but now poignantly symbolizing the effects of the 1990s war as it rebuilds; visit the home of a Vukovar family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, who will share homemade refreshments with you. Reboard your riverboat for lunch and cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, enhanced by commentary by your Tauck Directors. You'll have a little free time this evening to explore Novi Sad before your cruise continues to Belgrade. (B, L, D)
 
Day 6 Belgrade & a private palace visit
Dock in Belgrade, Serbia’s eclectic, cosmopolitan capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers. Sightseeing includes visits to Tito’s Memorial, the formidable Kalemegdan Fortress, views of busy Slavija Square (now one of the city’s major squares, but once a large pool where residents hunted wild ducks!), Parliament, Republic Square and City Hall. You’ll also enjoy a special private visit to the beautiful Royal Palace of Dedinje in Belgrade, built in the 1920s for the Yugoslavian royal family – HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family reside there today. See the Tito Memorial and the Cathedral of St. Sava, then you have a choice of spending time on your own in Belgrade, a visit to Kalemegdan Fortress, or returning to the riverboat. The day ends with entertainment by Serbian performers. (B, L, D)
 
Day 7 The Iron Gate, King Decebalus & more
Continuing your Budapest river cruise, relax on a day's sail past the fields and vineyards of Eastern Europe; shipboard activities which may be offered throughout your cruise range from cooking demonstrations to folkloric, music and dance performances. Pass into Romania and through the Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a two-mile-long series of narrow gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. As you glide along the Bulgarian / Serbian border, look for the massive monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus – Europe's tallest rock sculpture, completed in 2004, carved into the riverbank on the Romanian side – as well as spectacular views of the Transylvanian Alps. (B, L, D)
 
Day 8 Bulgarian art in Ruse or Ivanovo
Your Budapest river cruise along the Danube takes you to Bulgaria today; largely off limits during four centuries of Ottoman rule and decades behind the Iron Curtain, the country's rich natural beauty and history is yours to discover for yourself. Disembark after lunch in Ruse – often referred to as “Little Vienna” for its Art Nouveau homes, Austro-Hungarian architecture and lively cafés – for a choice of afternoon sightseeing. You may join us for a guided walking tour of Ruse, or a beautiful (but challenging) hike to the celebrated Rock Churches in the village of Ivanovo, whose stony chambers carved into steep, cliffside caves reveal stunning medieval frescoes inside; a visit is richly rewarding. (B, L, D)
 
Day 9 Constanta & Mamaia on the Black Sea coast
Spend the morning cruising the Danube all the way to Constanta, Romania on the Black Sea coast. Upon your arrival in the early afternoon, take a guided tour of this historic port city, originally the ancient Greek colony of Tomis and home to numerous Greek and Roman antiquities; sights include an Art-Nouveau casino and a monument to the Roman poet Ovid, who was exiled here by the Emperor Augustus. Then it’s on to Mamaia, the largest seaside resort on the Black Sea, for some time at leisure to enjoy the beach before returning to the riverboat, docked in Constanta, for your final night aboard your Budapest river cruise. Join us for the ship's farewell reception and dinner onboard this evening. (B, L, D)
 
Day 10 Bucharest & a Palace of Parliament evening
Disembark your riverboat in Constanta and travel to Bucharest, capital of Romania and once regarded as the "Paris of the Balkans." A sightseeing tour of city landmarks includes Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch; erected to commemorate Romania’s reunification and those who fell in World War I, it is a smaller but otherwise exact copy of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Lunch in the Old Town, the city’s charming historic center; a former enclave of artisans and merchants in the 16th century, it’s now a trendy district of  old inns, antique shops, galleries, and cafes, riddled with winding networks of vaulted cellars, cobblestone streets and passageways. Settle in for the next two nights at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of the city, then depart for the massive Palace of Parliament (a.k.a. the People’s Palace), built by dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu to be the center of political power in the capital; the Soviet-style white marble complex, 12 stories high, with over a thousand rooms and four underground levels, is the world’s largest building after the Pentagon, and some parts of it are still unfinished! An introductory tour concludes with a special farewell reception and dinner at the ubiquitous Palace, complete with musical entertainment. (B, L, D)
 
Day 11 Transylvania, Targoviste or Peles Castle
A choice of sightseeing today echoes the legacy of 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler"), thought to be the historical model for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. You may choose to take an excursion to Transylvania’s 14th-century Bran Castle, which Tepes once used as a fortress during his military campaigns. Or you can opt for a trip to Targoviste to see the ruins of Tepes' palace, including its imposing watchtower, restored in the 19th century; you'll also visit the army barracks (now a museum) where Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was tried and executed in 1989; or an excursion into the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania for a visit to Peles Castle and Sinaia. Lunch at a local restaurant and return to Bucharest for free time and dinner at leisure. (B, L)
 
Day 12 Homeward bound
Tour ends in Bucharest, Romania. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel to Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport and Bucuresti Gara de Nord; please allow 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport. (B)
Tour Map
All This Included
Cruise the romantic lower Danube through the heart of Central Europe where East and West meet and entertwine in fascinating cultures and turbulent history... Glide past medieval monasteries, citadels and villages... Discover resort towns along Romania’s Black Sea Coast, explore an ancient Christian necropolis in Pecs, and visit "Dracula’s" castle in Transylvania... dine in the Soviet-style People’s Palace in Bucharest... Share homemade refreshments in the home of a Croatian family rebuilding their lives in postwar Vukovar, and listen to Béla Bartók’s piano music at a recital in his Budapest home. Experience authentic local cuisine, music and dance, and a wealth of architectural wonders as your Budapest river cruise winds its way through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, with nights on land at luxury hotels in the popular cities of Bucharest and Budapest (the Paris of Eastern Europe).
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions – $2,516 Value!
  • Two nights at a hotel in Budapest and two nights in Bucharest at a hotel with an ideal location next to the Parliament Palace
  • Dinner at the massive Parliament building (the "People's Palace") in Bucharest 
  • Visit with a Croatian family in their private home in Vukovar
  • A visit to the city of Pécs in Hungary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Passage through the Iron Gate on the Danube River
  • Choice of Romanian excursions exploring the story of Vlad Tepes, 15th-century inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Airport and trains station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 28 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners); beer and wine with lunch and dinner on the riverboat; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharge
Accommodations on this Tour
Budapest: Boscolo Budapest
Cruising: Cabin onboard ms Swiss Jewel or ms Treasures
Bucharest: JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice. East and west itineraries are similar. Museums and attractions may be subject to closure due to state, local or religious holidays. This cruise includes a fair amount of walking in each city.
  • Tours of May 19 and June 9 will have the welcome reception and dinner at Festetics Palac
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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