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The Black Sea to Budapest
(Westbound)

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 Begin your Danube cruise in Bucharest
Tour starts at 6:00 PM at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. A transfer is included from Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport to the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of the city, ideally located adjacent to Bucharest's monumental Palace of Parliament – the site of tonight's Tauck Exclusive, after-hours gala welcome reception and dinner, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and Tauck Directors to kick off this extraordinary lower Danube cruise in true Tauck Style. (D)

Day 2 Excursion to Transylvania or Targoviste
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. Lunch at a local restaurant and return to Bucharest for free time and dinner at leisure. (B, L)

Day 3 Bucharest or the Black Sea before boarding
More choices in sightseeing – and the start of your lower Danube cruise – await you today. Before embarking your riverboat, you can choose to explore Bucharest with our local guides – seeing Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch, and returning to the massive Palace of the Parliament, site of your welcome dinner and the world's second-largest building after the Pentagon, for a tour – then board your riverboat in Cernavoda. Or drive to Romania's popular Black Sea coast – first to the popular resort of Mamaia for lunch and some "beach time," then on to the port city of Constanta. Here, in what was originally the ancient Greek colony of Tomis, you'll view numerous Greek and Roman antiquities, an Art-Nouveau casino, and a monument to the Roman poet Ovid, who spent years in exile here, then board your riverboat in Constanta to launch your unforgettable Danube cruise. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Bulgarian art in Ruse or Ivanovo
Your lower Danube cruise continues in Bulgaria; 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 today. Disembark in Ruse – often referred to as “Little Vienna” for its Art-Nouveau homes, Austro-Hungarian architecture and lively cafés – for a choice of sightseeing today. You may join us for a guided walking tour of Ruse, or a lovely 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. Return to the riverboat for dinner this evening. B, L, D

Day 5 Cruising, iconography & more in Bulgaria
There’s something special about just “kicking back” during a leisurely morning cruising the Danube, enjoying picture-perfect views of the passing landscapes. Onboard activities throughout your cruise, such as special lectures and presentations, cooking demonstrations or music and dance performances, are an important part of the Tauck river cruising experience. Today, after the riverboat arrives in Vidin, Bulgaria, join us for a walking tour of Vidin’s cobblestone streets, including a visit to Baba Vida fortress. B, L, D

Day 6 King Decebalus & the Iron Gate
On another relaxing day on your Danube cruise, sail along the Serbian / Romanian border, enjoying great views of the Transylvanian Alps. As you cruise, keep an eye out for a kingly face carved into the Danube's rocky bank on the Romanian side; it's a monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus, who defended his kingdom from the invading Romans – and it's the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. Glide through Romania’s Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a spectacular two-mile-long series of gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, en route to Serbia. B, L, D

Day 7 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 8 Understanding Croatia's history in Vukovar
Your Danube cruise crosses the border from Serbia to Croatia and arrives in historic Vukovar. Preceded by an onboard lecture on Croatia's turbulent history by a local expert, your tour of this venerable 10th-century city – once showcasing opulent 18th-century Baroque mansions, but now a mix of old and new – poignantly symbolizes the effects of the 1990s war. Visit with a local family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, as they share homemade refreshments with you in their private home. You'll have some time at leisure in Vukovar before the riverboat continues on to Hungary tonight. B, L, D

Day 9 Antiquities and 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. Tonight, attend the ship's farewell cocktail reception and dinner as your Danube cruise draws to a close. B, L, D

Day 10 Disembark & discover Budapest
Bid your Danube cruise – along with your captain and crew – farewell as you disembark the riverboat in Budapest. Your exploration of the Hungarian capital, once the independent cities of Buda and Pest, begins in Pest with a visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica, the city’s neo-Renaissance cathedral, and continues with views of Heroes’ Square, bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary, and such Budapest treasures as City Park and tree-lined Andrassy Avenue. When possible, visit the Parliament building, a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece. Stop to browse at Central Market Hall before checking into your hotel; the rest of the day and evening is at your leisure in Budapest. (B)

Day 11 Budapest sights & a special farewell
Today's sightseeing begins with 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. Revisit Budapest's World War II and Cold War days at the Sziklakórház ("Hospital in the Rock"), a re-creation of underground military medical and facilities in a former secret bunker and hospital hidden below Buda Castle. After time to explore this fascinating city as you please, we invite you to join us at this evening's farewell reception and dinner at the Festetics Palace in Budapest. (B, D)

Day 12 Homeward bound
Your lower Danube cruise tour ends in Budapest, Hungary. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from the Boscolo Budapest to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and Budapest-Keleti Station. Allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in. (B)

 
Tour Map
All This Included

Glide past fairy-tale castles and medieval villages on our popular Blue Danube River cruise aboard Tauck's ms Savor or ms Joy. Explore Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, Bratislava and Budapest – plus the castle-studded Wachau Valley – taking in views of the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Attend a private Imperial evening with dinner and music at a palace in Vienna... a wine tasting in Dürnstein... spend a day in Mozart's Salzburg or medieval Cesky Krumlov... take an exclusive private tour of Baroque monastery libraries in Prague... discuss contemporary issues and historic events in Slovakia with a resident expert... and enjoy evenings of cultural entertainment on and off your riverboat. In Vienna, see the Imperial apartments at the Hofburg or tour opulent Schönbrunn Palace. Admire frescoes, stained glass windows, and stunning architecture as you spend two nights each in Budapest and Prague in city-center hotels, checking out remarkable bridges, cathedrals, museums, and grand Habsburg palaces... it's a Blue Danube River cruise to remember!
 

  • All private Tauck shore excursions – $2,974 Value!
  • Two nights each in Prague and Budapest at centrally located hotels in the heart of the cities
  • Tauck Exclusive – Private Imperial Evening at a palace in Vienna featuring dinner and Viennese performers
  • Tauck Exclusive – Private aperitif and dinner in Prague at Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle
  • Tauck Exclusive – A private tour of Prague’s Baroque libraries, Strahov Monastery
  • Choice in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace or the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg
  • Choice of a full day in Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov
  • Evenings of local performing artists and classical music aboard the riverboat
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Directo
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 27 meals (11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners); select meals in local restaurants; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges
Accommodations on this Tour
Bucharest: JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
Cruising: Cabin onboard ms Swiss Jewel or ms Treasures
Budapest: Boscolo Budapest
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.
  • 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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