Danube Discovery 2020

··Danube Discovery 2020
Danube Discovery 20202019-06-11T18:28:31+00:00

8 Sightseeing Tours and Shore Excursions:

  • VIENNA, AUSTRIA: City tour including Belvedere Palace
  • BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA: City tour with mini-train ride and Primate Palace
  • BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: City tour including Fisherman’s Bastion
  • OSIJEK, CROATIA: City tour with wine tasting & live entertainment
  • NOVI SAD, SERBIA: Walking tour including Petrovaradin Fortress
  • BELGRADE, SERBIA: City by bus & walking tour
  • VIDIN , BULGARIA: City tour including Baba Vida’s Fortress
  • BUCHAREST, ROMANIA: City tour including Parliament House (exterior)

Highlights:

  • Welcome drink on arrival and info meeting
  • Lectures on Balkan History and Modern Balkans Today
  • NEW: On board concert of Gypsy Music (Budapest)
  • Serbian Folklore performance and fashion show on board (Belgrade)
  • Farewell cocktails and Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • Audiovox devices for all shore excursions and free Wi-Fi (wherever available)

Features:

  • Arrival and departure transfers* (if airfare purchased through us)*
  • Accommodations for 10 nights/11 days in all outside cabins in category of your choice
  • Total of 30 meals: 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners
  • FREE wine/beer/soft drink/water for both Lunch and Dinner daily while on the cruise portion
  • Water/coffee/hot chocolate station 24 hrs + early riser breakfast, afternoon cake and late night snacks
  • Shore excursions, daily sightseeing programs, onboard lectures and folklore performances/music concerts and other surprises as outlined in the itinerary (excludes optionals)
  • Live 2 piece band playing each evening
  • Professional English speaking Cruise Directors and local, English speaking guides throughout.
  • 1 night first class hotel with buffet breakfast in Bucharest. (Novotel, Capital or similar)
  • *Not included in cruise only rates.

Not Included:

  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (listed separately)
  • Transfers if purchasing Cruise Only (must be arranged and paid for in advance)
  • Any travel and document fees including Visa requirements (none currently required)
  • Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, liquor, souvenirs, etc.
  • Tips to Crew, Cruise Directors, local guides and other staff along the route. (10 eu pp/pd)
  • Any increases in costs due to unforeseen circumstances such as; additional fuel surcharges, exchange rates or Government imposed taxes and fees not known at this time.

Day 1 – Depart the USA via overnight flights to Vienna, Austria

Meals and services per airline policy.

Day 2 – Vienna, AUSTRIA Embarkation after 3 pm (D)

On arrival, check-in to your floating hotel. In the evening enjoy a welcome cocktail and information meeting followed by your first dinner on board.

Day 3 – Vienna, AUSTRIA (B, L, D)

Morning city sightseeing of Austria’s Imperial includes Hunderwasser, the Ringstrasse, the Parliament, the State Opera, Hofburg (Imperial Palace) and Belvedere Palace (second stop). The last stop will be in the old center of Vienna to take a walk through the pedestrian zone from Graben and Kohlmarkt to Michaela Square ending at the entrance of the St. Stephan’s Cathedral. The balance of the day is at leisure. You may choose to explore Vienna on your own or purchase an optional tour.

Day 4 – Bratislava, SLOVAKIA (B, L, D)

Welcome to Slovakia! Enjoy a morning walking/mini train tour of this lovely city with its famous St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Primate’s Palace followed by a walk through the Old Town. Enjoy free time for shopping and strolling and return to the ship for lunch. Dinner and an evening free to waltz the night away or join afternoon optional tour to Red Stone Castle!

Day 5 – Budapest, HUNGARY (B, L, D)

Welcome to Hungary! Morning at sail. In the afternoon, your motor coach tour of this lovely city will include the most popular sights: The Parliament Building, St. Stefan Cathedral, the Opera, the Heroes Square, and the town park with the Vajdahunyad Castle. There will be stops at the Heroes Square, the Fisherman’s Bastion and Gellert Hill. Return to the ship for dinner. In the evening we recommend the optional Hungarian Folk Show.

Day 6 – Budapest, HUNGARY (B, L, D)

Full free day to explore and enjoy pedestrian friendly Budapest on your own, or partake in one of our optional excursions available for purchase on board! Evening surprise! Prior to dinner enjoy a 45 minute concert performed by a local Gypsy duo in the lounge

Day 7 – OSIJEK, CROATIA (B, L, D)

Welcome to Croatia! View the passing vista’s from the sun deck, as you sail into the Drava River toward Osijek, Croatia’s 4th largest city. In the afternoon enjoy a bus and walking tour of the Old Town including the Tvrdja (Citadel), the best-preserved and largest ensemble of baroque buildings in Croatia. At the end of the tour, enjoy a refreshment drink with snacks accompanied by live entertainment featuring Croatian folk music and “tamburica”, the Croatian version of a banjo. Then enjoy some free time in the town before returning to your ship for dinner. Sail on!

Day 8 Novi Sad, SERBIA (B, L, D)

Welcome to Serbia! Your first stop in this “newly” minted Balkan country will be in Novi Sad, Serbia’s third largest city after Belgrade and Nis. Join your local guide first for a walking tour through the town center and bus tour to Petrovaradin Fortress – second Europe’s largest. After the tour you will have free time to explore the town or partake in the optional Serbian Cultural Heritage & Wine Tasting. Dinner is on board.

Day 9 – Belgrade, SERBIA (B, L, D)

Morning motor coach tour of this lively and vibrant capital will include all of the major attractions: Kalemegdan Fortress, St. Sava’s Orthodox Cathedral, and many other attractions ending with a stroll through Knez Mihajlova Pedestrian Street. This afternoon we recommend the highly popular optional excursion to an authentic local Serbian “salash” (farm), where you will meet an authentic Serbian multi-generation family and enjoy a wonderful taste of Serbian home made food, live music and hospitality! After dinner, enjoy a private folklore show on board.

Day 10 – Full day at sail & passage through “The Iron Gate” Gorge,
(Arrive Vidin midnight) (B, L, D)

This morning ship will make a quick stop for passengers taking 4 hrs optional tour to see the impressive Lepenski Vir and Golubac Fortress. Those remaining onboard will continue sailing to Donji Milanovac our last port of call in Serbia. Passengers participating in the optional tour will re-embark the ship around 1:00pm for lunch. As you sail on, the highlight of the day will be the passage through the “The Iron Gates“, the highest gorge on the Danube. Over 100 km long, this canyon, was a gigantic obstacle to navigation because of its pointed rocks, cliffs, and changing water levels, surrounded with very wild, yet attractive nature. This danger was finally overcome in 1972, with the building of the “Djerdaplock. Tonight prepare for your Captain’s Farewell Dinner!  

Day 11 – Vidin – BULGARIA (B, L, D)

Welcome to Bulgaria! After breakfast, embark on a walking tour of this delightful Bulgarian river port highlighted by a visit to the 13th century fortress named “Baba Vida” (“Grandma Vida”). Then enjoy some free time for strolling and shopping or take the optional Belogradchik Rock excursion.

Day 12 – Turnu Magurele – Bucharest – ROMANIA END CRUISE (B)

Disembark after breakfast. Dock at the Romanian port of Turnu Magurele and transfer to the “Paris of the East” – Bucharest, Romania’s lovely capital! (2,5 hrs). Your city tour will highlight the major attractions including Arch D’ Triumph, the National Theatre and a photo stop at the Parliament the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Then it’s on to your first class hotel, where after check-in you will have free time to explore this lovely city at your leisure and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants on your own. (NOTE: If taking the optional Dracula Extension you will enjoy your last night in Bucharest AFTER returning from Brasov).

Day 13 – Bucharest, ROMANIA – FLY HOME (B)

One final breakfast before transferring to the airport for flights home. BON VOYAGE!

Brasov Danube

Day 1 (12): Ship Disembark (Magurele) – Brasov, ROMANIA (D)

After saying goodbye to your fellow cruise passengers, board separate buses and head north through the beautiful Romanian countryside towards Brasov, Romania’s second largest city and renowned summer & winter resort. Along the way, stop at Sinaia and tour the impressive Peles Castle*, the residence of the last Romanian King. Arrive to Brasov and check in to your first class hotel in time for dinner and overnight. *If closed, Peles Castle will be visited on the return to Bucharest.

Day 2 (13) BRASOV: ROMANIA (B)

After a buffet breakfast, begin your half day sightseeing tour with a short bus ride to the infamous Bran Castle, the “historic” home of Count Vlad the Impaler – popularized world over in Bram Stoker’s novels featuring the blood-thirsty “Count Dracula”. This imposing castle and the surrounding museum site will both entertain and educate you about the true life figure of Count Vlad, the Romanian national hero who fought the bloody Turkish occupation with equal ferociousness. The afternoon is free to explore this lively city on your own and enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many local restaurants.

Day 3 (14) BRASOV – BUCHAREST – (B, SD)

After breakfast it’s time to check-out of your hotel and board your bus for the leisurely 2 hour ride back towards Bucharest. On arrival, enjoy a half day city tour of the “Paris of the East” before checking in to your first class hotel. The balance of the day is free for exploring this friendly city on your own. In the evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner* at one of the popular local restaurants featuring national specialties and live entertainment.

Day 4 (15) BUCHAREST – HOME (B)

After a final breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights home. BON VOYAGE!

Optional Excursions

Vienna, AUSTRIA: Schonbrunn Castle (Afternoon) - 55 Euro pp
After lunch – visit to Schönbrunn Castle, the home of Maria Theresa. The tour includes a stroll in the gardens and a visit to the imperial rooms of the former summer residence of the Hapsburg Royal Family.
Vienna, Austria: Classical Concert (Evening) - 70 Euro pp
30 years ago, musician and conductor Gert Hofbauer founded the “WIENER HOFBURG-ORCHESTER” which plays compositions by Johann Strauss and W.A. Mozart. Performing is an orchestra consisting of about 30 professional musicians and international soloists of the Vienna State Opera. A unique opportunity to enjoy a live classical concert within the historical ambience of one of Vienna’s famous palaces – the Hofburg, the Auersperg or similar (depending on the day of the week)
Bratislava, Slovakia: Wine-tasting at Red Stone Castle - 50 Euro pp
In the afternoon, visit the beautiful 16th century Red Stone Castle housing a museum of arms and furnishings from the nobility of the time. This will be followed by a wine tasting featuring a selection of high quality but lesser known wines from Slovakia. *Available only on downstream cruises from Vienna to Bucharest
Budapest, Hungary: Evening Cultural Performance - 58 Euro pp
Enjoy a rousing performance of the 40-member Hungarian National Folklore Ensemble. The concert will feature music, costumes and dances from various parts of Hungary and will be highlighted with numbers performed by the exquisite Gypsy Musicians! After the performance, a short bus tour will take you across the Chain Bridge and up to Fisherman’s Bastion where you will be able to witness the gorgeous bridges over the Danube under the night’s illumination! Truly breathtaking!
Budapest, Hungary: Walking tour of Downtown Pest (2.5 hrs) - 15 Euro pp - CASH ONLY
We highly recommend this casual yet delightful walking tour led by our Cruise Director! From the dock you will first visit the largest open air market in Budapest where you can purchase anything from superb Hungarian salami to a nightgown. Then you will proceed down Vaci Utca, the city’s main pedestrian promenade full of shops, cafes and beautiful people! Your tour will end at the historic 140 year-old Gerbeaud Coffee House where you can savor a delicious cup of brew or homemade ice cream and return to the dock via local tram!”
Budapest, Hungary: Puzsta Equestrian Performance & Tour - 55 Euro pp
Depart by motor coach for a visit to an authentic Puzsta, a horse farm with over 200 studs and other farm animals! The tour will include a drive in old-fashioned horse drawn carriages, an unforgettable performance of Hungarian horsemanship, followed by a taste of local “palinka” brandy, wine and snacks.
Novi Sad, Serbia: Krusedol Monastery, wine and honey tasting - 35 Euro pp
We highly recommend this delightful bus excursion to the small town of Sremski Karlovci, the center of wine production of the region. Here you will visit the Zivanovic family, whose members have been producing their private label “Bermet” wine for over a century, and whose products have been enjoyed by members of the Hapsburg Monarchy as well as the Russian Tsars! Your hosts will welcome you to their home, where you will tour their wine cellars and “Museum of Honey,” which they also produce. In the lovely ambiance of their large garden, they will offer you several varieties of “Bermet” accompanied by honey and snacks – a great way to experience Serbian hospitality firsthand. On the way back, stop at a high school dating from the 18th century with its full library of around 18,000 books. Before returning to your motor coach, don’t be surprised if you meet a few ladies in German folk costumes who have not forgotten their ancestry and who still make the famous German Gugelhupf (kuglof) cake, which you will have a chance to taste for yourselves!
Belgrade, Serbia: Home-hosted BBQ Party - 35 Euro pp
Instead of lunch on board, this tour will take you from downtown Belgrade to the little village of Jarak, where 3 generations of the Serbian Tosic family will welcome you to their farm! Here you will tour their home, their barns with various farm animals, and their fruit orchards from which they brew their own “slivovitz’, or plum brandy, Serbia’s national drink (also known as “rocket fuel”). Then its time for some homemade “grub” and festivities! In a rustic environment, the family and their neighbors will serve you a buffet lunch consisting of a vast array of Serbian delicacies – from “pita” (cheese pie) to homemade “kulen” (special salami) to numerous fresh salads and the house specialty – chicken paprikash. And while Grandpa Tosa enlivens you with his toasts and their two daughters serve you delicious treats, their sons in law and grandkids will pick up the harmonica and other instruments and entertain you with classic folk songs and dances! You may arrive as a tourist – but we guarantee you will leave as a friend!. All your food, wine, slivovitz, soft drinks and hospitality are included!
Historical Landmarks in the Iron Gates - 35 Euro pp
Disembark the ship right by the impressive fortress of Golubac. Start your tour with a visit of this important witness of the local history. Established in the 13th century by the Serbs, the fortress played an important role at this strategic point of the river, being held at times by Hungarians, Ottomans, again Serbs. Today the impressive fort with 9 towers will take you to Lord of the Rings World.  Afterwards, the drive along the first section of the Danube gorge will offer you great panoramas from above, a complimentary experience to what you will admire in the afternoon, from the water level. Then, at the eco-ethno complex “Kapetan Mišin breg”, while enjoying a great view of the gorge complemented by culinary specialties and the sounds of wooden flutes, you can listen about the tradition and culture of the Djerdap cuisine and the way of preparing this traditional fare. Within the compound you will find an open-air gallery called “Man, wood, water” which is a collection of sculptures made of wood and stone. The gallery occupies approximately 700m2 of land, and its unique works of art are an enduring fixture at the complex. At the same location there is a wine museum that opened in 2013. Inside you will find an impressive collection of top domestic and international wines. Afterwards, reach the archaeological site of Lepenski Vir, home to the oldest stable human settlement in Europe, dating back to 6000 BC! An impressive glass & steel structure right in the middle of the nature offers shelter to the Museum, comprising the site itself with the foundations of the houses, artefacts of that period, and a media centre where you will watch a movie related to the discovery. (*Min. of 20 pax necessary for realization of the optional tour)
Vidin, Bulgaria: Belogradchik Rock Formations - 37 Euro pp
Instead of lunch on board, this tour will take you from downtown Belgrade to the little village of Jarak, where 3 generations of the Serbian Tosic family will welcome you to their farm! Here you will tour their home, their barns with various farm animals, and their fruit orchards from which they brew their own “slivovitz’, or plum brandy, Serbia’s national drink (also known as “rocket fuel”). Then its time for some homemade “grub” and festivities! In a rustic environment, the family and their neighbors will serve you a buffet lunch consisting of a vast array of Serbian delicacies – from “pita” (cheese pie) to homemade “kulen” (special salami) to numerous fresh salads and the house specialty – chicken paprikash. And while Grandpa Tosa enlivens you with his toasts and their two daughters serve you delicious treats, their sons in law and grandkids will pick up the harmonica and other instruments and entertain you with classic folk songs and dances! You may arrive as a tourist – but we guarantee you will leave as a friend!. All your food, wine, slivovitz, soft drinks and hospitality are included!

DISCLAIMER: All optional excursions are shown for information and planning purposes. They are subject to change do to holidays, attraction black-out dates or other reasons. Some, if not all optional excursions may require a minimum number of participants to operate. Prices are quoted in Euros. Final list of availability and costs will be confirmed upon arrival to your vessels at the initial information meeting.

M/S River Discovery II

Our 5* deluxe River Discovery II, built in 2012, represents a new generation of river cruise vessels sailing the rivers of Europe! The 71 deluxe cabins are all 16 sqm (165 sq feet) in size, outward facing and furnished with modern furniture, hotel style twin beds that can be converted into a double, bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and hair dryers, flat screen TV’s with international channels, iPhone/iPod docking stations, mini-safes, US plugs and plenty of storage space. They are distributed over 3 decks with the Lower Odyssey Deck featuring half-windows, while cabins on the Middle and Upper decks all feature full floor to ceiling French Balconies which allow you to open your room to fresh river breezes without compromising the valuable interior space the way a traditional balcony would! Our 13 deluxe suites, all located on the Upper Navigator deck are 23 sqm (250 sq feet) and in addition to all regular amenities feature mini-bars and a bathtub. As an added convenience, an elevator connects all 3 decks and free wi-fi is available throughout.*
*Subject to signal availability while sailing

**Junior Suite Amenities: Bottle of champagne in an ice bucket and 2 glasses upon arrival, Fresh flower (Orchid), Senseo Coffee Maker, all necessary condiments for coffee and tea, Continental breakfast in bed with door hanger, Pillow menu, and Mini bar.

The public areas are equally impressive featuring a one seat Panorama restaurant serving world class meals along with free flowing wine and beer for lunch and for dinner! The back end of the ship features a bar and a separate Captains Club with a retractable sliding roof which can be opened or closed within 5 minutes thus offering plenty of outside space! A Panorama Lounge, a beautiful covered sun deck, a fitness room, a Library/Reading room and a 2 story Lobby complete the amenities! With novel, eco-friendly features including LED lighting throughout, a minimum draft of only 1.6m and an efficient propulsion system the DDII is one of the rare vessels classified as a ‘green ship’. Maximum capacity is 168 passengers serviced by a young and vivacious crew of 42 + Cruise managers and entertainers; sure to make your cruise experience a memory of a lifetime! Welcome Aboard!

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Download the detailed list of Travel Tips For Danube Discovery Cruise.

Will I need to obtain a visa for the Danube Discovery Cruise

Are transfers included?

Which ship will be chartered for the 2019 Danube Discovery Cruise?

Will I be able to make phone calls and check emails while aboard the ship?

What is the currency should I be prepared to use?

What methods of payment are accepted on board and on shore?

If cash is still “king,” any recommendation of how much I should bring?

I’m super excited for all the tours! But will I have any free time during the program?

Are optional tours offered in this program?

How does tipping work in Eastern Europe? Is it accepted and/or required?

What if I have special dietary needs or food allergies?

Anything else I should make sure to pack?

Dan from ITN Discovers the Danube with Us!

Gain an “insider’s perspective” from past passenger and ITN press member, Dan Barr, in Following the Danube – a 7-country river cruise through Europe’s history, an article written about his time aboard our Southern Danube Discovery river cruise.

Weather Conditions:

Read full article  Know Before You Go – River & Small Ship Cruising to learn more.