Contrasts of the Danube aboard Amadeus Royal
|Destination:||Bulgaria, Europe, Hungary, Romania, Serbia|
Sail along one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers before an overnight hotel stay in lively Bucharest
Contrast cultural cities including Bucharest, Belgrade and Rousse with the dramatic mountain scenery of the Iron Gates Gorge and the natural wonders of the scenic Danube Delta. This fascinating cruise offers many wonderful sights and experiences en route to the beautiful Black Sea coast.
Day 1 UK to Budapest
Fly to Budapest where you embark Amadeus Royal. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board.
The ship sets sails later this evening, bound for Mohcs.
Day 2 Mohcs
Today you arrive in Mohcs and have a full day to explore this port and battlefield town. The plain close to the town was the site of a fierce battle where the Hungarian army was soundly beaten by the Turkish in 1526 and their king, Louis II, drowned in the flooded River Csele. This was the start of 150 years of Turkish rule. Mohcs has always been an important port for Danube traffic, but it was the 19th-century steamboat traffic that created a building boom here. Today the town is famous for its carnival celebrations and folklore traditions. An optional full-day excursion visits the lowland city of Kalocsa and Puszta where you can view a traditional horsemanship show.
Amadeus Royal sails from Mohacs tonight and cruises south from Hungary into the former Yugoslavia, where the Danube now forms the border between Croatia on the west and Serbia on the east.
Day 3 Novi Sad and Belgrade
Spend the morning in Novi Sad, the city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with the Danube acting as a border. Beside Novi Sad lies the Petrovaradin Fortress, on a hill on the Danubes right bank. The upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of underground passages and galleries, with officers residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. Perhaps visit the Novi Sad City Museum within the fortress walls and discover the history of this fascinating city or, instead of exploring independently, you can join an optional tour of the highlights.
Youll then sail to Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, where you moor overnight.
Day 4 Belgrade
You’ll have a full day to explore one of Europe’s oldest cities, built at the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers. Highlights include the National Museum, the parliament and St Sava Cathedral the largest Orthodox church in the world. Alternatively, you can join an optional coach tour of the city which introduces you to Republic Square, with the National Theatre and Museum. You’ll also visit the impressive Kalemegdan Fortress complex, home to the city’s central park. After lunch an alternative optional excursion visits Topola and Oplenac.
Day 5 The Iron Gates
Cruise along a particularly scenic stretch of the river, as the Danube passes through the southern stretch of the dramatic Carpathian mountains and the foothills of the Balkans to the Iron Gates, a gorge framed by sheer cliffs. The passage was infamous in ancient times as the water level was much lower, making navigation treacherous. Now the water level has been raised and the shipping hazards removed, but the journey is still exciting, and youll be able to watch as your ship manoeuvres through two locks by the Djerdap power stations.
Day 6 Rousse
This morning moor briefly in the small Bulgarian town of Svistov, from where passengers can opt to join a full-day excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. Your ship will continue cruising to Rousse, the countrys biggest inland port and the site of the former base of the Roman Empires Danube fleet, where you can go exploring this afternoon. Stroll around the historic city centre and see Freedom Square with its pretty fountains and grand monuments. Excursion participants will rejoin the ship here before setting sail again this evening.
Day 7 Tulcea
Spend the morning cruising to Tulcea, which was founded in the 7th century BC by the ancient Dacians and has fallen under the Byzantine, Genoese and Ottoman flags. Spend the afternoon exploring. Perhaps visit the Danube Delta Museum in preparation for your delta tour tomorrow, and see an aquarium with native fish and reptiles, plus a range of exhibits from archaeological finds to folk art.
Day 8 Tulcea to Danube Delta to Tulcea
Set off in the early hours and sail through the stunning UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, a wetland biosphere rich in wildlife. The reed beds and groves of willow, oak and poplar provide sanctuary for over 300 species of bird! You’ll also have the chance of an optional excursion aboard a smaller boat which will allow you to take a closer look at this rich natural habitat.
Sail back to Tulcea where you remain moored overnight.
Day 9 Tulcea to Bucharest
Disembark your ship after breakfast today and transfer to Bucharest, popular with the jet set and known as Little Paris in the 1900s. Enjoy an included tour of the lively capital of Romania. See the enormous Palace of the Parliament dictator Nicolae Ceausescus egotistical folly and the Patriarchal Church, before lunch at a local restaurant. Youll stay overnight at a locally rated hotel in Bucharest.
You will stay at the locally rates 5-star Sheraton Bucharest Hotel during 2019 departures.
Day 10 Bucharest to UK
Travel to the airport after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.