Voyage to the Black Sea
|Resort:||Voyage to the Black Sea|
Discover Eastern Europe through the fascinating gateway of the Danube River, visiting five different countries aboard the stylish MS Bellejour. Visit medieval villages and tour the captivating cities of Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Constanta on the Black Sea coast. A daylight cruise through the dramatic natural wonder of the Iron Gates gorge is yet another highlight on this captivating voyage of discovery.
6 included excursions and visits
Plus all these benefits
Day 1 UK – Budapest
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Budapest. Upon arrival, embark MS Bellejour (4T), where light refreshments are available. A welcome cocktail and captains gala dinner are served this evening.
Day 2 Budapest
An included tour this morning takes in the stunning sights of Budapest, with many relics and monuments from over a millennium of settlements to choose from. Our tour introduces highlights such as the Parliament building and Heroes Square. The Castle District on the Buda side of the river presents excellent views and photo opportunities. The afternoon is free for you to make your own discoveries.
Day 3 P©cs – Moh¡cs
Spend this morning discovering the city of Pécs. Man lived here in prehistoric times, but it was the Romans that made the biggest impression on the city we see today, leaving a Mediterranean vibe with stone fountains and open-air cafés. On our tour, we view a selection of grand buildings such as the City Hall, the Renaissance style Bishops Palace, mosques and chapels. We return to Mohács, where MS Bellejour is docked, for a free afternoon in a town best known for the great battle of 1526, when the Ottoman Empire brought about the demise of the Hungarian monarchy. It was named a European Capital of Culture in 2010 for the overwhelming selection of museums, theatres, exhibitions and architectural treasures.
Day 4 Osijek – Vukovar
A full day in the elegant Croatian city of Osijek, picturesquely positioned on the river Drava. An optional guided tour introduces you to a city that has regained much of its beauty after its grand buildings (including fine 19th century Secessionist mansions) were restored and renovated, covering the Serbian scars of the 1990s in the Croatian War of Independence. Attractions include a fortified centre (the Tvrda), dating back to the 18th century, the splendidly neo-gothic Church of St Peter and St Paul and the grand Europska Avenija, along which are some excellent examples of Art Nouveau architecture. The afternoon is at leisure for further exploration, before an evening on board as we sail to Vukovar, our port for the night.
Day 5 Vukovar – Novi Sad
Spend a morning in the Croatian port of Vukovar, where the Danube meets the Vuka River. The city suffered terrible damage in the early 1990s, however many buildings have been restored. An optional tour gives some insight into the citys tumultuous past. We spend the afternoon cruising and arrive in Serbias Novi Sad in the early evening.
Day 6 Novi Sad
Situated in the shadow of the Fruska Gora mountain, Novi Sad is also overlooked by the looming Petrovaradin Citadel. Nicknamed the Athens of Serbia, its history as a vibrant, creative city continues today in its established galleries and a more liberal outlook than that of other Serbian cities. An optional guided tour takes in the main sights, with plenty of free time to make your own discoveries in the afternoon.
Day 7 Belgrade
Our included excursion today is a tour of Belgrade, capital of the Republic of Serbia. We begin with a panoramic coach tour through the city centre to see the Republic Square and Saint Sava Cathedral, one of the largest church buildings in the world. We then visit the Kalemegdan Fortress, which encloses the tomb of Turkish Grand Vezir, Ali Pasha. We take a closer look at the citys highlights by foot, with free time to enjoy them at leisure.
Day 8 Donji Milanovac – Cruise the Iron Gates
This morning we arrive in Donji Milanovac, a Serbian town in the midst of the beautiful Djerdap National Park. The town has been moved several times, with the last move in the 1970s creating a modern town yet still steeped in history. You may like to join an optional excursion to nearby Lepenski Vir, one of Europes most important Mesolithic sites. We continue our cruise this afternoon, beginning our passage through the Iron Gates gorge late this afternoon. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and a wildlife haven, particularly for birds.
Day 9 Vidin
We arrive in the Bulgarian port town of Vidin and take a guided tour of the medieval fortress of Baba Vidin. Then we drive into the rugged wilderness to view the Belogradchik Rocks – a group of huge sandstone cliffs, varying in colour from red to yellow and reaching up to 200 metres in height. The rocks are over 230 million years old, and we learn about how their naturally sculpted shapes are linked with dozens of legends.
Day 10 Rousse
We spend a morning in Rousse, where an optional city walk is available to discover this attractive city, often referred to as Little Vienna. The citys Roman fortress, built on a hill over Thracian ruins, is still being excavated. In more recent centuries, the citys great connections encouraged Italian, Austrian, German and Bulgarian architects to create a city of European grandness.
Day 11 Cernavoda (Constanta)
Our day-long excursion takes us to Constanta on the Black Sea Coast. We begin in the old centre at Ovid Square, named after the Roman poet who was exiled here in AD 8. The Archaeological Museum houses a collection of pre-historic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Medieval artefacts. We visit the Orthodox Cathedral of St Peter and Paul and then conclude at the Casino – a beautiful clifftop building with spectacular views over the harbour of Constanta, the largest port on the Black Sea. Lunch is included, before we return to the ship later today.
Day 12 Giurgiu (Bucharest)
We arrive at our final destination this morning, and spend the day in Bucharest on an included guided tour. The capital of Romania has tree-lined boulevards and stylish belle epoque buildings, and earned itself the nickname Little Paris. We visit the impressive Palace of the Parliament, former dictator Nicolae Ceausescus cherished jewel; you cannot tell from the opulent gold and marble embellishments that Romania was going through a period of economic hardship at the time it was built.