Day 1 – Depart Australia via overnight flights to Vienna, Austria.
International airfare not included. Please check with us for special airfares.
Day 2 – Vienna, AUSTRIA Embarkation after 3 pm Meal: D
Welcome to Austria! Upon arrival to Vienna airport meet our guides outside of the customs area. Board your buses for a short spin through the city (money exchange etc) before arriving to the ship for check-in. Prior to dinner; meet your fellow passengers and Cruise Staff for a cocktail, crew introduction followed by an information meeting. Then enjoy your first dinner on board, followed by a well deserved rest.
Day 3 – Vienna, AUSTRIA Meal: B/L/D
Your morning city sightseeing tour will introduce you to the most attractive sights of this “Imperial” capital. Starting with Hundertwasserhaus, you will continue on to Belvedere Palace for a tour of the grounds and gardens. Then it’s on to the city center via the Vienna Ringstrasse to view famous architectural gems such as the State Opera, the Parliament, the Burgtheatre, the Votiv Church and others.
The next stop will be in the old center of Vienna to view St. Stephan’s Cathedral and take a walk through the pedestrian zone from Graben and Kohlmarkt to Michaela Square ending at the entrance of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace). From this point, continue past the Spanish Riding School to Albertina Square, where you will see the State Opera and the famous Hotel Sacher.
Then it’s back on board the bus for a drive past the famous "Prater" with its Giant Ferry Wheel. Return to the ship in time for lunch. The balance of the day is at leisure. You may choose to explore Vienna on your own or purchase an optional tour. Set sail for Bratislava, Slovakia before midnight.
Day 4 – Bratislava, SLOVAKIA (From 04:00 to 24.00) Meal: 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. The sightseeing will end with a walk through the Old Town – Michael's Gate, Michael's Tower, Main Square, Old Town Hall and Slovak National Theatre. Enjoy free time for shopping and strolling and return to the ship for lunch.
Dinner on board and an evening free to waltz the night away!
Day 5 – Budapest, HUNGARY (From 13:00 - Overnight) Meal: B/L/D
Welcome to Hungary! Morning set sail. In the afternoon, your morning motor coach tour of this lovely city will include the most popular sights: The Parliament Building, St. Stefan Cathedral, the Opera, the Square of Heroes, (the Millennium monument) and the town park with the Vajdahunyad Castle, etc. There will be stops at the Square of Heroes, 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 (From 00:00 to 21:00) Meal: B/L/D
Full free day to explore and enjoy pedestrian friendly Budapest on your own, or partake in one of our optional excursions as outlined below! Evening surprise! Prior to dinner enjoy a 45 minute concert performed by a local Gypsy duo in the lounge.
Day 7 – OSIJEK, CROATIA (From 15:00 to 20:00) Meal: 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 (From 04:00 – 23:30) Meal: 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. You will be delighted with this pedestrian friendly town as you join your local guide for a walking tour through the town center followed by a tour of the imposing Petrovaradin Fortress, referred to as the “Gibraltar on the Danube”. Built in the 18th century over 116 hectares, the fortress has 4 levels, more than 16 km of underground tunnels. After the tour you will have free time to explore the many nooks and crannies of the town or enjoy a cappuccino and some people watching from the terrace of one of the many open air cafés. Or partake in the optional Serbian Country tour. Dinner is on board as you set sail for “White City” – Serbia’s capital of Belgrade!
Day 9 – Belgrade, SERBIA (From 05:00am to 03:30am) Meal: B/L/D
A big day is ahead as your morning motor coach tour of this lively and vibrant city will include all of the major attractions: Kalemegdan Fortress, looming over the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers; St. Sava’s Orthodox Cathedral; perched on a hill which can be seen from every part of the city; the Parliament Building; Princess Ljubica's Manor; Mark's Church; and others. The tour will end with a stroll through Knez Mihajlova Street, the main pedestrian zone full of boutiques, open air cafés and galleries. The afternoon is free to explore Belgrade on your own or partake in the highly recommended optional tour to a local Serbian village where you will meet an authentic Serbian multi-generation family and enjoy a wonderful taste of Serbian home made food, live music and hospitality! See details below!
The day is not over yet! After dinner, enjoy a private folklore show on board performed by members of Belgrade’s re-known “Talia” ensemble. In between the dances, a special fashion show will introduce you to the wonderful hand made sweaters of “Sirogojno” – made with special wool and local motifs. These sweaters are sold in some of the most fashionable boutiques worldwide for hundreds of dollars as each one is an individual work of art. If you live in cold climates, one of these sweaters would be a wonderful gift for a family member – or yourself! Late night, set sail for Romania & Bulgaria.
Day 10 – Full day sailing & passage through "The Iron Gate" Gorge Meal: B/L/D (Arrive Vidin midnight and overnight)
Enjoy a wonderful and relaxing day at sail as you marvel at the passing vista’s, participate in interesting talks on Balkan History presented by your Cruise Director and other activities. The highlight of the day will be the passage through the "The Iron Gates", a great natural attraction, and 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 “Djerdap” Hydroelectric and Navigation System, the largest of its kind in Europe. The Romanian and Yugoslav builders carried out this gigantic construction project by building a huge concrete dam which raised the level of the water from 30 to 90 meters. On both sides of the dam, two locks and two hydroelectric stations were built which today produce an average annual output of 10 billion kWh and enable safe passage for passenger and cargo ships all the way to the Black Sea. Arrive Vidin, Bulgaria in the evening where you will overnight.
Day 11 – Vidin – BULGARIA (From 00:00 – 18:00) Meal: 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”) the best preserved medieval fortress in the country. Then enjoy some free time for strolling and shopping or take the optional Belogradchik Rock excursion. Tonight prepare for your Captain’s Farewell Dinner!
Day 12 – Turnu Magurele - Bucharest – ROMANIA Meal: B
(Arrive 03:00 From 08:30 – Disembarkation) END CRUISE
As all good things must come to an end – so does your wonderful cruise adventure! Disembark after breakfast. Dock at the Romanian port of Turnu Magurele and transfer to the “Paris of the East” – Bucharest, Romania’s lovely capital! (2hrs). Upon reaching the city, a panorama tour will highlight the major attractions including; Revolution Square, Arch de Triumph, the National Theatre, the Romanian Athenaeum and others. Stop for photographs at President Ceausescu’s humongous "People's House" (today’s 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 Meal: B
Enjoy a final breakfast before transferring to the airport for flights home.