2018 : Iconic Rivers of Europe - The Rhine, Main & Danube - Eastbound (WAO) - Illumination
22 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Bucharest
From Holland to Romania, with a host of exciting stops along the way, this river cruise vacation across Europe is truly an adventure!
Amsterdam, Holland's lively capital, is set amongst sophisticated architecture and classic squares and canals with countless museums, cafes, shops, and restaurants to explore. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten. On to Germany for a guided city walk in the 2,000-year-old Cologne. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River and stop in delightful Rudesheim. There's guided sightseeing in Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Regensburg, and you'll sail the Main Danube Canal connecting the Main and Danube Rivers. In Melk, Austria, visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, then sail through the picturesque Wachau wine region to Durnstein-famous for its blue and white baroque Stiftskirche. Guided sightseeing in each city introduces you to three capitals: Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Budapest, Hungary. Continue your river cruise adventure on the Lower Danube with an excursion to 2nd-century Pecs, Hungary, where you'll visit underground burial chambers now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop in Serbia's Belgrade and cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge. In Bulgaria, visit Belogradchik's eclectic rock formations, the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo, and Arbanassi-with its Church of the Nativity housing an outstanding collection of frescoes.
To round out this timeless European River Cruise, a stay in Romania's vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the "Paris of the East," a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures.
You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind-offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've used our 89 years to design a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
Highlights & Sightseeing
Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception
Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise
Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk
Day 4 Rhine Gorge-Rudesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rudesheim; enjoy a special treat
Day 5 Main River Village: guided walk
Day 6 Wurzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
Day 7 Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall
Day 8 Roth-Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing of Roth; or guided sightseeing in Nuremberg, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour
Day 9 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstkuche; beer tasting
Day 10 Passau: guided walk
Day 11 Melk-Durnstein: guided visit of the Benedectine Abbey in Melk; cruise through the Wachau Valley; guided walk in Durnstein, see the Stiftskirche
Day 12 Vienna: guided sightseeing
Day 13 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin's Cathedral
Day 14 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen's Bastion and Heroes' Square
Day 15 Budapest: day at leisure
Day 16 Mohacs. Excursion to Pecs: guided sightseeing in Pecs, visit the underground tombs; organ concert
Day 17 Belgrade: guided sightseeing
Day 18 Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
Day 19 Cetate-Vidin-Belogradchik: visit the cultural port in Cetate; special tasting; excursion to Belogradchik to see the rock formations
Day 20 Nikopol-Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi-Rousse: guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse.
Day 21 Oltenita (Disembarkation)-Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest
Day 22 Bucharest: your vacation ends this morning
Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich 700-year-old history and a distinct ambiance. Maybe stroll through the lively marketplace or see the works of famous Dutch masters at world-renowned museums. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Today, get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." There's free time in the city this afternoon-or you might like to join an optional excursion before bidding tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and setting sail for Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne after lunch. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafes, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, cruise through the dramatic RHINE GORGE-without a doubt, the most beautiful stretch of river and where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the water. Cruise past the rock of the Lorelei, where legend tells of enchanted siren song that lured sailors to their doom. On your included shore excursion in pretty Rudesheim, visit SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you'll be mesmerized by the self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT and free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Main River Village
On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Wurzburg, the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR this morning, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP'S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Depart Wurzburg at lunchtime and spend a leisurely afternoon cruising the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, join an excursion to medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)-built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town's serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, dock in Roth and after breakfast join a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of nearby Nuremberg. Although 90% of the city's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of historic interest. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany, then grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here-where the locals congregate-feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we'll introduce you to some of Germany's FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK through this charming town, and find out much more about the "City of Three Rivers." Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of Melk's magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Durnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche. The main street of this small town-with a population of less than 1,000 people-is lined with 16th-century homes and charming cobblestone streets. Your Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Early this morning, arrive in Vienna, the "City of Music," which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral-plus, countless other sites you'll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses-historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. After breakfast, join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to note the city's eight bridges-famous sights in and of themselves-which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Alternatively, consider visiting St. Stephen's Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform, or stroll along Vaci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a free day today to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Mohacs. Excursion to Pecs
This morning arrive in Mohacs, the last stop in Hungary, from where an included excursion takes you to Pecs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND TOMBS-now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site-many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pecs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world's largest orthodox church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city's lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade's largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city's principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Excursion to Lepenski Vir-Iron Gates
This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic IRON GATES gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe's Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cetate, Romania-Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik
This morning, stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port that is now a cultural center. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to TASTE some of the locally made products. Then, on to Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria, from where an included excursion takes you to nearby Belogradchik to view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Nikopol-Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi-Rousse
This morning, stop in Nikopol from where an excursion takes you to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the Patriarch's Church. With your LOCAL GUIDE, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the town's oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. If you don't wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board and relax or join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation)-Bucharest
After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe-built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI-have gained it the name "Paris of the East." Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this morning, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei, "Victory Avenue," Bucharest's most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafes, and fine houses. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Call (616) 866-3500 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13396516
- Cruise Line
- Avalon Waterways
- Offer valid through 6/30/2017
- 22 Days
- Cruise Ship
Click for more information on this ship.
|Day 5||Main River Village|
|Day 18||Iron Gates|
Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $185 to $355, in twin room from $115 to $245
Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $145 to $225, in twin room from $75 to $125
Cruise-Only Available: This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays. If you are interested in this option, please contact a Travel Consultant for more information.
Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,854
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,997
P / Royal Deck / $2,283
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $4,283
Passion / Illumination
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $569
B / Sapphire Deck / $3,283
A / Sapphire Deck / $3,426
P / Royal Deck / $3,711
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $5,711
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
View full Terms & Conditions
- Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
- A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
- The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
- Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.