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Grand Cruise - Black Sea to the Danube (Fly & Cruise)

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Soak up the very best of Eastern Europe

16 days From £3,295 £3,195 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys
Booking Offer

Save up to £100 per person on 2021 departures when you book on or before 31/10/2020 -  if booking online discount will be applied post booking.

Terms & Conditions

Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st October and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

View terms and conditions

2021 Tour code: GDZ21

About the tour

Follow the path of the Black Sea as it makes its way to the coast, and soak up the very best of Eastern Europe. Then experience the magic of the blue Danube, from the twin-cities of Buda and Pest to the elegance of Vienna.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary:

Some departures run a reversed itinerary – View reversed Passau - Bucharest itinerary (DGZ21)

Itinerary: Passau - Bucharest

You are viewing the reversed itinerary – switch back to itinerary (GDZ21)

Days 1-2 - Bucharest

After meeting your group in London, this evening you'll take a direct flight to Bucharest, the lively capital city of Romania. We set out on a guided city tour on Day 2, discovering the palaces, remains of medieval homes and 21st century modernist skyscrapers that all mesh together to make for a remarkable and surprising destination. We transfer to our ship this afternoon, the Amadeus Silver II, where we're welcomed with a drink. There's time to settle into your cabin before our first five-course dinner.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Bucharest
Days 3-6 - Danube Delta & Constanta

We hop aboard some smaller safari boats today for a nature cruise through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta. This specialist biosphere reserve is jam-packed with wildlife, including many rare and endangered species such as golden jackal, European hoopoe, white-tailed eagle and lesser-spotted woodpecker. Back on board we enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing back to Fetesti.

On Day 4, visit the nearby port town of Constanta for a guided tour. Here we uncover Constanta's ancient history from its Greek origins to its Roman ancestry and Persian influences. Afterwards we begin sailing towards Ruse, in Bulgaria, docking on Day 5 for an excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. Day 6 is spent at leisure on board as we make our way towards Belgrade. During the afternoon we pass through the 'Iron Gate' Gorge.

Includes
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Iron Gate Gorge
Days 7-8 - Serbia and a puszta tour

We moor in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this morning, heading out on a guided walking tour to see the attractions of a city whose varied history can be documented through its architecture. Afterwards you are free to continue sightseeing, or do a little shopping, independently. Following lunch on board we set sail for Mohács, close to the Hungarian border, embarking on puszta tour by coach on Day 8.

The puszta itself is an area of Hungary defined by its grassland ecosystem set amongst the Great Hungarian Plains, and which has a certain 'wild west' feel to it. Our first visit during our time here is to a paprika house. One of Hungary's most famous and important cooking ingredients, paprika was once known as 'red gold' in this region, and we get to taste it in a variety of dishes while learning about the spice's historic significance. We continue to the former home of a wealthy 19th century family where we are treated to a performance of traditional folk music and dancing before heading out into the great plains themselves to try some more local delicacies, meet Hungarian half-blood horses and experience a wagon ride hauled by these magnificent and powerful creatures. We meet the Amadeus Silver II in Kalocsa, with time to freshen up before tonight's gala dinner.

Includes
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Belgrade
Days 9-10 - Exploring Budapest

A city of two halves divided by the mighty River Danube and sewn together by a collection of beautiful bridges, we enter the handsome city of Budapest in the most elegant way possible. You have some free time to go sightseeing and a light lunch will be available on board, though the staff will also be preparing the ship for a new cohort of GRJ adventurers to join us.

This evening we stay aboard the Amadeus Silver II for a Budapest illuminations tour, followed by a traditional Hungarian folklore show in the panoramic bar. Day 10 includes a guided coach tour as well as an atmospheric sailing along the Danube Bend at sunset.

Includes
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
Budapest Parliament Building
Days 11-12 - Bratislava and on to Vienna

Your morning is at leisure before we moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, we set out on a guided coach tour of the Slovakian capital, a picture-postcard destination which boasts historic Gothic buildings, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobblestoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, 18th century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna for a comprehensive sightseeing tour on Day 12.

Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital.

Includes
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
Bratislava
Days 13-16 - Salzburg or the Lake District

Today we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, arriving at the idyllic village of Dürnstein before journeying by coach to Melk Abbey. On Day 14 there's a choice of excursions. Discover the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes, or travel by coach to Salzburg for a guided sightseeing tour.

Regensburg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre which had a huge influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. Back on board tonight, we attend the Captain's gala dinner, a chance to don our evening-wear and celebrate our cruise experience.

On Day 16 we disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Includes
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15 - Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast
Salzburg
Day 1 - to Passau

Fly from your choice of airport to Munich, on arrival you'll be met at the airport for the transfer to your ship in Paasau. On arriving in Passau, we meet the Amadeus Silver II and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Dinner
Amadeus Queen
Day 2 - Regensburg

Regensberg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. We enjoy dinner back on board tonight.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Regensburg
Days 3-4 - Melk Abbey & Salzburg or the Austrian Lake District

We arrive into Passau this morning where you have a choice of excursions. You could head further into the countryside for a day spent amidst the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes. Make stops in UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses perched on the tiny plain between the mountains and Hallstättersee Lake, as well as Mondsee.This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name, and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in the wedding scenes of 'The Sound of Music'.

Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birth place of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

On Day 4 we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have time at leisure. As we sit down to lunch on board we begin cruising along the picturesque Wachau Valley, an extremely scenic area with green valleys and vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views. We then journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube and is home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

Includes
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Melk Abbey
Day 5 - The history and music of Vienna

After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna, for a comprehensive sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. You'll see many of Vienna's finest ornate buildings, including the impressive Hofburg Palace. This vast complex of buildings demonstrates the awesome power and wealth commanded by the Habsburgs. You'll also take in the impressive Opera House, one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building.

Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital. Be whisked away by the music as you immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience, as the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most popular and skilled orchestras in the world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Vienna Opera House
Days 6-8 - Discovering Bratislava and Budapest

Your morning is at leisure aboard before we moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, we set out on a guided coach tour of Slovakian capital. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava straddles the Danube which neatly divides the city into two parts; the Baroque Old Town (Stare Mesto) and the new city. This picture-postcard city destination historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobbled stoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, pastel 18th century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. Following our excursion, we return to the ship for another delicious, 5-course dinner.

On Day 7  we arrive at the scenic Danube Bend. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests.

After lunch on board, we enjoy a guided coach tour of Budapest, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge. On  Day 8 your morning is free to explore Budapest before we rejoing the ship as we cruise to Kalocsa.

Includes
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budapest Parliament Building
Day 9 - Hungarian puszta tour

We arrive into the port of Kalocsa this morning and embark on puszta tour by coach.

The puszta itself is an area of Hungary defined by its grassland ecosystem set amongst the Great Hungarian Plains, and which has a certain 'wild west' feel to it. Our first visit during our time here is to a paprika house.

One of Hungary's most famous and important cooking ingredients, paprika was once known as 'red gold' in this region, and we get to taste it in a variety of dishes while learning about the spice's historic significance and how it help shaped the lives of the people who resided here. We continue to the former home of a wealthy 19th century family where we are treated to a performance of traditional folk music and dancing before heading out into the great plains themselves to try some more local delicacies, meet Hungarian half-blood horses and experience a wagon ride hauled by these magnificent and powerful creatures.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Danube River at Mohács
Days 10-11 - The Iron Gate Gorge & Serbia

We moor in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this morning, heading out on a guided walking tour to see the attractions of a city whose varied history can be documented through its architecture. First up is the Kalemegdan Fortress; the oldest surviving part of the city and dating back to the 3rd century BC, it also offers wonderful views across the Danube and Sava rivers. Next we swing by Belgrade's National Museum before seeing the parliament building, Terazije Square and lastly, the Palace of Princess Ljubica. With it's Asian influences, this is an unusual building for this part of the world, one which was built in the 1800s for the wife of Prince Miloš - the eponymous Princess Ljubica. This afternoon you are free to continue sightseeing, or do a little shopping, independently.

Day 11 is spent at leisure on board as we make our way towards Vidin. During the afternoon we pass through the 'Iron Gate' Gorge. Enjoy the cruise director's informative commentary as we witness towering mossy cliffs interspersed with ornate and detailed carvings hewn straight from the rock face.

Includes
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Iron Gate Gorge
Days 12-13 - Constanta & Veliko Tarnovo

We begin sailing towards Ruse, in Bulgaria, docking for an excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. The city was once the cornerstone of Bulgaria's 14th century empire, and boasts impressive medieval churches and an Old Town of timber-framed buildings for us to explore on our guided tour.

On Day 13 we have a free morning on board the ship. This afternoon we're driven by coach to the nearby port town of Constanta for a guided tour. Here we uncover Constanta's ancient history from its Greek origins to its Roman ancestry and Persian influences. Some of the attractions we'll see include the great mosque, art-nouveau casino and Genovese lighthouse. A short visit to the city's History and Archaeology Museum is also very enlightening, and there's even some time to take a stroll along the pristine beach before we return to our ship.

Includes
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Veliko Tarnovo
Day 14 - Danube Delta safari

We hop aboard some smaller safari boats today for a nature cruise through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, formed by the river as it splits into thousands of tributaries on its way to the Black Sea.

This specialist biosphere reserve is jam-packed with wildlife, including many rare and endangered species such as golden jackal, European hoopoe, white-tailed eagle and lesser-spotted woodpecker. Back on board we enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing back to Fetesti.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Danube Delta safari
Days 15-16 - Bucharest

We arrive in Burcharest this morning and set out on a guided city tour, discovering the palaces, remains of medieval homes and 21st century modernist skyscrapers that all mesh together to make for a remarkable and surprising destination.

You have some free time for lunch and might like to try out one of the many al fresco restaurants tucked away amongst the tangled network of streets and verdant parks. We transfer to our hotel for the night.

Following breakfast on Day 16, we disembark and make for the airport for your flight back home.

Includes
  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast
Bucharest

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Ship

MS Amadeus Silver II

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Grand Cruise - Black Sea to the Danube (Fly & Cruise)

Soak up the very best of Eastern Europe

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