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AVALON WATERWAYS
24 Days | North Sea to the Black Sea
Southbound (WAO)


AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST

Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. Embark. Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception at 6 pm. (D)

Day 2 | Amsterdam. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” Afterward, your ship sets sail for Cologne. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Cologne, Germany. Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent gothic cathedral. The Germano-Roman Museum next to the cathedral is a must for history buffs! Try a Kölsch in one of the many taverns and shop for a bottle of “4711,” the original eau de cologne. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Rhine Gorge. Rüdesheim. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM in pretty Rüdesheim. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Miltenberg. Located on the Main River, Miltenberg is a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. This afternoon, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Würzburg. Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP’S RESIDENZ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Bamberg. Another beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is medieval Bamberg. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the River Regnitz, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Nuremberg. Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses—all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg’s traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (B,L,D)

Day 9 | Regensburg. Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers. It is here you will find Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)

Day 10 | Linz, Austria. Grein. After breakfast this morning, a Certified Local Guide will acquaint you with Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and an important river port. Culture is an important part of life in Linz. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. In the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Join a local expert for a guided walk and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional excursion to Salzburg or to ?eský Krumlov in the Czech Republic. (B,L,D)

Day 11 | Dürnstein. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade is without a doubt the landmark of Dürnstein. A Certified Local Guide will take you on a walking tour of this town, which lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region, and will tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. (B,L,D)

Day 12 | Vienna. Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, the city has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your included tour. You do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B,L,D)

Day 13 | Vienna. Bratislava, Slovakia. In the late morning your ship leaves Vienna, allowing you to relax on board until the mid afternoon when you arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. A Certified Local Guide will show you the charming Old Town with its Town Hall and views of Mirbach Palace, as well as gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL. (B,L,D)

Day 14 | Budapest, Hungary. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Eight bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fishermen’s Bastion and the Matthias Church is among the many sights your Certified Local Guide will show you. (B,L,D)

Day 15 | Mohacs. Pecs. Villány Wine District. This morning, enjoy some leisurely cruising while taking in the peaceful riverscape of southern Hungary. After lunch, a guided excursion takes you to Pecs, Hungary’s fifth-largest city and the richest in terms of Turkish architecture . Then into the Villány district, where some of Hungary’s best red wines are produced. Learn more about which varietals are grown, and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines. (B,L,D)

Day 16 | Osijek, Croatia. Vukovar. Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. Accompanied by local experts, explore both Osijek, an important economic and cultural center, as well as Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers. Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as the Battle of Vukovar. This and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (B,L,D)

Day 17 | Belgrade, Serbia.The capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local expert will be proud to show you its main sights, which include the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS; St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox church; and Marshal Tito’s tomb and monument. The city center has a lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. (B,L,D)

Day 18 | Lepinski Vir. Iron Gates. After breakfast dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive EXHIBITION CENTER housing archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch and then cruise what surely must be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, 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. (B,L,D)

Day 19 | Sivstov, Bulgaria. Veliko Târnovo. Arbanassi. Rousse. A comfortable ride from the Danube is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces, and the PATRIARCH’S CHURCH. The historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM and the outstanding collection of frescoes in the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. Rejoin your ship in Rousse. Those who do not wish to participate in the full day excursion, may remain on board, and join an included sightseeing of Rousse in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 20 | Tulcea, Romania. Today relax on board and enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising. Before lunch learn about the fascinating Danube Delta at an onboard lecture. This afternoon dock in Tulcea, the “gateway” to the Delta. Explore the town with a Certified Local Guide and visit the DELTA MUSEUM. There’s time to stroll around on your own before dinner. During the night your ships sails for St. Gheorghe at the mouth of the Danube. (B,L,D)

Day 21 | St. Georghe. Danube Delta. Arrive in St. Gheorghe early this morning. After breakfast an excursion in small boats takes you into the DELTA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river. Enjoy a small celebration to mark Km “0” — the end of the Danube’s journey. (B,L,D)

Day 22 | Cernavod. Constanta. This morning dock in Cernavod?, a city lying at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here you may choose to take either a full-day or a half-day excursion to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A Certified Local Guide shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. Then there is free time to enjoy this resort town on your own, returning to Cernavod? in the late afternoon in time to depart for Oltenita. Alternatively you may want to relax on board in the morning and visit Constanta in the afternoon only. (B,L,D)

Day 23 | Oltenita. Disembark. Bucharest, Romania. Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place here. During your included tour, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon, and the Royal Palace Square, scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. (B)

Day 24 | Bucharest. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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SOUTHBOUND ITINERARY (WAO)
24 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST
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