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10 Days | Enchantment of Eastern Europe


Day 1 | Budapest, Hungary. Embark. Welcome to Budapest! On arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by a friendly Emerald Waterways representative and transferred by coach to your revolutionary ‘Star Ship’.

After being welcomed by your Captain and crew, you’ll have the chance to unpack, relax in your room and explore all of the ship’s fantastic facilities, like the on-board swimming pool and bar, and the spacious Sun Deck which offers panoramic views of your surroundings. This evening you’ll enjoy an enchanting night-time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges, while enjoying a traditional Hungarian Dinner complete with authentic folk dancing and music. EmeraldPlus — traditional Hungarian Welcome Dinner with entertainment. (D)

Day 2 | Kalocsa. Early this morning you’ll sail out of Budapest towards Kalocsa, one of the oldest towns in Hungary, famous for the production of paprika. Make the most of your time relaxing on-board this morning, because this afternoon you’ll visit the large ranches of a local Puszta Horse Farm. Here you’ll enjoy a performance showcasing the exceptional riding skills of Magyar horseman. This includes a horse parade, followed by a display of exercises that were once practiced for wartime — such as sitting or lying down so as to provide a smaller target during a battle and to protect the horse’s rider. Included excursions: visit to a Puszta Horse Farm. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Vukovar, Croatia. Today you’ll cruise into the border region of Croatia to Vukovar, a city that was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence at the end of the communist era. The city’s water tower is riddled with bullet holes, yet was retained by city planners to serve as a testimony to the events that took place in the early 1990s.

In Vukovar you’ll enjoy a different kind of excursion - a more authentic experience - as you meet a local family who will tell you tales of their past and everyday life, and welcome you into their home for a traditional lunch, specially prepared for you. Back on-board your ship, you can enjoy swapping stories of the day’s events and an evening of relaxing sailing along the river. EmeraldPlus — a special home-hosted lunch with a local family. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Belgrade, Serbia. Today you’ll explore Serbia’s vibrant capital of Belgrade. Your guided city tour takes you back in time to discover Belgrade’s turbulent history. You’ll visit Tito’s Memorial which is part of a memorial complex in the grounds of the Museum of Yugoslav History and the impressive Fortress Kalemegdan — a defensive structure overlooking the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers. You’ll also have chance to visit St Sava Church which is the world’s largest orthodox cathedral.

This afternoon you can book a Discover More excursion to Novi Sad — Serbia’s second largest city. Here lies the Petrovaradin fortress which provides a home to artists’ studios, a museum and a beautiful view of the city that sits below it. Included excursions: a guided tour of Belgrade. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Iron Gate. Cruising the Danube. Relax on-board your deluxe Emerald Waterways ship as you sail through the narrow gorge between the European Alps and Carpathian Mountains known as the Iron Gate. The narrow and once dangerous passage boasts spectacular scenery forming the border between Serbia and Romania. As you journey through the Iron Gate, you can view the fantastic scenery from the Sun Deck or in the spacious lounge. Or, why not unwind in the heated swimming pool? (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Svishtov. Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanassi. This morning you’ll cruise into Bulgaria where your ship will dock in the former Roman town of Svishtov, located in Veliko Tarnovo Province on the right bank of the Danube river. Here you’ll board your coach and travel to the impressive cliff top town of Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Bulgarian empire known once as the ‘City of the Tsars.'

As well as being famous for its historical hills, the city is home to multiple significant medieval churches. And the streets are filled with 200 year old houses, crafts workshops, souvenir shops and art galleries. After your tour you’ll visit the historic town of Arbanassi, which is perched high on a plateau overlooking the Yantra Valley and lined with traditional houses. Due to its exciting past, Arbanassi boasts a large number of historical monuments, such as 17th and 18th century churches and many examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned the town into a popular tourist destination. Included excursions: a guided tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Silistra. Relax in the riverside city of Silistra which was once a Roman fort under the Byzantine Empire and later part of the Ottoman conquest. On your guided tour, you’ll get to see the city’s many historical landmarks including a Roman tomb, remains of the Medieval fortress, an Ottoman fort, and an art gallery. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can replace today’s included excursion by booking a Discover More excursion to the Black Sea. As tonight is your final evening on-board your ship, you’ll enjoy a Farewell Dinner. Included excursions: a guided tour of Silistra. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Bucharest, Romania. Disembark. This morning you will say your goodbyes to your Captain, crew and Emerald Waterways ship as you disembark your river cruise and journey by coach to Romania’s capital of Bucharest. Here you’ll enjoy a two night stay at the Novotel Bucharest or similar. On arrival, you’ll enjoy an included guided tour. As you walk the city’s wide avenues, you’ll notice that they have a distinctly French feel, which is why the city is often referred to as the Paris of the East.

You’ll also visit the magnificent Palace of the Parliament, Europe’s largest and heaviest civilian building, designed and constructed by its former dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu. At the time of Nicolae Ceaucescu’s overthrow and execution in 1989, the building structure and design were complete however many of the furnishings were never installed — and even today, parts of the building are still yet to be completed. The new leaders of Romania referred to the building as the House of Ceaucescu to highlight the contrast between the excessive luxury in which Ceaucescu would have lived, and the squalor and poverty endured by many people living in Romania at the time. Included excursions: a guided tour of Bucharest. (B)

Day 9 | Bucharest. Snagov. On a remote island just outside of Bucharest lies the Snagov Monastery which is the supposed burial site of Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Count Dracula. Here you’ll board a coach to Snagov where you’ll take a boat out to the island to visit the monastery, and as you sail, learn about the mysteries of bygone era. On your return to Bucharest you’ll have the afternoon free to spend at your leisure. Included excursions: a boat trip to the Snagov Monastery. (B)

Day 10 | Depart Bucharest. After a delicious breakfast to prepare you for the day ahead, it’s time to say your goodbyes to your fellow guests before you’re transferred to the airport and your journey home begins. (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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