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TAUCK RIVER CRUISES
8 Days | The Black Sea (Bucharest) to Budapest
Westbound


THE BLACK SEA (BUCHAREST) TO BUDAPEST

Day 1 | Bucharest or the Black Sea. Embark. Board your riverboat in the afternoon to launch this most extraordinary of Danube cruises, and meet the ship's crew at the Captain's welcome reception tonight. (D)

Day 2 | Ruse, Bulgaria. Arbanassi. Veliko Turnovo. Arrive in Ruse, Bulgaria, for excursions to nearby towns. In Arbanassi, known for its richly ornamented architecture, you'll have an opportunity to visit the Archangels Michael & Gabriel Church and the historic Konstant-Salieva House. Continue on to Bulgaria's medieval capital of Veliko Turnovo, whose ancient walled fortress and castle are set atop three hills overlooking the Yantra River. Rejoin the riverboat in Svishtov; enjoy traditional cuisine for dinner and a Bulgarian cultural performance aboard ship this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Cruise the Danube. Vidin, Bulgaria. Kick back and enjoy the views of fields and vineyards studded with medieval towns as your riverboat cruises the Danube through the scenic heartland of Eastern Europe today. Learn all about imagery and symbolism in Iconography during an on-board lecture and demonstration in Vidin, where you can join us for a walking tour through its cobblestone streets and a visit to the imposing Baba Vida fortress. Bulgaria's best-preserved medieval castle, it dates back a thousand years and is named for the legendary Danubian princess said to have built it – its name means "Granny Vida." (B,L,D)

Day 4 | The Iron Gate. On another relaxing day on your Danube cruise, sail along the Bulgarian / Romanian border, enjoying great views of the Transylvanian Alps. As you cruise, keep an eye out for a kingly face carved into the Danube's rocky bank on the Romanian side; it's a monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus, who defended his kingdom from the invading Romans – and it's the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. Glide through Romania’s Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a spectacular two-mile-long series of gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, en route to Serbia. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Belgrade, Serbia. Dock in Belgrade, Serbia's modern capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers. Sightseeing includes visits to Tito's Memorial and the formidable Kalemegdan Fortress, and views of St. Sava Church, busy Slavija Square (now one of the city's major squares, but once a large pool where residents hunted wild ducks!), Parliament, Republic Square and City Hall. Following a Serbian lunch at Milos Palace, a former royal residence, enjoy a special private reception at the Royal Palace of Dedinje in Belgrade, built in the 1920s and now home to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family. Return to the riverboat, where a Serbian folkloric group entertains you this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Vukovar, Croatia. Your Danube cruise crosses the border from Serbia to Croatia and arrives in historic Vukovar. Preceded by an onboard lecture on Croatia's turbulent history by a local expert, your tour of this venerable 10th-century city – once showcasing opulent 18th-century Baroque mansions, but now a mix of old and new – poignantly symbolizes the effects of the 1990s war. Visit with a Vukovar family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, as they share homemade refreshments with you in their private home. You'll have some time at leisure in Vukovar before the riverboat continues on to Hungary tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Kalosca, Hungary. Continue your lower Danube cruise to Kalocsa, Hungary – known for its folk art and its paprika – where you'll learn about the production and history in Hungary of this popular spice made from bell peppers at the Paprika House. Visit the beautiful Rococo library in the Baroque Bishop’s Palace in Kalocsa, housing one of the finest early collections in Europe, and enjoy a tasting of local vintages at Hungarian winery. Tonight, attend the Captain's farewell cocktail reception and dinner aboard ship as your Danube cruise draws to a close. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Budapest. Disembark. Bid your Danube cruise – along with your Captain and crew – farewell as you disembark the riverboat in Budapest. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included to the airport. Allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in. (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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WESTBOUND ITINERARY
8 DAYS | THE BLACK SEA (BUCHAREST) TO BUDAPEST
Click here to view 8-day EASTBOUND itinerary. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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