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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
11 Days | Passage to Eastern Europe
Westbound


BUCHAREST TO BUDAPEST

Day 1 | Bucharest, Romania. Arrive at the Bucharest airport and transfer to the superior first class Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar) in the heart of the city for a 1-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing, or begin doing a bit of exploring on your own.

DAY 2 | Bucharest. Giurgiu. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a morning tour of the city. See the Arch of Triumph, the Antim Monastery and the iconic Palace of Justice, completing your tour at the Palace of Parliament. You then proceed to Giurgiu to board your ship and enjoy a welcome dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Rousse, Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanassi. Today you disembark at Rousse for a full-day excursion to Bulgaria’s former capital, Veliko Tarnovo. There you will see Tsaravets Hill and the ruins of the royal castle. During free time, shop for local crafts along Samovodska Charshia. Proceed to Arbanasi for lunch in a local restaurant and a guided tour of the Nativity Church with its intricate floor-to-ceiling murals and icons. Rejoin your ship at Nikopol/Svishtov and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Vidin. Belogradchik. Arrive in the picturesque Bulgarian port of Vidin during breakfast, then take an excursion to see Belogradchik Fortress, built right into the striking Belogradchik Rocks. See the fortress’s amazing construction, begun in Roman times and greatly extended by Bulgarian czars and the Ottomans, and enjoy breathtaking views. Lunch aboard is followed by free time to explore Vidin’s city center, Orthodox churches and the ruins of the city’s once-grand synagogue. Depart during dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Scenic Cruising. Iron Gate. Today, enjoy scenic cruising as you travel through one of the most picturesque areas of the Lower Danube. The Iron Gate is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural wonders, a spectacular narrow gorge with enormous white limestone cliffs. Your cruise director will provide commentary about the region and scenic points of interest as you sail toward Belgrade. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Belgrade, Serbia. Wake up in Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Take a guided walk through the grounds of Kalemegdan Fortress, now a beautiful park; also see the Orthodox cathedral and stop at the Square of the Republic. Lunch aboard, then free time to explore Belgrade’s gracious architecture or visit one of its many museums, like the Nikola Tesla Museum. Dine aboard or experience some of Belgrade’s nightlife—we depart very late this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Osijek, Croatia. Cruise along the Danube, arriving at Vukovar around noon. Disembark for an afternoon excursion to the charming Croatian city of Osijek. Inhabited by humans since Neolithic times, this area has had several heydays under the Romans, the Ottomans and the Habsburgs; now it is a pleasant town popular for its baroque buildings, parks and monuments. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Kalocsa, Hungary. Sail into Hungary this morning, arriving in Kalocsa after lunch. Take a guided city tour including a visit to the Archbishop’s Palace. Then, you are treated to a performance of traditional Puszta horsemanship. Return to the ship and enjoy a festive final dinner aboard as we depart for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Budapest. Disembark after breakfast and take a tour of Hungary’s capital, exploring both the “Buda” and “Pest” sides. Begin in Pest, where you see the National Opera House and visit historic Heroes’ Square. Cross the Chain Bridge to Buda, where you stroll Fishermen’s Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Check in to the moderate deluxe Budapest Hilton (or similar) for a 2-night stay, then take the rest of the day to sightsee on your own—explore a museum, do some shopping or peek inside one of the Art Deco spas. (B)

Day 10 | Budapest. Take a full day to explore Budapest on your own—ride around the city on its wonderful subway system, walk through the City Park or along the Pest embankment for views of the Buda Castle District, explore the Buda Castle Labyrinth, visit the Jewish Quarter and tour the beautifully restored Dohány Street Synagogue. (B)

Day 11 | Budapest. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in a different country’s gracious capital: Vienna, Austria or Prague, Czech Republic. (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
11 DAYS | BUCHAREST TO BUDAPEST
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