9 day luxury river cruise and tour from Budapest to Bucharest
Black Sea Explorer
Take a voyage of discovery to the furthest reaches of the Danube, from Budapest and Belgrade, through the towering ‘Iron Gate’, a river gorge with the Carpathian Mountains pressing from the north and Balkan Mountains barricading from the south. Sail into mystical lands, rich in legend, before travelling to the Black Sea and Bucharest.
Fly from your choice of 13 UK regional airports via Amsterdam with KLM; travel from London Heathrow with British Airways; or fly with Lufthansa from Manchester or Birmingham indirect. A Scenic Tours Representative will transfer* you to your luxury Scenic ‘Space-Ship’. Tonight enjoy a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers.
Enjoy early morning cruising to the Baroque provincial town of Kalocsa, which lies at the periphery of the great Hungarian plain and is renowned for its decorative embroidery and paprika production. Be impressed by a Hungarian Puszta horse farm and enjoy a show before tracing the interesting Turkish origins of paprika. Alternatively, explore with Scenic Tailormade and choose a city tour of Kalocsa. More than 1,000 years old, Kalocsa is a quaint town filled with culture, and is a great place to see Hungarian crafts. Highlights include the House of Folk Arts and its Cathedral. Tonight join your Captain in the Crystal Dining Restaurant for your Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Today choose one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities (1) a guided walking tour of Osijek (2) or a guided cycling tour of Osijek’s countryside. Scenic Enrich: As a special Scenic guest, you will be invited into the home of a local family for a home cooked traditional lunch and an opportunity to learn about everyday life in Croatia.
Today explore Serbia’s capital Belgrade, one of the oldest capital cities in Europe. Today’s Scenic FreeChoice activities include: (1) a guided tour of the city, including visits to Tito’s memorial, Fortress Kalemegdan and St. Sava Church (2) take a leisurely bicycle journey along the banks of the Danube (3) see Belgrade through the eyes of the locals when you meet a native Belgradian who will take you around the city (4) or ‘Shop with a Chef’ - join your ship’s chef for a visit to a local food market and take advantage of their guidance on purchasing the best ingredients the region has to offer. Alternatively, explore with Scenic Tailormade and choose from two self-guided tours, Belgrade through the ages and the Wonder of Zemun, one of the most beautiful residential areas in the city, with an ideal location next to the Danube and bursting with picturesque cobblestone streets. As the day draws to an end, you have your Scenic Sundowner experience where you’ll enjoy a cocktail at the historic Kalemegdan Fortress, overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers.
Be sure to have your camera ready as you cruise the spectacular Iron Gate, a narrow gorge carved by the River Danube between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, which forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania. Relax on the Riverview Terrace or in the Panorama Lounge as you have a relaxing day of cruising.
With today’s Scenic FreeChoice options, you can choose to: (1) take a full day excursion from Svistov to Veliko Tarnovo, a town with a rich historical past. You’ll also venture to the nearby leafy village of Arbanassi which features on the World Heritage Cultural list (2) or you can stay on-board your Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ and enjoy sailing towards the Bulgarian town of Russe. Upon arrival you’ll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour. Russe is the fifth biggest city in Bulgaria and is home to a grand square enlivened by cafés and Austro-Hungarian influenced architecture, often illuminated to great effect at night. The city’s past is abundantly displayed in several museums, and in its ruined Roman fortress that stands overlooking the Danube.
Today’s included Scenic FreeChoice activities are: (1) an excursion to Varna, the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast (2) an active walk to Silistra Fort (3) or a visit to a local village and primary school to learn more about everyday life in Bulgaria.
This morning you’ll disembark your cruise ship and travel to the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Its perplexing mismatch of eras - grey housing blocks from Ceauescu’s brutal rebuilding phase, deliberately French palaces with Baroque clam-shaped canopies, remains of medieval churches and courts, 21st century office buildings - means that even a short walk is a lesson in history. Here you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, including a visit to the Ceauescu’s imposing Palace of the Parliament, the largest building in Europe - and lunch in a local restaurant. This evening you’ll stay at the Marriott Bucharest. Please note, the Bucharest stay is not all-inclusive.
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred* to the airport for your flight home. You can fly with British Airways to London Heathrow, KLM via Amsterdam to one of 13 UK regional airports, or indirect with Lufthansa to Manchester or Birmingham.
* Please check your transfer entitlements with the UK office