PRAGUE TO BUCHAREST 2019
CRUISING THE DANUBE
CZECH REPUBLIC – GERMANY – AUSTRIA – HUNGARY – CROATIA – SERBIA – BULGARIA - ROMANIA
Join us on a twenty-day tour to explore eastern Europe, cruising the Danube River from Prague to Bucharest. We enjoy two nights in lovely five-star hotels in each of Prague and Bucharest, with fourteen nights aboard the luxurious SS Beatrice riverboat.
We begin our journey in beautifully preserved Prague. Sail past quaint villages and great cities on the glorious Danube through 8 nations, visiting baroque abbeys and medieval cathedrals, tasting fine wines and encountering new cultures. Along the way, you’ll uncover the splendid Habsburg capitals of Vienna and Budapest, as well as many of the hidden treasures of Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria.
The tour is led by Owen Johnstone-Donnet, who along with Takako Ishige, have designed and organised the tour.
The tour is limited to 20 guests
Date : Sunday 11 August to Sunday 1 September 2019
(Sun 11 Aug)
Australia to Prague
Depart from Australia and fly to Prague, Czech Republic. Emirates, Qatar and Qantas code-share services offer convenient departures. We’ll discuss your travel preferences with you. Overnight aboard the flight.
Arrive and explore Prague
Arrive Prague and transfer to our excellent five star hotel. Enjoy a late afternoon stroll in beautiful hictorical Prague before a welcome dinner.
Prague enchants with its fabled skyline of spires, fortress-like castle, beautifully preserved architecture and iconic Charles Bridge.
Choose an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum and Wenceslas Square on your way to massive Prague Castle.
Or enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Prague’s Estates Theatre - an exclusive insider’s look at the exquisite jewel-box theatre, where operas are staged to this day. Listen to a short concert of music composed by Mozart and his contemporaries in the Mozart Salon before enjoying traditional Czech refreshments at the café in Municipal House.
to Nurenburg and embark SS Beatrice
Leave Prague this morning and travel via motorcoach to Nurenberg, where your ship awaits. Enjoy lunch and exploration in Nurenberg before you embark on the luxurious SS Beatrice.
Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, and Regensburg
Today we navigate one of the most amazing engineering feats on the Danube. The Main-Danube canal is a masterwork of engineering - it allows ships to cruise from the North Sea all the way to the Black Sea, through 15 countries and sixteen locks.
After arriving in Regensburg you’ll have three options for experiencing this medieval gem—travel through time on a walking tour of the city, learn about the city’s Jewish past or watch high-tech robots assemble the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ at the BMW factory.
Straubing, Passau and Engelhartszell
In Straubing enjoy a walking tour, then relax onboard as our ship cruises along the mighty Danube, past lovely Bavarian countryside on its way to Passau. Explore the historic Old Town of Passau on foot or you can choose a more active adventure.
On the next day relax aboard as we pass through lovely Austrian countryside or borrow a bicycle and, with an expert local guide, pedal through the breathtaking Austrian countryside.
Spitz, Melk and cruising the Wachau Valley
Cruise along the Wachau Valley, a 30-kilometre stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Later take a stroll and wine tasting in the centuries-old village of Spitz where grapes have been grown for 2,000 year, or visit Melk Abbey and its opulent baroque-style library.
Vienna is a cultural treasure trove revered for its art and music. Experience the City of Waltzes with your choice of excursions - a city tour that includes a visit to the State Opera or a curated look at two of Vienna’s finest collections of art and curiosities.
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of tour by coach or on foot. Including synagogue, National Museum, Parliament and Castle Hill, as well as vibrant market places and the gracious spaces of Károlyi Garden - and there is some free time as well to explore at leisure.
Cruise the Danube River and Vukovar and Osijek, Croatia
We cruise into Croatia – an ancient country which has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, and noted for its beautiful countryside and thriving folk traditions, as well as delicious simple, local rustic food. Enjoy a panoramic tour with a traditional Croatian lunch hosted by local villagers, or a short walk through the town of Vukovar, and then to Osijek to visit Tvrda with its archaeological findings and then lunch at the Goldschmidt winery.
Signs of Belgrade’s tumultuous history are visible everywhere. Belgrade is one of Europe’s oldest cities with its most significant landmark the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. Join a coach tour through the city, where you’ll see a mix of architectural styles that reveal the city’s past, ranging from Gothic, Ottoman, baroque and art nouveau to utilitarian Communist apartment blocks and modern high-rises. Walk along the old stone walls of the Kalemegdan Fortress, visit the Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace for a guided tour and sip a glass of sparkling Serbian wine.
Alternatively mount a bike and with your guide spend a leisurely half-day getting an up-close look at Belgrade. Ride past Branko’s Bridge, Staro Sajmište (a former concentration camp), the Palace of Serbia and Hotel Jugoslavija; after a refreshing stop at a traditional sherman’s bar, you’ll be ready to pedal to Kalemegdan Fortress and see a little more of Serbia’s more distant past.
Golubac and cruising the Iron Gates of the Danube
Today enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Danube as we cruise the breathtaking Iron Gates, a 134 kilometre stretch of scenic gorges that were cut through the Carpathian and Balkan mountains over eons by the Danube River. We visit Lepenski Vir, one of the largest and most significant prehistoric archaeological sites from the Stone Age and Golubac Castle, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe.
Visit the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations or head to a riverside estate devoted to the arts in Romania. Drive through the scenic Bulgarian countryside to Belogradchik to explore the astonishing rock formations which are over 200 million years old. Return past sights that highlight Vidin’s mixed heritage: the Orthodox cathedral, the Turkish mosque, the Konak and the cruciform barracks dating to the 1790s.
Alternatively, cross the Danube via the brand-new bridge that links Bulgaria and Romania to meet Mircea Dinescu, poet, journalist, satirist, media mogul and key figure in the revolution that overthrew Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. Visit Cetate Cultural Harbour, a haven for artists of all sorts — poets, potters, painters, filmmakers and musicians. Dinescu also makes fine wine, which you may sample, and the kitchen staff turns out delectable Romanian specialties. Stroll through the peaceful grounds and study the artwork on display before sitting down to tapas and music.
Bulgaria’s foremost Danube port, Rousse is sometimes called “Little Vienna” for its elegant 19th-century mansions and public buildings. Choose to see some of the town after venturing to a pair of historic monasteries or spend the day visiting two historic hill towns.
Twice the capital of Bulgaria—Veliko Tarnovo climbs steep hills above the Yantra River. Visit Samovod Marketplace with handicrafts all made by local artisans using ancient, medieval or Renaissance technologies. Peruse exceptional local pottery and textiles before heading to Arbanassi, home to six amazing 17th-century stone churches, each one decorated with colourful and intricate frescoes. Visit the UNESCO-designated Nativity Church, and at Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, hear the otherworldly singing of an Orthodox choir in a short concert. The day includes a traditional three-course Bulgarian lunch, complete with live folk music.
Alternatively walk through the woods of Rusenski Lom, a protected region home to a wide variety of rare birds, to Ivanovo Rock Monastery—once an enclave of more than 40 churches and chapels that the devout built inside caves above the Lom River Valley. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is famous for its beautiful and well-preserved 14th-century murals. The Basarbovo Rock Monastery is the only rock monastery where monks still live and worship today.
Giurgiu, disembark and Bucharest
Disembark SS Beatrice in Giurgiu and drive through the countryside to Bucharest. Enjoy a traditional Romanian luncheon followed by a panoramic city tour showing Bucharest's fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors from the 1500s, which are acquiring new gloss in Lipscani, the restored old quarter.
Whilst Count Dracula might be a fictional character, Vlad III — known as Dracula or "Vlad the Impaler" — was a medieval prince with a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. The monks of Snagov Monastery held him in great esteem and are said to have buried him in their monastery - we take a boat over peaceful waters to the serene garden and monastery to view beautiful medieval frescoes. Then to the opulent former residence of Romania's former leader Nicolae Ceausescu, where you can roam the opulent 80-room residence in one of Bucharest's most desirable neighbourhoods.
Transfer to the airport for flights to return to Australia.
Our tour ends after breakfast today. Transfer to the airport for flights to return to Australia.
Arrive back in Australia.
OArrive back in Australia.
$14,980 (person (twin share), plus airfares from Australia)
Limited to 20 guests
10 Places remain - Book Now!
BOOKING AND ENQUIRY
*Bookings are confirmed on receipt of the booking form and your deposit. The booking form is attached to each tour brochure or can be downloaded above. After receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation letter to you.