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Gems of Southeast Europe 2021

9 days
Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania & Serbia
Starting from $3198*

Join us for the Gems of Southeast Europe River Cruise 2021 on AmaWaterways AmaVerde. Your cruise will tour Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Hungary. Departure will be on March 27, 2021. Prices start at $3,198* for a fixed window stateroom. There will be optional pre-tours to Istanbul or Bucharest and Brasov. There will also be an optional post-tour to Vienna. (See brochure for more stateroom options and pricing.)

 

*All prices reflect a 4% cash discount and are per person, based on double occupancy.

What’s Included

  • Beverages with All Meals
  • Cruise
  • Meals on Ship
  • Select Shore Excursions
  • Other Meals as Indicated

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 MARCH 27: DEPART US

Board your overnight flight to Bucharest.

Day 2 MARCH 28: EMBARKATION – GIURGIU, ROMANIA

Embark your ship in Giurgiu. Tonight gather on board and meet your fellow passengers. (D)

Day 3 MARCH 29: GIURGIU – ROUSSE, BULGARIA

Experience the best of Bucharest, Romania’s capital, known as the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Then visit Bulgaria’s ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to explore Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings. (B,L,D)

Day 4 MARCH 30: VIDIN

Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. (B,L,D)

Day 5 MARCH 31: SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES

The Iron Gates are some of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)

Day 6 APRIL 1: BELGRADE, SERBIA

Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Alternatively, visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family, and the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery, followed by a panoramic tour of Avala Mountain. Later in the day, choose from a hike to Kalemegdan Fortress, known for its winding walking paths and incredible river views, or join a guided bike tour. (B,L,D)

Day 7 APRIL 2: NOVI SAD, ILOK CROATIA

Discover Novi Sad, the “Serbian Athens,” on a walking tour to Dunavski Park and through Stari Grad, the Old Town center. If you prefer a more active exploration, join a guided biking tour or hike to Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. Later in the day, cruise to Vukovar, a Croatian symbol of resistance, which you’ll better understand on your city tour showcasing the Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Alternatively, choose a wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times, where you’ll sample its famous Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines. (B,L,D)

Day 8 APRIL 3: MOHÁCS - PÉCS, HUNGARY

Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohács. You’ll then visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for wine connoisseurs, you’ll want to go to the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago. You may also take an exhilarating guided bike tour around Mohács. (B,L,D)

Day 9 APRIL 4: BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION

Disembark your cruise in Budapest. (B)

Enhance Your Journey

Pre-Tour Istanbul Starting from $1499

MARCH 24: DEPART USA

Board your overnight flight to Turkey.

MARCH 25: ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.

MARCH 26: ISTANBUL

Depart your hotel for an enriching guided walking tour, during which you will explore the Hagia Sophia, formerly a church before becoming a mosque and finally a museum. A beautiful example of Old-World architecture, this museum showcases lovely Christian murals and Islamic symbols throughout. After the Hagia Sophia, visit Istanbul’s similarly beautiful Blue Mosque, named for the Blue İznik tiles that cover its interior. For those who are interested, be guided to the lively Grand Bazaar and venture through the market before returning to your hotel. (B)

MARCH 27: ISTANBUL

Admire the grandeur of the spectacular Ottoman Sultans’ Grand Palace of Topkapi, home to every Sultan from the 15th-19th centuries. During your tour, marvel at the private chambers of the Sultans, the Harem (women’s quarters) and the Imperial Treasury’s vast collection, including the jewel-encrusted Topkapi Dagger and the stunning 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. (B)

MARCH 28: ISTANBUL – GIURGIU - EMBARKATION

Check out of your Istanbul hotel and fly to Bucharest. Transfer to Giurgiu where you will embark your ship for your Gems of Southeast Europe cruise. (B,D)

 

*All prices reflect a 4% cash discount. Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion.

Pre-Tour Bucharest and Brasov Starting from $1300

MARCH 23: DEPART USA

Board your overnight flight to Romania.

MARCH 24: ARRIVE IN BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

Arrive in Bucharest and check in to your lovely hotel.

MARCH 25: BUCHAREST

Bucharest, Romania’s capital, has earned its nickname, the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a visit to the city’s most impressive sites—including the historic city center and the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest administrative building in the world. Or take a walking tour of Bucharest’s Old Town and visit the Open Air Village Museum which showcases traditional Romanian village life. (B)

MARCH 26: BUCHAREST – SINAIA – BRAȘOV

Stop in Sinaia to visit Peleș Castle, considered by many to be one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Tour the castle, which was once the residence of the royal family. Later, head to Braşov for a tour and check in to your hotel. (B)

MARCH 27: BRAȘOV – SIGHIȘOARA

Enjoy a walking tour around Braşov. Afterward, dracula lovers will be in for another treat with an excursion to Sighişoara, birthplace to Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula. It’s hard to believe that this perfectly preserved UNESCO-designated town filled with resplendent pastel-colored buildings, stone lanes, medieval towers and pedestrian-friendly Old Town was Vlad’s place of birth. His home is still here, marked with a placard; however, today it houses a kitschy restaurant called “Casa Dracula.” (B)

MARCH 28: BRASOV – EMBARKATION – GIURGIU

Depart your Brasov hotel and continue on to the legendary region of Transylvania, a place deeply rooted in myth and history. You’ll visit Transylvania’s legendary Bran Castle, forever linked with the legend of Dracula, before boarding the ship in Giurgiu. (B,D)

 

*All prices reflect a 4% cash discount. Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion.

Vienna Post-Tour Starting from $600

APRIL 4: BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION – VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Bid farewell to your ship and take a sightseeing tour of Budapest, the “Queen of the Danube.” Your city tour begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall brimming with vendors selling everything from food to souvenirs. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes views from historic Buda Castle, a visit to Fishermen’s Bastion and the beautifully colored Matthias Church. Later in the day, travel to Vienna where you will check in to your hotel and enjoy some free time. (B)

APRIL: 5 VIENNA

Savor the imperial elegance of romantic Vienna during a guided sightseeing tour past the city’s most famous and beautiful locales, including the UNESCO- designated historic city center. See the regal Vienna State Opera house, towering St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its fascinating eagle mosaics and geometric patterned roof, and the majestic Ringstrasse, Vienna’s famed ring road, lined with incredible architecture, monuments and parks. You’ll also have some free time to explore Vienna on your own. (B)

APRIL 6: VIENNA

Bid farewell to Vienna as you prepare for your flight home. (B)

 

*All prices reflect a 4% cash discount. Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion.

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