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  • *
    Cosmopolitan Belgrade
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    Iron Gates Gorge
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    Veliko Tarnovo
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    Cruise the Danube Delta
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    Exploring Bucharest

Captivating Contrasts of the Danube: From Budapest

The Danube

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Half board at hotel/Full board on ship

Sail along one of Europe's most beautiful rivers and stay overnight in Bucharest

Explore the rich history of Bucharest, Belgrade and Novi Sad, where included excursions ensure you see the main sights, and cruise through some of the most dramatic scenery the River Danube has to offer, such as the Iron Gates Gorge and UNESCO-listed Danube Delta with its abundance of wildlife.

Along the way you’ll visit the port and battlefield town of Mohács; Novi Sad, the country’s largest inland port; and Tulcea, where you’ll have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the Saon Monastery and Danube Delta Museum. Enjoy an overnight stay at the locally rated 4-star Novotel Bucharest Hotel (4Q) in Romania’s cultural capital, home to the Palace of the Parliament and the Patriarchal Church.


A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed8 nights Full Board on board, 1 night Half Board in a hotel

Dinner plate26 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners

CocktailFree bar open 15 hours a day on board (2023 departures only)

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on the ship

PersonCruise Host


  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return flights and transfers

MapIncluded excursions

  • Belgrade and the Kalemegdan Fortress
  • Tour of Novi Sad
  • Bucharest city tour

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

The free bar available on board in 2023 is open from 9am to midnight and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

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View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Budapest

Budapest and the River Danube, Hungary

Fly to Budapest where you embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy dinner on board. The ship sets sails later this evening, bound for Mohács.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 2 Mohács

Traditional carnival masks, Mohacs

Today you arrive in Mohács and have a full day to explore this port and battlefield town, either independently or on an optional walking tour.

The plain close to the town was the site of a battle where the Hungarian army was soundly beaten by the Turkish in 1526 and their king, Louis II, drowned in the flooded River Csele. This was the start of 150 years of Turkish rule. Mohács has always been an important port for Danube traffic, but it was the 19th-century steamboat traffic that created a building boom here.

Today the town is famous for its carnival celebrations and folklore traditions. An optional full-day excursion visits the lowland city of Kalocsa and Puszta where you can view a traditional horsemanship show.

Spirit of the Danube sails from Mohács tonight and cruises south from Hungary into the former Yugoslavia, where the Danube now forms the border between Croatia on the west and Serbia on the east.

Mohacs Hungary Europe

Day 3 Novi Sad to Belgrade

Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad

Spend the morning in Novi Sad, the city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with the Danube acting as a border.

Enjoy a short included walking tour which reveals the 18th and 19th century buildings of the old town centre, followed by a visit to an old family wine cellar to taste local wines and honey. Beside Novi Sad lies the Petrovaradin Fortress, on a hill on the Danube’s right bank. The upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of underground passages and galleries, with officers’ residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. The Novi Sad City Museum is located within the fortress walls and documents the history of this fascinating city.

You’ll then sail to Serbia's capital, Belgrade, where you moor overnight.

Belgrade Serbia Europe

Day 4 Belgrade 🎧

Republic Square, Belgrade

Belgrade, capital of the Republic of Serbia lies at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers.

An included coach tour this morning reveals the Republic Square and other highlights, before you visit the Kalemegdan Fortress complex, home to the city's central park.

After lunch an optional excursion visits the Royal Palace and Tito’s Memorial.

Belgrade Serbia Europe

Day 5 The Iron Gates

The Iron Gate Gorge on the Danube River

Cruise along a particularly scenic stretch of the river, as the Danube passes through the southern stretch of the dramatic Carpathian mountains and the foothills of the Balkans to the ‘Iron Gates’, a gorge framed by sheer cliffs. The passage was infamous in ancient times as the water level was much lower, making navigation treacherous. Now the water level has been raised and the shipping hazards removed, but the journey is still exciting, and you’ll be able to watch as your ship manoeuvres through two locks by the Djerdap power stations.

Day 6 Rousse 🎧

Rousse architecture, Bulgaria

This morning moor briefly in the small Bulgarian town of Svistov, from where you can join an optional full-day excursion to Veliko Tarnovo.

Your ship will continue cruising to Rousse, the country’s biggest inland port and the site of the former base of the Roman Empire’s Danube fleet.

Perhaps join an optional tour here. Excursion participants will rejoin the ship in Rousse.

Rousse Bulgaria Europe

Day 7 Tulcea

An evening sky over Tulcea city

Spend the morning cruising to Tulcea, which was founded in the 7th century BC by the ancient Dacians and has fallen under the Byzantine, Genoese and Ottoman flags.

You’ll arrive mid afternoon and will have the rest of the day to explore or perhaps join an optional excursion to the Saon Monastery and the Danube Delta Museum.

Tulcea Romania Europe

Day 8 Tulcea to Danube Delta

Glossy Ibis flying in the Danube Delta

Set off in the early hours and sail through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, a wetland biosphere rich in wildlife. The reed beds and groves of willow, oak and poplar provide sanctuary for over 300 species of bird!

You'll also have the chance of an optional excursion aboard a smaller boat which will allow you to take a closer look at this rich natural habitat.

Depart during lunch and sail overnight towards Braila.

Tulcea Romania Europe

Day 9 Braila to Bucharest

Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest

Disembark Spirit of the Danube after breakfast today and transfer to Bucharest, popular with the jet set and known as ‘Little Paris’ in the 1900s.

Enjoy lunch en route before embarking upon an included tour of the lively capital of Romania. See the enormous Palace of the Parliament – dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s egotistical folly – and the Patriarchal Church.

You’ll stay overnight at the locally rated 4-star Novotel Bucharest Hotel (4Q).

Day 10 Bucharest to UK

Travel to the airport after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.

Captivating Contrasts of the Danube: From Budapest

The Danube