- Danube Delta wildlife
- The dramatic Iron Gate
- VIP on selected river cruises
- Half board at hotel/Full board on ship
Admire the riverscapes from Budapest to Bucharest
Enjoy the changing scenery on this relaxing cruise aboard our new ship – Spirit of the Danube. Your journey takes in Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania as the River Danube wends its way towards the Black Sea.
In addition to the photogenic scenery, including that of the Iron Gates gorge and the Danube Delta, you’ll have time to explore a string of ports steeped in history and culture. Included excursions in Budapest, Novi Sad and Bucharest enable you to see the main attractions and exploring independently is easy too with the inclusion of interactive maps and audio headsets in many ports of call. Plus, you can also look forward to an overnight hotel stay in Romania’s capital Bucharest, a great way to see more of the city, known for its vast Palace of Parliament and Art Nouveau architecture.
1 night Half Board in a hotel, 6 nights Full Board aboard the ship
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on the ship
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- All gratuities on board
- Return flights and transfers
- Budapest city tour OR Budapest culinary walking tour
- Walking tour of Novi Sad
- Bucharest city tour
Interactive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration
Humanitarian and author Terry Waite will join the first seven nights of the April 18, 2022 departure. Terry travelled the world in the 1960s and 70s establishing aid and development programmes and supporting health and education initiatives. As the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs, he negotiated the release of hostages in Iran, Libya and Lebanon. Terry was taken hostage in Beirut in 1987 and held for 1,763 days before his release. He is now a best-selling author and lecturer.
Day 1 UK to Budapest
Fly to Hungary's capital and embark Spirit of the Danube.
Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here this overnight.
Day 2 Budapest 🎧
Your ship remains moored in Budapest until lunchtime. This cosmopolitan city is divided by the Danube into Buda and Pest. An included city tour this morning reveals some of the city's highlights, from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle that sits above the river on the west bank, to the Hungarian Parliament buildings in Pest on the east bank.
Alternatively, perhaps join an included culinary walking tour, which features a tram ride to the First Strudel House for a live demonstration, followed by a walk through the city to sample authentic chimney cake and to visit Central Market Hall where you can try authentic Hungarian salami.
Set sail over lunch and cruise through the remainder of the day and night.
Day 3 Novi Sad
Arrive late morning in this city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with this stretch of the Danube acting as a natural border.
Novi Sad is the capital of Vojvodina, the northern Autonomous Province of Serbia. Situated on the Danube between Budapest and Belgrade, it’s a treasured regional and cultural centre. You can enjoy a short included walking tour of the old town centre, which boasts a fine selection of 18th and 19th-century architecture. Proceeding through the streets to an old family wine cellar, which is also a producer of local honey. Whilst here you have the opportunity to treat your taste buds to the delicious wines and sweet honey.
Set sail again this evening.
Day 4 Sailing through the Iron Gate
This morning sail through a particularly scenic stretch of the Danube – the world-famous Iron Gate gorge, between Romania and Serbia, the largest and longest in Europe, and the Iron Gates is the narrowest and deepest part. No doubt you'll want to head out on deck to admire this particularly scenic stretch of the river, as the Danube passes through the Carpathian mountains and the foothills of the Balkans. Plus you can follow proceedings as Spirit of the Danube manoeuvres through two locks by the Djerdap power stations.
Continue sailing overnight.
Day 5 Rousse 🎧
This morning you will arrive in Rousse, the largest port in Bulgaria and often referred to as ‘Little Vienna’. Perhaps discover the city on an optional tour this morning.
Resume your cruise this afternoon and sail through the day and night to Romania.
Day 6 Danube Delta
Enjoy the scenery as you cruise the wildlife-rich Danube Delta. Much of it is a protected reserve, as the meandering river, reed beds and groves of willow, oak and poplar provide sanctuary for over 300 species of bird. This afternoon you may like to join an optional small boat cruise further into this UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve.
Set sail cruising overnight.
Day 7 Fetesti to Bucharest
Arrive in Fetesti this morning and disembark your ship after breakfast before continuing by coach to Bucharest for an included afternoon tour of the city.
Discover some of its highlights, such as the impressive Palace of the Parliament, Cotroceni Palace where the President of Romania resides, and historic Cretulescu Palace.
Tonight you’ll stay in the heart of the capital, at the locally rated 4-star Novotel Bucharest (4Q) with dinner included.
Day 8 Bucharest to UK
Check out after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.
Tour of Rousse
After a short drive through the beautiful valley of the Lom River you can visit the only active rock monastery in Bulgaria. Situated 10 kilometres south of Rousse, it is devoted to a local saint, St Dimitrius of Bassarbovo. Once there, a short stone staircase will lead you to an extraordinary rock church and a rock cave where the monk lived in the 17th century.
After this visit you will be taken back to the city where you will enter the Holy Trinity Church to hear its turbulent history followed by a guided walk through the town. During the visit to Liberty square you'll be treated to a small Bulgarian snack with the local wine or coffee.
Walking Grade 3
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Danube Delta exploration
Explore Europe's second largest delta through a series of channels and lakes that cannot be reached by large ships. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has a wild landscape and a diversity of habitats that attract many species of birds. Near Nebunu Lake, during the breeding season, you may see pelicans plus a large variety of other bird species such as heron, swan and wild duck, although obviously we cannot guarantee sightings.
Walking Grade 1
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Pre-holiday extension with breakfasts
Stay at either the locally rated 4-star Ensana Grand Hotel Margitziget (4Q) in the heart of a green park on Margaret Island and close to historical sights and city-centre shops; or at the locally rated 4-star Hilton Garden Inn (4Q), which enjoys a central location in Budapest. Single supplement (per person, per stay) apply.
Please call for details.
🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours are available for exploring independently in Budapest and Rousse.
Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.
1 – Walking at your own discretion. For example, on panoramic coach tours when the only walking is at photo stops.
2 – Minimal walking. Up to approximately 1,640 feet (500 metres) on mainly flat terrain.
3 – Moderate walking. Between 1,640-4,920 feet (500-1500 metres) over mixed terrain with the possibility of some steps.
4 – Considerable walking. More than 4,920 feet (1500 metres) over uneven terrain with many steps.
5 – Strenuous walking. Long distances over rough terrain with climbing, steps and trekking.