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    Iron Gates gorge

From the Iron Gates to Budapest

The Danube

  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises

Stay overnight in lively Bucharest before sailing along one of Europe's most beautiful rivers

Contrast cultural cities including Bucharest and Belgrade with the dramatic mountain scenery of the Iron Gates gorge. This fascinating cruise offers many wonderful sights and experiences en route to the beautiful Black Sea coast.


1 night in a hotel, 7 aboard the ship

23 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners


  • Tour of Bucharest
  • Budapest city tour

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Bucharest


Fly to Bucharest and transfer to the locally rated 4-star Novotel Bucharest Hotel for an overnight stay with dinner included tonight.

Day 2 Bucharest to Giurgiu

Parliament building in Bucharest

After breakfast enjoy an included tour of this lively city, which has numerous architectural delights to discover. You’ll see the impressive Palace of the Parliament and the Patriarchal Church before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, a visit to the Village Museum offers further insight into the life of the Romanian villager through the years. You'll then continue along the Kisseleff Boulevard to Revolution Square. Here you can admire the former Royal Palace of the Romanian Royal family, abolished in 1947, which then became the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. It's now the National Art Museum.

This afternoon you’ll transfer by coach to Giurgiu, a distance of approximately 65 kilometres, and embark MS Bellejour. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board before your cruise begins late tonight.

Giurgiu Romania Europe

Day 3 Cruising the Danube

Relax on board as you sail towards Serbia, following the natural border between Romania and Bulgaria.

Day 4 The Iron Gates to Donji Milanovac

Danube river near the Serbian city of Donji Milanovac

Spend the day on a leisurely journey along the waters of the Danube, passing through the Carpathians, and the foothills of the Balkans to the ‘Iron Gates’. This strikingly scenic stretch of river is framed on both sides by sheer cliffs that are dotted with frills of greenery, so make sure you're on the Upper Deck with your camera! In ancient times the water level in the Iron Gates gorge was much lower and and it was considered one of the most dangerous stretches of river in Europe to navigate.

The riverbed rocks and low water levels combined to make this part of the river particularly treacherous for passing ships, but now a complex system of dams and locks ensures this is no longer the case. Enjoy passing through the scenic gorge on your way to Donji Milanovac, a Serbian town with a special history and a beautiful setting in the midst of the Djerdap National Park. You may like to join an optional excursion to the Lepenski Vir Mesolithic site, in the Derdap Gorge. Set sail for Belgrade this evening.

Donji Milanovac Serbia Europe

Day 5 Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress, Belgrade

Arrive in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, during breakfast and look forward to a full day in the city. It’s considered the meeting point of Eastern and Western Europe, being at the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers. Go exploring independently or join an optional morning tour to see its key attractions, including the Kalmegadan Fortress and St Sava Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in the world. Set sail again later tonight.

Belgrade Serbia Europe

Day 6 Novi Sad

City Hall, Novi Sad, Serbia

You can enjoy the day in this city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with the Danube forming part of the 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’t miss the Petrovaradin Fortress, Built between 1692 and 1790, the upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of passages and galleries, with officers’ residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. There’s the City Museum within the fortress walls where you can find out more and also see artisan workshops. The old tow is home to some fine 18th and 19th-century architecture. Set sail at dinner.

Novi Sad Serbia Europe

Day 7 Mohács to Kalocsa

Buso masks at Mohacs

Cruise through the morning to arrive in the port of Mohács at lunchtime. The town is famous for its folklore traditions and you can see a demonstration of traditional Hungarian horsemanship by local Magyar cowboys on an optional excursion. For those not booked onto the excursion your ship continues to Kalocsa pausing briefly this evening for excursion participants to rejoin her. Sail overnight towards the capital.

Kalocsa Hungary Europe

Day 8 Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Three cities became one when Buda, Pest and Óbuda merged in 1873 and though unified are still very different in character. Arrive before breakfast and look forward to a full day in the city. An included city tour of Hungary’s capital reveals the highlights of this fascinating city divided by the Danube, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle. A city of two halves – Buda and Pest – the Hungarian capital is a cosmopolitan, culture-rich centre. Buda is the older part, with cobbled streets and medieval architecture, while Pest is the administrative and commercial centre, with wide avenues and impressive 19th-century public buildings.

The beautiful Parliament Building dominates the Pest waterfront. St Stephen’s Basilica is also in Pest, and home to a holy relic of St Stephen, the first king – his mummified right hand! The Fisherman’s Bastion has seven towers, each one symbolising one of the Magyar tribes that came to Hungary in 896, and from here you can enjoy superb city views. Heroes’ Square, flanked by the Palace of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art, is another of Hungary’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This evening is at leisure to spend as you please as you remain moored in the city overnight.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 9 Budapest-UK


This morning, disembark MS Bellejour for your return flight to the UK.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Please note

Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.

From the Iron Gates to Budapest

The Danube

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From the Iron Gates to Budapest

The Danube