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17 Day Danube River & Black Sea Cruise 2014

Make a journey full of contrasts, cultures, flavors and impressions through seven countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. During this unique journey you will slowly travel from Western to Eastern Europe. A real adventure!

Cruise highlights:

  • Experience the unique blend of culture, history and nature of the Danube.
  • Visit five capitals in one cruise.
  • Sail through one of the most mythical places in Europe: the Iron Gate.
  • Take a look at an Orthodox church in Belgrade.
  • Paddling in the Black Sea at the beach of Mamaia.

 

Day 01: Australia – Singapore – Munich

Depart to Munich, Germany in the afternoon on Singapore Airlines via Singapore and fly overnight.

 

Day 02: Munich – Passau  

You are arrive in Munich in the morning. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to Passau, one of the most popular places in Bavaria, also known as the Dreiflüssestadt (City of Three Rivers). Here the River Danube is joined by the rivers Inn and Ilz and grows to become one of Europe’s major waterways. Passau has a well preserved medieval centre, complete with Sankt Stephan Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ. Here you will embark the MS Serenity in the afternoon and before dinner starts you can already explore the ship.

 

Day 03: Vienna (B/L/D)

First destination of this cruise is Vienna, capital of Austria. Around noon the ship will arrive in Vienna and you can explore this beautiful city or visit the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace mentioned on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. You can also make it easy for yourself and go on a city tour by bus and with a guide to the most important places of interest, such as the Opera, the Rathaus, Parliament, Burgtheater and Hofburg. Of course you will also visit the Old Town and St. Stephen's Cathedral.

 

Day 04: Kalocsa (B/L/D)

In the small village of Kalocsa you will find typical Hungarian folklore as colorful murals and beautiful embroidery. In the small museum "House of Folk Art" you can see how people used to live through the old furniture and the kitchen with the old utensils. Women in traditional clothing often demonstrate how the famous floral designs are painted freehand. Another special place in Kalocsa is the bell pepper museum. In this region the bell peppers are widely grown and in this museum you will find everything about the origins and the present of these peppers. Before you leave the village again, you really should visit the cathedral, which is considered one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Hungary.

 

Day 05: Belgrade (B/L/D)

The next country we are visiting is Serbia. The ship moors in Belgrade, a special city with beautiful sights. There are several museums, like the National Museum of Serbia and the impressive Military Museum. And then there are the famous fortress Kalemegdan Park, the Parliament, the Orthodox Cathedral and the Republican Square. The famous hippie-quarter Skadarlija is also worth a visit. This district has the nickname: Belgrade Montmartre. You will find here many cozy bars and restaurants, lots of antique, art galleries and souvenir shops. They often play local music on the streets while wearing traditional clothes. An interesting fact is that Belgrade is also the hometown of several famous athletes. Think of the flamboyant tennis players Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanović and several soccerplayers including former PSV player Mateja Kežman and Danko Lazović.

 

Day 06: Iron Gate (B/L/D)

Today we sail from Serbia to Bulgaria through the so-called Iron Gate. This gorge of the Danube is more than 130 km long and is the borderline between the Carpathians and the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. From the ship you will have a good view of this beautiful scenery; a very spectacular piece of nature with its high cliffs!

 

Day 07: Rousse (B/L/D)

After breakfast the ship docks in Rousse, the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. From here you can make an excursion to Ivanovo and the Basaravo Monastery. Here you will find a group of rock-hewn Orthodox churches, chapels and monasteries, who are since 1979 on the list of UNESCO's world heritage. We will visit one of the rock monasteries. After a short city tour through the center of Rousse, you will be brought back to the ship where there is plenty of time to fresh up before dinner. After dinner, the ship will set sail to Cernavoda.

 

Day 08: Cernavoda (B/L/D)

In the early morning the ship arrives in the Romanian city Cernavoda. From here you can make a tour (included) to the Black Sea, the easternmost point of this trip. We visit Constanta, the main port city of Romania. Here we will have a city tour including photo-stops at the Ovidius Square, the Great Mahmudiye Mosque, the St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral (1885), the Casino and of course the Genoese lighthouse. You can also visit the famous Roman mosaic. Then we will continue by bus to Mamaia, the most famous seaside resort in Romania. Here you will have a delicious lunch. Here you can enjoy some time at leisure or take a swim in the Black Sea.

 

Day 09: Bucharest (B/L/D)

From Giurgiu you can make a trip to Bucharest. We will start with a city tour by bus and you will see the different sights and historical buildings of the capital op Romania. Then we go to a local restaurant for the 3-course lunch (included). After lunch, we visit the immense impressive Parliament Palace which was built by communist dictator Ceausescu. It is the largest building in Europe and after the Pentagon also the second largest in the world. It is 350.000m2 large and has 2000 halls and rooms. At the end of the day, the bus takes us to Turnu Magaurele where the ship is waiting for us.

 

Day 10: Iron Gate (B/L/D)

Today we will sail through the Iron Gate back from Romania to Serbia. You can enjoy the many beautiful views from the sundeck or relax with a book in the lounge.

 

Day 11: Novi Sad (B/L/D)

During the afternoon the ship arrives in Novi Sad. Novi Sad is an important university city in Serbia, since it has an university in 1960. In the small center is a pedestrian area with many shops, bars and restaurants. The centerpiece of the city is the Freedom Square where the town hall and the Roman Catholic cathedral are located and some prominent buildings dating back from the period around 1890-1900. Further on is an interesting synagogue dating back from 1909, which is now used as a concert hall. The Petrovaradin fortress is the most popular attraction of Novi Sad. The fort is located directly at the Danube. It was the scene where in 1716 the Turks were defeated by Austria and Venice. From the fort you have a magnificent view over the city and the river.

 

Day 12: Mohacs (B/L/D)

Back in Hungary, the ship will anchor just across the border in Mohacs. In the afternoon, there is the option to go on an excursion to Pécs. Pécs is located in the southwest of Hungary on the slopes of the Mecsek Mountains and has a unique southern European flair. The city was the European Cultural Capital in 2010 and has much to offer. The town is also on the list of UNESCO for World Heritage. During the city tour you get a good impression of the city and you will see i.e. the cathedral and the Turkish mosque.

 

Day 13: Budapest (B/L/D)

Today the Hungarian capital Budapest is listed in our program. The Danube divides the city into two parts: the traditional "Buda" and the cosmopolitan "Pest". In the morning there is an optional sightseeing tour with a guide. You can see the long boulevards, the Opera House, Heroes Square and Fisherman's Bastion. And of course you cannot miss the Parliament building and the Chain Bridge. You can also choose to explore the city on your own, visit the thermal baths or go shopping.

 

Day 14: Bratislava (B/L/D)

During the afternoon the ship arrives in Bratislava. The capital of Slovakia is worth discovering. Led by a guide, you can join a city walk through this city of 450.000 inhabitants. You will see the National Theatre, St. Martin's Cathedral, Michael's Gate and the Old Town Hall.

 

Day 15: Melk (B/L/D)

The last stop of our cruise is Melk, a small town best known as the site of the massive baroque Benedictine monastery of Stift Melk, impressively located atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the river below. From here the views over the river are stunning!

 

Day 16: Passau – Munich – Singapore – Australia (B)  

This is the last day of the cruise. After breakfast it is unfortunately time to say goodbye to the crew. After breakfast, you are transferred to Munich airport for your flight homeward to Australia via Singapore on Singapore Airlines.

 

Day 17: Australia Arrival

You arrive in Australia in the afternoon. Your unforgettable Europe Danube River and Black Sea Cruising tour ends.

 

Sailing Schedule of MS Serenity****

Day Destination Arrival Departure
1 Passau  16.00 Embarkation 15.00
2 Vienna 12.30   18.00 
3 Kalocsa   15.00  19.00  
4 Belgrade 13.00 23.00 
5 Rousse  Iron Gate  
6 Cernavoda 11.00  21.00 
7 Giurgiu 07.00   17.00 
8 Turnu Magurele 07.30  09.00
    16.30  17.30
9   Iron Gate  
10 Novi Sad 14.00 21.00 
11 Mohacs 10.00  17.30  
12 Budapest  09.00  23.30
13 Bratislava  15.00 19.00 
14 Melk   11.30  16.00
15 Passau 08.00         Disembarkation 08.30


This itinerary may be subject to change 

 

Departure Dates: 7th of June & 30th of August 2014.
Cruise price: $6,250 per person, twin share on the Main Deck.
Single supplement: $1,420.
Price to upgrade to Middle Deck: $250 per person.
Price to upgrade to Panorama Deck: $430.00 per person.

 

Inclusions:
1. Singapore Airlines economy class return ticket from Australia to Munich via Singapore.
2. Airport tax and fuel surcharge (currently $930, subject to change).
3. 14 night twin share cabin accommodation on main deck.
4. Round trip airport-pier transfers.
5. Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
6. Welcome drink.
7. Captains dinner. 
8. Afternoon tea.
9. Live entertainment.
10. Some of the excursion programs as indicated below,
      Excursion programs:
      Day 2: Vienna City tour
      Day 4: Belgrade City tour
      Day 7: Cernavoda Excursion to the Black Sea
      Day 10: Novi Sad City tour
      Day 12: Budapest City tour; Budapest Puszta tour
      Day 14: Melk: Visit Stift Melk
11. Port tax.

 

Exclusions:
1. Tip and gratuities to guide, driver and crew.
2. Personal expense.
3. Travel insurance.
4. Any meals and services not mentioned in the itinerary.
5. Optional programs as follows:
    Day 3: Kalocsa City tour
    Day 6: Rousse Visit Ivanovo & City tour
    Day 8: Giurgiu Excursion to Bucharest
    Day 11: Mohacs City tour Pecs
    Day 13: Bratislava City tour

 

Cruise Ship Introduction:
MS Serenity****
The MS Serenity is a comfortable, modern river cruise vessel which has operated a great variety of itineraries with satisfied customers from all over Europe. The vessel was built in the Netherlands in 2006 and has a width of 11,40 meters and length of 110 meters. The spacious vessel combines modern comfort with a cozy atmosphere. Passengers can enjoy a relaxing on board experience in the lounge/bar, the panoramic restaurant, on the sundeck with its sun beds and in the attractive bar area at the aft of the ship. On board the Serenity passengers will also find a small shop, a library, a lift/elevator and the vessel has its own internet connection, with WIFI available in the bar and reception area at a small cost (€ 2,50 per hour or € 12,50 for 24 hours). The ship has 95 cabins located on 3 different decks giving a maximum of 190 passengers. The cabins are all outside cabins and measure approximately 12 m2. All cabins are equipped with a TV, safe deposit box, hairdryer and bathroom with shower & toilet. In the standard cabins there are 2 fixed windows whilst superior cabins feature a sash window which can be opened and deluxe cabins have a French balcony with a sliding door.



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