Eastern Europe – From Budapest to the Black Sea -May 25, 2023 – Riviera River Cruises -MS Thomas Hardy

Discover the gems of Eastern Europe, with historic Belgrade, beautiful Bucharest and the imperial city of two halves, Buda and Pest.

With extraordinary scenery as you sail, explore the architectural and cultural heritage of towns and cities that are steeped in history and tradition, once
beyond the Iron Curtain. 

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Gems of Eastern Europe

From Budapest to the Black Sea

Discover the gems of Eastern Europe, with historic Belgrade, beautiful Bucharest and the imperial city of two halves, Buda and Pest.

With extraordinary scenery as you sail, explore the architectural and cultural heritage of towns and cities that are steeped in history and tradition, once
beyond the Iron Curtain. 

Itineraries

Day 1

Date : May 25, 2023

Embarkation in Budapest

Arrive in Budapest, where your five-star floating hotel is moored. The friendly crew will welcome you on board and help you settle into your spacious, luxuriously appointed suite. The ship remains here overnight, so watch dusk
descend over Hungary’s capital as you enjoy your first dinner on board

Day 2

Date : May 26, 2023

KALOCSA

You can choose to enjoy a walking tour of the town seeing the sights plus the fascinating Paprika Museum; the region is one of the biggest producers of the seasoning that’s an essential part of Hungarian cuisine – goulash being a famous

Day 3

Date : May 27, 2023

BELGRADE

The only European capital built at the confluence of two rivers, the city has been fought over numerous times, most
recently during the Second World War and the Kosovo War, when it faced months of NATO airstrikes.

Day 4

Date : May 28, 2023

IRON GATES GORGE

For many, today will be a highlight of the cruise as we begin our passage through the magnificent Iron Gates Gorge. One of the most memorable stretches of the Danube, this is where the river cuts its mighty path between the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges, forming part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. T

Day 5

Date : May 29, 2023

PLEVEN

Crossing the border into Bulgaria tonight, you awake in Nikopol, a town dating back to Roman times, and after
breakfast, we drive across the Danubian Plain to Pleven. Surrounded by several thousand acres of parks and forests, the town is famed as the scene of a major siege in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877.

Day 6

Date : May 30, 2023

BUCHAREST

Today we visit Bucharest, with its tree-lined boulevards and elegant belleépoque villas – echoes of the hedonistic 1900s when it earned the nickname ‘Little Paris

Day 7

Date : May 31, 2023

DANUBE DELTA

Overnight we cruise towards the city of Tulcea, clinging to seven hills
overlooking the river and regarded as the gateway to the vast Danube Delta on the edge of the Black Sea. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Danube Delta is the best preserved and second largest river delta in Europe, consisting of 2,200 square miles of rivers, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands, where nearly 3,500 animal and fish species, and 1,700 types of plant, make their home.

Day 8

Date : June 1, 2023

CONSTANTA

Hold on to your hat up on deck, as this area is well known for its windy weather and windmills were once a common sight. Watch the rocky shoreline drift by, dotted with the occasional ruined fortress.

Day 9

Date : June 2, 2023

VELIKO TARNOVO, ARBANASSI & IVANOVO

Crossing into Bulgaria, we arrive in Rousse, a city known as ‘Little Vienna’ for its wealth of fine 19th-century buildings. A scenic drive brings us to possibly Bulgaria’s most beautiful city – Veliko Tarnovo, the ‘City of the Tsars’ and former
capital, located in a rugged landscape entangled by the meanderings of the Yantra River.

Day 10

Date : June 3, 2023

BELOGRADCHIK

This morning why not take a cup of coffee up on deck and soak up the spectacular open spaces of this landscape, where thick woods of fragrant pine and silver fir cling to the banks, forming a hazy outline on the distant horizon?
After lunch we moor in Vidin, home to the Baba Vidin, the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country.

Day 11

Date : June 4, 2023

IRON GATES & LEPENSKI VIR

The gorge was cut out of the Carpathian mountains over millions of years as the Danube drained the Pannonian Sea. Among the park’s forests of the ancient oak, hazel and beech lies a rich preserve of game, including deer and wild boar. Mountain goats roam the rocky cliffs of Djerdap Kazan, while bears, wolves, foxes, and wildcats populate
the dense woodland. Keep an eye out for eagles and falcons, too.

Why not enjoy the splendor of this stretch of the river from a sun lounger on deck or through the panoramic windows in the ship’s lounge?

Day 12

Date : June 5, 2023

NOVI SAD

The numerous fortresses along the Danube are reminders that the area has been fought over for centuries and this morning we pass one of the most impressive – the medieval Smederevo Fortress. After a lazy day we moor in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city, in the shadow of the Fruska Gora mountain, its fertile slopes terraced with vineyards.

Day 13

Date : June 6, 2023

OSIJEK & VUKOVAR

Day 14

Date : June 7, 2023

BUDAPEST

As gentle pastoral landscapes slip by, Budapest’s brooding skyline comes into view once more. Straddling the Danube, this imperial capital is a collage of palatial buildings, grand domes and attractive Baroque churches with soaring
spires. From Roman ruins to Ottoman Turkish baths and elegant Art Nouveau facades, the eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects the city’s varied history, with numerous foreign powers ruling here over the centuries

Day 15

Date : May 8, 2023

DISEMBARK IN BUDAPEST

After breakfast this morning, the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the ship.

Highlights

Fourteen nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, with river views

  • Sixteen visits and tours, including guided tours in Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Novi Sad, Kalocsa, Osijek, Vukovar
    and Pleven;
  • a scenic drive into the Puszta with an equestrian show;
  • a cruise into the Danube Delta; guided visits to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi, the churches of Ivanovo, the rock formations at Belogradchik, and the Mesolithic
    archaeological site of Lepenski Vir; and a visit to the ancient city of Constanta
  • Spectacular cruising through the magnificent Iron Gates Gorge
  • All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure (except one
    lunch),
  • including welcome cocktails, a welcome dinner and the Captain’s Dinner
  • Five-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
  • Complimentary on-board tea and coffee
  • Complimentary on-board Wi-Fi
  • Services of a Riviera River Cruises cruise director and concierge

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