2013: North Sea - Black Sea Cruise from Istanbul to Amsterdam (WOAE) - Tranquility
27 days from Istanbul to Amsterdam
The Black Sea, the North Sea, and the rivers in between are the focus of this memorable river cruise along the magnificent Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Your vacation begins with three overnights in exciting Istanbul, Turkey. Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, you will visit Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Next: fly to Bucharest, Romania's vibrant capital, then travel to Oltenita to embark your ship for a 22-night cruise from Romania to Holland. On board, relax and enjoy as you cruise past quaint villages, taking in the enchanting scenery and learning about the history.
Enjoy included guided sightseeing in each city, with inside visits of the National Art Museum in Bucharest, the Natural History & Archaeological Museum in Constanta, Belgrade's Kalemegdan Fortress, and the stunning Bishop's Residenz in Wurzburg. Cruise through the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates, along the Main Danube Canal, and past the legendary rock of the Lorelei. Sample Hungary's wines in Villany and learn how to bake a traditional local cookie while docked in Miltenberg. In Amsterdam, cruise through the lovely canals and enjoy the conclusion of your wonderful European river cruise vacation.
Highlights & Sightseeing
Guided sightseeing, visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Seraglio, and the Grand Bazaar; Host service during your stay
Guided sightseeing, see the Parliament Building and visit the National Art Museum
Excursion to Celic Dere Monastery
Guided sightseeing, visit the Natural History & Archaeological Museum
Guided sightseeing, visit the Patriarch's Church
Guided visit of the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity
Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge; see the Trajan Table
Guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
Wine tasting in Villany wine region
Guided sightseeing, see Fishermen's Bastion
Guided walk, see the stiftskirche
Main Danube Canal:
Cruise in the canal
Guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall
Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
Guided sightseeing; baking demonstration
Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; special treat
Cruise in the gorge
B: full buffet breakfast L: lunch D: dinner
Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast, soft drinks with lunch, and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included on board your vessel.
Istanbul Crowne Plaza Old City (SF), Bucharest Athenee Palace Hilton (SF)
It's about you. You are the reason we've used our 80-plus years of travel expertise to design the very best river cruise experience. Inspired by you, we've taken everything special about river cruising and made it even better. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey
Free time to relax and begin soaking up the unique atmosphere of this city built on two continents. At 6 pm, meet your Local Host for a welcome get-together.
Day 2 Istanbul
Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, renamed Constantinople in the year 330, and finally called Istanbul, the city on the Bosporus remains one of the most exciting places in the world. Its strategic location as a gateway between the Orient and the Occident, the Islamic and the Christian worlds, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, predestined it for a turbulent history. Guided sightseeing includes Emperor Justinian's HAGIA SOPHIA and Sultan Ahmet's BLUE MOSQUE, magnificent monuments to two competing world religions that stand peacefully side by side; TOPKAPI SERAGLIO, residence of the Ottoman Sultans; and the GRAND BAZAAR. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Istanbul
A free day in Istanbul to explore on your own. Or, why not join a full-day optional excursion to the fabulous archaeological site of Ephesus? Fly to Izmir, then travel to the city which later became the capital of Roman Asia Minor. When St. Paul arrived here he was so awestruck that he asked, "Is there a greater city?" Visit the Library of Celsus, the Amphitheater, and listen to exciting "inside stories" of life in ancient Ephesus as you walk down its "Champs Elysees." Also visit the House of the Virgin Mary before returning to Istanbul for a final evening in Turkey. (Breakfast)
Day 4 Istanbul-Bucharest, Romania
Fly to Bucharest, its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe have gained this city the name "Paris of the East." (Breakfast)
Day 5 Bucharest-Oltenita (Embarkation)
Much recent history has taken place in Romania's capital city. During your included tour this morning, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. The Royal Palace Square was the scene of riots in 1989, which finally led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. This afternoon a motorcoach ride takes you to Oltenita, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 6 Harsova. Excursion to Celic Dere Monastery
After breakfast, a drive in the countryside takes you to Celic Dere, one of the most well-known monasteries in this area and considered the center of Orthodoxism. The first church was built here in the early 19th century by priests from Transylvania and Bessarabia who had lived on Mount Athos in Greece. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening of tranquil sailing toward Tulcea and the mouth of the Danube. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 St. Gheorghe, Danube Delta
Maybe this morning you will wake up early to watch the sunrise over the Black Sea. Later, enjoy a small celebration to mark "Km 0." From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river, and today it's time to celebrate the end of the Danube's journey at "Km 0." This afternoon, enjoy an excursion into the Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe's deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta, Black Sea
Cernavoda lies at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here, drive to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Enjoy a guided tour of this popular resort town and visit the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Late this afternoon, return to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Svistov, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi
A comfortable ride from Svistov is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces and the PATRIARCH"S CHURCH. The historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM and the outstanding collection of frescoes in the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Iron Gates
The Trajan Table marking the Roman conquest of Dacia and the Serbian fortresses of Golubac and Smederevo are impressive sights on the left bank of the Danube. The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe's Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Belgrade, Serbia
The capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local expert will be proud to show you its main sights, which include the city's principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS; St. Sava, the world's largest Orthodox church; and Marshal Tito's tomb and monument. The city center has a lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Vukovar, Croatia. Excursion to Osijek
Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. A Certified Local Guide shows you both Vukovar, Croatia's largest river port located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers, and Osijek, an important economic and cultural center. Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as the Battle of Vukovar. This and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Mohacs, Hungary. Excursion to Villany Wine District
This morning, an excursion takes you into the Villany district, where some of Hungary's best red wines are produced. Learn more about which varietals are grown, and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines, as you enjoy a WINE TASTING. Relax on board this afternoon as you sail toward Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Budapest
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is Eastern Europe's liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Eight bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fishermen's Bastion and the Matthias Church is among the many sights your Local Guide will show you. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Bratislava, Slovakia-Vienna, Austria
A leisurely morning before you arrive in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. A Certified Local Guide will show you the charming Old Town with its Town Hall and views of Mirbach Palace, as well as gothic ST. MARTIN"S CATHEDRAL. Return to your ship in time for lunch and cruise to Vienna, where you arrive in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, the city has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your included tour. You do not rush through Vienna; you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Karntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood cafe. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 17 Durnstein-Grein
Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue facade is without a doubt the landmark of Durnstein. A Certified Local Guide will take you on a walking tour of this town, which lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region, and will tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. In the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Enjoy a guided walk and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18 Grein-Linz
In the early morning hours, depart Grein for Linz, where you arrive before lunch. A Certified Local Guide will acquaint you with the highlights of this, Austria's third-largest city and an important river port. Culture is an important part of life in Linz. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here and Mozart's Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. Alternatively, you may opt for a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech
Republic. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 19 Regensburg, Germany
Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall, and Porta Pretoria-gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria's cultural centers. It is here you will find Germany's oldest restaurant, the 12th-century Historische Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 20 Nuremberg
Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses-all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg's traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 21 Bamberg
Another beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is medieval Bamberg. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the River Regnitz, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 22 Wurzburg
Known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP"S RESIDENZ is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 23 Miltenberg
Located on the Main River, Miltenberg is a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. This afternoon, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 24 Rudesheim-Rhine Gorge
Visit SIEGFRIED"S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM in pretty Rudesheim. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there's free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 25 Cologne
Cologne is one of Germany's largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent gothic cathedral. The Germano-Roman Museum located next to the cathedral is a must for history buffs! Try a Kolsch in one of the many taverns and shop for a bottle of "4711," the original eau de cologne. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 26 Amsterdam, Holland
Holland's delightful 700-year-old capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 27 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Call (847) 593-6700 for more information or to book today! Mention code 11244186
- Cruise Line
- Avalon Waterways
- Offer valid through 6/30/2013
- 27 Days
- Cruise Ship
Click for more information on this ship.
|Day 7||St. Gheorghe|
|Day 10||Iron Gates|
|Day 24||Rhine Gorge|
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare. Dates and Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $300. Required intra-vacation air segment: Istanbul/Bucharest. Air prices were effective on April 11, 2012 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Istanbul:
in single room $315, in twin room $165
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
Departures April 22-June 22, September 9-October 5: in single room $330, in twin room $200
Departures July 1-August 8: in single room $275, in twin room $165
Prices shown above include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category add per person:
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,725
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,883
P / Royal Deck / $2,354
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $4,083
Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
- Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
- A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $250 per person per vacation is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you.
- Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as "included" in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Protection premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Flex Air allows flexibility if you want to make changes to your vacation schedule. Instant Purchase Air may offer additional airline options but has more restrictions. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices: air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit ($250 per person for 2012 departures or $300 per person for 2013 departures) is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon Waterways in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus $30 per person non-refundable service fee. Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon Waterways has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air inclusive price quotes will include all government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees. The total airfare price, the base airfare price, and the applicable government taxes and fees are broken-out line-by-line and shown while booking online and on the invoice after your travel is booked. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.