February 18, 2011

#FriendsTravel Danube River Cruise 7 Countries JESS Kalinowsky

Filed under: Boutique Cruises,Europe,River Cruises — boutiquecruiseswithfriendstravel @ 2:44 pm
Danube 7 Country Cruise – SAVE $500 per cabin:
From $2449 pp after discount!* 

Sail the Danube River from Vienna to Bucharest and save $250 per person on select departure dates shown below! This 12 day all inclusive program features all outside facing cabins, 30 meals, 9 included shore excursions, 3 concerts, lectures, games, and more! Cruise rates start at $2449 per person twin and are valid for departures:
09 June, 08 July, 2011!



Welcome to Austria! Upon arrival to Vienna, transfer to the MS Der Kleine Prinz. Prior to dinner, meet your fellow passengers and Cruise Staff for a cocktail, crew introduction followed by an information meeting. Then enjoy your first dinner on board, followed by a well deserved rest. (D)

Your morning city sightseeing tour will introduce you to the most attractive sights of this “Imperial” capital. Starting with Hundertwasserhaus, you will continue to Belvedere Palace for a tour of the grounds and gardens. Then it’s on to the city center via the Vienna Ringstrasse to view famous architectural gems such as the State Opera, the Parliament, the Burgtheatre, the Votiv-Church and others.The next stop will be in the old center of Vienna to view St. Stephan’s Cathedral and take a walk through the pedestrian zone from Graben and Kohlmarkt to Michaela Square ending at the entrance of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace). From this point, continue past the Spanish Riding School to Albertina Square, where you will see the State Opera and the famous Hotel Sacher. Then it’s back on board the bus for a drive past the famous “Prater” with its Giant Ferry Wheel. Return to the ship in time for lunch. The balance of the day is at leisure. You may choose to explore Vienna on your own or purchase an optional tour such as a visit to Schönbrunn Castle, the home of Maria Theresa.The optional tour includes a stroll in the gardens and a visit to the imperial rooms of the former summer residence of the Habsburg Royal Family. In the evening, you may visit the optional Classic Concert. A unique opportunity to see the exquisite rooms of the Imperil Hofburg Palace AND attend a magnificent concert featuring compositions of Johann Strauss as well as arias from selected Mozart operas. Set sail for Bratislava, Slovakia before midnight. (B, L, D)

Welcome to Slovakia! Enjoy a morning panoramic city sightseeing tour by bus, including St. Martin’s Cathedral, the Castle and Primate’s Palace. The sightseeing will end with a walk through the Old Town –
Michael’s Gate, Michael’s Tower, Main Square, Old Town Hall and Slovak National Theatre. Enjoy some free time for shopping and strolling and return to the ship for lunch. Set sail. In the afternoon enjoy a wine tasting party featuring a selection of high quality but lesser known wines from Hungary, Serbia and Romania, accompanied with live music from our on board live band! Dinner on board and an evening free to waltz the night away! (B, L, D)

Discover Hungary! After breakfast, your morning motor coach tour of this lovely city will include the most popular sights: The Parliament Building, St. Stefan Cathedral, the Opera, the Square of Heroes, and the town park with the Vajdahunyad Castle. There will be stops at the Square of Heroes, the Fishermen’s Bastion and Gellert Hill. Return to the ship for lunch. The balance of the afternoon is free to explore on your own or participate in one of our optional excursions such as the walking tour of Downtown Pest which will be offered. During the walk, you first visit the largest open air market in Budapest where you can purchase anything from superb Hungarian salami to a nightgown! Then you will proceed down Vaci Utca, the city’s main pedestrian promenade full of shops, cafes and beautiful people! Your tour will end at the historic 140 year old Gerreboud Coffee House where you can enjoy a delicious cup of brew or home made ice cream.   In the evening, an optional  performance of the Hungarian national Folklore Ensemble will be offered. After the performance, a short bus tour will take you across the Chain Bridge and up to Fishermen’s Bastion where you will be able to see the gorgeously illuminated bridges! (B, L, D)

Full free day to explore and enjoy pedestrian friendly Budapest on your own, or partake in one of our optional excursions. OPTIONAL # 1: Excursion to St. Andrej: After breakfast depart on your excursion to St. Andrej (Szentendre) a small picturesque village (17th century), 25 km away from Budapest. Renowned as a sanctuary for artists, painters and hand crafted arts, the tour will include the Main Square with the memorial cross, the first teaching school in Hungary, Preobrazenska Church, and the Church of the Hill, etc. Return to the ship in time for lunch. OPTIONAL # 2: Puszta Horse Farm and Equestrian Show: In the afternoon, depart for the renowned Lazar Lovas Puszta, one of the largest horse breeding farms in Hungary! After an unforgettable performance of the Czikos (Hungarian Cowboys) you will have the opportunity to tour the stables, home to more than 100 horses. Then you will enjoy an authentic “ride to the Puszta” in several teamed oxen carts to a nearby outpost where you will have a chance to taste local “palinka” and wine along with typical Hungarian snacks. (B, L, D)

From the port of Mohac, a 45 minute bus ride will take you to visit the town of Pecs, a gem of old world architecture, often referred to as the “city for art lovers”. Here you will tour Szecheni Square, Kaptalan Street and the Palace of Lorant including a visit to the catacombs. You will also visit a local wine cellar and enjoy some wine tasting. Lunch is back on board as you set sail for Vukovar, Croatia. In the afternoon enjoy lectures on the Balkans held by our Cruise Managers and end the day with a delightful concert of Gypsy music performed by our on board band! (B, L, D)

Welcome to Croatia! Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port is a delightful riverside town with a lively pedestrian zone full of open air cafes, museums and shops. Your morning walking tour will include a visit to the Franciscan Monastery that is the center piece of the village. Then enjoy lunch back on board as you continue sailing on to Serbia. In the afternoon, arrive in Serbia! Your first stop in this “newly” minted Balkan country will be in Novi Sad, Serbia’s third largest city after Belgrade and Nis. You will be delighted with this pedestrian friendly town as you join your local guide for a walking tour through the town center. After the tour you will have free time to explore the many nooks and crannies of the town or enjoy a cappuccino and some people watching from the terrace of one of the many open air cafés. Or take the optional tour which will lead you to the Serbian Countryside for a visit to Krushedol Monastery, located on the nearby mountain of Fruska Gora. Renowned for its fresco paintings dating from the 15th century, the monastery is also a burial place for legendary personalities from Serbian history. After the monastery visit you will continue on to the small town of Sremski Karlovci, the center of wine production of the region. Here you will visit the Zivanovic family, whose members have been producing their private label “Bermet” wine for over a century and whose products have been enjoyed by members of the Hapsburg Monarchy as well as the Russian Tsars! Your hosts will welcome you to their home, where you will tour their wine cellars and “Museum of Honey” which they also produce.  In the lovely ambiance of their large garden, they will serve you several varieties of “Bermet” accompanied by honey and snacks.  On the way back you will stop to tour Petrovaradin Fortress, referred to as the “Gibraltar on the Danube”. Built in the 18th century over 116 hectares, the fortress has 4 levels, more than 16 km of underground tunnels, 12,000 loopholes and 13 gates.  Dinner is on board as you set sail for “White City” – Serbia’s capital of Belgrade! (B, L, D)

A big day is ahead as your morning motor coach tour of this lively and vibrant city will include all of the major attractions: Kalemegdan Fortress, looming over the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers; St. Sava’s Orthodox Cathedral, perched on a hill which can be seen from every part of the city; the Parliament Building; Princess Ljubica’s Manor; Mark’s Church; and others. The tour will end with a stroll through Knez Mihajlova Street, the main pedestrian zone full of boutiques, open air cafés and galleries. The afternoon is free to explore Belgrade on your own or partake in the highly recommended optional tour to the village of Jarak where you will meet an authentic Serbian multi-generation family and enjoy a wonderful taste of Serbian home made food, live music and hospitality! Still, the day is not over yet! After dinner, you will enjoy a private folklore show performed by members of Belgrade’s renown “Talia” ensemble. In between the dances, a special fashion show will introduce you to the wonderful hand made sweaters of “Sirogojno” – made with special wool and local motifs. These sweaters are sold in some of the most fashionable boutiques worldwide for hundreds of dollars as each one is an individual work of art. If you live in cold climates, one of these sweaters would be a wonderful gift for a family member – or yourself! Early morning the next day – set sail for Romania & Bulgaria. (B, L, D)

In the morning hours, enjoy the passing vista’s as well as talks on Balkan History presented by your Cruise Director. After lunch you will delight in viewing a great natural attraction, as the ship passes through the highest gorge on the Danube, aptly named the “The Iron Gates”. Over 100 km long, this canyon, was a gigantic obstacle to navigation because of its pointed rocks, cliffs, and changing water levels, surrounded with very wild, yet attractive nature. This danger was finally overcome in 1972, with the building of the “Djerdap” Hydroelectric and Navigation System, the largest of its kind in Europe. The Romanian and Yugoslav builders carried out this gigantic construction project by building a huge concrete dam which raised the level of the water from 30 to 80 meters. On both sides of the dam, two locks and two hydroelectric stations were built which today produce an average annual output of 10 billion kWh and enable safe passage for passenger and cargo ships all the way to the Black Sea. Then its time to prepare for our festive Captain’s Gala dinner with wine and entertainment! (B, L, D)

Welcome to Bulgaria! After breakfast, embark on a walking tour of this delightful Bulgarian river port highlighted by a visit to the 13th century fortress named “Baba Vida” (“Grandma Vida”) the best preserved medieval fortress in the country. Then enjoy some free time for strolling and shopping before returning to the ship for lunch and continued sailing. Tonight, after dinner, our live Band will hold a final farewell concert for you as you dance the night away! (B, L, D)

As all good things must come to an end – so does your wonderful cruise adventure! Disembark after breakfast, and depending on water levels, transfer from either Giurgiu or Turnu Magurele to the “Paris of the East” – Bucharest, Romania’s lovely capital! Upon reaching the city, a panorama tour will highlight the major attractions including; Revolution Square, Arch de Triumph, the National Theatre, the Romanian Athenaeum and others. Stop for photographs at President Ceausescu’s humongous “People’s House” (today’s Parliament) the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Then it’s on to your first class hotel, where after check-in you will have free time to explore this lovely city at your leisure and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants on your own. (NOTE: If taking the optional Dracula Extension you will enjoy your last night in Bucharest AFTER  returning from Brasov). (B)

Enjoy a final breakfast before transferring to the airport for flights home. (B)


Belgrade Parliament
Serbian Village Feast
Sights along the Danube
Horse Drawn Carriage in the Countryside
Sunset on the Danube River
The banks of the Danube

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