As we discussed in our last blog post, the Danube River is one of Europe’s leading waterways, with its waters passing through many Eastern European destinations. Blue Horizon Travel & Yacht Charters is offering visitors an opportunity to explore some of the great destinations along the easternmost portion of the river with its Danube West to East – Balkan Discovery cruise.
Whether as a standalone trip or an extension of the Danube West to East cruise, this trip begins from the beautiful city of Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. On the first day of the trip, guests can freely explore the city, whether touring its many historic sites or shopping in any of the hundreds of markets, restaurants and shops. The vessel departs in the afternoon, with an evening on ship meeting the crew and enjoying a welcoming reception for passengers. On the second day, the ship will dock in Mohács for a last stop in Hungary. Travelers here will take a guided tour of the underground tombs of the historic town of Pécs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally formed as a second-century Roman town. This early Christian center features many decorated murals and memorial chapels that are still well preserved many centuries later. The day also includes tours of Turkish mosques and architecture, as well as an organ concert.
On day three, visitors will arrive in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. One of Europe’s oldest cities, travelers will enjoy a guided tour of the major attractions, including the world’s largest Orthodox church, St. Sava, as well as Kalemegdan Fortress, the core of the city with portions dating back to the first century. Visitors can also explore the many other sites and shops throughout the city before departing for day four in Donji Milanovac, where guests will take a short drive to the Lepenski Vir Exhibition Center which features great views of the Danube alongside ancient artifacts from the various cultures that settled the region over the centuries. After this trip, the cruise continues through the Iron Gates gorge, a narrow division between the Alps and Carpathians, into Romania and on to Bulgaria.
Visitors arrive in Vidin on day five for the first stop in Bulgaria. Here guests will tour Baba Vidin, a medieval fort singular preserved fortress from the medieval era in Bulgaria. Tours will also view the Belogradchik Rocks, naturally carved and unique formations that were formed by the elements over 200 million years. From here, the vessel travels on to Rousse where guests have the option of trekking to the former Bulgarian capital city of Veliko Târnovo. Portions of this city trace back to before 4,300 B.C., making this stop one rich in historic exploration. From there, the tour continues to Arbanassi, home to many Bulgarian Revival-style buildings and a 400-year-old home, as well as the town’s Church of the Nativity that boasts many well-preserved decorative frescoes.
On the final day onboard, travelers disembark in Oltenita, Romania, and head for the capital of Bucharest. Visitors will explore the sites during a guided afternoon tour, including the Royal Palace Square, the historic Calea Victoriei (“Victory Avenue”) and see the triumphal arch, Arcul de Triumf, a memorial to the nation’s independence and its World War I soldiers, which has also helped give the city the nickname “Paris of the East.”
The morning of the eighth day includes breakfast before guests are free to depart for home or explore additional features of this great city or other locations in Europe. Whether as the end of your journey or the starting point for the next leg of your trip, the conclusion of this river cruise will leave you with memories and souvenirs of a fantastic time exploring some of the best that Eastern Europe has to offer.