Transylvania & Enchantment of Eastern Europe

13 Days
Bucharest to Budapest
From (AUD)
$ 5,215
Dates & Pricing

2023 Bucharest > Budapest

Enjoy a three-night stay in Transylvania, home to fairytale castles and Dracula folklore tales. Then journey to Bucharest, the vibrant Romanian capital, before beginning your cruise in Arbanasi where you will attend a choir concert. Embark on a guided city tour of Belgrade, returning to your Star-Ship for a traditional Serbian folklore evening show. In Osijek, visit a local Croatian family for home-hosted lunch and then spend your day in rural Hungary for a Puszta Horse Show in Kalocsa.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
EWBT
Duration:
13 days
Departure City:
Bucharest
Return City:
Budapest

13 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Bucharest

    When you arrive in Bucharest, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your perfectly situated hotel, including a one-night stay in Bucharest.

  2. Day 2 - Bucharest - Brasov

    After breakfast, your Transylvanian adventure will begin. You will board coaches to the town of Brasov, a harmonious mixture of traditional medieval charm and modern city life, located in the centre of Transylvania. On your way you will visit the world-famous Bran Castle, otherwise known as Dracula's Castle - the perfect setting for a vampire lord. Although there is no clear evidence that links Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) to Bran Castle, much of the myth surrounding Prince Vlad is true. Dracula ruled this extraordinarily beautiful place for a couple of decades in the 15th century. Rising above on a rocky hilltop, Bran Castle visit is sure to amaze with its remarkable architecture and mystical history.

    Included Excursion

    Visit of Bran Castle en route to Brasov

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  3. Day 3 - Brasov

    Join us today in a panoramic city tour of Brasov, including a visit of the First Romanian School Museum and the St. Nicholas Church, leading learning centers of the Romanian community for centuries. The museum has been a centre for Romanian teaching and book printing for centuries. The oldest Romanian bible (printed on goats’ skin) is one of the many fascinating discoveries included in your visit. You will continue with a guided walk in Brasov's historical medieval downtown learning about its German heritage. The largest Gothic church east of Vienna, Black Church, is part of this immersive experience as well.

    Included Excursion

    City tour of Brasov

    DiscoverMORE

    The UNESCO fortified Church Prejmer (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  4. Day 4 - Brasov

    While being in the heart of Transylvania, you may want to explore on own some downtime in Brasov, visiting the Old Town Square, wander through the narrow colourful streets, or hike up Mount Tampa.

    DiscoverMORE

    Sibiu & Clay Castle Valea Zanelor OR Sighisoara & Viscri Village (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  5. Day 5 - Brasov - Bucharest

    After breakfast, check out at the hotel and board coaches for a scenic drive back to Bucharest crossing south the Carpathian Mountains to reach Sinaia. Known as “Pearl of the Carpathians”, it is also the home of one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces - Peles Castle. This stunning building was built by the first King of Romania, Carol I of Hohenzollern – Sigmaringen, and used as summer residence. Inaugurated in 1883 the castle has 160 rooms with opulent decor and invaluable collections of art and furniture.

    Included Excursion

    Peles Castle visit with lunch

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  6. Day 6 - Bucharest - Giurgiu

    After enjoying the plush surrounds of your hotel this morning, you'll have the opportunity to learn about some of Bucharest’s most iconic attractions during a guided drive around the city, including a visit to the Spring Palace. Then, you’ll have time to explore the leafy boulevards at leisure. 
    After your insightful tour, you will be transferred from Bucharest to Giurgiu, on the banks of the Danube, where a warm welcome from your captain and crew awaits on board your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship.

    Included Excursion

    Guided drive through Bucharest with a visit to the Spring Palace

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi

    Today, you'll have the opportunity to learn about Bulgarian history as you explore the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire with your local guide. On your included tour, you will have the opportunity to traverse its cobbled streets and witness its medieval fortifications.
    Afterwards, you will be taken to neighbouring Arbanasi, situated overlooking the Yantra River, a tributary of the Danube that is known for its many scenic gorges. Explore the past with your local guide, as your tour visits a number of traditional houses and ancient churches. 
    If you would prefer to do something more active, then you could instead choose to embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, known for their famous 14th-century frescoes.
    Tonight, your crew will welcome you back on board for a welcome reception and dinner.

    EmeraldPLUS

    Choir concert in Arbanasi

    EmeraldACTIVE

    Guided hike to Ivanovo Church

    Included Excursion

    Tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

    DiscoverMORE

    Paint & Wine (extra expense)

    DiscoverMORE

    Wine tasting at Leventa Complex (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Vidin

    Viticulture forms the heart of life in the most western town in Bulgaria, where sun-kissed vineyards pepper the banks of the Danube and winemaking has prospered for generations. Your included tour of Vidin will introduce you to a peaceful side of life that revolves around wine, as you weave through a local vineyard and learn about their produce, before enjoying a tasting. Afterwards, your local guide will take you to Baba Vida, a fortress that was originally constructed at the turn of the 10th century and is known for being one of only a handful of beautifully preserved castles in the country.
    If you are feeling more active, you can instead choose to embark on a guided hike to Belogradchik Fortress, located on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains.

    EmeraldACTIVE

    Hike to Belogradchik Fortress

    Included Excursion

    Visit to a local vineyard with wine tasting & a visit to Baba Vida Fortress

    DiscoverMORE

    Traditional Bulgarian pastry making (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  9. Day 9 - Donji Milanovac - Golubac

    This morning, relax on board and admire your surroundings as we sail along the mighty Danube to Donji Milanovac, where a visit to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, one of Europe’s best-hidden gems, awaits. Located right on the riverbanks, the Palaeolithic site is one of the most important of its kind on the continent, effortlessly capturing more than eight millennia of history. Archaeologists from around the world have used this site to learn about a number of different Stone Age settlements and the way that prehistoric cultures moved across Europe.

    Included Excursion

    Visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum

    EmeraldACTIVE

    Donji Milanovac by bike

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Belgrade

    Serbia’s vibrant capital is yours to explore today. 
    Your local guide will take you on a coach tour through the heart of the city, highlighting its many landmarks and the iconic Belgrade Fortress. The coach will pass through the centre, where you will notice reminders of the country’s turbulent history, set amongst the quiet and peaceful streets. Witness the ornate beauty of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest religious buildings in Europe, before stopping for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. 
    If you’re feeling more active, then you may instead choose to learn about Belgrade’s history during a guided bike tour.
    This evening, you will be invited to the Horizon Lounge to watch a traditional Serbian folklore show.

    EmeraldPLUS

    Serbian folklore evening show on board

    EmeraldACTIVE

    Guided bike tour in Belgrade

    Included Excursion

    Guided tour of Belgrade

    DiscoverMORE

    National Opera Theatre tour (extra expense)

    DiscoverMORE

    Routes of Nikola Tesla (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Vukovar – Osijek

    Today, you will have the opportunity to explore one of Croatia’s postcard-worthy historic university towns, full of delightful waterfront promenades and quaint cobbled streets. 
    Embark on a guided walk around Osijek Fortress, a true icon in the romantic old town, before a truly unforgettable EmeraldPLUS experience, as you’re invited into the home of a local family for a traditional Croatian lunch and to meet students from the local village. 
    Enjoy an evening of sailing further up the Danube towards Hungary, before joining your fellow passengers for a farewell dinner.

    EmeraldPLUS

    Home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family

    EmeraldPLUS

    Meet the local students

    EmeraldACTIVE

    Trek to Adica Park

    Included Excursion

    Guided walking tour of Osijek Fortress

    DiscoverMORE

    Vucedol Culture Museum (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Kalocsa

    In the morning, we will sail to Kalocsa, a place known for its paprika production and colourful festivals. Discovering Hungary’s culture is an easy task in Kalocsa, where traditional folk art can be found around every corner and old traditions pave the way for daily life.
    Later, you will venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, to visit a traditional Puszta horse farm. Your guide will teach you about the traditional performances of the Magyar cowboys, and you will have the opportunity to witness some of their exceptional equestrian skills first-hand as they showcase some of their exercise drills.

    EmeraldPLUS

    Puszta horse show

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Budapest

    After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, taking memories of a traditional Puszta equestrian performance and viticulture on the banks of the Danube with you. 

    This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES
  • 1 night in a hotel in Bucharest
  • 7 nights on board an Emerald Cruises Star-Ship
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • The services of an Emerald Cruises Cruise Director
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided drive through Bucharest with a visit to the Spring Palace
  • Tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi
  • Visit to a local vineyard with wine tasting & a visit to Baba Vida Fortress
  • Visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum
  • Guided tour of Belgrade
  • Guided walking tour of Osijek Fortress

EmeraldPLUS
  • Choir Concert in Arbanasi
  • Serbian folklore evening show on board
  • Home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family
  • Meet the local students
  • Puszta horse show

EmeraldACTIVE
  • Guided hike to Ivanovo Church
  • Guided hike to Belogradchick Fortress
  • Trek to Adica Park
  • Donji Milanovac by bike
  • Guide bike tour in Belgrade

DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 21 superb meals including 8 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L), 7 Dinners (D)
  • Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board

EXTENSION INCLUSIONS
  • 1 night at a hotel in Bucharest
  • 3 nights at a hotel in Brasov
  • Visit of Bran Castle
  • City tour of Brasov
  • Peles Castle visit with lunch
  • Transfer from the airport and to the ship
  • 4 Breakfasts (B) and 2 lunches (L)

Pricing & Availability