Detailed Itinerary Gems of Southeast Europe (Wine Cruise)
CRUISE YEAR
Day 1
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – EMBARKATION
Embark upon your river cruise ship, docked in the city center. This evening, meet your fellow passengers on board. (D)

Day 2
MOHÁCS – PÉCS
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohács. You’ll then visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for wine connoisseurs, you’ll want to go to the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago. You may also take an exhilarating guided bike tour around Mohács. (B,L,D)

Budapest
Day 3
VUKOVAR, CROATIA – NOVI SAD, SERBIA
Vukovar is a Croatian symbol of resistance, which you’ll better understand on your city tour showcasing the Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Alternatively, choose a wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times, where you’ll sample its famous Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines. Back on board, cruise to Novi Sad, sometimes called the “Serbian Athens.” Discover Novi Sad on a walking tour to Dunavski Park and through Stari Grad, the Old Town center. If you prefer a more active exploration, join a guided biking tour or hike through Fruska Gora National Park. During the evening, visit Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. (B,L,D)

Vukovar
Day 4
BELGRADE
Alternatively, you can enjoy a taste of history at Cellar Panajotović, owned by the Panajotović family for over 90 years. Descend underground to the Roman-era passages beneath Belgrade’s Senjak Hill, which boast the ideal temperature for storing and tasting the wine. Delve into the complexities of Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the family’s most popular blend, a semi-sweet white known as Śeherezada.

Belgrade
Day 5
SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES
The Iron Gates is one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)

Iron Gates
Day 6
VIDIN, BULGARIA
Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. Or enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery, situated just outside of Vidin in the village of Negovanovtsi. (B,L,D)

Vidin
Day 7
ROUSSE – GIURGIU, ROMANIA
Visit Bulgaria’s ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to go to Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings. Later in the day, travel through the Romanian countryside to the capital of Bucharest, known as the “Little Paris of the East.” Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historic city center and its elegant architecture, followed by a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world. Or journey to a Rousse Wine House and the Leventa complex set in a unique fortification structure dating back almost 200 years and be treated to a tasting of three wines while learning about the wine making process of this winery. (B,L,D)

Rousse
Day 8
GIURIU – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the ship in Giurgiu. (B)

Day 1
EMBARKATION – GIURGIU, ROMANIA
Embark your ship in Giurgiu. Tonight gather on board and meet your fellow passengers. (B,L,D)

Day 2
GIURGIU – ROUSSE, BULGARIA
Visit the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnavo. Built on three hills overlooking the Yantra River, this archaic city features Tsarevets Hills, the remains of a Royal Fortress, Royal Palaces and other historic sites. You’ll also see the small village of Arbanasi, where you’ll tour the frescos inside the Nativity Church and have an exclusive opportunity to taste Damascus Rose products, including jam, candy and liqueur. Alternatively, take a highlights tour of Rousse, often called “Little Vienna,” then hike up to the Ivanovo Rock-Hewn Churches, which were carved out of solid rock between the 12th and 14th centuries by Orthodox monks and feature medieval frescos. (B,L,D)

Rousse
Day 3
VIDIN
Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. (B,L,D)

Vidin
Day 4
SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES
The Iron Gates is one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient Serbian king Decebalus is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)

Iron Gates
Day 5
BELGRADE, SERBIA
Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Alternatively, visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family, and the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery, followed by a panoramic tour of Avala Mountain. Later in the day, choose from a hike to Kalemegdan Fortress, known for its winding walking paths and incredible river views, or join a guided bike tour. (B,L,D)

Belgrade
Day 6
NOVI SAD, SERBIA – VUKOVAR, CROATIA
Choose from three morning excursions in Novi Sad. Visit a local home and learn how to prepare traditional Vojvodina cuisine followed by a tasting. Or, hike up to Petrovaradin Fortress, built to defend against the Ottoman Turks, and offering spectacular Danube views. Alternatively, you may bike along the Danube and the pier known as “Strand” where the locals relax during the summer months. Later in the day, enjoy a city tour of Vukovar, including the Franciscan Monastery, Church of St. Philip & Jacob and Eltz Castle. Or savor Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times. (B,L,D)

Novi Sad
Day 7
MOHÁCS - PÉCS, HUNGARY
Travel from Mohács to Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for the active cruiser, take a scenic guided bike tour through Danube-Drava National Park, a protected flood-plain known for its populations of black storks, white-tailed eagle and native grey cattle, one of the national symbols of medieval Hungary. (B,L,D)

Mohacs
Day 8
BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark your cruise in Budapest. (B)

Experience More Connections
Novi Sad’s legendary Petrovaradin Fortress is the military command you only wish you dreamt up as a kid.
Read more
Return to a land of kings and queens, knights and ladies, and fables and legends in the ancient medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo and its Tsarevets Castle.
Read more
Ever been jealous of the presidents carved into Mount Rushmore? After all, fame may be fleeting – but mountain sculptures tend to be rather permanent.
Read more