North Sea-black Sea Cruise With Istanbul - Westbound

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 gateway between the Orient and the Occident, the Islamic and the Christian worlds, and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean predestined it for a turbulent history. Guided sightseeing includes the 6th century UNDERGROUND CISTERN 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. (B)
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. (B)
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." (B)
Day 5 - Bucharest - Fetesti (Embarkation). Much recent history has taken place in Romania's capital city, and its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe"built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI"have gained it the name "Paris of the East." During your INCLUDED TOUR this morning, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Later, a motorcoach ride takes you to Fetesti, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 6 - St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion. This morning during breakfast, dock in St. Gheorghe, from where the excursion into the DELTA will start. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe's deltas, this area hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. 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. Depart St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small CELEBRATION to mark Km "0""the end of the Danube's journey. This afternoon, a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta. From Cernavoda this morning, a full-day excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A CERTIFIED LOCAL GUIDE shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. Visit a WINERY in Murfatlar before rejoining your vessel in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you may prefer to relax on board in the morning and visit only Constanta in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi - Svistov. Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away 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, and the Patriarch's Church. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Then, journey to Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - Cetate. Today, enjoy a leisurely day of sailing. At first, the river separates Romania on the right bank from Bulgaria on the left and is relatively wide. Then, it carves a path through the lower Carpathian Mountains to the north and the Balkan Mountains to the south, creating a series of four steep gorges known as the Iron Gates. Until Romania and Yugoslavia jointly constructed a hydro-electric dam across the Danube (Djerdap I) between 1964 and 1972, this section of river presented great hazards to the shipping trade. A second dam and a power station (Djerdap II) were built in 1984. Before lunch, stop at Cetate and enjoy a TASTING of excellent local wines. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - Iron Gates. Excursion to Lepenski Vir, Serbia. 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. Dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER housing archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - Belgrade, Serbia. Early today, arrive in Belgrade. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world's largest orthodox church. Also visit the city's principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. The surrounding park is the most beautiful and largest park in Belgrade. In your free time, be sure to check out the city's lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, relax in the park, or walk along the city streets and browse the local shops. Late tonight, depart for Vukovar in Croatia. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - Vukovar & Osijek, Croatia. Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence as you explore Vukovar and Osijek accompanied by your Local Guide. Vukovar, Croatia's largest river port, is located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers. Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as The Battle of Vukovar, and is today considered a symbol of Croatian resistance. The siege and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (B,L,D)
Day 13 - Budapest, Hungary. Today enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing before reaching the country's capital. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. On an INCLUDED TOUR with your Local Guide, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion"with spectacular views of the city"and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges"many famous sights in and of themselves"which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 14 - Budapest. You have time this morning to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen's Basilica for marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. This afternoon, set sail for Bratislava. (B,L,D)
Day 15 - Bratislava, Slovakia - Vienna, Austria. During breakfast this morning, dock in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia and situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Then, a comfortable motorcoach journey stops for a visit of SCHLOSSHOF PALACE, en route to Vienna, where you rejoin your ship. (B,L,D)
Day 16 - Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy's Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral"plus, countless other sights you'll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Karntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (B,L,D)
Day 17 - Durnstein - Grein. Early this morning, arrive in Durnstein. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue facade is without a doubt the landmark of this small town which lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. A Certified Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR, and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then relax on board as your cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley before lunch; 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. Join a local expert for a GUIDED WALK and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. Its castle is the oldest residential castle in Austria, and its THEATER"built in 1791"is Austria's oldest theater. (B,L,D)
Day 18 - Linz. After breakfast this morning your Local Guide will introduce you to Linz, Austria's third-largest city and an important river port during an included WALKING TOUR. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria's largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. Maybe wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river, or visit the neo-gothic New Cathedral, the largest church in Austria with capacity for 20,000 visitors. Alternatively, you might like to join one of several optional excursions available today. (B,L,D)
Day 19 - Regensburg, Germany. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of "historic interest." Architectural highlights of your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR this afternoon, include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here"where the locals congregate"feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we'll introduce you to some of Germany's FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)
Day 20 - Nuremberg. This afternoon is dedicated to Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized "NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS" tour. (B,L,D)
Day 21 - Bamberg. This morning, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)"built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town's serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Wurzburg. (B,L,D)
Day 22 - Wurzburg. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Wurzburg, the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP'S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (B,L,D)
Day 23 - Main River Village Experience. On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. Half timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (B,L,D)
Day 24 - Rudesheim - Rhine Gorge. Rudesheim is the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you'll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries; and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Then, sail through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. (B,L,D)
Day 25 - Cologne, Germany. In the early morning hours, arrive in Cologne. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a "JEWISH HERITAGE" walking tour. The Old Town abounds with cafes, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kolsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! At lunchtime, rejoin your vessel and head for Holland. (B,L,D)
Day 26 - Amsterdam, Holland. This morning you arrive in Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafes, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." There's free time this afternoon to enjoy the city - your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. If you are fit and feeling energetic, perhaps join a biking optional excursion (weather permitting). (B,L,D)
Day 27 - Amsterdam (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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  Tour Name   North Sea-black Sea Cruise With Istanbul - Westbound
  Tour Code  
WOAE
  Tour Duration    27 Days
  Start City:   Istanbul
  End City:   Amsterdam
  Price From   USD $9,332.00   See in Cart
(not including airfare)
Avalon: River Cruise

 
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Pricing (Per Person)

Land Start Date Price From:
2017-07-09 USD $10,032.00 See in Cart
2017-10-15 USD $9,332.00 See in Cart
    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 $250. Required intra-vacation air segment: Istanbul/Bucharest. Air prices were effective on April 8, 2015 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.

    Port charges:
    $462

    Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

    Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

    Extra nights per person in Istanbul:
    in single room from $305 to $360, in twin room from $155 to $185

    Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
    in single room from $174 to $330, in twin room from $110 to $185

    Prices shown 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
    D / Indigo / Deck / $625
    B / Sapphire Deck / $3,297
    A / Sapphire Deck / $3,454
    P / Royal Deck / $3,768
    Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $5,968

    NOTE:
    • Departure April 24 is offered as an exclusive European History & Politics Cruise, including special lectures at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe's famous sites.
 

Features

  • City Highlights
  • Cruise: deluxe 22-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon's exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM
    Day 1 Istanbul: arrive in Istanbul
    Days 2-3 Istanbul: intra-tour flight to Istanbul; guided sightseeing, visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar; Host service during your stay
    Day 4 Istanbul - Bucharest: fly to Bucharest
    Day 5 Bucharest - Fetesti (Embarkation): guided sightseeing in Bucharest; onboard welcome reception
    Day 6 St. Gheorghe: excursion to Danube Delta; Km 0 celebration; onboard lecture
    Day 7 Cernavod?: choice of full- or half-day guided excursion to Constanta, visit the National History and Archaeological Museum

    Day 8 Rousse-Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi:
    guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
    Day 9 Cetate: wine tasting
    Day 10 Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
    Day 11 Belgrade: guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
    Day 12 Vukovar & Osijek: guided sightseeing in both cities
    Day 13 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen's Bastion
    Day 14 Budapest: morning at leisure
    Day 15 Bratislava - Vienna: guided sightseeing of Bratislava, visit the Old Town and St. Martin's Cathedral; visit Schlosshof en route to Vienna
    Day 16 Vienna: guided sightseeing
    Day 17 Durnstein - Grein: guided walk in Durnstein, see the Stiftskirche; guided walk in Grein, visit the historical theater
    Day 18 Linz: guided walk
    Day 19 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstkuche; beer tasting
    Day 20 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour
    Day 21 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town
    Day 22 Wurzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
    Day 23 Main River Village: guided walk
    Day 24 Rudesheim - Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
    Day 25 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk
    Day 26 Amsterdam: canal cruise
    Day 27 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
  • Key Differences
  • AW_Always_Included_Europe_2016
  • Launch Date
  • 04/07/15 8:00pm
  • Meals
    • Captain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapes
    • Welcome dinner
    • Daily Afternoon Tea
    • Daily Night Fare
    • Farewell dinner
    • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
  • Notes
  • NOTES:
    • Departure April 24 is offered as an exclusive European History & Politics Cruise, including special lectures at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe's famous sites.
    • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
    • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
    • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Scenic Highlights
  • Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
    Enjoy a tasting of authentic German Beers, and attend an onboard performance of local Serbian music.
  • Title
  • North Sea - Black Sea Cruise with Istanbul - Westbound
 
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