Combine a relaxing cruise down the Danube with visits to Europe’s Imperial Cities - cities where fantastic history comes to life through architecture, artwork and delicious cuisine.
About the Tour
Imperial Europe is a place of immense beauty, from its landscapes and waterways to its Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture and historic landmarks. This journey allows you to take in all the majestic beauty both by land and water, as you sail down the famous Danube River through beloved cities in Romania, Serbia, and Hungary aboard the MS Amadeus Silver II. As the boat docks in Budapest, we continue our journey by train through Austria and the Czech Republic en route to Berlin, Germany. While we travel, excursions bring the culture of this region to life. Take our cruise through the Danube Delta, or our visit to Constanta, which has roots that date back to ancient Greece. Other points of interest along the way include the Iron Gate Gorge; the Kalemegdan Fortress, which dates back to the 3rd century; Hradcany Castle in Prague and what remains of the Berlin Wall. Each region of this tour has its own special offerings, and your amazement will only grow as we move from destination to destination.
Itinerary is also available from Berlin to Bucharest based on your travel preference
- Rail travel travel between Budapest & Prague and Prague & Berlin
- Hotel accommodations for 4 nights
- 7-night cruise on board the Amadeus Silver II
- 28 meals
- Entrance to Hradcany Castle and St Vitus' Cathedral
- Guided tours of Bucharest, Veliko Tarnovo and Belgrade
- Danube Delta safari
- Sailing through the Iron Gate Gorge
- Puszta tour through the Great Hungarian Plains
- Short tour of Budapest
- Guided city tours of Prague & Berlin
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- The services of a professional Tour Manager
Days 1-2 – Bucharest
Arrive in Bucharest, the lively capital city of Romania, and transfer to your hotel, checking in and enjoying a three course dinner to kick off our adventure. We set out on a guided city tour on Day 2, discovering the palaces, remains of medieval homes and 21st century modernist skyscrapers that all mesh together to make for a remarkable and surprising destination.
You have some free time for lunch and might like to try out one of the many al fresco restaurants tucked away amongst the tangled network of streets and verdant parks. We transfer to our ship this afternoon, the Amadeus Silver II, where we're welcomed with a drink. There's time to settle into your cabin before our first five-course dinner. (Day 1 – D; Day 2 - B, D)
Day 3 – Danube Delta Safari
We hop aboard some smaller safari boats today for a nature cruise through the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, formed by the river as it splits into thousands of tributaries on its way to the Black Sea.
This specialist biosphere reserve is jam-packed with wildlife, including many rare and endangered species such as golden jackal, European hoopoe, white-tailed eagle and lesser-spotted woodpecker. Back on board we enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing back to Fetesti. (B, L, D)
Days 4-5 – Constanta and Veliko Tarnovo
After breakfast, we're driven by coach to the nearby port town of Constanta for a guided tour. Here we uncover Constanta's ancient history from its Greek origins to its Roman ancestry and Persian influences. Some of the attractions we'll see include the great mosque, art-nouveau casino, and Genovese lighthouse. A short visit to the city's History and Archaeology Museum is also very enlightening, and there's even some time to take a stroll along the pristine beach before we return to our ship.
We begin sailing towards Ruse, in Bulgaria, docking on Day 5 for an excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. The city was once the cornerstone of Bulgaria's 14th century empire, and boasts impressive medieval churches and an Old Town of timber-framed buildings for us to explore on our guided tour. (Day 4 & 5 - B, L, D)
Day 6 – The Iron Gate Gorge
Today is spent at leisure on board as we make our way towards Belgrade. During the afternoon we pass through the 'Iron Gate' Gorge. Enjoy the cruise director's informative commentary as we witness towering mossy cliffs interspersed with ornate and detailed carvings hewn straight from the rock face. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Serbia
We moor in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this morning, heading out on a guided walking tour to see the attractions of a city whose varied history can be documented through its architecture. First up is the Kalemegdan Fortress; the oldest surviving part of the city and dating back to the 3rd century BC, it also offers wonderful views across the Danube and Sava rivers. Next, we swing by Belgrade's National Museum before seeing the parliament building, Terazije Square and lastly, the Palace of Princess Ljubica. With its Asian influences, this is an unusual building for this part of the world, one which was built in the 1800s for the wife of Prince Miloš - the eponymous Princess Ljubica. This afternoon you are free to continue sightseeing, or do a little shopping, independently.
Following lunch on board we set sail for Mohács. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Hungarian Puszta Tour
We arrive into the port of Mohács this morning, close to the Hungarian border, and embark on puszta tour by coach that takes us Kalocsa whilst enjoying stops along the way.
The puszta itself is an area of Hungary defined by its grassland ecosystem set amongst the Great Hungarian Plains, and which has a certain 'wild west' feel to it. Our first visit during our time here is to a paprika house.
One of Hungary's most famous and important cooking ingredients, paprika was once known as 'red gold' in this region, and we get to taste it in a variety of dishes while learning about the spice's historic significance and how it helped shape the lives of the people who resided here. We continue to the former home of a wealthy 19th century family where we are treated to a performance of traditional folk music and dancing before heading out into the great plains themselves to try some more local delicacies, meet Hungarian half-blood horses and experience a wagon ride hauled by these magnificent and powerful creatures.
We meet the Amadeus Silver II in Kalocsa and have time to freshen up before tonight's gala dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Budapest to Prague
After disembarking the Amadeus Silver II for the final time, we enjoy the sights of Budapest before transferring by coach to the station. Here we catch the train directly to Prague, in the Czech Republic, for two nights. (D)
Day 10 – Discover Prague
We enjoy a guided tour of the Czech capital today, starting at Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. We also walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues along its walls and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus' Cathedral, into which entrance is included. The rest of your day is at leisure before dinner back at the hotel. We recommend a visit to one of the cities 'hospodys' or beer houses, these taverns serve some of the world's finest beers, many of which are brewed right here in the Czech Republic. You may wish to delve deeper into the Old Town, with its grand churches and squares, or explore the Jewish Quarter. (B, D)
Day 11 – Exploring Berlin
This morning we travel by rail to the German capital of Berlin. After some free time for lunch we meet up and embark on a guided tour of Berlin, soaking up the sights of this once divided city including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a monument important to Berliners because of what it represents; the gate was part of a city that was heavily bombed and fiercely fought over prior to the surrender of Germany in 1945 but the neoclassical arch survived with only minor damage. We'll also see a section of the Berlin Wall, as well as the Reichstag, meeting place of the current German parliament. Tonight we enjoy a final group dinner together at our hotel. (B, D)
Day 12 – Departure
Your travels through Europe’s imperial cities conclude today. You are free to depart Berlin and your leisure. (B)
MS Amadeus Silver II
Designed with the express purpose of navigating Europe's finest waterways, the MS Amadeus Silver II offers a superb cruising experience. In many ways a floating hotel, the Amadeus Silver II truly makes the most of the rivers it sails upon, combining comfortable and tasteful interiors, with the tranquil beauty of the scenery outside. Run by a friendly crew who place your requirements above all else, your time aboard this special vessel should be as carefree and relaxed as possible.
This ship is made up of 4 decks and features several facilities including an international restaurant, a panoramic bar, a quiet lounge area, a fitness suite and a salon. On the Sun Deck, there are loungers and deck chairs, perfect for sitting and socializing with fellow passengers. Each well- appointed cabin features a television, a walk-in wardrobe, an en-suite toilet, a hairdryer and a minibar.
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