Danube Discovery Cruise

AUSTRIA, SLOVAKIA, HUNGARY, CROATIA, SERBIA, ROMANIA & BULGARIA

13days-from3299

Save up to $800 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $800 per couple on this amazing “old world” cruise through seven countries and five capitals in some of the less traveled parts of the Danube River. Reserve by December 18, 2014 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early.

Also available: Dracula’s Castle Extension!
Scroll down to see the Extension tab!
Itinerary at a glance Highlights Your tour includes
Itinerary A: 10-night cruise from Vienna to Bucharest

  • Vienna
  • Bratislava
  • Budapest
  • Pecs
  • Vukovar
  • Novi Sad
  • Belgrade
  • Iron Gates
  • Vidin
  • 1 night in Bucharest hotel
  • Dracula’s Castle Extension

Itinerary B: 10-night cruise from Bucharest to Vienna

  • Hofburg Palace (Vienna)
  • Schonbrunn Palace (Vienna)
  • St. Martin’s Cathedral (Bratislava)
  • Matthias Coronation Church (Budapest)
  • Horse-breeding Farm (near Budapest)
  • Franciscan Monastery (Vukovar)
  • Kalemegdan Fortress (Belgrade)
  • Iron Gates Gorge
  • Baba Vida Vidin)
  • Palace of Parliament (Bucharest)
  • Dracula’s Castle Extension
  • Round trip airfare from New York (JFK)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • 10-night cruise aboard the MS Little Prince (Kleine Prinz) Riverboat in a category C Main Deck outside facing cabin
  • One night in a Bucharest hotel
  • Port charges
  • 30 meals: 11 buffet breakfasts (B), 9 lunches (L), 10 dinners (D)
  • Wine or beer with dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours and shore excursions
  • English-speaking cruise director and tour guides throughout

Your extension includes:

  • Transportation to and from the Carpathian Mountains resort of Brasov and nearby Dracula’s Castle
  • Breakfast (B) daily and two dinners (D)
  • Tour to Dracula’s Castle

Click on the tabs to learn more!

Land + Air 
(Land Only Prices Available Upon Request)

Tour cost airfare included
Depart

Return

            Reserve by             Dec 18 2014

    Reserve        after      Dec 18 2014

2015

w/check 
discount

Sale

After Sale

Apr 29 (A)

May 11

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3699

May 27 (B)

Jun 8

$ 3599

$ 3699

$ 3999

Jun 22 (B)*

Jul 4

$ 3699

$ 3799

$ 4099

Aug 7 (A)

Aug 19

$ 3699

$ 3799

$ 4099

Sep 16 (A)

Sep 28

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3799

Oct 6 (A)

Oct 18

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3699

DRACULA’S CASTLE EXTENSION: Add $549 per person double /$649 single.
* Note: The extension will not be available for the June 22nd or August 27th departures.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy from New York (JFK).
Single room supplement add $1299
CABIN UPGRADE: Rates are based on CAT. C, Main Deck rear outside facing cabin. Upgrade to higher category cabin:
• CAT. B, Main Deck outside facing cabin: add $199 per person/$350 single
• CAT. A, Upper Deck outside facing cabin: add $299 per person/$450 single.
(A) – Cruise from Vienna to Bucharest
(B) – Cruise from Bucharest to St. Vienna
Reservations and Payments 
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable deposit (by check) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

Itinerary A

Vienna to Bucharest

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your fascinating voyage begins as you depart on your overnight flight to Europe.
Day 2
Arrive Vienna (Austria).
Arrive in Vienna, the splendid capital of Austria and the center of the Hapsburg Empire. You’ll be met at the airport and embark on a brief introductory drive to the city center enroute to the pier to board your riverboat. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax and unpack. This evening enjoy an orientation briefing and reception followed by dinner. MS Little Prince Riverboat (D)
Day 3
Vienna Sightseeing/Set Sail.
Today, experience Vienna’s glorious past as you embark on an included panoramic tour taking you along the Ring Boulevard, past Emperor Franz Josef’s Hofburg Palace and the State Opera to the Cathedral of St. Stephen’s. Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or join an optional excursion to the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, the baroque summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Your cruise director can assist in arranging tickets for an optional concert or cultural performance. Set sail late tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 4
Bratislava (Slovakia).
Over the next eight days sail along the lesser traveled parts of the scenic Danube River, crossing en route six different countries. This morning arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Enjoy a panoramic city tour including a visit to the ornate St. Martin’sCathedral, a 14th century Gothic church. Later, enjoy a tasting of regional wines while sailing to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. (B,L,D)
Day 5
Budapest (Hungary).
Spend the next two days in port in Budapest, one of central Europe’s most lively cities. On a morning tour, your guide will introduce you to the history and sights of this city, often called “Paris of the East”. Enjoy a panoramic view from Fishermen’s Bastion located on Castle Hill. You’ll also see the 13th century Matthias Coronation Church and the Citadel on Mount Gellert. Afternoon at leisure to relax at an outdoor cafe, shop or explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 6
Full day at leisure for independent exploration. You may also enjoy an excursion to St. Andrej (Szentendre), renowned as a sanctuary for artists, or join an optional excursion to a Puszta,a large horse-breeding farm. Here you’ll be treated to a spectacular equestrian performance followed by a tasting of local snacks and wine. This evening set sail. (B,L,D)
Day 7
Pecs (Hungary).
This morning dock in Mohac, Hungary from where you’ll take a short bus ride to the town of Pecs, a gem of old word architecture, set on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains. Explore this enchanting town, with history dating back to the 2nd century, and visit the 4th century catacombs and the local cathedral where you’ll enjoy a short organ concert. Return to the riverboat and sail on towards Serbia while enjoying the lovely countryside. A lecture on the history of the Balkans region will be followed by dinner and live music. (B,L,D)

Day 8
Vukovar (Croatia) / Novi Sad (Serbia).
Dock this morning in Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port. Your walking tour includes a visit to the Franciscan Monastery that is the centerpiece of this delightful riverside village. After lunch on board, continue on to Novi Sad, Serbia’s lively university town. You will be delighted with this pedestrian-friendly town as you are led on a walking tour through the town center and the historic town square. Enjoy free time to explore the many charming streets lined with small shops and inviting outdoor cafes. This evening continue sailing towards the “White City”, Belgrade, Serbia’s vibrant capital. (B,L,D)
Day 9
Belgrade.
Witness the “new” Belgrade today as it rebuilds and once again warmly welcomes Western visitors.Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is located on a hill at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. This ancient city, dating back to the Roman Empire, was destroyed and rebuilt several times during its tumultuous history. A tour of the city highlights includes the Kalemegdan Fortress, the imposing St. Sava Cathedral and the cobblestone bohemian quarter of Skadarlija. Afternoon at leisure to explore vibrant Belgrade on your own or join an optional visit to an authentic Serbian home. After dinner, you’ll be entertained by a local folklore ensemble featuring dancers and musicians dressed in colorful costumes. (B,L,D)
Day 10
Sailing through the Iron Gates (Serbia).
Dock this morning in the quaint village of Donji Milanovac and join a walking tour. Back on board this afternoon, one of your voyage highlights is the passage through the impressive Iron Gates Gorge and the gigantic Djerdap Lock where the Danube surges down from the Carpathian Mountains. The views along the two-mile long gorge are spectacular! Continue sailing towards the Romanian border. Your captain hosts a gala dinner this evening, followed by dancing. (B,L,D)
Day 11
Vidin (Bulgaria).
After docking in Vidin, embark on a walking tour of this delightful Bulgarian river port highlighted by a visit to Baba Vida, a well preserved medieval fortress. Enjoy some free time before returning to the boat for lunch. This afternoon delight on the passing countryside and participate in an on board lecture. Dinner is followed with entertainment by live musicians. (B,L,D)
Day 12
Disembark/Bucharest (Romania)/Dracula’s Castle Extension.
Dock at the Romanian port of Turnu Magurele and journey to nearby Bucharest, the capital of Romania, founded in 1459 by order of Prince Vlad Tepes, the original “Dracula”. Over the years, it has gone from times of greatness to periods of grief but especially flourished in the early 20th century when it was known as “Little Paris”. The influence of French architecture is still evident throughout, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Enescu Museum and the wide, tree-lined boulevards throughout the city. A panorama tour includes Revolution Square, the National Theater and the imposing Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world. Leisure time this afternoon for independent exploration or head to the scenic Carpathian Mountains for the Dracula’s Castle Extension. Please see the “Extension” tab for more detail about the Dracula’s Castle Extension itineraryNovotel Hotel or similar for travelers not going on the extension. (B)
Day 13 Main Tour
Bucharest/USA.
Board your return flight. Your fascinating voyage ends as you arrive New York later today. (B)

 

Itinerary B

Bucharest to Vienna

DAY 1: Depart USA.
DAY 2: Arrive Bucharest. Novotel Hotel or similar
DAY 3: Bucharest morning tour. Embark your riverboat.
DAY 4: Vidin (Bulgaria)
DAY 5: Sailing through Iron Gates (Serbia)
DAY 6: Belgrade
DAY 7: Novi Sad (Serbia) / Vukovar (Croatia)
DAY 8: Pecs (Hungary)
DAYS 9 & 10: Budapest
DAY 11: Bratislava (Slovakia)
DAY 12: Vienna (Austria)
DAY 13: Disembark. Vienna/USA

Why not take advantage of your already included airfare to Europe and add a visit to the enchanting Carpathian Mountains resort of Brasov and to nearby Dracula’s Castle?

Day 12 Extension
Bucharest/Sinaia/Brasov.
Disembark and enjoy a morning tour of Bucharest. Later, depart by road for Sinaia and visit the magnificent Peles Castle, a former summer residence of the Romanian Royal Family. Continue to Brasov, a medieval resort town set high in the scenic Carpathian Mountains. Ramada Hotel or similar. (B,D)
Day 13 Extension
Dracula’s Castle Excursion.
Enjoy a morning tour of Brasov including Town Square and the renowned Black Cathedral. Proceed to the nearby town of Bran where the highlight of the visit is a tour of the mystical Vlad Tepes Dracula’s Castle. Afternoon is at leisure to explore lovely Brasov independently. Tonight, savor a special dinner with local entertainment & music. (B,D)
Day 14 Extension
Brasov/Bucharest.
A scenic drive through the captivating countryside brings you back to Bucharest for an afternoon at leisure. Novotel Hotel or similar (B)
Day 15 Extension
Bucharest/USA.
Board your return flight. Your fascinating voyage ends as you arrive New York later today. (B) 

MS Little Prince (Der Kleine Prinz)

Sailing under a German flag, the MS Little Prince is a charming, first class vessel offering a unique itinerary, cultural activities and local entertainment by live musicians. A maximum of 90 guests are looked after by highly experienced, dedicated and friendly crew. The comfortable cabins are of good size (approx. 170 sq ft). All cabins are river facing with large picture windows, two lower beds and a private bath with shower. 

DA Boat 1

Public areas include a spacious restaurant, an elegant lounge, a bar and a panoramic sun-deck. The vessel is air-conditioned throughout. Join us on this cruise-tour for a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

 DA Boat 3 

Deck Plan for MS Little Prince

DA Boat 4

Night 12 Main / Night 14 Extension
Bucharest: Novotel Hotel
Calea Victoriei 37B Sector 1
010061, Bucharest, Romania
Click here to visit hotel website
Nights 12-13 Extension
Brasov: Ramada Brasov
Calea Bucuresti No. 13
Sacele 505600, Romania
Click here to visit hotel website

Optional Tours

To enhance and make your cruise through the Danube River more complete and memorable, you cruise director will offer several optional tours and cultural/dining evening activities. These optional tours are subject to change (and others will likely be added), and the prices are approximate.

Vienna
Classical Concert (euro 55 per person) 
The Vienna Residence Orchestra a Vienna chamber orchestra. The program has consisted of works from Mozart to Johann Strauss. The concert will take place at The Hofburg Imperial Palace (or similar).
Vienna
Schonbrunn Castle (euro 45 per person) 
Visit to the Castle of Maria Theresa. The tour includes a stroll in the gardens and a visit of the imperial rooms of this former summer residence of the Habsburg Family, the inspiring Schönbrunn Palace.

Budapest
Walking Tour of Downtown Pest (euro 10 per person) 
Join your Cruise Director for a delightful exploration of Pests’ vibrant city center! Tour the largest open air market in the city where you can purchase anything from Hungarian salami to a nightgown! Then proceed down Vaci Utca, the city’s main pedestrian promenade full of shops, cafes and beautiful people! Your tour will end at the historic 150 year old Gerreboud Coffee House where you can enjoy a delicious cup of brew or home-made ice cream.

Kalosca
Puszta – Horse Show (euro 45 per person) 
Visit the Bakod Puszta, and enjoy an unforgettable performance of one of the best horse-men-show in Hungary, including a visit to the horse stables. There will be a tasting of local “palinka” and some other culinary specialties.
Novi Sad
Krusedol – Sremski Karlovci – Petrovaradin Fortress (euro 27 per person) 
The Monastery is situated on the mountain Fruska Gora, famous for its fresco paintings from the 15th century. It is also the burial place of famous people from Serbian history, such as King Milan Obrenovic and Duchess Ljubica. On the way back, stop in Sremski Karlovci, center of vine production of the Fruska Gora region where you will  visit a private producer of wine, the Zivanovic family, who are well known for producing “Bermet” wine. Also, pass the Petrovaradin Fortress, known as the “Gibraltar on the Danube”.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights from New York’s JFK Airport to Europe are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules.  We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure.

Departure Date

Airline

Depart

Return

(Main Tour)

Return  

(w/ Ext)

Apr. 29 ’15

Turkish Airlines

12:30PM

5:00PM

5:00PM

May 27, ’15

airberlin

5:30PM

3:30PM

3:30PM

Jun. 22, ’15

Swiss Airlines

9:00PM

4:00PM

N/A

Aug. 7, ’15

LOT Polish Airlines

10:30PM

9:00PM

9:00PM

Sep. 16, ’15, Oct. 6, ’15

Austrian Airlines

5:30PM

2:00PM

2:00PM

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Please note that Turkish Airlines, airberlin, Swiss Airlines, & LOT Polish Airlines do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved in your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline!

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American citizens do not require a visa to enter the countries visited. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates of the countries visited on this tour as to the most current visa requirements. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instruction and some additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please advise us in writing should your address change.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.

CLIMATE

You may expect day time temperatures averaging in the 60’s & 70’s in May and September, 70’s & 80’s in June, July and August, 50’s & 60’s in October.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

The currency used aboard the ship is the Euro! You will have an opportunity to exchange US dollars to Euros at the beginning of your trip. You may also purchase Euros in the USA before departure. The ship does not have currency exchange facilities. Traveler’s checks are not accepted aboard the ship nor are they widely accepted in the smaller towns and villages along the route. For incidental expenses onboard (excluding optional tours) you may also use Visa or Mastercard but a small service fee will apply. During visits to major cities and on shore excursions, you will find that many of the small souvenir vendors may accept US dollars or Euros as payment.

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds and one carry-on piece. Carry on must not exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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