2005 Cruising the Blue Danube

  • 3 Nites in Budapest
  • 7 Nites Cruising the Blue Danube
  • 3 Nites in Bucharest

  • You’re invited to join Fred Theurkauf on September 14, 2005, for a 15-day sightseeing holiday in the heart of the Balkans. This great itinerary begins with our flight to Budapest, Hungary, known as the Pearl of the Danube, a city of stunning architectural wonders, therapeutic geothermal spas and charming Hungarians who are preparing to host us for a special evening of dinner and bridge. Then, we’ll embark on our 7-night Danube cruise to the Black Sea aboard Uniworld’s new m/v River Countess, cruising through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania as well as the beautiful Black Sea. We’ll disembark in Romania’s resort city of Costanta and spend three final nights in Bucharest, Romania’s impressive capital, visiting Parliament Palace, Sinaia Monastery, Bran Castle in the heart of Transylvania (legendary home of Dracula), and spend a special evening as the invited guests of the local Romanian players for dinner and bridge. And don’t forget our relaxing duplicate sessions shipboard with our own group.

    Dates: September 14 to 28, 2005 - 15 days
    Cost: - $4,961.00 to $6,517.00 USD

    Tour Schedule
    Day 1 Depart USA
      Depart on independent flights from the USA bound for Budapest, Hungary.
    Day 2 Arrive Budapest
      Touch down in Budapest, “Pearl of the Danube.” Upon clearing customs, transfer to our hotel. Tonight, join Fred Theurkauf and your fellow travelers for Welcome Cocktails and dinner at our hotel.
    Hotel: Radisson SAS Beke Hotel
    Meal(s): , Dinner
    Day 3 Budapest

    Matthias Church
    Today, sightsee in Budapest’s Castle District. Here the historic streets and well-preserved castle walls trace the shape of the hillside. Visit Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion before enjoying a guided tour of the Hungarian National Gallery, housed in the Royal Palace. View masterpieces from the great European art movements before lunching in the historic Castle District. Next, ascend Gellert Hill to the Citadel, a fortress built by the Hapsburg Empire to intimidate the rowdy citizens of Budapest.
    Hotel: Radisson SAS Beke Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     Hungarian players, famous for their charm and hospitality, have invited us to join them for a special evening. Enjoy Hungarian fare and a fun duplicate session at this specially planned bridge event.
    Day 4 Budapest

    Budapest's Parliament Building
    This morning, ride Budapest’s Underground Railroad, Europe’s first subway. Later, visit the Opera House for a guided tour of Budapest’s lavishly gilded and lovingly restored 19th century theater. Stop for lunch, strong coffee and sweet cake at Gerbeaud Café, where confection is elevated to an art form. This afternoon, visit the impressive gothic Parliament Building dominating Budapest’s riverbank. We’ll dine to the music of gypsies this evening at a premier Hungarian restaurant.
    Hotel: Radisson SAS Beke Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 5 Budapest - Embark
      After a morning at leisure, depart for Margaret Island, a favorite getaway on the beautiful Danube. Here, Budapest residents escape the busy city and the summer heat to relax amid scenic beauty. Enjoy lunch on the terrace of Grand Hotel Margitsziget, and afterward, take part in an ancient Hungarian pastime that predates the Romans, a relaxing spa experience in the healing thermal waters of Margaret Island Health Spa. Or stroll the shady paths of the island's scenic parks. This afternoon, embark the m/v River Countess for seven relaxing nights cruising the Blue Danube.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 6 Kalocsa, Hungary

    Hungarian Horsemanship
    Cruise this morning to charming Kalocsa, Hungary, renowned for Paprika spice production. Enjoy sightseeing in the Putsza District as well as a spectacular display of horsemanship by the local "cowboys." Your afternoon is free to enjoy the town of Kalocsa.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 7 Cruising Serbia & Croatia

    Cruising the Danube
    Spend the day relaxing as we cruise on the tranquil Danube with Croatia on one side and Serbia on the other. Be on deck as we pass the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress on the high bank of the Danube on our way to Belgrade.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     Enjoy a relaxing afternoon bridge session directed by Fred Theurkauf.
    Day 8 Belgrade, Serbia

    Saint Sava Cathedral
    Arrive in Belgrade for a full day in this interesting city. Your morning tour highlights the city's main attractions, including Kalemegdar Fortress as it looms over the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, Saint Sava Cathedral, the largest Orthodox Church in the world and Tito's Memorial. The afternoon is free to explore more of this historic city on your own.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 9 Cruising Iron Gates
      Cruise through picturesque scenery this morning. Impressive sights appear on the right bank of the mighty Danube. The medieval fortresses of Smederevo and Golubac and the Trajan Table mark the spot where the Roman Emperor crossed the Danube to conquer Dacia (modern Romania). The scenery becomes especially spectacular as we cruise through the Iron Gates, a narrow Danube gorge between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. The gorge, one of the most dramatic sights in Europe, forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     Enjoy a relaxing afternoon bridge session directed by Fred Theurkauf.
    Day 10 Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

    Cliffside Veliko Tarnovo
    Depart by motor coach for a full-day of touring in Veliko Turnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria. Built into the sides of three hills and flanked by the Yantra River on one side, the city is a natural fortress. A palace, fortifications and churches are literally built into the terrain with ancient stone houses perched on top of each other as they cling to the steep riverbank. On Tsaravets Hill, see the old fortress walls, royal palaces and patriarchal church.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     This morning, take part in a duplicate session with just our own group aboard the m/v River Countess.
    Day 11 Costanta, Black Sea

    Costanta Beach Harbor View
    An exciting excursion into the Black Sea resort city of Costanta awaits. With colorful history dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times when seafarers established trading colonies along the coast of the Black Sea, and a more current reputation as a premier eastern Europe resort destination, Costanta offers warm sun and sand, beautiful water, and architectural grandeur to match.
    Hotel: m/v River Countess
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 12 Disembark - Bucharest
      Disembark the m/v River Countess this morning and drive through the Romanian countryside to the capital of Bucharest. Your afternoon is free to relax or explore the city on your own.
    Hotel: Marriott Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     The Romanian players of Bucharest are awaiting our arrival tonight at their club. A special evening of dinner and duplicate has been planned in honor of our visit.
    Day 13 Bucharest

    Bran (Dracula's) Castle
    Depart for Transylvania this morning. Our route takes us through the Wallachia-Transylvanian Pass, and with it, some of the most romantic scenery in all of Romania. Visit Sinaia Monastery, dating from the late 17th century and home to beautiful neo-Byzantine gold leaf murals. After lunch, continue on to the legendary castle of Dracula. Bran Castle, the 14th century residence of Prince Vlad Tepes the Impaler rises up dramatically atop a 200-foot tall rock overlooking both Wallachia & Transylvania. We’ll enjoy touring this imposing structure and viewing the beautiful countryside below.
    Hotel: Marriott Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch
    Day 14 Bucharest

    Bucharest's Parliament Palace
    Tour Bucharest’s Parliament Palace, second in size only to the Pentagon, as well as Bucharest’s Orthodox Cathedral. Stroll elegant Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, and visit the Opera House. This evening, join Fred Theurkauf for a fun Farewell Dinner. Remember, “anything goes!”
    Hotel: Marriott Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
    Day 15 Depart Bucharest
      Independent departure flights take us from the beautiful Danube valley home to the USA.

    Your 15-Day Package Includes

     3 nights in Budapest, Hungary in first-class accommodations.

     7 nights cruising aboard Uniworld’s m/v River Countess.

     3 nights in Bucharest, Romania in first-class accommodations.

     All meals included shipboard.

     Most meals while on land.

     Airport transfers & hotel porterage.

     Round-trip airfare from six U.S. gate-way cities (see add-ons below).

     All shore excursions while cruising the Danube on the m/v River Countess.

     All sightseeing in Hungary & Romania (professional English-speaking guides throughout).

     5 duplicate sessions, including 2 dinner and bridge events with locals in Budapest and Bucharest.

    Click here for a full-color brochure.