Eastern Europe is becoming increasingly popular with travelers looking to venture further afield from popular European countries like Italy, France, Spain, or Germany. Black Sea River Cruises are a fantastic way to explore the heart of yet undiscovered Eastern Europe. The Black Sea is a fascinating body of water, placed between Asia and Europe. Bordered by six diverse countries, it is home to unique flora and fauna and stunning beaches. Black Sea River Cruises sail the eastern half of the Danube River, giving you the chance to visit enthralling countries like Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Turkey and many others. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Black Sea river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Black Sea Travel Guide
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Black Sea Travel Guide
Black Sea River Cruises Highlights
- Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, might just steal your heart. Spend the day wandering through magnificent theatres, museums, and opera houses before heading to a party boat in the evening to let your hair down.
- The Iron Gates are a stretch of river with four narrow gorges that divide Romania and Serbia. These will be the most dramatic views you'll see on your Black Sea River Cruise. Keep that camera battery charged!
- The Romanian capital, Bucharest, often called Little Paris, is a bustling, dynamic city with elegant French-inspired architecture, stroll-worthy parks, and trendy cafes.
- One of the loveliest places in Turkey, Canakkale is steeped in history, the site of the ancient city of Troy and the legendary Trojan Wars.
- Located on the banks of the scenic Drava River, the Croatian city of Osijek is great throughout the year, but especially in the summer months when the calendar is packed with cultural events and festivals.
- Budapest, one of Europe's oldest and most fascinating cities, is a dynamic mix of the East and West with magnificent architecture that will have you reaching for your camera.
- Zagreb is a lively, walkable Croatian town packed with artisanal markets and vibrant cafes and bars.
- Montenegro, although relatively small in size, is a feast for the eyes with dramatic mountain scenery and charming walled towns.
Black Sea River Cruises Travel Tips
- Arrive a day or two before your cruise. In the worst-case scenario, you're covered in case of unforeseen flight delays. But mainly, you'll have time to overcome your jet lag and explore the embarkation city before boarding your cruise ship.
- Bring small denominations of major currencies like the Euro or the US Dollar which are widely accepted in local markets. This will save you the expense of changing to the local currency if a souvenir catches your eye.
- Be prepared for culture shocks. For example, smoking is allowed in many public places in Eastern Europe and existing laws are loosely enforced. So, don't be surprised if you see people puffing away in local bars and restaurants.
- Be careful with your belongings, especially in places crowded by tourists. Like in every major city in the world, petty theft can be common in Eastern European towns and cities.
- Be sensitive to the region's political and social history. As a visitor you might not be aware of prior wars or ethnic tensions and could offend locals with a loose comment.
- Drink alcohol with caution. Eastern Europe is infamous for heavy drinking and the booze can be stronger than you're used to back home.
Black Sea River Cruises Things To Do
- Visit Buda Castle in Budapest
Completed in 1265, the magnificent Buda Castle, built in the Baroque architectural style, dominates the city with its sprawling complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was a royal family residence and now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. Located on the southern tip of Castle Hill, it's a great place for history buffs and art aficionados to spend a few hours getting acquainted with Hungary.
You Should KnowYou can join a guided walking tour of the Castle District, including a ride on the funicular, a walk across the Chain Bridge, and breathtaking views from the river.
- Watch Outstanding Horsemanship in the Hungarian Puszta
Leave bustling Budapest behind and head into the countryside for an enjoyable day outdoors. The puszta (Great Hungarian Plain) is home to several large horse ranches where Hungarian cowboys (csikós) demonstrate their equestrian skills on magnificent steeds. The entertaining show includes a horse parade and display of wartime exercises with some comic relief thrown in.
Best Time To VisitSince this is a warm-weather activity, the best time to do this is from late May to mid-September.
- Ride a Bike in Picture-Perfect Osijek
With nearly 40 miles of bike trails in the picturesque countryside, the Croatian city of Osijek is perfect to explore on two wheels. Ride the bike tracks on the promenade of the Drava River, then cross the Dr. Franjo Tudjman Bridge for beautiful views of the city. Stop for coffee and cake at a terraced cafe or explore one of the many museums, parish churches, castles, and Baroque fortresses on your cycling route.
Best Time To VisitThe spring and fall seasons, in particular the months of May and September, are great for outdoor activities as the temperatures are pleasant (but do bring a jacket for the evenings).
- Enjoy a Choir Performance in Belgrade
Dominating Belgrade's skyline, the Church of Saint Sava is a grand display of Christian splendor. This monumental building is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans with an imposing 4,000-ton central dome, more than a dozen gold-plated crosses, and nearly 50 bells in its bell towers. Enjoy a choir performance in the Temple Crypt before taking time to admire the gold adornments, ornate chandeliers, vibrant frescos, and Murano glass mosaics.
You Should KnowThe Orthodox New Year celebrations are a spectacular event where Serbs welcome the new year with music, dancing, and fireworks.
- Discover Veliko Tarnovo
One of Bulgaria's oldest towns, Veliko Tarnovo is a quiet mountain town popular with local university students. The main attractions for visitors are the town's quaint cobblestone streets and fortified castle walls that offer panoramic views. Linger in one of the quirky cafes, explore some of the monasteries, or hike the nearby trails.
You Should KnowLocal foods like banitsa (breakfast pastry) or banica (dough, butter, and cheese) are excellent snacks to carry if you're heading for a hike.
- Explore the Paris of the East
Romania's capital Bucharest, nicknamed the Paris of the East, is home to the world's largest parliamentary building with more than 3 million square feet of covered area and more than a thousand rooms. But more arresting perhaps are the city's art nouveau places that are reminiscent of Paris. Although decades of communist rule have taken their toll, there are places where the former elegance is still on display.
You Should KnowThe Cismigiu Gardens in the city center are a haven in the urban jungle with a romantic lake, more than 30,000 trees, and wrought iron benches. The ideal place to spend a summer day boating on the lake or skating in the winter.
- Watch Traditional Bulgarian Dances at a Folklore Show in Nessebar
Located on a rocky peninsula in the Black Sea, the ancient city of Nessebar is one of Bulgaria's major seaside resorts. The cobblestoned streets of Old Town are home to beautiful churches and monuments. And what better way to experience Bulgarian culture than to watch an energetic traditional folk dance in Nessebar? You'll be surprised at the variety of jumps and twists.
Best Time To VisitThe temperate climate in Nessebar means the best time to travel is between June and August, but September and October are also great when sea temperatures average 23 Centigrade and the weather is warm and dry.
- Travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey
Looking at the idyllic palm-fringed beaches and tranquil pine-covered forests, you'd never guess Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula was the site of bloody battles. Australians and New Zealanders, in particular, visit the historic site as a sort of pilgrimage to pay their respects to the bravery of soldiers. The protected national park area, home to dozens of Allied war cemeteries, is fringed by turquoise waters and has well-maintained walking tracks.
You Should KnowIf you choose to drive, the roads are clearly signposted and the friendly locals are happy to give you advice and information.
Black Sea River Cruise Packages
The best seasons to visit the Black Sea are the summer, fall, and winter. These times of the year offer great temperatures, clear skies, and optimal weather conditions. Although some activities might not be available during the winter months, it is still a good time to travel since you'll avoid the crowds. No matter what time of the year you decide to travel, each season will offer you a unique river cruise experience.
- Summer - June to August - Best Season
The summer is peak Black Sea River Cruise season with tourists flocking to Europe in the warmest months of the year. Although you'll be blessed with great weather, be prepared for crowds in popular towns and cities.
- Fall - September to November - Good Season
A great time to go on a Black Sea River Cruise, if you don't mind slightly cooler temperatures, is the fall. The tourist crowds thin out and you can enjoy many attractions in relative peace.
- Winter - December to February - Good Season
The winter months are the best time to score a great deal on your Black Sea River Cruise fare but be prepared for freezing temperatures. This is not the season for Black Sea beach resorts with sea temperatures averaging 31F.
- Spring - March to May - Low Season
The springtime is when the Danube is prone to flooding because of the thaw after heavy winter snowfall, compounded by springtime rain. Book your Black Sea River Cruise for this season only if you're willing to risk last-minute itinerary changes.
Black Sea River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What are Black Sea River Cruises?
A Black Sea River Cruise is your very own floating hotel from where to discover an enviable lineup of fascinating places. You'll be treated to awe-inspiring scenery, ancient archaeological sites, magnificent fortresses, and some of the most impressive sights in Europe. You're guaranteed a memorable vacation with spectacular sights, five-star service, fine dining, and a host of onboard amenities.
- What’s included on a Black Sea River Cruise?
Your accommodation, transportation, and all meals onboard are included in your cruise fare. Some river cruise lines include soft drinks and bottled water. Many of the top attractions and most interesting excursions are also included in your Black Sea River Cruise.
- What’s the Best Black Sea River Cruise?
The services on your Black Sea River Cruise will make you feel like royalty. All the cruise lines are great. Simply choose a cruise that matches your time off from work. Remember, river ships are nothing like the gigantic ocean liners that cruise the high seas. They are limited in size because they need to fit under bridges and in the various locks on the rivers. And unlike ocean-going ships, there are no inside cabins. Everyone has a view of passing scenery from their stateroom. However, the size of the windows and balconies can vary greatly, so choose carefully.
- How much do Black Sea River Cruises cost?
Prices start at under $300 per person per day. Keep an eye on our website for discounts and offers on Black Sea River Cruises.
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