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Istanbul & Enchantment of Eastern Europe on Emerald Destiny

From Istanbul, Turkey to Budapest, Hungary
Length: 12 Days - Departs: Mon, May 08, 2023

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Special Offers

LOW UNPUBLISHED PRICES ON EMERALD CRUISES
We have Low Prices on Emerald - Guaranteed!

Exclusive Offer, $150 Savings on River Cruises

Mention Promo Code: PT3084
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Exclusive Offer, $150 Savings on River Cruises

Exclusive Offer, $150 Savings on River Cruises

Promotion Details
Take advantage of this exclusive offer when you book on any 8+ day river cruise and enjoy bonus savings of $75 per person ($150 per couple).
Must Book By Sat, Dec 31, 2022
View Promotion Terms & Conditions ›

Key Account Exclusive offer is available for new bookings only on 8+ day itineraries across Scenic and Emerald Cruises’ river and ocean products booked by December 31, 2022. Offer includes $75 per person bonus savings ($150 per couple or suite). Offer is combinable with quarterly campaigns, early payment savings, save and sail events, 2 week bonus events, show vouchers, loyalty offers, future travel credits and trade incentives unless otherwise specified. Combinable with groups. Not combinable with any other exclusive offers. All offers are inventory controlled and may be extended, canceled or withdrawn at any time without notice. Scenic and Emerald Cruises reserve the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares and promotions at any time. For the most up-to-date pricing, availability and offers, please call your Professional Travel Advisor. Offers applicable for residents of the 50 United States of America & Washington D.C.

Explore the Extraordinary, Free Flights or up to $2000 Savings

Mention Promo Code: PT3094
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Explore the Extraordinary, Free Flights or up to $2000 Savings

Explore the Extraordinary, Free Flights or up to $2000 Savings

Promotion Details
Take advantage of this incredible offer and receive Free Economy Air on select Europe and Asia river cruises or up to $2000 per couple savings. 15+ day sailings receive a $500 per cabin onboard credit. Book early to save an extra 10% on selected cabins when you pay in full. Plus as always receive our AffordableTours.com 5% extra savings. (Savings are based on departure length, contact your Travel Consultant for applicable sailings)
Must Book By Fri, Dec 16, 2022
View Promotion Terms & Conditions ›

Offers are available for new bookings only made between October 1 - December 16, 2022 on 2023 Europe river cruises & 2023/2024 Asia River Cruises. A non-refundable initial deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking, with full payment required 90 days prior to departure.

Europe and Asia river cruises: 2 for 1 economy roundtrip airfare on 5 day departures. Free roundtrip economy airfare available on 8+ day departures. For guests who decide to book their own air, a $1000pp savings is available in lieu of roundtrip economy air and $500pp savings in lieu of 2 for 1 roundtrip economy air. Roundtrip economy air max ticket value is $1200 per ticket including taxes and fees; if fare is greater than $1200 inclusive of taxes and fees, guest is responsible for the difference. Guests booking a 15+ day itinerary will enjoy a bonus €500 onboard credit per couple. Onboard credit has no cash value. Departure length is based on cruise days only, excluding land extensions. Exclusions apply; please visit emeraldcruises.com for details. These offers are combinable with early payment offers, 2 week bonus events, travel advisor exclusives, show vouchers, trade incentive programs, loyalty bonus offers and Future travel credits. Not combinable with any other offers. Not combinable with groups. Air offers are only valid 61 or more days prior to departure. All flights will be booked on Emerald Cruise’s choice of airline and routing, and are subject to availability.

Early Payment Savings: Save 10% when you pay in full 6+ months from departure. For bookings made 6-11 months from departure, full payment due at time of booking. For bookings made 12+ months from departure, full payment must be made no later than 12 months from departure. If full payment is not received by the date specified on this offer, these additional savings will be removed from your booking. Early Payment Savings are applicable on the cruise + upgrade element only, excludes air fares, port charges, hotel stays and other additional items.

All offers are inventory controlled and may be extended, canceled or withdrawn at any time without notice. Emerald Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares and promotions at any time. For the most up-to-date pricing, availability and offers, please visit Emeraldcruises.com or contact your Professional Travel Advisor. Offers applicable for residents of the 50 United States of America & Washington D.C. For complete terms and conditions visit Emeraldcruises.com.


River Cruise Itinerary

  1. Day 1
    Istanbul
    Mon, May 08, 2023

    Welcome to Istanbul, one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities of the world history. You will be met at the airport in Istanbul and taken to your centrally-located hotel, with a three-night stay included in your itinerary.

  2. Day 2
    Istanbul
    Tue, May 09, 2023

    Today, you will explore some of the Istanbul’s highlights – such as the famed Hippodrome Square which was once the sporting and social center of Constantinople that hosted the chariot races until the Middle Ages. You will get to see the Blue Mosque, probably one of the most famed masterpieces of Ottoman religious architecture. Standing in great prestige with its six minarets and perfect proportioned dome, it is named after its Turquoise colored tiles made of quartz minerals. Ottoman Sultans preferred to pray in this timeless shrine due to its incomparable beauty until when the empire collapsed after the World War I. Afterwards, you will carry on to the Basilica of Saint Sophia, one of the largest Christian shrines ever built in history. 

    DiscoverMORE
    Topkapi & Harem section AND/OR Whirling Dervishes Ceremony (extra expense)

    Included Excursion
    City tour of Istanbul


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Istanbul
    Wed, May 10, 2023

    We start the day with a tour of the Underground Cistern known by the locals as the Sunken Cistern. From there you will continue your exploration with the bustling atmosphere of the Spice Market, dating back to the 17th century, but still the most popular bazaar visited by locals to shop for fresh ingredients to spice up the dishes prepared in the kitchens of Istanbul. Afterwards, you will experience a very unique aspect of the city by boarding private boat for an unforgettable cruise on the waters of the Bosphorus. During your cruise on the famed strait running between the two continents, your guide will share with you all the legends and myths about the Bosphorus and its impressive mansions and palaces. As well as the scenery of the historical edifices, you will be overwhelmed by the skyline of Istanbul ornamented with domes and minarets of Byzantine and Ottoman cultures. 

    DiscoverMORE
    Turkish Bath at Roxelana AND/OR Street Food tour (extra expense)

    Included Excursion
    Bosphorus cruise & Spice market tour


    Meals: Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Istanbul - Bucharest
    Thu, May 11, 2023

    After breakfast, fly to Bucharest where you will be transferred to your centrally-located hotel for a 1-night stay before your exciting cruise on the Danube.


    Meals: Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Bucharest - Giurgiu
    Fri, May 12, 2023

    After enjoying the plush surrounds of your hotel this morning, you'll have the opportunity to learn about some of Bucharest’s most iconic attractions during a guided drive around the city, including a visit to the Spring Palace. Then, you’ll have time to explore the leafy boulevards at leisure. 
    After your insightful tour, you will be transferred from Bucharest to Giurgiu, on the banks of the Danube, where a warm welcome from your captain and crew awaits on board your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship.

    Included Excursion
    Guided drive through Bucharest with a visit to the Spring Palace


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi
    Sat, May 13, 2023

    Today, you'll have the opportunity to learn about Bulgarian history as you explore the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire with your local guide. On your included tour, you will have the opportunity to traverse its cobbled streets and witness its medieval fortifications.
    Afterwards, you will be taken to neighbouring Arbanasi, situated overlooking the Yantra River, a tributary of the Danube that is known for its many scenic gorges. Explore the past with your local guide, as your tour visits a number of traditional houses and ancient churches. 
    If you would prefer to do something more active, then you could instead choose to embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, known for their famous 14th-century frescoes.
    Tonight, your crew will welcome you back on board for a welcome reception and dinner.

    EmeraldPLUS
    Choir concert in Arbanasi

    EmeraldACTIVE
    Guided hike to Ivanovo Church

    Included Excursion
    Tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

    DiscoverMORE
    Paint & Wine (extra expense)

    DiscoverMORE
    Wine tasting at Leventa Complex (extra expense)


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Vidin
    Sun, May 14, 2023

    Viticulture forms the heart of life in the most western town in Bulgaria, where sun-kissed vineyards pepper the banks of the Danube and winemaking has prospered for generations. Your included tour of Vidin will introduce you to a peaceful side of life that revolves around wine, as you weave through a local vineyard and learn about their produce, before enjoying a tasting. Afterwards, your local guide will take you to Baba Vida, a fortress that was originally constructed at the turn of the 10th century and is known for being one of only a handful of beautifully preserved castles in the country.
    If you are feeling more active, you can instead choose to embark on a guided hike to Belogradchik Fortress, located on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains.

    EmeraldACTIVE
    Hike to Belogradchik Fortress

    Included Excursion
    Visit to a local vineyard with wine tasting & a visit to Baba Vida Fortress

    DiscoverMORE
    Traditional Bulgarian pastry making (extra expense)


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Donji Milanovac - Golubac
    Mon, May 15, 2023

    This morning, relax on board and admire your surroundings as we sail along the mighty Danube to Donji Milanovac, where a visit to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, one of Europe’s best-hidden gems, awaits. Located right on the riverbanks, the Palaeolithic site is one of the most important of its kind on the continent, effortlessly capturing more than eight millennia of history. Archaeologists from around the world have used this site to learn about a number of different Stone Age settlements and the way that prehistoric cultures moved across Europe.

    Included Excursion
    Visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum

    EmeraldACTIVE
    Donji Milanovac by bike


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Belgrade
    Tue, May 16, 2023

    Serbia’s vibrant capital is yours to explore today. 
    Your local guide will take you on a coach tour through the heart of the city, highlighting its many landmarks and the iconic Belgrade Fortress. The coach will pass through the centre, where you will notice reminders of the country’s turbulent history, set amongst the quiet and peaceful streets. Witness the ornate beauty of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest religious buildings in Europe, before stopping for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. 
    If you’re feeling more active, then you may instead choose to learn about Belgrade’s history during a guided bike tour.
    This evening, you will be invited to the Horizon Lounge to watch a traditional Serbian folklore show.

    EmeraldPLUS
    Serbian folklore evening show on board

    EmeraldACTIVE
    Guided bike tour in Belgrade

    Included Excursion
    Guided tour of Belgrade

    DiscoverMORE
    National Opera Theatre tour (extra expense)

    DiscoverMORE
    Routes of Nikola Tesla (extra expense)


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Vukovar – Osijek
    Wed, May 17, 2023

    Today, you will have the opportunity to explore one of Croatia’s postcard-worthy historic university towns, full of delightful waterfront promenades and quaint cobbled streets. 
    Embark on a guided walk around Osijek Fortress, a true icon in the romantic old town, before a truly unforgettable EmeraldPLUS experience, as you’re invited into the home of a local family for a traditional Croatian lunch and to meet students from the local village. 
    Enjoy an evening of sailing further up the Danube towards Hungary, before joining your fellow passengers for a farewell dinner.

    EmeraldPLUS
    Home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family

    EmeraldPLUS
    Meet the local students

    EmeraldACTIVE
    Trek to Adica Park

    Included Excursion
    Guided walking tour of Osijek Fortress

    DiscoverMORE
    Vucedol Culture Museum (extra expense)


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Kalocsa
    Thu, May 18, 2023

    In the morning, we will sail to Kalocsa, a place known for its paprika production and colourful festivals. Discovering Hungary’s culture is an easy task in Kalocsa, where traditional folk art can be found around every corner and old traditions pave the way for daily life.
    Later, you will venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, to visit a traditional Puszta horse farm. Your guide will teach you about the traditional performances of the Magyar cowboys, and you will have the opportunity to witness some of their exceptional equestrian skills first-hand as they showcase some of their exercise drills.

    EmeraldPLUS
    Puszta horse show


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Budapest
    Fri, May 19, 2023

    After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, taking memories of a traditional Puszta equestrian performance and viticulture on the banks of the Danube with you. 

    This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.


    Meals: Breakfast

Countries Visited

Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Turkey

Rivers Visited

Danube

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Inclusions

Health and Safety Protocols for Emerald

The world may have changed, however, our commitment to our guests and crew, the guest experience and their health, safety and wellbeing remains our key priority. We are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure our protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Our Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Emerald Cruises, ensuring you can travel with complete confidence that your wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. In addition, we are implementing the most recent insights and technologies, with our Emerald Cruises team dedicated to exceeding the levels of cleanliness required in today’s travel climate.

We are continuously updating our protocols to safeguard both the health, safety and the experience of our valued guests. You will be informed about these important procedures, well in advance of your journey departure, which may include the following information and guidelines:

Medical Evaluation & Test
To ensure all of our guests are safe and well before your journey with us begins, we will require you to complete a pre-departure medical health evaluation. During the phased embarkation process you, and your fellow passengers, will be tested for COVID-19 by a medical specialist. This will allow you to relax with complete peace-of-mind when you board our Star-Ships, in the company of other like-minded travelers.

Our Dedicated Team
Our Captains, Hotel Managers and Cruise Directors, alongside their exceptional teams, will deliver a first-class level of service during your time traveling with us. You can enjoy the same exciting program of on board and on shore experiences, tailored to smaller groups to allow for safe social distancing. The team are readily available to ensure every detail of your journey with us is memorable, for all the right reasons. They will ensure health and safety protocols are followed on a daily basis.

Healthy Crew
Having the best crew to look after you is at the heart of our core values at Emerald Cruises, and we will go the extra mile to ensure our crew is healthy in doing so. All crew will be regularly tested for COVID-19 and will have daily temperature and health checks. They will also be trained and regularly briefed on all aspects in preventing COVID-19 amongst themselves as well as our guests. They will go beyond the ordinary to make your cruise a truly exceptional experience.

Contact-Free Check In & Check Out
We have adjusted the various touchpoints of your journey, allowing you to check in and check out in a completely contact-free way. Through a phased embarkation you will be able to arrive and depart from your Star-Ship smoothly and with safe social proximity in mind. And, of course, every time you return to your Star-Ship, our crew will be there to greet you with a warm smile.

Briefings & Screenings
Our medical expert will host mandatory briefings and screenings. These events are designed to ensure every member of our guests and crew are healthy, and also offer an opportunity to allay any concerns or ask any questions you may have about our safety protocols.

Enhanced Cleaning Commitment
Our on board crew will be increasing and enhancing our already frequent and high standard cleaning protocols in public areas and suites, leaving surfaces and spaces spotless. Additional care and attention will be paid to high contact zones, such as communal restrooms and dining facilities.

Socially Aware Dining
You can expect the same delightful dining experiences when you travel with us, savoring a choice of dishes inspired by regional cuisine and local produce. We are adapting and redesigning our on board food and beverage service to ensure extra care is taken in order to minimize social contact. We will serve our delicious food a la carte or via served buffets.

Contact-Free Movement
The spacious surrounds of our ships in combination with the guest numbers provide ample room for you to relax, allowing for an abundance of personal space. We are introducing contact-free movement across our Star-Ships to further reduce risks. Contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available in all public spaces and guest corridors on board, whilst automated doors and contact-free guest servicing will minimize the number of touchpoints.

Air Circulation
Our Star-Ships are equipped with air circulation systems. These systems ensure there is no re-circulation of inside air on board the ship. When you are relaxing in your suite you will be breathing air from outside the ship that is channeled directly to your suite. The air will also be released from your suite directly to the outside.

Smaller Groups & Social Proximity
Discovering the local culture of your destination is the highlight of every river cruise. Create memories to cherish during our choice of on shore excursions. You will travel in smaller groups, allowing for a more intimate travel experience, whilst respecting social proximity and destination specific regulations. To enhance your sightseeing, you can utilize our digital headsets, which will act as your personal tour guide and travel map.

Carefully Selected Local Partners
As well as enhancing our health and safety protocols on board and with our crew, we’re working closely with our local partners. We have forged long-standing relationships with our local partners, all of whom have been carefully selected for their expertise and high levels of service, and are committed to ensuring your safety. They will receive extensive training to adhere with our enhanced protocols. We will also introduce strict control and screening procedures for anyone boarding our Star-Ships.

Wellness Throughout Your Journey
Your wellbeing is our number one priority, both during your time on board and on shore. Journey to and from your destination with complete peace-of-mind. All transport vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will undergo deep cleaning after every journey, surpassing the high industry standards required. You can also rest assured that we will monitor social proximity, allowing you to travel safely, with plenty of personal space.

We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines as new information becomes available, to ensure that our guests can travel safely in the many destinations we operate in.

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Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.3
Accommodations
4.3
Itinerary
4
Professional Staff
5
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
4

Ratings based off 8 reviews - currently showing 4 reviews with comments only

We had an outstanding trip down the Danube on Emerald Waterways. The food was amazing, the service was absolutely top-notch, the places we stopped (Passau, Linz and Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest) were all wonderful in their own way. The options provided by Emerald (active vs. included, and the add-on activities) were just right. Our Cruise Director and the Activity Manager were very knowledgeable and attentive throughout our trip. As alway, Affordable Tours helped us book, and provided great follow-up care when we needed it. 

This trip was wonderful, with only 160 passengers we were treated royally. Everyone on board the ship worked with only one thing in mind to please the customers.

Derek was very thorough and easy to work with. Our trip was what we expected.

We were fortunate the trip went as planned. A lock was damaged and the ship we were scheduled for was unavailable. Emerald provided a different ship and we completed our full itinerary. Great job Emerald. The trip wonderful. Great staff, tours and food. Our Affordable agent Allyson fulfilled all our needs efficiently providing excellent customer care.

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  • Ship Image
    Cruise Line
    Emerald
    Ship
    Emerald Destiny
    Starts
    Istanbul
    Ends
    Budapest
    Days
    12
    From
    $5,295

AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Emerald. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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