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Balkan Discovery 2025

From Budapest, Hungary to Bucharest, Romania
Length: 8 Days - Departs: Sun, Oct 19, 2025
Operator
Ship
Departure
Oct 19, 2025
Arrival
Oct 26, 2025

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Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

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With the Welcome Back Credit, the more you travel, the more credit you earn toward future vacations. You can easily redeem your Welcome Back Credit towards a future Globus or Cosmos tour, or use your credit to experience a Monograms package or Avalon Waterways river cruise. In addition to the Welcome Back Credit program, if your plans changed, you could also be holding onto additional travel credits through a Letter of Credit and Peace of Mind Bonus Credit. The credit amount is based on the overall value of your vacation, from a $100 - $250 credit per person.
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The Welcome Back Credit is awarded upon completion of Globus family of brands vacations. Credit amount can only be applied to the land/cruise or cruise only portion of a new Globus family of brands vacation (excluding 2022 Oberammergau, Monograms City Getaways, and Custom/Charter vacations). Credit amount is per person and must be redeemed for a future vacation with a deposit within 2 years from date of credit issue. Bookings can be made by calling the Globus family of brands, online, or by contacting your preferred travel advisor. Passenger must activate redemption credit prior to redemption. Combinable with all applicable consumer promotions except those with any Globus family of brands special discount programs. Credit must be applied before final payment on a future booking. Credit is not redeemable for cash, non-refundable deposit, airfare, transfers, travel insurance, prepaid gratuities, pre/post nights, or optional excursions and is non-transferrable. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Valid for all participating Globus family of brands offices. Additional restrictions may apply.


River Cruise Itinerary

Experience the extraordinary destinations of Eastern Europe on this Danube River cruise adventure through the Balkans. You’ll cruise through the rich landscapes and cultural locales of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Embark on your Avalon Suite Ship® in Budapest, the lively Hungarian capital, and sail into beautiful Croatia. Enjoy a guided sightseeing in Vukovar and discover Ilok with its 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition. Take a fascinating guided tour of the Serbian capital of Belgrade, one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic views of Iron Gates Gorge—a natural border between Serbia and Romania. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, and see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

  1. Day 1
    BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (EMBARKATION)
    Sun, Oct 19, 2025
    Welcome to Hungary. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.Flights into Budapest must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VUKOVAR(D)BUDAPEST-PARLIAMENT.jpg
  2. Day 2
    VUKOVAR
    Mon, Oct 20, 2025
    History and BeerVisit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.DISCOVERY Join a Guided Walking Tour to discover the heritage, culture, and tradition of Vukovar and enjoy a beer tasting, OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided City Tour to discover the captivating culture and tradition of Vukovar and learn about its rich history and heritage.Enjoy a brief cruise to Novi Sad while having lunch onboard.ILOK, CROATIA History and Culture in CroatiaCLASSIC Join a Guided tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old wine making traditions still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage. Refresh your spirit with a wine tasting in a local cellar and hear the stories of culture and tradition in the natural beauty of Eastern Croatia, OR:ACTIVE Explore more of Croatia on a Guided Bike Tour along Ilok’s city walls, into the central church, and the towns’ museum on your way to Principovac Castle and Estate.OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NOVI SAD(B,L,D)ILOK.jpg
  3. Day 3
    NOVI SAD, SERBIA
    Tue, Oct 21, 2025
    The Athens of SerbiaACTIVE Enjoy a Guided Hike Tour to the Petrovaradin part of the town. Located on the right bank of the Danube, across from the main part of Novi Sad, this area will amaze you for its scenic views, OR:DISCOVERY Get to learn more about the beekeeper profession on this Guided Tour of Novi Sad by stopping to the Honey Museum and by tasting local honey specialties. OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications.Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE(B,L,D)NOVI-SAD.jpg
  4. Day 4
    BELGRADE
    Wed, Oct 22, 2025
    Fortresses and Folklore ACTIVE Discover Belgrade's central walkway with your Adventure Host, OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade—where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge—and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava—one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots. This evening, you might like to join an Optional Excursion for an authentic Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO GOLUBA?(B,L,D)BELGRADE-SAINT-SAVA.jpg
  5. Day 5
    GOLUBA?–DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR–IRON GATES GORGE
    Thu, Oct 23, 2025
    Ancient Artifacts and the Iron Gates CLASSIC Visit the Fortress of Goluba?, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You’ll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control for defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire, OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to the Mesolithic archaeological site of Lepenski Vir with unique views of the Danube Gorge.Sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge—a natural border between Serbia and Romania. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN(B,L,D)IRON-GATES-GORGE.jpg
  6. Day 6
    VIDIN, BULGARIA
    Fri, Oct 24, 2025
    Rocks, ruins and Balkan BeautyACTIVE Join your Adventure Host for a bike tour around the city, OR:CLASSIC Join Guided Sightseeing to Baba Vida Fortress, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements, OR:DISCOVERY Discover more than two centuries of a proud family history of Bulgarian winemaking with a tour and tasting at a local winery. Here, you’ll enjoy a wine tasting in the cellars. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROUSSE(B,L,D)VIDIN-BELOGRADSHICK.jpg
  7. Day 7
    ROUSSE. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
    Sat, Oct 25, 2025
    Fortresses and FolkloreCLASSIC Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo—with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi, OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church.Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA(B,L,D)VELIKO-TARNOVO.jpg
  8. Day 8
    OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)
    Sun, Oct 26, 2025
    Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.Flights should not leave Bucharest airport before noon.(B)BUCHAREST-PARLIAMENT.jpg

Countries Visited

Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Romania

Rivers Visited

Danube

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Inclusions

•In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
•Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
•Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Meals:





Accommodation Information

Gateway city for departures is Bucharest.

Port charges:
$210

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation details and prices. Triples not available.

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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
4.4
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
4.2

Ratings based off 67 reviews - currently showing 16 reviews with comments only

Avalon Passion had the intimate atmosphere of small ship cruising. By the end of the trip there was a good family atmosphere on the boat. The ship was in great condition, crew and staff were pleasant and attentive and the Tour Director was great. Local guides were all passionate about their destinations, and since we were in four different countries in a week, we got interesting, and sometime startling, perspectives on Balkan history. The weather was very hot, and this made some of the walking tours rather grueling, but the Tour director and guides did their best to adapt tours to the heat, and make sure there was plenty of water, rest and shade. The shore based last three days were fascinating but tiring. All in all, a great experience.

Was a fabulous experience. Avalon, the boat, the staff, the tours, the airfare. Perfect!

This tour /cruise was fantastic. The pre-cruise extension in Transylvania was for me the highlight and anyone considering the cruise should definitely include this. Our Avalon cruise director and the entire crew were outstanding as were the local guides who were extremely knowledgeable and spoke perfect English.

Outstanding cruise,ship and crew were excellent.Cruise Director Simona is a delight,extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Will travel again with Avalon.

I would travel on valon only in the future. Cleaner, newer, more comfortable ships with a great stafff. Better than my previous river cruises with a high end ship! And the cruise director has to be the absolutely best in the industry!!!

The ship is beautiful and the rooms very comfortable. Avalon seems to attract a very friendly and social group of travelers. It is also welcoming to the solo traveler.

This was probably the best cruise we have ever taken and we travel a lot. Autumn from Affordable is the best. She was always there when I needed her and so accommodating. The ship Passion was a 10 plus in every way from the rooms to the tours, food and staff. I liked that they had healthy choices at every meal.

Our Avalon cruise exceeded our expections. We had a great staff, great tours, and met wonderful people.

This river cruise to see the Christmas Markets and tour parts of Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic was a dream come true. Every part of it was amazing. From the organization of Affordable Tours pre-cruise to Avalon Waterways beautiful ship, great crew (especially cruise director Gusta) and the spectacular meals. The tours were marvelous and informative. Cant say enough about the great time we had.

As always the service on Avalon was excellent and the rooms wonderful. Missed the allergy notifications cards on buffet as my daughter had celiacs Did appriciate that after the third day the had made gluten fee desserts that she was able to have and the snacks provided at captains cocktail time. Would have been perfect if these items had been available the first few days also, as not having them made me feel my daughter was left out and me also feel guilty if I ate in front of her.

I thought the dinner meals were not as good as past cruise. Breakfast and lunch were fine. Service from staff was excellent

It was a wonderful trip and the person who made it really great was our Cruise Director, Monika. She was friendly, helpful and extremely kind. When I had a severe asthma attack in Venice, she made arrangements to get me to a hospital for necessary treatment and throughout the rest of the trip continued to check on me and make sure that I had whatever was needed to be comfortable. It can be a scary experience to be ill in a foreign country, but with Monika's help I made it through the rest of the trip without any more worries.

We had a great trip. This is our second river cruise with Avalon through Affordable Tours. We knew what to expect from our previous trip (Romantic Rhine a year ago). The day excursions are well-led, with lots of information from our capable guides. The food on board is very good, with buffet style (our preference) for breakfast and lunch. We're not gourmet food aficionados, honestly two-hour dinners every night are not our style, but we knew they were part of the package, so we weren't surprised.

Avalon staff and tours were excellent - enjoyed the many excursions.

The attention to detail is incredible. The tour director left nothing on the table. Everything was perfectly organized and described. The cruise was great and I would, and will, recommend this to all my friends and family. If you find yourself on this cruise, you are in for a great adventure. All arranged/included tours at each port were top notch.

The trip was an educational trip about the Balkan Region. It was wonderful!

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