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Imperial Capitals of Europe

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Operator: Uniworld
Year: 2014
Region: Europe
Tour Type: River Cruise
Duration: 16 days
From: Istanbul to Vienna or Vienna to Istanbul
Tour dates: 16/04/2014, 10/05/2014, 20/05/2014, 09/07/2014, 22/08/2014, 28/08/2014, 11/10/2014, 17/10/2014,
Tour Description:

Legends come to life as you sail through eight countries and visit five capital cities on one majestic journey. Budapest, the “Queen of the Danube,” and Vienna, the “City of Waltzes,” are but two of the many highlights you’ll experience on this grand journey. Cruise and tour through no less than eight different countries and five capital cities, with highlights both ancient and modern. From the grand-domed mosques of Istanbul to the ornate concert halls of Vienna, and everything in between. This is a perfect itinerary for those who love discovering new lands, exotic far-off cultures and Old World traditions.

Take this truly one-of-a-kind journey along paths forged by crusaders, conquerors, and kings through Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria. Explore exotic Istanbul, with its striking mosques and opulent palaces. Step back in time as you cruise the wondrous Iron Gates. Celebrate Budapest, the “Queen of the Danube,” and let the “City of Waltzes,” Vienna, dazzle you with its imperial charm. As you travel, you’ll uncover scores of hidden treasures, including laid-back, pleasure-loving Osijek; the picturesque Bulgarian towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi; and the astounding rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Immerse yourself in the colorful folktales and musical traditions of the region’s extraordinary people as you watch children perform a concert for you at their school and savor a home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family. The adventure of a lifetime awaits you.

Who will enjoy this cruise: Explorers wishing to discover ancient lands and modern multicultural cities. Photographers, amateur archaeologists, connoisseurs of regional cuisines, and anyone who loves beautiful and mysterious locales.

Epicurean Adventurer Program™
Bulgarian honey and yogurt tasting
Villány Hills wine tasting
Salty pogácsa and pálinka tasting on Szentendre Island
Special food-and-wine-pairing dinner

TRUE ALL-INCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISING™ in 2014: All gratuities onboard and onshore; unlimited beverages onboard including an extensive selection of distinctive wines, craft and regional beers, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions with local experts as your guide; free Internet and Wi-Fi; and all arrival and departure day transfers.

View Cruise Guide for more information.

Information is subject to change.

Imperial Capitals of Europe

day 1

Istanbul

Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, where you will be transferred to the hotel.

day 2

Istanbul

FEATURED EXCURSION: Istanbul city tour with Grand Bazaar Today’s panoramic tour takes you to the Hippodrome; the Blue Mosque, with its distinctive minarets and blue Iznik tile walls; spectacular Hagia Sophia (the Church of Holy Wisdom), which was built in 535 AD; and Topkapi Palace, a magnificent Ottoman residence. Then wend your way through the vaulted passages and 6,000 merchant stalls of the Grand Bazaar. (BB) Note: Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) is a place of active worship. Ceremonies may restrict visitors from entering at times. At all times, please obey mosque etiquette. Note: Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays and Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. The city tour of Istanbul will be arranged in accordance with the days they are open. If Hagia Sophia is not available during your stay, we will offer the harem visit in Topkapi Palace instead.

day 3

Istanbul, fly to Bucharest, transfer to Bucharest hotel

Explore Istanbul’s many charms at your leisure. Stroll the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum or take in the Basilica Cistern, with its forest of marble columns. Then depart for the Romanian capital of Bucharest. (BB)

day 4

Bucharest, transfer to Giurgiu (embark), Rousse

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bucharest city tour with People’s Palace visit Start the day with a panoramic tour of eclectic Bucharest, with its mix of monumental Communist buildings and French-influenced architecture. Enjoy a local lunch before your motorcoach takes you to Giurgiu, where you will board your Uniworld ship and sail for Rousse. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)

day 5

Rousse (Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or Ivanovo and Rusenski countryside)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch or Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries and Rusenski Lom Nature Park with lunch In Veliko Tarnovo, see the majestic ruins of Tsarevetz Castle. In Arbanassi, see the frescoed Nativity Church and stop at a village restaurant for a typical Bulgarian lunch, complete with live folk music. Or opt for a tour of the countryside, which will include the rock-hewn cave churches of Ivanovo and Basarbovo in the craggy precincts of a national forest. (BB, L, D)

day 6

Vidin

FEATURED EXCURSION: Medieval theater performance and Belogradchik rock formations Explore the lesser-known town of Vidin and see a live performance before visiting the peculiar Belogradchik rocks, the source of many legends. (BB, L, D)

day 7

Cruising the Iron Gates

Spend a peaceful day cruising the majestic Iron Gates. (BB, L, D)

day 8

Belgrade

FEATURED EXCURSION: Belgrade city tour with Kalemegdan Fortress Enjoy a panoramic drive through Belgrade, explore vast Kalemegdan Fortress on foot, and see a bit of a city that loves to shop and party. (BB, L, D)

day 9

Vukovar, Osijek

FEATURED EXCURSION: Full-day tour of Osijek, school visit, and exclusive home-hosted lunch Children will perform for you at their school before you take a tour of the town and savor an exclusive home-hosted lunch with a Croatian family. (BB, L, D) Note: School visit not available during school holidays.

day 10

Mohács (Pécs)

FEATURED EXCURSION: Excursion to Pécs with exclusive wine tasting in the Villány Hills Pécs boasts a fascinating array of Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques-turned-churches. The region is famous for its vinoculture; taste the celebrated red wines produced in the Villány Hills on a special wine excursion. (BB, L, D)

day 11

Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Budapest city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour   A panoramic coach tour shows you Budapest’s top sights, from Castle Hill to Parliament to the Grand Market. Or discover the city’s treasures like a local: hop the metro to a famous pastry shop decorated with brilliant tile work, stroll romantic Karoly Gardens, and visit Market Hall, where you can shop for traditional items like paprika and Unicum. (BB, L, D)

day 12

Budapest, Szentendre Island

FEATURED EXCURSION: Exclusive Hungarian reception at Szentendre Island’s Bodor Mayor Horse Farm After enjoying some leisure time in Budapest, take a motorcoach to Szentendre Island’s Bodor Mayor Horse Farm for a private reception and a dazzling display of horsemanship in the style of Hungary’s ancient cowboys—the Magyar Csikós. (BB, L, D)

day 13

Bratislava

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bratislava walking tour Take a guided stroll through Slovakia’s capital city. (BB, L, D)

day 14

Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Vienna city tour with National Library visit or exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour with an art historian Get to know Vienna’s imperial history during a tour that takes you along the stately Ringstrasse to the beautiful Austrian National Library. Or opt to explore Vienna with an art historian, taking in the Belvedere and the Museum of Fine Arts. (BB, L, D) Note: The Austrian National Library is closed on Mondays. If the tour lands on a Monday, Mozarthaus will be visited instead.

day 15

Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Exclusive guided “Go Active” biking tour of Danube Island Enjoy the day on your own, or join an afternoon bicycling tour of Danube Island’s verdant nature preserve. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)

day 16

Vienna (disembark)

Disembark the ship and transfer to Vienna International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Prague. (CB/BB) Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary.  Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.

Imperial Capitals of Europe

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Imperial Capitals of Europe

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