Iconic Rivers of Europe - The Rhine, Main and Danube

Offer

Price per person
from £6,027

Price based on
London Heathrow
31st Aug 2018 departure

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers

Book any European holiday before 30 November and we will include free airport lounge passes for your party, so you can relax and start your holiday in style.

Book now
  • 22 days

  • Netherlands

  • River cruise

On this deluxe Danube River cruise from Holland to Romania, guided sightseeing in each city will show you the highlights. Make your way through the scenic canals of Amsterdam, through the Rhine Gorge past Lorelei rock, through Cologne, Rüdesheim, Bamberg, Nuremberg and magical Vienna. Attend a beer tasting in Bamberg and enjoy visits to Würzburg's Bishop's Residenz and St Martin's Cathedral in Bratislava. Visit the Hungarian Puszta (grasslands) from Budapest, enjoy an organ concert in Pecs and marvel at the eclectic rock formations of Belogradchik. Visit Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi, concluding your trip with one night in Romania's capital, Bucharest.

At a glance


Cologne Choice of guided city walk or Jewish Cologne tour before cruising through the Rhine Gorge past Lorelei Rock
Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi Guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
Bucharest Guided sightseeing, see the Parliament Building, visit the National Art Museum

North Sea to the Black Sea - Amsterdam to Bucharest map

What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes
VIP home pick-up service

Our VIP home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Overview

Total meals included:

  • 21 breakfasts, 19 lunches, 20 dinners

Amsterdam (Embarkation)

Day
1

Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich 700-year-old history and a distinct ambiance. Maybe stroll through the lively marketplace or see the works of famous Dutch masters at world-renowned museums. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Amsterdam

Day
2

Included today: Canal cruise Today, get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on an included canal cruise, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's 'Golden Age'. There's free time in the city this afternoon—or you might like to join an optional excursion before bidding tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and setting sail for Germany.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cologne

Day
3

Included today: Choice of Guided city walk or Jewish Cologne tour. Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne after lunch. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk. Later, during free time, consider checking out the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artefacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Rhine Gorge - Rüdesheim

Day
4

Included today: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. This morning, cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—without a doubt, the most beautiful stretch of river and where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the rock of the Lorelei, where legend tells of enchanted siren song that lured sailors to their doom. On your included shore excursion in pretty Rüdesheim, visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum , where you'll be mesmerised by the self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. There is free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobbles toned Drosselgasse, where colourful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Main River Village

Day
5

Included today: Guided walk. On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centres, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a guided walk.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Würzburg

Day
6

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the 'Pearl of the Romantic Road', makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your guided sightseeing tour this morning, visit the magnificent baroque Bishop's Residenz, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Depart Würzburg at lunchtime and spend a leisurely afternoon cruising the Main River.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bamberg

Day
7

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Today, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guided walking tour takes in its historic centre, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town's serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nuremberg

Day
8

Included today: Choice of guided sightseeing in Nuremberg or Roth or choose the Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; on board beer Tasting Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose a guided sightseeing tour and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary Gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialised Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Regensburg

Day
9

Included today: Guided walk. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of historic interest. Architectural highlights of your guided walk include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany, then grab a beer and enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we'll introduce you to some of Germany's famous beers.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Passau

Day
10

Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk through this charming town, and find out much more about the 'City of Three Rivers'. Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Melk - Wacchau Valley - Dürnstein

Day
11

Included today: Guided visit of Melk's Benedictine Abbey, sail through the Wachau Valley. Guided walk in Dürnstein, see the Stiftskirche. A day of magical scenery awaits you today! As you cruise into the Wachau Valley, enjoy a guided visit of Melk's magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest monasteries. The Abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marbled statues and 210 foot high cupola. Then, head into the heart of the Wachau wine region to Dürnstein, known for its baroque blue Stiftskirche. A Local Guide will take you on a walking tour and tell you the tale of King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Vienna

Day
12

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Early this morning, arrive in Vienna, the 'City of Music', which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral—plus, countless other sites you'll see on your guided tour. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses—historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bratislava

Day
13

Included today: Guided sightseeing. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. After breakfast, join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a guided walk of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic St. Martin's Cathedral, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. This afternoon is free to explore on your own.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Budapest

Day
14

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or basking in the coffee house culture over a cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest's unique energy is positively palpable. On your guided sightseeing tour, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to note the city's eight bridges—famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Alternatively, consider visiting St. Stephen's Basilica with marvellous views of the city from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Budapest

Day
15

Enjoy a free day today to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Mohács

Day
16

Included today: Guided sightseeing. This morning, an included excursion takes you to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the underground tombs—now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site—many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an organ concert. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Belgrade

Day
17

Included today: Guided sightseeing One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world's largest orthodox church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city's lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade's largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city's principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down on the confluence of the Danube.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Iron Gates Gorge

Day
18

This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive Lepenski Vir Exhibition Centre, which houses area archaeological artefacts and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic Iron Gates gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe's Alps in the Northwest from the Carpathians in the south-east and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cetate

Day
19

This morning, stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port that is now a cultural centre. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to taste some of the locally made products. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nikopol - Rousse

Day
20

This morning stop in Nikopol from where an excursion takes you to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, and the Patriarch's Church. With your local guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and Ethnographical Museum, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the town's oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. If you don't wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board and relax or join a guided tour of Rousse.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Oltenita (Disembarkation) - Bucharest

Day
21

After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name 'Paris of the East'. Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the included tour this afternoon, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei, 'Victory Avenue' Bucharest's most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafés, and fine houses.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bucharest

Day
22

Return travel to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.

Athenee Palace Hilton

Built in 1914 and set in the heart of the city, Athénée Palace Hilton is perfect for visiting Bucharest's spectacular sights. This beautiful hotel boasts fantastic views of Revolution Square and is close to the former Royal Palace and Romanian Athenaeum. Official rating: 5 stars.

  • Location

    Located in central Bucharest, the Athenee Palace Hilton hotel is situated just a five-minute walk from many popular tourist attractions, shops, theatres, cafes and iconic sites. The Old Town is a short stroll away. 

  • Facilities

    • Three restaurants
    • Bar
    • Café bistro
    • Heated indoor swimming pool
    • Jacuzzi
Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest

Avalon Passion

The Avalon Passion accommodates 166 passengers and features two full decks of Panorama Suites. With wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform into a unique open-air balcony, the suites are the ideal setting for stretching out and relaxing or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access and complimentary computer use in public areas, a fitness centre, a hair salon, lift, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Ship facts

  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: Suite ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 47
  • Number of cabins: 83
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 166 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: EUR
  • Number of decks: 4
  • Length (m): 135
  • Width (m): 11.45
  • Speed in knots: 13
  • Launch year: 2016

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, double sinks, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity, well-stocked minibar, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, a sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, and a writing desk.

Details

  • 300 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, a contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, writing desk, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity and a well-stocked minibar.

Details

  • 200 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These staterooms feature an alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, an elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, memory foam mattress toppers, soft and firm pillows, two windows, well-stocked minibar, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, nightly turn-down service, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, vanity and a writing desk.

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restriction

Avalon Waterways do not accept bookings for children under 8. There are no special arrangements or activities on board for children and they cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied children under 18 years of age and any travellers under this age must share the adult’s accommodation.

Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways will try their best to accommodate dietary requirements if they are mentioned at the time of booking.

Disabled Facilities

Passengers must report any disability to Avalon before any reservation is made so that Avalon may advise whether they and/or their suppliers for any particular holiday are able to accommodate the passengers. Avalon may rely on the information provided to them by the passengers regarding the details of any disability in order to make a decision as to whether the passengers can be accommodated. Avalon will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled passengers, in accordance with the applicable laws.Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting or walking. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate within a group.All of the ships have lifts, however they do not service the SkyDeck. Additionally most stateroom doors and bathrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings.For safety reasons passengers cannot be carried on ramps in ports when the ship is docked. In certain circumstances, they may ask that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person capable of providing any assistance required.

Dress Code

The dress code for dinner is casual and comfortable. The Welcome and Farewell Dinners give you a chance to dress up but are not formal.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is only allowed on the ships outside decks where ash trays are provided.

Deck Games Area

Relax after a long day and play a game with your fellow guests at the game area towards the rear of the deck.

Fitness Centre

The ship is fitted with a fully equipped Fitness Centre for you to release some tension.

Hairdressing Salon

Situated on the Royal Deck you might like to take advantage of the onboard hairdresser to indulge in a manicure or hair styling.

Sky Deck Whirlpool

The Sky Deck has a shade system, with premium loungers for luxurious relation. The warm Whirlpool is situated along side for when guests fancy a quick dip.

Club Lounge

Enjoy a quiet moment in the Club Lounge whilst enjoying a cappuccino.

Library

Guests will find a small Library onboard and guests may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. 

Observation Lounge

The Observation Lounge on the Royal Deck, gives guests a prime view to enjoy the premium spirits.

Sky Lounge

On the Sun deck you will find the Sky Lounge, where you can relax and catch the sun's rays whilst enjoying a drink or snack from the nearby Sky Bistro. 

Internet Centre

Complimentary Wi-Fi access and free use of computers or laptops is available to help you stay in touch with friends and family while you enjoy a coffee at the Internet Cafe. 

Shore Excursions

On shore, Avalon includes a great range of comprehensive sightseeing excursions led by knowledgable Certified Local Guides. They also provide individual personal audio headsets to ensure you still have the freedom to roam through some of Europe's most famous attractions without missing a moment of fascinating commentary.

If you'd like to experience something slightly off the beaten track, they offer unique alternative excursions in select destinations. In many cities they also give you a choice of sightseeing pace: 'Traditional' to see all the major sights, 'Leisurely' available on walking tours when you want to take it slower, and 'Independent' allowing you to explore on your own. Have a chat with your Cruise Director to learn about the available options.

They even provide Nordic walking sticks to put that extra spring in your step!

Dining Room

A spacious, open-seating dining room with elegant dining service and large panoramic windows is situated on the Sapphire deck. With an elegantly simple design, you can enjoy a full buffet breakfast or lunch with special options for those who wish to eat lightly, and delicious four-course dinners in the evening. 

Panorama Bistro & Lounge

The Panorama Lounge & Bistro, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view, offers a casual atmosphere for guests to enjoy a variety of regional and tapas-style dishes, hand-paired with local wines.

Room Service

Room service is available for Continental breakfast & beverages.

Sky Bistro

On a sunny day, enjoy hand carved meats and expansive buffets including fresh salads and amazing homemade soups, all a view courtesy of the Sky Bistro.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

  • Fitness Centre
  • Deluxe Staterooms

Deck 2

  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro & Lounge
  • Bar
  • Internet Corner
  • Reception
  • Hair Salon
  • Club Lounge
  • Panorama Suites 
  • Royal Suites

Deck 3

  • Galley
  • Dining Room
  • Panorama Suites

Deck 4

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium Lounge Chairs and Shade Awnings
  • Deck Game Area

Why book with us?