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9 nights
from £2495

The Enchanting East

A voyage along the Danube from the Delta wetlands to Budapest aboard the Royal Crown

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  • History and Culture
  • Budapest

Join us as we navigate the Danube River from the delta in the east to Budapest. We will travel through the heart of Europe visiting Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. This is one of the world’s great journeys, following as it does one of the most important trade routes since the earliest of times, linking the east with the west. We will journey through some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes, from the delta lands of the Danube to the plains of Hungary, visiting the great historic cities of Bucharest, Belgrade, and Budapest as well as picturesque riverside towns. From the great comfort of our vessel we will cruise effortlessly, enjoying the varied scenery and architecture whilst learning more about a region that has seen more of its fair share of conflicts, revolutions and wars. The combination of modern and traditional culture, wine tasting and folklore along the way makes for a fascinating trip. 

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Royal Crown

Royal Crown

This elegant vessel combines the nostalgic charm of the 1930s with the comfort and service of a four-star vessel. No expense has been spared to create not only a vessel that is beautiful to look at, but also a great joy to travel on. Spacious teak decks, elegant public rooms and staterooms with mahogany, rosewood and marble, together with rich fabrics and specially designed furniture, all blend together to create a unique river vessel. Built in 1996 and refurbished in 2010, the 90 passenger MS Royal Crown was designed for the rivers flowing through the heart of Europe. Exquisite furniture, expensive materials and accessories give the vessel its unique atmosphere. Facilities onboard include a library, boutique, fitness area, lounge with panoramic views and a restaurant with open seating. Outside there is a large sun deck, lido bar, a putting green and large scale chessboard. Onboard the efficient air-conditioning system ensures a comfortable temperature. Two powerful engines propel the vessel up to a speed of 12 knots.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Bucharest, Romania.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to Cernavoda (approximately 3 hours) and embark the MS Royal Crown. Sail this evening.

Day 2 - Danube Delta.

The vast Danube Delta is one of the most important wetlands left in Europe. From the port of Tulcea, join a boat trip to explore the delta. Sail in the afternoon.

Day 3 - Bucharest.

Arrive this morning in the port of Oltenita for a drive to Bucharest where we will explore the main sights of the city and see the boulevards with their decidedly French style. After lunch in a local restaurant there will be a choice of afternoon visits. You may wish to visit the Parliament Palace, the second largest administrative building in the world at 3.77 million square feet. This gargantuan construction is Ceausescu’s most infamous creation, and makes for a fascinating tour (please note that closure at short notice is possible if unannounced official functions are taking place). Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the fascinating Village Museum, an open-air ethnographic museum located in the Herăstrău Park, showcasing traditional Romanian village life. We will re-join the MS Royal Crown in Giurgiu and sail on to Rousse for an overnight mooring. After dinner this evening we will be entertained by a lively Bulgarian folk troupe.

Day 4 - Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.

From Rousse we depart by coach for a fullday tour to Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom from 1187 to 1393. The city formed a natural fortress, located on three hills surrounding the Yantra River. A palace, fortifications and churches were built into the terrain. Across the river, ancient stone houses seemingly perched on top of each other rise up the steep riverbank. After lunch in a local restaurant visit the museum town of Arbanassi, famous for its 17th and 18th architecture and the unique Church of the Nativity of Christ.

Day 5 - Cruising through the Iron Gates.

Today the scenery becomes truly spectacular as we cruise through the Iron Gates, a narrow Danube gorge between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains.

Day 6 - Belgrade, Serbia.

Spend the morning in this interesting city. A halfday tour highlights the city’s main attractions, including the Kalemegdan Fortress as it looms over the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, Saint Sava Cathedral, the largest Orthodox Church in the world, and Tito’s Memorial. Our tour will finish with a superb local folklore performance before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon is at leisure, or you may like to join our optional tour to the historic Serbian towns of Oplenac and Topola. At Oplenac we will visit the outstanding complex of the Karadjordjevic Dynasty, including the Mausoleum and the Church of St George with its beautiful mosaic interior. The entire area of the mosaic is 3,500 square metres with 40 million various coloured pieces of glass which have 15 thousand different varieties of colour. On the surrounding hills, King Peter I planted vineyards from which they made superb wines, and Topola is still renowned for its wine production. Here we have a tour of the historic centre and a wine tasting before heading back to Belgrade. Sail in the evening.

Day 7 - Novi Sad.

Following the destruction of the three main bridges by the NATO bombing campaign in 1999, the city of Novi Sad, in the Serbian northern province of Vojvodina, has returned to normal after much rebuilding. The city is rich in historic buildings including the fortress, Bishop’s House, Clock Tower and numerous churches, some of which will be seen on our morning tour. Our exploration of Greater Novi Sad includes a wine tasting in nearby Sremski Karlovic where we sample some excellent wines of the former Yugoslavia.

Day 8 - Pecs, Hungary.

From the port of Mohacs, depart after breakfast for a morning tour to the university town of Pecs, a settlement dating back to Roman times. Our visit will feature the sites associated with the city’s Roman Ottoman Hapsburg past, as well as a short organ recital in the splendid Pecs Cathedral. Return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon is at leisure to explore ashore or relax on board. Alternatively you might wish to join our optional afternoon excursion to nearby Siklós Castle, one of the best-preserved castle palaces in Hungary.

Day 9 - Budapest, Hungary.

Arrive this morning and explore Hungary’s elegant capital. Our guided tour will include the old quarter, a visit to the Matthias’ Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion, from where there are stunning views of the city. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore ashore at your own pace. Tonight enjoy your Farewell Dinner on board, followed by music performed by a local gypsy band.

Day 10 - Budapest to London.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for the return scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
26 June 2018 to 5 July 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Junior Suite £2695 £2495
Superior Suite £2795 £2595
Deluxe Suite £2995 £2795
Premium Suite £31995 £31795
Royal Suite £3695 £3495
Deluxe Suite For sole use £2995 £2795

Tour Reference Code: RCRC260618

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 9 nights aboard the MS Royal Crown on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions, Cruise Director, Tour Manager, Guest Speaker, gratuities, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, excursions shown as optional on days 6 & 8.

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Destinations

  • Europe

    To see our current selection of tours in Europe click here.

  • Bulgaria

    To see our current selection of tours in Bulgaria click here.

  • Hungary

    To see our current selection of tours in Hungary click here.

  • Romania

    To see our current selection of tours in Romania click here.

  • Serbia

    To see our current selection of tours in Serbia click here.

Royal Crown

This elegant vessel combines the nostalgic charm of the 1930s with the comfort and service of a four-star vessel. No expense has been spared to create not only a vessel that is beautiful to look at, but also a great joy to travel on. Spacious teak decks, elegant public rooms and staterooms with mahogany, rosewood and marble, together with rich fabrics and specially designed furniture, all blend together to create a unique river vessel. Built in 1996 and refurbished in 2010, the 90 passenger MS Royal Crown was designed for the rivers flowing through the heart of Europe. Exquisite furniture, expensive materials and accessories give the vessel its unique atmosphere. Facilities onboard include a library, boutique, fitness area, lounge with panoramic views and a restaurant with open seating. Outside there is a large sun deck, lido bar, a putting green and large scale chessboard. Onboard the efficient air-conditioning system ensures a comfortable temperature. Two powerful engines propel the vessel up to a speed of 12 knots.

 
  • Royal Crown
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • On Deck
  • Twin Cabin
  • Sun Deck
  • Cabin Bathroom
  • Bar
  • Royal Suite
    Royal Suite
  • Your Cabin / Suite

    Royal Crown has 45 suites which range in size from 145 square feet to the spacious Royal Suites which measure 200 square feet. All suites are fitted with spacious rosewood cupboards, a dressing table, satellite TV, a safety deposit box, individually controlled airconditioning and en-suite facilities with shower and hairdryer. Suites on the Select deck have portholes and the Royal Suites on the Panorama deck have large windows.

    Please note that Junior, Deluxe & Superior Suites have fixed twin beds. Premium and Royal Suites have fixed double beds with separate mattresses and duvets, so can be made up as twins if required.

  • Your Space

    The elegant Lounge Bar is defined by its 30s inspired Art Deco style, with textured carpets, carved mahogany and plush sofas which create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Experience unforgettable views from the large windows as you enjoy coffee or tea. The lounge is also where our guest speakers will entertain you with informative presentations. In the evenings, let the day come to an end with a choice of beverages from the extensive menu accompanied by a musician playing a Steinway & Sons grand piano. The huge sun deck on MS Royal Crown covers almost the entire length of the vessel, interrupted only by the bridge and the Lido Bar (open when weather permits) where you can enjoy a drink under the umbrella such as fresh juice, a milkshake, or even a cocktail. Recline on a sun lounger and read a book or watch the changing scenery. There is also a putting green and a large chess board for your enjoyment. For some time out, relax in the wellness centre which includes a sauna with shower facilities, and a fitness room. There is also a small boutique and a library with a selection of books and games. Daily news sheets are also supplied.

  • Your Dining

    While the most beautiful river scenery passes by, enjoy delicacies created by the Executive Chef and his team. The restaurant has open seating, allowing you to sit where and with whom you like at each meal. In the morning breakfast is served buffet style, lunch is a delightful salad buffet with hot served choices and dinner is a served four course meal. In addition house wine, beer and soft drinks are included at both lunch and dinner.

  • Life Onboard

    The atmosphere onboard is friendly and informal and within days you will have made new friends in the open-seating restaurant, on the shore excursions or whilst relaxing in the comfortable public areas onboard. You will find yourself amongst like-minded people in an English speaking environment and for those who seek peace and quiet, there will always be the opportunity to find a secluded spot on the sun deck or simply rest in your well-appointed cabin. A musician will play each evening whilst you relax in the lounge, guest speakers will provide a series of interesting talks and our cruise director will host informative port briefings. After a day exploring ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable vessel.

  • For Your Comfort

    The Royal Crown is equipped with the latest safety and navigation equipment for sailing Europe’s waterways. During you voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers in the Bridge to learn more about navigating the varying water levels of these meandering rivers. There is no doctor onboard. Smoking is limited to the Sun deck.

  • Deck plans
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Tour Extensions

    • 20th to 26th June 2018

      Before embarking the MS Royal Crown we are offering the opportunity to explore Transylvania which is located in central Romania, a region of exquisite countryside surrounded by the arc of the dramatic Carpathian mountain chain. This region is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved Medieval towns and stunning castles. 

      Day 1 London to Sibiu, Romania. Fly by scheduled indirect flight.Arrive this afternoon and transfer to your four-star hotel for a three night stay. Tonight gather for the traditional bread and salt welcome, followed by a Welcome Drink and Dinner at your hotel.

      Day 2 Sibiu & Sibiel. After breakfast join a walking tour of colourful Sibiu followed by some free time before lunch in the old city. Later we will drive to Sibiel and visit a unique and superb museum of glass painted icons, located in the old village church. This evening, enjoy a traditional dinner during which we will be able to talk to our local hosts about Romanian daily life in a Transylvanian village.

      Day 3 Sibiu & Alba Iulia. After breakfast we depart for Alba Iulia, the town where Ferdinand and Marie were crowned Kings of the Great Romania. On arrival we visit the stunning White Citadel and the Coronation Cathedral, as well as the Unification Museum. Lunch will be in a local restaurant, followed by some time here at leisure. Return to Sibiu and dinner this evening will be at your hotel.

      Day 4 Biertan, Sighisoara & Brasov. After breakfast depart for picturesque Biertan where the first glimpse of the town’s Medieval church is unforgettable; it towers over the square below, surrounded by vividly painted houses and backed by vineyards. On arrival we visit the UNESCO 14th century fortified church, once the home to the Lutheran Bishop of Transylvania. Continue on to Sighisoara and on arrival explore the Old Town. Enjoy lunch in ‘Dracula’s House’ restaurant followed by some free time. Continue on to Brasov where we will be staying for three nights. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant.

      Day 5 Azuga, Sinaia & Rasnov. After breakfast depart for a city tour of Brasov, including the City Hall Square, St Nicholas Church and the Old City. Afterwards we continue to Azuga in Prahova Valley, home of the Royal Cellar which is the wine supplier for the Royal family. We will stop at a local vineyard for lunch and enjoy some wine tasting. Continue on to see the fairy-tale Peles Castle, built by King Carol I in the 19th century. Afterwards we head back towards Brasov with a stop enroute at the Rasnov Citadel, (please note that the entrance to the citadel is a 15 minute uphill walk).

      Day 6 Brasov. After breakfast, visit the Black Church, followed by some free time in the Old City. Our Farewell Dinner tonight will be in the nearby resort town of Poiana Brasov.

      Day 7 Brasov to Cernavoda. After breakfast depart for a visit to Bran to see the world famous ‘Dracula’s Castle’, built as a fortress in 1212 by the Knights of the Teutonic Order. Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler, used the castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania. We then depart for Ploiesti and enjoy lunch on arrival before continuing on our journey to Cernavoda, where we will embark the MS Royal Crown.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £795
      Single £1095

      Price Includes: Six nights hotel accommodation at four-star hotels as described, meals as described, wine & soft drinks with included lunches & dinners, excursions, gratuities.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, lunch on day 6.

River Guides

  • To see our current selection of tours for the river Danube click here.
     
    • Danube

    More than any other river in the world, the Danube will always conjure thoughts of music. The Danube rises in the Black Forest of Germany and reaches its end in the Black Sea, passing through four capital cities on its way (more than any other river in the world) and ten countries – Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Moldova. It has many tributaries, some important rivers themselves. The Danube is all about high culture and the historic cities that appear in close succession along its banks.

    Vienna, for instance, is a jewel. Its Ring created by Franz Joseph in the 1860s is a parade of imperial magnificence, opera house after university, palace after cathedral, interspersed with shaded gardens designed for outdoor summer concerts. Yet this is a city centre small enough to walk around easily – though you can take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. Must-sees include the Hofburg and the Schonbrunn but if you might want to try a must-do, go to the Music House where you can virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on screen – if you get to the end, the orchestra stands up and applauds you!

    Bratislava is a tiny city dominated by its castle on the hill and a historic gem. The Old Town is completely pedestrianized which makes for pleasant walking. Besides the Gothic Cathedral and an exquisitely pretty Old Town Hall, look out for the humorous statues – the Good Soldier Schweik’s head emerging from a manhole on the street for instance. Budapest is a city of two halves. Buda is hilly and wooded with Gothic houses and cobbled streets. Pest is all grand boulevards and Baroque buildings including a jewel of an opera house. For music lovers, there are museums to Liszt and Bartok and plenty of concerts on offer. And for everyone there are breath-taking views from the Fisherman’s Bastion perched high above the city where, in the sunshine, the Danube turns a perfect blue.

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