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12 nights
from £3295

Eastern Treasures

A cultural exploration from the delta lands of the Danube to the plains of Hungary aboard the Royal Crown

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  • History and Culture
  • Veliko Tarnovo

Join us for what promises to be a splendid journey as we navigate the Danube River from the delta in the east to Budapest. Travelling from the shores of the Black Sea to the heart of Europe we will visit Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia 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.

For those who enjoy seeing something different every day, our floating hotel will transport you in considerable comfort between great cities, towns and villages. Past ever changing landscapes where the slow speed of the vessel allows us to absorb the magnificent views of town and country. If you have never experienced a journey on a modern river cruiser it is difficult to explain the sheer pleasure that comes from travelling through the heart of Europe observing everyday life on the Danube’s banks.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Exclusive Performances by Sherban Lupu

    We will be joined on board by Sherban Lupu, one of the world’s leading performers of music by Romanian composer and virtuoso George Enescu. Romanianborn, Sherban studied at the Bucharest Conservatory with George Manoliu and later in London at the Guildhall School of Music, taking lessons and master classes with legendary violinists Yehudi Menuhin. He specialises in the music of his native Romania and Eastern Europe as well as the virtuoso romantic repertoire. 

    More information
  • Itinerary Highlights

    Onboard musical repertoires by renowned violinist, Sherban Lupu
    The rock monastery of St Demetrius Basarbovski in Bulgaria
    Spectacular sailing through the Iron Gates
    The wine region of Villany in Hungary
    The historic city of Vukovar in Croatia 
    Hungarian horse display at Kalocsa
    The ‘Queen of the Danube’, Budapest

    More information

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.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Bucharest, Romania.

Fly by scheduled flight and transfer to the MS Royal Crown in Cernavoda (approx. 3 hour drive). Sail this evening.

Day 2 - Tulcea.

Today we arrive in Tulcea, situated at the entrance to the Danube Delta. Enjoy a boat trip into the delta wetlands, famous for its birdlife. Sail in the early afternoon and after dinner this evening enjoy a recital by Sherban Lupu.

Day 3 - Bucharest.

Arrive this morning in the port of Oltenita from where we drive to Bucharest. 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 choose 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. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the unique Village Museum, an open-air ethnographic museum located in the Herastrau Park, showcasing traditional Romanian village life. The museum contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over Romania. After your tour depart for the port of Giurgiu to rejoin our vessel and sail on to Rousse for an overnight mooring.

Day 4 - Rousse, Bulgaria.

After breakfast join a city tour of Rousse, birthplace of Nobel Prize winner for literature, Elias Canetti. After our short walking tour of the city centre we will drive a short distance to visit the Monastery of St Demetrius Basarbovski, a fascinating rock monastery dating back to the 12th century. Return to Rousse for a wine tasting session of some splendid Bulgarian wines. This afternoon is at leisure for individual exploration. With its stunning architecture, charming restaurants and shops, there is much to explore here. After dinner enjoy a performance by Sherban Lupu.

Day 5 - Veliko Tarnovo.

Today we visit the city of 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 we visit the museum town of Arbanassi before re-joining the MS Royal Crown at Svistov.

Day 6 - 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 7 - Belgrade, Serbia.

We will spend the afternoon in this interesting city and our half-day tour will highlight 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 end with a spectacular folklore performance.

Day 8 - Vukovar, Croatia.

Enjoy a relaxing morning cruising to Vukovar, an important regional centre on Croatia’s eastern border. The city is renowned for the 87-day ‘siege of Vukovar’ between August and November 1991. At the time, it was the fiercest and most protracted battle seen in Europe since 1945. On our afternoon guided tour here we will explore and learn about this city’s distant and recent past, its brave defenders and peaceful restorations. We will visit Eltz castle, constructed in the mid-18th century by count Anzelmo Kazimir Eltz. It is one of the most prominent Baroque buildings in Croatia. Today it serves as the city museum after it was renovated from war damages. We will also visit the important Franciscan monastery and St Phillip and Jacob church – the Franciscan monks left an indelible trace in Vukovar area as they played an important role in the religious and educational development of this town. After the tour there will be some free time here, or for those who wish there will be a visit to the Homeland War Memorial Centre, a fascinating museum dedicated to the chronology of events during the war in Croatia.

Day 9 - Pecs & Villany, Hungary.

From the port of Mohacs, depart after breakfast for a full day scenic tour of Pecs and Villany. The city of Pecs enjoys a fine position on the slopes of the Mecsek Hills. The 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. Continue on to the town of Villany where we will enjoy lunch and a wine tasting. Villany is one of Hungary’s top wine regions, known for its reds and rosés. Thanks to the area’s sub-Mediterranean climate, wines from Villány are full-bodied and spicy and of the highest quality.

Day 10 - Kalocsa.

Arrive this morning in charming Kalocsa which is renowned for paprika production. Our tour of the Puszta district will include the town and a spectacular display of horsemanship. This afternoon, relax on board as we cruise along the glorious Danube towards Budapest.

Day 11 - Budapest.

We have the day to explore Hungary’s elegant capital city. Spend the morning on an excursion that will include the old quarter, visiting the Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion followed by an afternoon at leisure. After dinner be on deck to experience a ‘Budapest by Night’ cruise, a chance to see this beautiful city’s lights in the evening. Moor overnight.

Day 12 - Budapest.

This morning join the tour to the small Baroque town of Godollo which was the favoured home of Sissy, the wife of Emperor Franz Josef, and in recent years the palace has been restored. After lunch on board the afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or explore the delights of this historic city. Tonight join your fellow travellers in the lounge for a marvellous performance by Hungarian pianist Agnes Kovacs followed by our Farewell Gala Dinner.

Day 13 - Budapest to London.

Disembark after breakfast and return to London by scheduled flight.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
4 to 16 October 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Junior Suite £3495 £3295
Superior Suite £3595 £3395
Deluxe Suite £3795 £3595
Premium Suite £3995 £3795
Royal Suite £4495 £4295
Deluxe Suite For sole use £3795 £3595

Tour Reference Code: RCRC041018

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 12 nights aboard the MS Royal Crown on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions and music events as described, Cruise Director, Tour Manager, Guest Speaker, gratuities, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

  • {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

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.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
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Exclusive Performances by Sherban Lupu

We will be joined on board by Sherban Lupu, one of the world’s leading performers of music by Romanian composer and virtuoso George Enescu. Romanianborn, Sherban studied at the Bucharest Conservatory with George Manoliu and later in London at the Guildhall School of Music, taking lessons and master classes with legendary violinists Yehudi Menuhin. He specialises in the music of his native Romania and Eastern Europe as well as the virtuoso romantic repertoire. 

Itinerary Highlights

Onboard musical repertoires by renowned violinist, Sherban Lupu
The rock monastery of St Demetrius Basarbovski in Bulgaria
Spectacular sailing through the Iron Gates
The wine region of Villany in Hungary
The historic city of Vukovar in Croatia 
Hungarian horse display at Kalocsa
The ‘Queen of the Danube’, Budapest

Tour Extensions

    • 29th Sep to 4th Oct 2018

      Before embarking the MS Royal Crown we are offering a five night pre-cruise extension to the beautiful north east region of Romania to visit the famed Painted Monasteries, including a two night stay in the Republic of Moldova to experience the wine and culture of this little known state. These beautiful remote lands are steeped in history, tradition and culture and our itinerary includes many highlights as we travel amongst the plains and slopes of the eastern Carpathians. We start in Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova and from where we visit the extraordinary Cricova wine cellars, located beneath the hills just outside the city. These cellars are a maze of wine-filled vaults extending between 60 and 120 kilometres into the earth. Indeed, they are so big they are best navigated by car. Amongst the wines on display is a priceless group of bottles accumulated by Herman Goering, having been brought back by the Red Army at the end of World War II. From Chisinau we travel across the border to Iasi in Romania, from where we will visit Tarpesti, a small rural village in the Moldova region before travelling on to Suceava, our base for excursions to the fascinating and unique painted Voronet and Sucevita monasteries; their fine exterior and interior frescoes have been preserved since Medieval times.

      Day 1 London to Chişinu, Moldova. Fly by scheduled indirect flight to Chişinau, capital of Moldova, and on arrival transfer to our four-star hotel for a two night stay. Dinner will be at the hotel this evening.

      Day 2 Cricova, Moldova. After breakfast we depart for nearby Cricova for a tour of the famous cellar and a wine tasting. Cricova cellar is a real underground town with a remarkable and historic collection of wines, and currently the number of bottles stored stands at around 1.3 million, with high profile politicians such as Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel keeping their private wine collections here. Enjoy lunch and a wine tasting, after which we will return to the city for a guided tour. This evening we will have dinner in a local restaurant with traditional Moldovian cuisine and music.

      Day 3 Chisinau to Iasi. After breakfast we depart Moldova and drive to Iasi, Romania. (Please note the border crossing can take up to 2 hours). On arrival into Iasi check in to your hotel and enjoy lunch. This afternoon we depart for a tour of this historic city, home to an impressive number of Orthodox churches, most of them located in the so-called Golden Plateau. The oldest, the Princely Saint Nicholas Church, dates from the reign of Stephen the Great. The finest, however, are the 17th century St Paraschiva Metropolitan Cathedral and Trei Ierarhi Church, the last a curious example of Byzantine art, erected in 1635-1639 by Vasile Lupu. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant serving typical Romanian rustic fare.

      Day 4 Iasi to Targu Neamt-Suceava to Radauti. After breakfast depart for Tarpesti, a small village in the Modavia region, and on arrival make a visit to the private museum of Mr Popa; see his extraordinary and vast collection of artefacts and archaeological finds, followed by a performance of local folk dance by some of the village children. After lunch here continue on to Radauti with a panoramic city tour of Suceava Citadel en-route. On arrival into Radauti we check in to our hotel for an overnight stay, and join your fellow travellers for a regional wine tasting session before dinner.

      Day 5 The Painted Monasteries – Bucovina. After breakfast depart for the small town of Gura Humorului and visit the Catholic Church Cacica. On arrival see the beautiful Voronet Monastery, the ‘Sistine Chapel of the East’ where the frescoes feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as ‘Voroneţ blue’. Continue on to Campulung-Moldovenesc and on arrival enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Afterwards we will visit Moldavita Monastery and Sucevita Monastery, considered to be the greatest of the painted monasteries with its fortress-like appearance, towers and buttresses. Return in the late afternoon to our hotel in Iasi for dinner and an overnight stay.

      Day 6 Iasi to Cernavoda. After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Bucharest. On arrival enjoy a visit to Bucharest Old Town, followed by lunch in a local restaurant, after which transfer to the MS Royal Crown in Cernavoda (approx 3 hours’ drive) for embarkation.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £995
      Single £1195

      Price Includes: Five nights hotel accommodation at four-star hotels as described, full board throughout, wine & soft drinks with lunch & dinner, excursions, Tour
      Manager, gratuities.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

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