Budapest, Hungary - 25th May 2019
You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise ship. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner and drinks and an evening cruise of Budapest.
Kalocsa, Hungary - 26th May 2019
Early this morning we sail out of Budapest towards Kalocsa, one of the oldest towns in Hungary, famous for the production of paprika. This afternoon, visit a local Puszta Horse Farm and enjoy a performance showcasing the exceptional riding skills of Magyar horseman. Tonight, the Captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner. This was the best day of the whole trip.
Osijek, Croatia - 27th May 2019
Cruise into the border region of Croatia today, an area that was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence at the end of the communist era. Compare stories back at the ship and enjoy an evening of sailing further down the Danube into Serbia, where remnants of former conflicts can be regularly seen along the river banks. It rained heavily today and frankly Osijek was perhaps not the most interesting place to visit so we had a look around and then walked back to the ship.
Belgrade, Serbia - 28th May 2019
Serbia's vibrant capital awaits today, your city tour includes a visit to Tito's Memorial, the impressive Fortress Kalemegdan and St Sava Church which is the world's largest orthodox cathedral.
Gill rode on a wonderful guided bking tour and in the evening there was a Serbian Folklore Show
Golubac, Serbia - 29th May 2019
Today you will embark on an incredible journey to the archaeological excavation site Lepinski Vir. Located on the right bank of the Danube in the Djerdap gorge (The Iron gates of the Danube) near the town of Donji Milanovac, Lepenski Vir was the centre of one of the most complex prehistoric cultures. Rich cultural layers reveal traces of a highly developed culture that had complex social relations and as such was the first discovered urban settlement in Europe. Return to the ship and sail towards the narrow gorge between the European Alps and Carpathian Mountains, known as the Iron Gates. The excavation site was pretty dull !
Vidin, Bulgaria - 30th May 2019
Arrival in Vidin, the most western town in Bulgaria. Your day will begin with an included tour visiting a local vineyard with wine tasting. Later, visit the medieval Baba Vida Fortress. Tonight, join your Captain for a farewell reception and dinner. As can be seen from some of the photos below, the population of Vidin simply did not appear to care much about their town...... a real mess ! If only they'd realise that if they spent a few bucks they would make a fortune from us tourists! The fortress was minimal and at the vineyard, the wine was frankly horrible.
Rousse, Bulgaria - 31st May 2019
Today your ship will cruise to Rousse and visit the impressive cliff top town of Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Bulgarian empire known once as the 'city of the Tsars'. Visit the historic town of Arbanasi perched on a high plateau overlooking the Yantra River and lined with traditional houses. The town is known for its 17th and 18th century churches and many examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture. In the evening, we had our final meal on board with our wonderful Americans (Janet & George on the left) and our lovely Brits (Stuart & Jean on the right) served admirably as ever by our waiter whose name unfortunately escapes us.
Giurgiu, Bucharest, Romania - 1st June 2019
This morning, disembark your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise and journey by road to Romania's capital, Bucharest. The city's wide avenues have a distinctly French feel; in fact, the city is often referred to as the Paris of the East. Included is a one-night stay in Bucharest. One more evening of fun at the dinner table in the hotel with our newfound chums Janet, George, Jean and Stuart aided by an excellent waitress who didn't seem to care how much wine she gave us.
A guided visit in Bucharest to the former home of the ex-President Nicolae Ceaușescu who, together with his wife, were executed after a very short trial on Christmas Day, 25 December 1989. Unbelievable wealth ! We were shown around three floors of this mansion before the guide explained that there were another four floors underground together with many escape tunnels. Sadly, it would appear that Ceaușescu ordered the killing of so many people before the AK-47 Kalashnikovs were turned on him and his wife.
............ our final day in Bucharest
The fountains were staggering. The government buildings simply huge but again the pavements were breaking up and loose wires just laid on the ground. However, the new cathedral will I'm sure be absolutely splendid. A final meal at the hotel with our new chums Janet & George and Jean & Stuart aided by a wonderful waitress who didn't really care how much wine we were given.