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Best of the Balkans

Discover this less familiar section of the Danube on a trip to the Balkans, including the five countries of Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary. Visit iconic landmarks and cultural highlights and taste delicious regional cuisines.

Explore historic cities and medieval towns layered with fascinating history and heritage with a varied itinerary which includes expert guided tours and free time to explore. A day is devoted to scenic sailing, including the spectacular Iron Gates gorges.

Enjoy unparalleled luxury aboard a stylish river cruiser with contemporary décor and every modern amenity in both the suites and public areas. Award-winning cuisine reflects local flavours perfectly partnered with five-star service and warm hospitality.

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from 499 reviews
  • Cruise Line: APT Touring
  • Ship: Travelmarvel River Ships
  • Duration: 14 Nights
  • Departure: Apr - Oct 2024
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Best of the Balkans Cruise Itinerary

See the Danube in a different light as you sail beyond central Europe to the beautiful Balkans on this luxury 14-night cruise. Explore the history, culture, and heritage of five Balkan countries with the chance to view stunning architecture and historic monuments plus savour delicious regional and local cuisines. Your sailing partner is a luxury Travelmarvel cruise ship complete with every modern comfort and convenience.

Day 1


Fly from the UK to Budapest, the capital of Hungary, where you will transfer from the airport to your luxury river ship moored on the Danube River.

Day 2


Enjoy a day to explore beautiful Budapest. Visit historic monuments such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Heroes’ Square with spectacular views over the city and the river from Castle Hill. Tonight, enjoy a gala Welcome Dinner on board the ship.

Day 3

Mohacs, Pecs

Dock in Mohacs, a charming and tranquil port, and from there, travel to Pecs, a World Heritage-designated city and the fifth largest in Hungary. There’s lots to see, including the historic 11th-century cathedral and the Mosque of Pasha Qasim.

Day 4


Vukovar is Croatia’s largest river port. Witness the fascinating reconstruction of this Baroque city after the Croatian War of Independence with a visit to the Vukovar City Museum. Enjoy a stroll through the castle complex.

Day 5


Take a fascinating guided tour through Serbia’s capital city. Visit the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava and the Belgrade Fortress. The Insider Experience includes a visit to a local farming family.

Day 6

Iron Gates

A cruise highlight, the Iron Gates is a series of dramatic gorges between Serbia and Romania. This area offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the Danube with fascinating stone carvings like the Dacian Chief, Decebalus.

Day 7


Rousse is an elegant Bulgarian city with Belle Epoque architecture and a strong flavour of Central European grandness. Stroll amongst immaculate garden squares and savour the views from the Sexaginta Prista Fortress, high above the river.

Day 8

Giurgiu, Bucharest

Romania’s capital city, also known as Little Paris, is an eclectic blend of traditional and early 20th-century architecture with a hip and vibrant culture. Explore on a guided tour through the old city centre to the Lipscani district with free time later on.

Day 9

Rousse, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi

Discover the medieval heritage of Veliko Tarnovo with an expert guide and visit the restored Tsarevets Fortress. Later, head to the hilltop village of Arbanasi, with 17th and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival Architecture.

Day 10

Vidin, Belogradchik

Explore Vidin at your leisure, a historic city with stunning natural surroundings. Afterwards, travel to Belogradchik with its ancient fortress on the Balkan Mountains which rises above the town and uses natural rock faces as part of its construction.

Day 11

Scenic Cruising

Spend a day on board ship relaxing or socialising. Whatever you choose to do, you can be assured of picture postcard views from the ship’s Sun Deck.

Day 12

Novi Sad

Join a guided tour of Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city and where the Danube River meets the Petrovaradin Fortress with its famous catacombs. Guests can opt to spend their free time on board the ship, enjoying the world-class amenities.

Day 13

Kalocsa, Puszta

Today’s Insider Experience includes a display of traditional Magyar horsemanship at an equestrian centre near Kalocsa. These epic skills have been honed throughout centuries of living and working on the Great Hungarian Plain or Puszta.

Day 14


Enjoy free time on your last day in Hungary’s capital city. Stroll around the stunning architecture or visit the thermal baths. There is an optional tour of the Hospital in the Rock, built as an air raid medical facility and later converted into a nuclear bunker.

Day 15


Disembark your luxury river ship in Budapest and transfer to the airport for your return flight back to the UK.

Best of the Balkans Cruise Ships

Trustpilot Reviews

Best of the Balkans Deals

Explore the historical cities of the Danube with APT

14 Nights
Apr - Oct 2024

Best of the Balkans

  • Belgrade
  • Bucharest
  • Budapest
  • Iron Gates
  • Kalocsa / Puszta
  • Mohacs
  • Novi Sad
  • Pecs
  • Rousse / Veliko Tarnovo / Arbanassi
  • Vidin / Belogradchik
  • Vukovar
£3,295pp Est. Price per person
  • Travelmarvel Polaris + 2 more  

Best of the Balkans Cruise Review

“Very well organised, informative, great, friendly staff, excellent food, and fantastic service. Everything was spotlessly clean, and nothing was too much trouble. One of the best experiences ever.”

Philip Wade

Best of the Balkans FAQ

Find answers to some of the most common questions about river cruising here.

I’m on a restricted diet. Can the chefs accommodate my requirements?

When you book, let our reservations team know that you will need tailored menus and your specific requirements. We always do our very best to accommodate passenger needs.

What visas do I require?

When you make your reservation, your friendly booking agent will advise which visas are necessary based on transit and port destinations. Always allow 12-16 weeks to make your application ahead of your cruise date. Some visas can take up to six months. If you require a letter of invitation alongside your visa application, your sales consultant will provide this.

I am flying in a couple of days before the cruise start date, where should I meet the travel representative?

We will email you a time and location to meet your tour group if you are already in the departure city.

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