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Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest

Explore the scenery and culture of the Danube heading eastwards through Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary.

Discover the three capital cities of Bucharest, Budapest, and Belgrade and uncover layers of history and culture previously overshadowed by the Communist domination of the 20th century. The Iron Gates Gorge guarantees breathtaking river views.

Savour luxury and service on board the Spirit of the Danube, with spacious suites and staterooms, award-winning dining, and amenities a five-star hotel would be proud of. Enjoy magnificent river views, the perfect backdrop to socialising and relaxing.

4.95
Star Image
from 402 reviews
  • Cruise Line: Saga
  • Ship: Spirit of the Danube
  • Duration: 10 Nights
  • Departure: July 2024
£3,289pp
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Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest Cruise Itinerary

Discover new locations on this famous river with a 10-night cruise through five Eastern European countries. Uncover history, heritage, and culture with a full day’s scenic sailing through the legendary Iron Gates Gorge. Enjoy five-star luxury on board the elegantly appointed Spirit of the Danube. This river ship has everything covered, from state-of-the-art amenities and award-winning dining to spacious and sumptuous cabins.

Day 1

Bucharest, Romania

Travel to Bucharest and check into a 4-star hotel. Bucharest is Romania’s capital city, famed for its tree-lined boulevards and Belle Epoque architecture. Explore city highlights, including the Palace of the Parliament and Cotroceni Palace.

Day 2

Bucharest, Romania to Fetesti

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Fetesti, where you will board the luxury river cruiser Spirit of the Danube.

Day 3

Braila, Romania

Braila has a rich history and cultural heritage, with some interesting landmarks. From Braila, guests can transfer by coach to Tulcea and join a boat cruise into the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, a Biosphere Reserve home to over 300 bird species.

Day 4

Rousse, Bulgaria

Rousse is one of Bulgaria’s most elegant cities, with grand buildings showcasing Austrian-style Belle Epoque architecture, just like Vienna. Enjoy a guided tour of the city in the afternoon with a choice of museums and an impressive ruined Roman fortress.

Day 5

Nikopol, Bulgaria

Rolling hills and farmland surround Nikopol, offering a unique blend of nature, history, and culture. Tour the medieval Nikopol fortress or the beautiful Orthodox churches, all with panoramic views of the Danube.

Day 6

Scenic Cruise to the Iron Gates Gorge and the Decebalus Face

Enjoy a day sailing the magnificent scenery of the Iron Gates Gorge, including the Decebalus Face, a giant carving of the last king of Dacia. A complex system of dams and locks makes this once treacherous and dramatic stretch of water safely navigable.

Day 7

Belgrade, Serbia

Located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers, Belgrade is the point at which Eastern and Western Europe meet. Discover the city’s fascinating history and see key landmarks like the cathedral, St. Sava Temple, and the Kalemegdan Fortress.

Day 8

Vukovar, Croatia

Vukovar is famous for a three-month siege by Serb forces in 1991, but rewind a few centuries, and Vukovar was ruled by Rome until the 5th century. Explore a mix of Baroque and pre-war architecture in the historic centre, which includes shell-scarred preserved buildings.

Day 9

Budapest, Hungary

Arrive in Budapest, a city of two halves, Buda and Pest, built on opposite sides of the Danube. United since 1873, the two parts are still very distinct in character. Explore old Buda, with its medieval buildings, and Pest, with its grand 19th-century buildings.

Day 10

Budapest, Hungary

Explore the two sides of Budapest with a guided tour showcasing all the highlights and famous landmarks. Reputedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, explore magnificent castles, ancient churches, and the famous Széchenyi Medicinal Bath.

Day 11

Budapest, Hungary

Disembark Spirit of the Danube and transfer to Ferenc Liszt International Airport for return flights to the UK.

Day 1

Budapest, Hungary

Travel to Budapest, Hungary’s famous capital city, which straddles both sides of the Danube River. Check into a four-star city centre hotel.

Day 2

Budapest, Hungary

Explore the two sides of Budapest with a guided tour showcasing all the highlights and famous landmarks. Reputedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, explore magnificent castles, ancient churches, and the famous Széchenyi Medicinal Bath.

Day 3

Budapest, Hungary

Arrive in Budapest, a city of two halves, Buda and Pest, built on opposite sides of the Danube. United since 1873, the two parts are still very distinct in character. Explore old Buda, with its medieval buildings, and Pest, with its grand 19th-century buildings.

Day 4

Vukovar, Croatia

Vukovar is famous for a three-month siege by Serb forces in 1991, but rewind a few centuries, and Vukovar was ruled by Rome until the 5th century. Explore a mix of Baroque and pre-war architecture in the historic centre, which includes shell-scarred preserved buildings.

Day 5

Belgrade, Serbia

Located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers, Belgrade is the point at which Eastern and Western Europe meet. Discover the city’s fascinating history and see key landmarks like the cathedral, St. Sava Temple, and the Kalemegdan Fortress.

Day 6

Scenic Cruise to the Iron Gates Gorge and the Decebalus Face

Enjoy a day sailing the magnificent scenery of the Iron Gates Gorge, including the Decebalus Face, a giant carving of the last king of Dacia. A complex system of dams and locks makes this once treacherous and dramatic stretch of water safely navigable.

Day 7

Nikopol, Bulgaria

Rolling hills and farmland surround Nikopol, offering a unique blend of nature, history, and culture. Tour the medieval Nikopol fortress or the beautiful Orthodox churches, all with panoramic views of the Danube.

Day 8

Rousse, Bulgaria

Rousse is one of Bulgaria’s most elegant cities, with grand buildings showcasing Austrian-style Belle Epoque architecture, just like Vienna. Enjoy a guided tour of the city in the afternoon with a choice of museums and an impressive ruined Roman fortress.

Day 9

Braila, Romania

Braila has a rich history and cultural heritage, with some interesting landmarks. From Braila, guests can transfer by coach to Tulcea and join a boat cruise into the UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, a Biosphere Reserve home to over 300 bird species.

Day 10

Bucharest, Romania to Fetesti

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Fetesti, where you will board the luxury river cruiser Spirit of the Danube.

Day 11

Bucharest, Romania

Disembark Spirit of the Danube and transfer to Henri Coandă International Airport for return flights to the UK.

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest Cruise Ships

Spirit Of The Danube

As our second purpose-built river cruise ship, this vessel promises comfort and elegance during your stay on board. With the addition of the latest engine technology, this ship is also one of the greenest cruising the rivers.

182 Guests Maximum
Panoramic Views
Splash Pool

Trustpilot Reviews

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest Deals

Explore Three Capital Cities on the Easternmost Reaches of the Iconic Danube River with Crui.se

10 Nights
June

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest

  • Bucharest
  • Bucharest / Fetesti
  • Braila
  • Rousse
  • Nikopol
  • Iron Gates Gorge / Decebalus Face (scenic sailing)
  • Belgrade
  • Vukovar
  • Budapest
£3,289pp Est. Price per person
  • Spirit of the Danube

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest Cruise Review

“The cruise was fantastic. The crew was very attentive, friendly, and professional. Everything was so well organised. The cabins were spacious, and the room was made up for you every day – clean towels were plentiful! The food was fabulous. There was lots of choice, and always very fresh, even for my husband, who has a gluten problem. The excursions were very well organised and most enjoyable. I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise – everything about it was first class.”

Robert Warren, Devizes

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Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest FAQ

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

Are there medical services on board the Spirit of the Danube?

The Spirit of the Danube has at least one trained first aider for guests with health concerns or problems during their holiday. If you take medication regularly, Saga recommends keeping a written record of your medicines and dosage in your cabin. This is useful if a first aider needs to refer to them during your holiday.

What are Gentle Walker Groups?

At Saga, shore tours are graded based on their activity level, so you’ll always know the amount of activity required on any excursion. Walking tours graded 4 or higher always have a Gentle Walker group option. Gentle Walker groups take a slower pace and follow a more leisurely route, avoiding steps, stairs, and steep inclines. Guests can join a Gentle Walker group at any time.

How do I tell Saga I have additional needs?

We need to know if you have a physical disability (temporary or permanent), are living with a mental health condition such as dementia, or have learning difficulties. Please also tell us if you have a long-term illness or a hearing, sight, or speech impairment. It’s also helpful to know if English is not your first language. You can email your information or speak to one of our friendly representatives in confidence on the phone.

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