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Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans

Uniworld presents a 16-night immersive Danube River Cruise and rail getaway that showcases both the highlights of Venice Lagoon and the spectacular Balkans.

Guests are presented with a range of opportunities to explore different tourist attractions, as well as lesser-known historically rich sites.

Enjoy 7 nights aboard the unique S.S. La Venezia – a luxurious Uniworld River Cruise vessel designed to provide a safe haven for guests to recline as they traverse the Venice Lagoon.

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from 124 reviews
  • Cruise Line: Uniworld
  • Ship: S.S La Venezia
  • Duration: 16 Nights
  • Departure: October
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Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans Cruise Itinerary

Enjoy an immersive itinerary that effectively splits your time between sailing the scenic Venice Lagoon and riding the historic railway to Istanbul. Guests can expect a range of tours, activities, tastings as well as a wealth of free-time to be used for shopping and exploring solo.

Day 1

Venice (EMBARK)

Arrive at Venice Marco Polo International airport to transfer to your ship and begin your adventure.

Day 2


Arrive early into Venice for a walk around Doge’s palace estate. Later, you’ll have the opportunity for a private, after-hours experience at Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Day 3

Venice / Mazzorbo (Burano)

Spend today exploring Vicenza and visiting the Teatro Olimpico or travel to Padua for a walking tour.
Come evening, join your guide for an evening stroll in Burano.

Day 4

Mazzorbo / Burano / Chioggia

Spend the day exploring Torcello and attending an informative Murano glass-blowing demonstration.

Day 5


Choose to spend your time in Chioggia biking along beaches, visiting the market, riding a bragozzo on the way to a tasting at Ca’Zen or visiting Dominio di Bagnoli to learn about their wines.

Day 6

Chioggia / Venice

Choose to embark on either a Po Delta Sailing excursion or a visit to Castello del Catajo – one of Europe’s most majestic castles.
*Optional Masterpiece Collection excursion: ‘Jewish Ghetto’ (£99)

Day 7


Spend your day exploring Venice on a walking tour inspired by the locals, visiting the Gondola Artisans in Dorsoduro, attending a demonstration by a Ca’Macana mask atelier or trying your hand at Venice’s unique style of rowing.

Day 8

Venice (DISEMBARK) / transfer to train (EMBARK) / Trieste

Disembark from your ship and transfer to the Golden Eagle Danube Express at Venice Santa Lucia Station.
Your first stop is Trieste – where you’ll enjoy a tour of the ancient port.

Day 9

Postojna / Ljubljana

This morning, ride an underground train to the Postojna Cave. Later, visit the capital of Slovenia on a discovery walking tour of the Old Town.

Day 10

Sarajevo / Mostar

By morning, explore Sarajevo’s poignant history in terms of the Balkan War. After lunch, travel to Mostar and visit the Turkish House, mosque and the many bazaar streets.
Later, board a bus to Dubrovnik – where you’ll spend the night at the Royal Palm Hotel (or similar).

Day 11


Tour this great city’s many attractions – ranging from the Polce Gate to the Franciscan Monastery and much more. This afternoon, we’ll drive by bus to meet the train in Capljina for dinner.

Day 12


Spend a full day exploring Belgrade on an eventful city tour including the Kalemegdan Fortress.

Day 13


Spend some free time exploring Skopje.

Day 14

Sofia / Plovdiv

After breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of Sofia. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy lunch on the train before we arrive in Plovdiv. Spend the afternoon on a visit to the splendid Old Town.

Day 15

Istanbul (DISEMBARK)

This morning, check into the Pera Palace Hotel – your home for the next two nights. Over the course of the day visit a selection of must-see historic sites.

Day 16


Today, pay a visit to both the Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar.

Day 17


Check out of your hotel and transfer to Istanbul Airport for your departure.

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans Cruise Ships

S.S. La Venezia

After a complete design renovation in 2020, this vessel is designed to deliver an enhanced luxury experience inspired by Northern Italy. The design aboard this floating hotel pays homage to popular Venetian aesthetics of the early 20th century – murano glass, gilded accents.

Redesigned in 2020
French Balconies
Serenity River Spa

Trustpilot Reviews

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans Deals

Embark on a number of eventful cruising getaways

16 Nights

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans

  • Venice (EMBARK)
  • Venice
  • Venice / Mazzorbo (Burano)
  • Mazzorbo / Burano / Chioggia
  • Chioggia
  • Chioggia / Venice
  • Venice (DISEMBARK) / transfer to train (EMBARK) / Trieste
  • Postojna / Ljubljana
  • Sarajevo / Mostar
  • Dubrovnik
  • Belgrade
  • Skopje
  • Sofia / Plovdiv
  • Istanbul (DISEMBARK)
  • Istanbul
£16,098pp Est. Price per person
  • S.S. La Venezia  

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans Cruise Review

“An amazing adventure; the multiple transfers from ship to railway and eventually hotel actually provided a unique change of scenery and the opportunity to explore aspects of local culture more deeply.”

Jade Peris, Southampton

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans FAQ

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

What can guests expect of the on-board dining experience?

Guests enjoy unlimited beverages and all meals on board.

What are Masterpiece Collection excursions?

Our Masterpiece Collection consists of paid excursions on offer to guests. They’ll be marked with an *asterisk on your itinerary.

Will there be visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites included?

Yes, this itinerary offers guests the opportunity to see up-close a range of UNESCO-designated sites.

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