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

Blend rail and cruise with a remarkable fusion of Eastern and Western cultures on this unique land, train, and water adventure from Northern Italy and through the different nations of the Balkan Peninsula.

Enjoy the romance of Milan and Venice before heading off to Istanbul on a private train journey on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Explore historic sites and landmarks, see famous architecture and cultural features, and savour unforgettable cuisine.

Cruise the languid waters of the Venice Lagoon on a Uniworld Super Ship. The S.S. La Venezia is a temple to Venetian elegance with designer-inspired interiors, luxury suites and staterooms, a spa, and gourmet dining venues.

4.85
Star Image
from 612 reviews
  • Cruise Line: Uniworld
  • Ship: S.S La Venezia
  • Duration: 18 Nights
  • Departure: October 2024
£16,898pp
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Cruise & Rail: Milan, Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans Cruise Itinerary

Discover seven nations on an 18-night adventure by boat and rail, which starts in the languid Venice Lagoon and concludes with a remarkable train ride through the Balkan states. Visit sites of historic and architectural interest, ancient towns and cities, with amazing views from the window of your luxury cruise ship and express train. The S.S La Venezia has been redesigned to provide a temple to Italian style and elegance. Spacious reimagined interiors offer boutique-hotel-style luxury with a choice of suites, staterooms, and award-winning cuisine.

Day 1

Milan, Italy

Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport to a warm welcome from your Uniworld representative. Transfer to the Rosa Grand Hotel. Today or tomorrow, guests can enjoy an excursion to see Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, “The Last Supper.”

Day 2

Milan, Italy

Tour the highlights of Milan, Italy’s fashion mecca. Visit the vast 14th-century cathedral, the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a 19th-century glass arcade, and La Scala Opera House. There is also an optional excursion to Lake Como and Bellagio.

Day 3

Milan (Verona/Valpolicella), Italy, transfer to Venice (Embark)

Travel to Venice with a stop in romantic Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet. Later, enjoy lunch at a historic wine estate and discover one of Italy’s most unique wines, Amarone di Valpolicella. Embark your luxury river cruiser on the Venetian Lagoon.

Day 4

Venice, Italy

Take an early morning tour of Doge’s Palace, part of an authentic Venetian residential quarter, a slice of real life. Later, enjoy an exclusive night out at the magnificent 11th-century St. Mark’s Basilica with a private after-hours lighting ceremony.

Day 5

Venice, Mazzorbo (Burano), Italy

Choose to visit either Vicenza, with its 16th-century architecture, or medieval Padua, both UNESCO World Heritage cities in the Veneto region. Later, sail the picturesque Lagoon and enjoy an evening stroll in Burano, followed by the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Day 6

Mazzorbo, Burano, Chioggia, Italy

Today, explore the picturesque islands of the northern lagoon. Visit Torcello with its famous basilica on a tour led by an art historian, or stroll the peaceful rural island of Mazzorbo. In the afternoon, there is a visit to see the renowned glassblowing artisans of Murano.

Day 7

Chioggia, Italy

Take a gentle walk around Chioggia, a classic Venetian Lagoon fishing village founded in the 5th century with a thriving market. There is also the option of a sedate cycle ride along Chioggia’s beaches, the Lusenzo Lagoon, and Isola dell’Unione.

Day 8

Chioggia, Venice

This morning is dedicated to a scenic sail exploring the Po Delta. Later, guests cruise back to Venice with the option of a tour of the former Jewish Quarter with a local guide or set off for the Euganean hills to visit one of Europe’s most majestic castles.

Day 9

Venice, Italy

Enjoy an authentic ‘Do as the Locals Do’ walking tour, including the noisy and vibrant arcades and a gondola ride. There is also an excursion to The Dorsoduro, a quiet district with a visit to a gondola artisan. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Day 10

Venice (Disembark), Transfer to Train (Embark), Trieste, Italy

Disembark the ship and board the Golden Eagle Danube Express at the Santa Lucia station in Venice. Marvel at the views across the causeway, which links Venice to the mainland, and then head to the ancient port city of Trieste for a guided tour.

Day 11

Postojna, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Today’s excursion is to the Postojna Cave on an underground train that travels the caves and surrounding hills. Later, arrive in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with a beautiful Old Town. Guests enjoy a walking tour including a visit to Preseren Square.

Day 12

Sarajevo, Mostar, Bosnia

Explore the mix of cultures in the Bosnia capital of Sarajevo. Learn about the Balkan War and visit the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport with a guide present during the 1992-1996 conflict. Later, visit the historic city of Mostar before staying the night in Dubrovnik.

Day 13

Dubrovnik, Croatia

13th-century Dubrovnik has a fascinating history and is one of the greatest cities of the Mediterranean. A tour includes the Franciscan Monastery, the Old Harbour, and St Laurence Fortress. Meet the train in Capljina and head towards Serbia.

Day 14

Belgrade, Serbia

Arrive in Belgrade, the capital of the former Yugoslavia and located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Enjoy a tour of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city, including the ‘House of Flowers’, the Town Hall, Republic Square, and ‘Varos’ Gate.

Day 15

Skopje, North Macedonia

Discover a real hidden gem in Skopje, the largest city in North Macedonia and the academic and cultural centre. Explore the Old Town with tiny artisan shops and historic mosques, and visit the Old Bazaar with a fortress on its western edge.

Day 16

Sofia, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Arrive in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, at the foot of Mount Vitosha. Enjoy a tour that takes in sections of the Roman wall and golden-domed Cathedral. After lunch on the train, travel to Plovdiv, known as ‘The City of Seven Hills,’ with its magnificent Ottoman baths.

Day 17

Istanbul, Turkey (Disembark)

Arrive in Istanbul, a city that is a fusion of East and West and where the ancient meets the modern. Our tour visits some of Istanbul’s most historic locations, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Guests stay at the stunning Pera Palace Hotel.

Day 18

Istanbul, Turkey

Today take an excursion to the Topkapi Palace, the crowning glory of the Ottoman Empire. Topkapi Palace is the oldest in the world and the principal residence of the Sultans. There is also a trip to the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest covered markets.

Day 19

Istanbul, Turkey

Today, check out of your hotel and transfer to Istanbul Airport for flights back to the UK.

Day 1

Istanbul, Turkey

Arrive at Istanbul Airport to a warm welcome from your Uniworld representative.

Day 2

Istanbul, Turkey

Today take an excursion to the Topkapi Palace, the crowning glory of the Ottoman Empire. Topkapi Palace is the oldest in the world and the principal residence of the Sultans. There is also a trip to the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest covered markets.

Day 3

Istanbul, Turkey (Embark)

Arrive in Istanbul, a city that is a fusion of East and West and where the ancient meets the modern. Our tour visits some of Istanbul’s most historic locations, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Guests stay at the stunning Pera Palace Hotel.

Day 4

Sofia, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Arrive in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, at the foot of Mount Vitosha. Enjoy a tour that takes in sections of the Roman wall and golden-domed Cathedral. After lunch on the train, travel to Plovdiv, known as ‘The City of Seven Hills,’ with its magnificent Ottoman baths.

Day 5

Skopje, North Macedonia

Discover a real hidden gem in Skopje, the largest city in North Macedonia and the academic and cultural centre. Explore the Old Town with tiny artisan shops and historic mosques, and visit the Old Bazaar with a fortress on its western edge.

Day 6

Belgrade, Serbia

Arrive in Belgrade, the capital of the former Yugoslavia and located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Enjoy a tour of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city, including the ‘House of Flowers’, the Town Hall, Republic Square, and ‘Varos’ Gate.

Day 7

Dubrovnik, Croatia

13th-century Dubrovnik has a fascinating history and is one of the greatest cities of the Mediterranean. A tour includes the Franciscan Monastery, the Old Harbour, and St Laurence Fortress. Meet the train in Capljina and head towards Serbia.

Day 8

Sarajevo, Mostar, Bosnia

Explore the mix of cultures in the Bosnia capital of Sarajevo. Learn about the Balkan War and visit the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport with a guide present during the 1992-1996 conflict. Later, visit the historic city of Mostar before staying the night in Dubrovnik.

Day 9

Postojna, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Today’s excursion is to the Postojna Cave on an underground train that travels the caves and surrounding hills. Later, arrive in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with a beautiful Old Town. Guests enjoy a walking tour including a visit to Preseren Square.

Day 10

Venice (Disembark), Transfer to Train (Embark), Trieste, Italy

Disembark the ship and board the Golden Eagle Danube Express at the Santa Lucia station in Venice. Marvel at the views across the causeway, which links Venice to the mainland, and then head to the ancient port city of Trieste for a guided tour.

Day 11

Venice, Italy

Enjoy an authentic ‘Do as the Locals Do’ walking tour, including the noisy and vibrant arcades and a gondola ride. There is also an excursion to The Dorsoduro, a quiet district with a visit to a gondola artisan. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Day 12

Chioggia, Venice

This morning is dedicated to a scenic sail exploring the Po Delta. Later, guests cruise back to Venice with the option of a tour of the former Jewish Quarter with a local guide or set off for the Euganean hills to visit one of Europe’s most majestic castles.

Day 13

Chioggia, Italy

Take a gentle walk around Chioggia, a classic Venetian Lagoon fishing village founded in the 5th century with a thriving market. There is also the option of a sedate cycle ride along Chioggia’s beaches, the Lusenzo Lagoon, and Isola dell’Unione.

Day 14

Mazzorbo, Burano, Chioggia, Italy

Today, explore the picturesque islands of the northern lagoon. Visit Torcello with its famous basilica on a tour led by an art historian, or stroll the peaceful rural island of Mazzorbo. In the afternoon, there is a visit to see the renowned glassblowing artisans of Murano.

Day 15

Venice, Mazzorbo (Burano), Italy

Choose to visit either Vicenza, with its 16th-century architecture, or medieval Padua, both UNESCO World Heritage cities in the Veneto region. Later, sail the picturesque Lagoon and enjoy an evening stroll in Burano, followed by the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Day 16

Venice, Italy

Take an early morning tour of Doge’s Palace, part of an authentic Venetian residential quarter, a slice of real life. Later, enjoy an exclusive night out at the magnificent 11th-century St. Mark’s Basilica with a private after-hours lighting ceremony.

Day 17

Milan (Verona/Valpolicella), Italy, transfer to Venice (Disembark)

Travel to Venice with a stop in romantic Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet. Later, enjoy lunch at a historic wine estate and discover one of Italy’s most unique wines, Amarone di Valpolicella. Disembark your luxury river cruiser on the Venetian Lagoon.

Day 18

Milan, Italy

Tour the highlights of Milan, Italy’s fashion mecca. Visit the vast 14th-century cathedral, the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a 19th-century glass arcade, and La Scala Opera House. There is also an optional excursion to Lake Como and Bellagio.

Day 19

Milan, Italy

Today, check out of your hotel and transfer to Milan Malpensa Airport for flights back to the UK.

Cruise & Rail: Milan, 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

European Rivers Cruise Deals

Explore Seven Countries from Northern Italy to the Balkans with Crui.se

18 Nights
October 2024

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

  • Milan
  • Milan (Verona/Valpolicella) / Transfer to 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
£16,898pp Est. Price per person
  • S.S. La Venezia  
  • European Rivers

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

“Without a doubt, the absolute best travel tour we have ever experienced! The staff could not have been more attentive and professional. Every aspect of the onboard staff was amazing, from the room stewards to the dining room waiters and kitchen staff – truly exceptional!”

Terrence Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon

Cruise & Rail: Milan, Venice, Istanbul & The Balkans FAQ

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

Where will the ship dock?

Uniworld ships usually berth within easy walking distance of the town or city, but the local harbour authorities organise docking, so Uniworld cannot control the exact location.

Is there a laundry service available on board the ship?

The two Grand Suites and four Suites on the Murano Deck have a free in-suite laundry service. There is also a Guest Laundrette on the Torcello Deck with an ironing board.

Can I smoke on board the S.S. La Venezia?

Smoking is allowed on the ship’s Sun Deck but not in public areas, suites, and staterooms. The smoking ban includes e-cigarettes and vape devices as well as tobacco products. Smoking is also banned on coach tours and in many tourist attractions. The Golden Eagle Danube Express is a non-smoking train.

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