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Grand Cruise through the Heart of Europe to the Black Sea

Sail from the heartland of Europe into the fascinating Balkans, visiting iconic capital cities, historic towns, and picturesque villages with a travel companion of some of the world’s finest river scenery.

Twenty-five guided tours peel back layers of history and uncover the culture and heritage of some of Europe’s most famous locations, as well as hidden gems. There is free time to explore and regional musical performances on board the ship.

A luxury vessel provides the perfect cruise partner with five-star suites and staterooms. Enjoy the finest design interiors, award-winning gourmet cuisine, and a splash pool and spa for the ultimate in river travel.

  • Cruise Line: Riviera Travel
  • Ship: William Wordsworth
  • Duration: 28 Nights
  • Departure: June & September
£7,399pp
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Grand Cruise through the Heart of Europe to the Black Sea Cruise Itinerary

Five iconic capital cities, historic towns, and picturesque villages await on this 28-night cruise through the heart of Europe to the Balkans and the Black Sea. Take a deep dive into culture and heritage on a voyage that includes four of the world’s most prominent waterways and the Main-Danube Canal. Enjoy fascinating and insightful excursions that roll back centuries of military might and political influence. Sailing time is aboard a luxury river ship with elegant and comfortable suites and staterooms, gourmet regional and international cuisine, and a host of features and amenities guaranteeing the cruise of a lifetime.

Day 1

Cologne

Arrive in the centre of Cologne, where your luxury river ship awaits, ready for an epic voyage through the heart of Europe.

Day 2

Koblenz & Boppard

Sail to historic Koblenz at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Enjoy a guided walking tour and then cruise to Boppard, the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’ with a fascinating Roman past. There is a folk music show on the ship in the evening.

Day 3

Rhine Gorge & Rüdesheim

A cruise highlight is navigating the magnificent Rhine Gorge with breathtaking fairytale castles clinging to the side of rugged cliffs. The picturesque town of Rüdesheim is the next port destination surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes.

Day 4

Mainz

Mainz sits at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers and is a city with a fine Roman history, including a magnificent amphitheatre. The walking tour includes two cathedrals, the quaint old town, and a museum dedicated to Gutenberg.

Day 5

Miltenberg & Wertheim

Enjoy magical forest landscapes as the ship glides towards Miltenberg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval villages. A guided walk showcases the beautiful marketplace before the ship moves on to Wertheim with its landmark ruined castle.

Day 6

Würzburg

Würzburg sits at the head of Germany’s ‘Romantic Road,’ a picturesque and unspoiled route through western Bavaria. On a walking tour, marvel at the Baroque and Rococo buildings and the magnificent Residenz, a palace worthy of a film set.

Day 7

Bamberg

Explore Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a beautifully preserved city created in the 11th century to rival Rome. Full of architectural treasures, a historic medieval old town, and pretty canals, this is a chance to sample real Bavarian beer.

Day 8

Nuremberg

This elegant Bavarian city has a fascinating history. Linked with the Nazi regime of the 20th century, Nuremberg was also the capital of Germany’s First Reich. Enjoy a guided tour including the Kaiserburg Castle and the Craftsmen’s Court.

Day 9

Regensburg

The ship leaves the Main-Danube Canal and joins the Danube, heading to Regensburg. Spared by war damage, Regensburg has UNESCO World Heritage status, and guests can discover the medieval old town on a guided tour.

Day 10

Passau

Passau sits at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers and is known as ‘Three Rivers City’ with a stunning 13th-century fortress looking out from a hilltop. Discover Baroque treasures and the iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Day 11

Melk

Visit the 11th-century Benedictine Abbey, for which Melk is famous, a stunning Baroque structure with a renowned library. Later, cruise the spectacular Wachau Valley and enjoy the Captain’s Dinner with a special on-board classical music recital.

Day 12

Vienna

The former capital of the Habsburg Empire needs no introduction with aristocratic palaces and grand cathedrals. A guided tour includes St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, the famous Spanish Riding School, and, let’s not forget, the coffee.

Day 13

Bratislava

Explore Slovakia’s capital city on a fascinating guided tour that showcases its imperial past in the restored Baroque old town. There is a museum in the old Town Hall and a 9th-century castle with fabulous views over the city and the Danube River.

Day 14

Budapest

Known as the ‘Little Paris of Middle Europe,’ Budapest is a blend of Hungarian culture entwined with the influence of foreign powers. See Roman ruins, palatial buildings from the Ottoman Empire, Baroque churches, and Art Nouveau design.

Day 15

Budapest

A second chance to explore this remarkable city, this time on your own itinerary – there is so much to see and do. Visit the impressive Botanical Gardens or totally immerse yourself with a dip at one of the city’s historic bath houses.

Day 16

Kalocsa or the Paprika Museum & Puzsta

Kalocsa is an ancient Hungarian town with a significant economic and political history. Enjoy a walking tour and a visit to the Paprika Museum. Alternatively, travel to the Puszta and see a heritage equestrian performance by Magyar horsemen.

Day 17

Belgrade

This survivor of the Second World War and the Kosovo War, Belgrade is the only European capital built on two rivers. Uncover layers of history from the Roman era through to Art Nouveau and the Communist period on an insightful guided tour.

Day 18

Iron Gates Gorge

One of the Danube’s crowning glories, the river slices between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, separating Serbia and Romania. Witness breathtaking views and the largest rock sculpture in Europe. Tonight, enjoy the magnificent Gala Dinner.

Day 19

Pleven

Docking in Nikopol in Bulgaria overnight, set out for Pleven across the Danubian Plain. Pleven is a city steeped in history with fascinating landmarks and museums. Enjoy a live performance of Bulgarian folk music on board the ship in the evening.

Day 20

Bucharest

From a mooring in Oltenita, drive to Bucharest, a city of contrasts with stark Communist-era architecture and belle-époque villas on tree-lined boulevards. A full-day tour includes the unmissable Palace of the Parliament and the Athenaeum.

Day 21

Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprising over 2,000 square miles of rivers, marshes, lakes, and reed islands with 3,500 animal and fish species. Enjoy a small boat tour of this fascinating and unspoiled landscape.

Day 22

Constanta

Constanta is called in ancient verse ‘the end of the world’ but has always been the crossroads of several trade routes dating from the Roman era. It has a diverse and fascinating history. Don’t miss the Art Nouveau casino with its fabulous sea views.

Day 23

Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi & Ivanovo

Veliko Tarnovo is known as ‘Little Vienna,’ a stylish city and possibly the most beautiful in Bulgaria. Later, visit the village of Arbanassi, a vital commercial centre during Ottoman times and end the day touring the Churches of Ivanovo.

Day 24

Belogradchik

Today, watch the world go by from the ship’s deck before arriving in Vidin, home to the Baba Vidin, a preserved medieval fortress. From there, visit the Belogradchik Rocks, an area of dramatic sandstone cliffs eroded into strange sculptural shapes.

Day 25

Iron Gates Gorge & Lepenski Vir

Enjoy another view of the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge before mooring in Donji Milanovac to drive to Lepenski Vir, one of Europe’s most significant archaeological sites. In the evening, enjoy a gourmet banquet at the Captain’s Dinner.

Day 26

Novi Sad

Join a guided tour of Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city, known as the ‘Athens of Serbia,’ with the dramatic backdrop of the Fruska Gora mountains. Guests are treated to a live performance of Serbian music on board the ship after dinner.

Day 27

Vukovar & Osijek

Vukovar is Croatia’s largest port. Learn all about its tumultuous past on a guided tour. Later, visit the historic city of Osijek on the River Drava. Explore the Old Town’s fascinating market square and the Upper City’s neo-Gothic Cathedral.

Day 28

Budapest

Guests can explore the historic Hungarian capital at their leisure. Take the funicular up to Buda Castle for fabulous views, visit the Jewish Quarter or the Museum of Fine Arts. The last night on board the ship sees a final Hungarian folklore show.

Day 29

Budapest

After breakfast, bid goodbye to your cruise ship and transfer to the airport to begin your return journey back to the UK.

Grand Cruise through the Heart of Europe to the Black Sea Cruise Ships

MS William Wordsworth

Built to sustain not only its guests but its own unrivalled beauty and charm, the MS William Wordsworth promises comfort and opulence aplenty with its stunning decor and many magnificent amenities.

167 Passengers
Small Splash Pool
2018 Build

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European Rivers Epic Voyage Cruise Deals

Explore the Heart of Europe on Four Famous Rivers with Crui.se

28 Nights
June & September

Grand Cruise through the Heart of Europe to the Black Sea

  • Cologne
  • Koblenz & Boppard
  • Rhine Gorge & Rüdesheim
  • Mainz
  • Miltenberg & Wertheim
  • Würzburg
  • Bamberg
  • Nuremberg
  • Regensburg
  • Passau
  • Melk
  • Vienna
  • Bratislava
  • Budapest
  • Kalocsa or Paprika Museum & Puzsta
  • Belgrade
  • Iron Gates Gorge
  • Pleven
  • Bucharest
  • Danube Delta
  • Constanta
  • Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi & Ivanovo
  • Belogradchik
  • Iron Gates Gorge & Lepenski Vir
  • Novi Sad
  • Vukovar & Osijek
£7,399pp Est. Price per person
  • William Wordsworth  

Grand Cruise through the Heart of Europe to the Black Sea FAQ

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

I have some mobility issues. Will this affect my cruise?

Discuss your specific requirements with our friendly reservations team, who are waiting to help. We walk you through the layout of the ship and the shore excursions so you can evaluate whether this cruise suits you. At Riviera Travel, we design our trips to be as inclusive as possible. Often, assistance from a travel companion is enough to ensure you can access all the ship’s amenities and participate in the shore-based excursions.

Is Wi-Fi available on board the ship?

Complementary Wi-Fi is available throughout your vessel, so keeping in touch with friends and family back home is easy. Connectivity and download speeds can sometimes vary due to unique terrain or weather conditions, but these interruptions are usually temporary.

I am on a restricted diet; how flexible are the on-board chefs with the menus?

Our gourmet chefs prepare delicious cuisine daily with fresh, local ingredients, and health-conscious, vegan and vegetarian options are always available. Let us know your requirements when you book, and the catering team will be able to tailor menus to accommodate your needs.

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