Uniworld - Highlights of Eastern Europe & Istanbul

An ideal voyage for travelers seeking new, off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Follow a path forged by crusaders, kings and conquerors through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Immerse yourself in new cultures and make new friends as you travel from splendid Budapest to exotic Istanbul, discovering the best that the revitalized nations of Eastern Europe have to offer along the way.

Gaze up in wonder at the lofty spires of Hungary’s Parliament building as it rises majestically above the Danube in Budapest. Sit down for friendly, intimate meals with farmers in Croatia and artists in Romania. Uncover scores of little-known treasures, including the picturesque Bulgarian hill towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi and the surprising rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step back in time to investigate the history and legends living alongside the Danube while you cruise the Iron Gates. Tour Belgrade by bicycle, marvel at the massive People’s Palace in Bucharest or see Vlad the Impaler’s tomb in the Romanian countryside and explore Istanbul’s stunning mosques and opulent palaces. 

From Budapest to Istanbul, Roman ruins to medieval fortresses and legendary mosques, this incredible Danube River cruise will reveal the unstoppable resiliency of the human spirit, as well as the highlights of this spectacular region. The adventure of a lifetime awaits you. 

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 See the full itinerary below and call our travel expert for dates for this or reverse itinerary. Cruise Uniworld for less 1-800-640-4899

1307 Matthews Plantation  Dr.

Matthews, North Carolina 28105

Day-By-Day Itinerary


Day 1 – Budapest

Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2 – Budapest, cruising the Danube River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Budapest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Budapest by bike

Savor the beauty of Buda and Pest on a panoramic tour of the city. Or “Do as the Locals Do,” riding the metro and stopping at a lively local market, Károlyi Garden and the National Museum. Alternatively, see the sites on a guided bike tour. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 3 – Cruising the Danube River, Vukovar (Osijek)FEATURED EXCURSION: Full-day tour of Vukovar and Osijek with exclusive farm visit and home-hosted lunch
Take a short walking discovery tour of Vukovar before departing for Osijek, where you’ll explore the Old Town on foot. Then venture into the Croatian countryside to experience a family-owned farm and enjoy a delicious tapas-style meal.

Day 4 – BelgradeFEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace OR exclusive guided “Go Active” “I Bike Belgrade” tour
Explore Belgrade, Serbia’s capital and largest city, in one of two ways—a panoramic tour that includes a tour inside the Royal Palace, or a guided bike tour highlighting historic sites dating from WWII to the present day.

Day 5 – Cruising the Iron Gates

Enjoy a day onboard cruising through the Iron Gates, a scenic stretch of the Danube marking the boundary between Romania and Serbia.

Day 6 – Vidin, cruising the Danube RiverFEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Belogradchik rock formations OR Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit
Explore the lesser-known town of Vidin and the extraordinary Belogradchik rocks, whose peculiar shapes have given rise to many legends. Or, visit the Cetate Cultural Port, a residence for Romanian writers and artists.

Day 7 – Rousse (Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or Rousse and Ivanovo)FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch OR Rousse walking discovery tour and Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries
See the majestic ruins of Tsarevetz Castle in Veliko Tarnovo and the frescoed Nativity Church in Arbanassi, followed by a traditional Bulgarian lunch. Or, opt for a tour of Rousse and the UNESCO-designated cave churches of Ivanovo and Basarbovo. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8 – Giurgiu (disembark), transfer to Bucharest hotelFEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Bucharest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour
Disembark the ship and transfer via motorcoach to Bucharest, where your panoramic tour highlights the city’s eclectic mix of Soviet- and French-inspired architecture. Or, “Do as the Locals Do” with a guided walk through revitalized downtown neighborhoods.

Day 9 – BucharestFEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of People’s Palace visit OR Romanian countryside tour with visits to Mogosoaia Palace and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb
Spend some time today in the lavish People’s Palace—the world’s largest civilian building, erected at enormous cost. Or, you can choose to head into the countryside to get a closer look at the lives of Romanian villagers and explore the 18th-century Mogosoaia Palace and the lakeside tomb of Vlad the Impaler.

Day 10 – Bucharest, fly to Istanbul, transfer to Istanbul hotel

Explore the fascinating cultural crossroads of Istanbul at your leisure today.

Day 11 – IstanbulFEATURED EXCURSION: Istanbul city tour with Grand Bazaar
Your panoramic tour of Istanbul features many of its most famous sites—including the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace— followed by a visit to the legendary Grand Bazaar. 




Note: The Blue Mosque is a place of active worship. Ceremonies may prevent visitors from entering at times. At all times, please obey mosque etiquette. 

Note: Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays and Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. The city tour of Istanbul will be arranged in accordance with the days attractions are open. If your visit occurs on days when these attractions are closed, your full-day city tour may be split into two half-day tours and provided over the course of two days so that you can experience the attractions listed here. If Hagia Sophia is not available during your stay, we will offer a visit to the Topkapi Palace harem instead.

Day 12 – Istanbul, transfer to the airportTransfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your flight home.