2019 Exotic Danube River Cruise

Budapest to Romania
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2019 Danube River Cruise

Budapest to Romania 16 day cruise/tour - May 12, 2019

Countries Visited:
Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.

Major Cities Visited:
Hungary: Budapest, Pécs and Mohács. Croatia: Vukovar. Serbia: Novi Sad and Belgrade. Bulgaria: Vidin, Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo. Romania: Giurgiu, Sibiu, Hunedoara, Sighișoara, Brașov, Sinaia and Bucharest.

Tour Overview:

  • 7 nights 5-star Luxury Exotic Danube River Cruise through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
  • Includes all Shore Excursions.
  • Major Tour Highlights: Budapest Castle Hill, Chain Bridge, Pecs, Yugaslav Civil War tour, Petrovaradin Fortress, Baba Vida Fortress, Veliko Tarnova (Bulgaria’s ancient capitol), walled city of Sibiu, ancient Corvin Castle, walled city of Sighisoara, Transylvanian Alps, Bran Castle, Brașov, Peles Castle, Sinaia Castle and Bucharest.
  • Special Guest Educator: Dr. Michael Wilcox.
  • Tour managers throughout.

Tour Information

We have combined a fantastic Exotic Danube River Cruise with a Romania Tour. There is not room enough to express how fantastic this tour is. Michael specifically asked for this tour. It has been high on his list to be able to return. What a wonderful way to visit 5 countries: Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria & Romania. You will be sailing in luxury on an Amawaterways’ ship. It just doesn’t get any better than this. You’re going to absolutely love Romania, it has 3 of the top castles in Europe and what we consider to be the #1 Castle in the world. It also has the mystique of Count Vlad Dracula. Yes, there really was a Count Vlad Dracula in the Transylvania mountains of Romania. He was born in a small medieval walled village in 1431 and the village is still there. One of our favorite castles, the Corvin Castle, was once voted the scariest place on earth, Count Dracula was a prisoner in this castle for many years in the 1400s. It is one of our favorite castles as it’s so old and is in so much of its original state. Please listen to us, Romania is our favorite country in Europe, if you ever wanted to do this part of the world, do it in 2019 with Michael.

We had several goals when we started negotiating with river cruise lines, in Europe, to take our groups:

  • #1: Quality of ship: AmaWaterways has won almost every award as the best cruise line in Europe, even beating out Viking.
  • #2: Shore excursions: Shore excursions are included with River Cruising in Europe.  AmaWaterays has agreed to allow us to make any changes necessary to their scheduled shore excursions, to ensure our passengers get the best shore excursions possible.
  • #3: Lower the pricing: By doing partial or full charters, we were able to save our passengers up to $1,000 PER PERSON! On some sailings, the cruise company offers $250 per person early bird discounts, but NO ONE EVER offers a $600 to $1,000 per person discount! We not only save you money we have improved the shore excursions and added an educator. YES, the cruise line made us an unbelievable deal, AND we are passing the savings on to you!
  • Look at OUR special savings over the cruise lines prices for 2019 Cabins
    • Cat D Two Large Port Hole Windows – 160 square feet:
      2019 Ship Price: $3,794 MINUS our $600 savings – you pay $3,194.
    • Cat C French Balcony – 170 square feet:
      2019 Ship Price: $4,394 MINUS our $800 savings – you pay $3,594.
    • Average of Cat BB&BA Double Balcony Mini Suites – 210 square feet:
      2019 Ship Price: $4,994 MINUS our $1,000 savings – you pay 3,994.
  • To get the savings needed to lower the price for our customers, we need to commit to doing ½ to full ship charters. The cruise line needs charters to be sold in advance of normal sales. That means we need to sell our portion of the ship now so we can pass the savings on to you!

When you consider you save up to $1,000 per person on the cruise that includes shore excursions AND you get the very best of Budapest and all of Romania, AND you get Dr. S. Michael Wilcox as your guest educator AND you can add a Rome Temple extension – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR – CALL US NOW!

Package Price Includes:

Our package price is a combination of two packages:
The Exotic Danube River Cruise with AmaWaterways (with savings up to $1,000 per person) AND our special Land Tour and Hotel Packages in Budapest and Romania.

AmaWaterways Exotic Danube River Cruise Package Includes:

  • 8 day 7 night sailing on a 5-star luxury river boat from Budapest, Hungary to Bucharest Romania covering 5 countries: Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania with AmaWaterways.
  • Cabin Category D: Two Large Port Hole Window Cabin.
  • Enhanced Shore Excursions designed by Fun For Less Tours.
  • Special Guest Educator: Dr. S. Michael Wilcox.
  • Fun For Less Tours Staff.
  • Three quality meals onboard the ship every day.
  • Free internet.
  • Free movies.
  • Bottled water, fluffy bathrobes, and slippers free in each cabin.
  • All bicycles and helmets on board are free to use.
  • Option to upgrade cabin to French or Double Balcony.

Danube Cruise Package Price Cat D: $3,194
PLUS, Ship Port and Taxes: $168
Total Ship Price Price: $3,362

Budapest and Romania Land Package:
Note: AmaWaterways charges $1,480 for their 5-night land package added to their cruise. It includes 2 night Budapest, 1 night Brasov and 2 nights Bucharest. Our Special Land Package is for 7 nights: 1 night Budapest (all you really need), 2 nights Sibiu – that will include the walled city of Sibiu and the Corvin Castle, 2 nights Brasov – that will include Bran Castle and the walled city of Sighisoara and 2 nights Bucharest. All for $1,380 – one hundred less than the ship charges for just their lesser 5-night package.

Here is what is included in our special Budapest and Romania Land Tour Package:

  • 9 days of buses, tours and entrance fees in Hungary and Romania.
  • Deluxe hotels in Budapest, Hungary along with Bucharest, Brasov, and Sibiu in Romania.
  • Transfers to and from airport, hotels and river cruise ship.
  • Three Major Castles: Peles Castle, Bran Castle, and Corvin Castle.
  • Two Major walled cities Sighisoara (where Dracula was born) & Sibiu.
  • All Entrance Fees.
  • Fun For Less Tours Staff.
  • Guest Educator: Dr. S. Michael Wilcox.
  • “Whisper Perfect” headset receivers.

Option to add extension to visit the new Rome Temple: $484*

Cruise Package: $3,362
Land Package: $1,380

Package Price: $4,742 - total for both Packages*

*Does not include International air, tips or our optional Rome Temple Extension. Does not include airfare Bucharest to Rome.

This is a partial list, and subject to change as needed to accomplish everything we can in each area we visit. We will have local guides who will make sure we see the very best in the time we have.

Day 1: May 12: Fly to Bucharest 
Fly from the US to Bucharest.

Day 2: May 13: Bucharest
We will arrive into Bucharest early afternoon. After clearing customs we will transfer to our hotel.

Day 3: May 14:  Sinaia – Brasov
This morning we will drive approximately 80 miles to the mountain resort of Sinaia. Sinaia is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Carpathians”.  This beautiful valley contains three castles, one of which we consider one of the most beautiful castles in the world – the Peles Castle. We will then drive 30 miles to Brasov.  This city is nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains.  This location made it an ideal setting for a medieval city.

Day 4: May 15:  Brasov
Today we will tour Bran Castle, often referred to as Dracula’s Castle.  Though there is little concrete proof, many historians agree that Vlad Tepes (a.k.a Vlad the Impaler, whom Bram Stoker used as a model for his 1897 story-Dracula) did reside at Bran Castle during his raids in Transylvania.

Day 5: May 16: Sighisoara – Sibiu
Today we will travel to the walled city of Sighisoara.  Sighisoara is another of the seven citadels constructed by the German settlers in the 12th Century.  Walking along the magical cobbled alleyways, in the shadow of one of the nine towers, transports you back in time.  It is possibly the best-walled city in Eastern Europe.  The city is also the birthplace to the infamous Vlad Tepes otherwise known as Count Vlad Dracula.  This afternoon we will travel to travel to Sibiu, designated the European capital of culture for 2007. Sibiu was the largest and wealthiest of seven walled cities that were constructed in the 12th century by German settlers.  Today Sibiu has been preserved and the streets have not changed in over 500 years. The center of town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 6: May 17: Corvin – Sibiu
This morning we drive to Hunedoara Castle, nestled in the Transylvania Alps. Recently the castle has gained notoriety and was named one of the scariest places in the world.  The castle held Count Vlad Dracula in prison for 7 years. After our tour of this fantastic castle, we will continue to Arad near the border of Hungary to overnight.

Day 7: May 18: Budapest
This morning we leave Arad and continue to Budapest where we visit Buda Hills and St. Mathias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastions. Continuing on to the elegant part of Pest, we stop at the Hero’s square.

Day 8: May 19: Budapest
Today we will finish touring Budapest. This afternoon transfer to the 5-star AmaWaterways Ship. After dinner this evening, the ship does an Illumination cruise.  Budapest at night from the River is a wonderful experience.  We will then return to the same dock.  The ship will set sail around 3 am in the morning.

Important Note:  The owners of Fun For Less Tours experienced an AmaWaterways sailing between Budapest and Romania in 2018.  They were more than impressed.  Having sailed with other river cruise companies they were worried they would have to arrange or change all of the shore excursions.  Other companies, give few choices, have additional fees for some of their shore excursions and often include several wineries where they can get extra commissions from the sales.  To their surprise, AmaWaterways far exceeded their expectations.  In many of the ports of call they had several choices of tours, none of which cost extra.  The owners were so pleased with AmaWaterways selection of shore excursions, they found there was very little they would change. AmaWaterways already included premium tours at no additional cost. In many of the ports of call, the ship may offer different shore excursions, often including a bicycle tour. The owners have selected, what they felt to be the best shore excursion for each port. After you arrive at the ship, if you decide that you would like to make a change to a different tour you can make that change on board.

Day 9: May 20: Mohacs
Pecs Tour:  Pecs is the former European Capital of culture.  An hour bus ride from the ship.  We will take a walking tour to see the town center, the underground early Christian Cemetery, the Mosque and some free time to shop.  Most travelers consider Pecs their second favorite city in Hungary (Budapest is first).

Day 10: May 21: Vukovar – Novi Sad
Today we will stop briefly in Vukovar before continuing downriver to Novi Sad.  The small Croatian river town of Vukovar is also known as the Hero Town.  In the early 1990’s, 2000 self-organized Croatian civilians and volunteers heroically defended the town for 3 months against a heavily fortified Serbian army 40,000 strong.  This afternoon in Novi Sad to enjoy a walking tour of the old city.  In the evening after dinner, we plan to visit the Petrovaradin Fortress where we explore the fortifications including the underground tunnels.

Day 11: May 22: Belgrade
This morning we will enjoy a Belgrade city tour to see Kalemegdan fortress, St. Save Cathedral and some free time on the pedestrian street.  This afternoon the tour includes the Royal Palace & Tito’s memorial tour.

Day 12: May 23: Cruise Highlight Day
Today will be a major highlight day as we sail through the most spectacular scenery found anywhere along the entire Danube River.  This evening they plan to park the ship Vidin, where you can get off and walk around on your own.

Day 13: May 24: Vidin
Tour of Vidin and Belogradchik Fortress.  Breathtaking landscape and great views from the top of the fortress.

Day 14: May 25: Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo
Today is a full day excursion to Arbanassi (an authentic medieval village) and to Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.  Both have beautiful scenery and architecture.

Day 15: May 26: Giurgiu
Today we say goodbye to the beautiful AmaWaterways ship and travel to Bucharest. Upon arrival will do a city tour of Bucharest, including the Village Museum, one of the oldest and largest outdoor museums in Europe.

Day 16: May 27:  Fly home
This morning we will head to the airport for your flight back to the US and home.  You will arrive home the same day. If you are doing the post-tour you will fly to Rome this morning.

 Rome Temple Extension Price $484

May 27:  Fly to Rome
This morning we will fly from Bucharest to Rome. This afternoon we will visit the magnificent Coliseum and the Forum before checking into our hotel.

May 28:  Rome
This morning we will visit the Trevi Fountain, which has been made famous by many movies including “Three Coins in a Fountain”. After we will visit a separate country, Vatican City.  We will visit St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world), St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican Museum, and the Sistine Chapel. This afternoon we will visit the Rome Temple, where you will have time to do a session.

May 29:  Fly home
Today we will fly back to the US.