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Wednesday, August 4 – Sunday, August 8, 2021

Day 1: Wednesday, August 4


You will be met on arrival at Budapest International Airport and transferred to our hotel.The remainder of the day is for rest and relaxation.The hotel has a wonderful spa that will ease the mind and body after any long journey.

Overnight: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus (2 nights)

Day 2: Thursday, August 5


Today is at leisure to explore Budapest, arguably central Europe’s most substantive city.Budapest has been a crossroads between Europe and Asia since the time of Genghis Khan.Optional tours—different from the ship’s sightseeing tours you will experience a few days from now—are available to the Hungarian Parliament and Opera, the Szendtendre Artist Village or an exploration of the city’s many Jewish sites and historical places. Tonight enjoy a gypsy dinner at Karpatia, one of Budapest’s finest and most historic restaurants. (B,D)

TIP: For a completely different experience visit the 500 year old Rudas Turkish Baths across the river.

Day 3: Friday, August 6


After breakfast depart by coach for Tarcal, in the heart of Hungarian Tokaji wine country. This is the region where the golden Aszu wines (“The Wine of the Czars”) is produced.En route enjoy a private tour, tasting and lunch at Kovacs Nimrod, in the village of Eger, followed by a tour of Eger Castle.Arrive this afternoon at the magnificent Andrassy Residence Wine and Spa, a country manor converted to a 41 room boutique resort.(B,L)

Overnight: Andrassy Residence Wine & Spa (2 nights)

Day 4: Saturday, August 7


Today enjoy a private cellar tour, tasting and lunch at Chateau Dereszla, one of Hungary’s most prominent and historic vintners.This winery’s golden Aszu and Eszencia wines consistently rate 94+ points by Wine Spectator. Lunch today is at St. Thomas Winery (“Szent Tamas”), a mixture of new and old Hungary in the aptly named village called Mad.During the late 19th century these delicious golden wines were bought up in entirety by the royal households of Russia and Europe. This evening enjoy dinner at Graf Degenfeld, a local manor with its own fine winery and cellar.(B,L,D)

Day 5: Sunday, August 8


Depart Tarcal for our return to Budapest.En route visit the Champions Estate.Here brothers Vilmos and Zoltan Lazar raise Hungary’s finest horses, including the beautiful white Lippinzan breed and the big Hungarian draft horses.Enjoy a phenomenal riding show by Hungarian hussars in traditional costume, followed by an authentic country lunch and refreshments. (NOTE: great photo opportunities here).Return to Budapest later in the afternoon to board our ship the M/S AmaVerde.(B,L,D)

Gems of Southeast Europe Cruise

Sunday, August 8 – Sunday, August 15, 2021

Day 1: Sunday, August 8


Those arriving today from Budapest Airport will be met and transferred to the ship AmaVerde.Board the ship for your Gems of Southeast Europe cruise. (D)

Day 2: Monday, August 9


Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohács. You’ll then visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for wine connoisseurs, you’ll want to go to the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago. You may also take an exhilarating guided bike tour around Mohács. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Tuesday, August 10


Vukovar is a Croatian symbol of resistance, which you’ll better understand on your city tour showcasing the Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Alternatively, choose a wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times, where you’ll sample its famous Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines. Back on board, cruise to Novi Sad, sometimes called the “Serbian Athens.” Discover Novi Sad on a walking tour to Dunavski Park and through Stari Grad, the Old Town center. If you prefer a more active exploration, join a guided biking tour or hike through Fruska Gora National Park. During the evening, visit Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Wednesday, August 11


Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family; and then tour the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Alternatively, you can hike to Belgrade Fortress. Later in the day, enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery. For those wishing a more active adventure, join a guided bike tour. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Thursday, August 12


Visit Golubac Fortress – a medieval fortified town on the south side of the Danube River – before cruising through the Iron Gates. The Iron Gates is one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Friday, August 13


Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Saturday, August 14


Visit Bulgaria’s ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to go to Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings. Later in the day, travel through the Romanian countryside to the capital of Bucharest, known as the “Little Paris of the East.” Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historic city center and its elegant architecture. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Sunday, August 15


Bid farewell to Giurgiu as you prepare for your flight home. (B)


A reasonable degree of mobility is required for all passengers on this program. Most of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours. Many historic villages in Europe are located on hilltops, where it is necessary to walk up and down hilly, cobblestone streets that may have narrow passageways. Ships docked in port are often rafted side-by-side to another river ship. Passengers are then required to ascend and descend flights of 12 or more stairs to walk up to observation deck, down to gang planks to enter or exit the rafted ships. To participate in tours and get on and off the ship, travelers must be able to walk unaccompanied.

Disabilities and Wheelchairs
Persons with a walking disability or an injury, or who require a wheelchair/scooter or other mobility device, must have another dedicated person traveling with them to assist/push etc. The ship’s crew and other cruise guests are not available to assist persons with limited mobility. On customized pre or post cruise land programs, the Expanding Horizons tour manager is authorized to remove, or ask to leave from the tour, any traveler incapable of, unwilling to, or impeding the overall movement and progress of the tour group.