OPTIONAL: Expanding Horizons Exclusive PRE-CRUISE TOUR – 1 NIGHT BUCHAREST + 3 night brasov
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 – SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2022
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6
ARRIVE IN BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Arrive in Bucharest. You will be met and transferred from Bucharest Airport to the hotel. There is time to rest and relax from your journey. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
OVERNIGHT: RADISSON BLU BUCHAREST (1 night)
DAY 2: THURSDAY, APRIL 7
BUCHAREST – BRASOV
Bucharest, Romania’s capital is often called the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a morning tour of the city’s most impressive sites—including the city center and the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest administrative building in the world. This afternoon, tour Peles Castle, a Romanian national treasure considered one of Europe’s most stunning castles. Dine tonight at Coliba Haiducilor, a renowned Carpathian restaurant famous for its wild game dishes and desserts. (B,D)
OVERNIGHT: TELEFERIC GRAND HOTEL, BRASOV (3 nights)
DAY 3: FRIDAY, APRIL 8
BRAN, DRACULA’S CASTLE AND RASNOV CITADEL
Today, venture into Transylvania and the village of Bran, a place deeply rooted in myth and history. This was the home of Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian ruler whom author Bram Stoker modeled his character Count Dracula. Walk through Bran Castle, the formidable hilltop fortress built in the 14th century and forever linked with the legend of Dracula. Enjoy an afternoon tour of Rasnov Citadel, the 13th century bastion for the Teutonic Knights of the period. Great photo opportunities here! Dinner tonight is arranged in one of Brasov’s many fine restaurants. (B,D)
DAY 4: SATURDAY, APRIL 9
BRAȘOV – SIGHIȘOARA
Today, travel to the stunning village of Sighişoara, birthplace to the infamous, Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Vlad the Impaler. This is a UNESCO-designated town filled with resplendent pastel-colored buildings, stone lanes, medieval towers and pedestrian-friendly Old Town was Vlad’s place of birth. His home still stands, marked with a placard. Later, we have a private tour and luncheon at Vila Vinea, a Carpathian region winery of renown. Return to Brasov late afternoon. Tonight is at leisure to dine independently. (B)
DAY 5: SUNDAY, APRIL 10
BRASOV – AZUGA WINERY — EMBARKATION IN GIURGIU
Check out of our Brasov hotel this morning after breakfast. Enjoy a guided walking tour around Braşov town including the Black Church, Merchant’s Hall and School of St. Nicholas. Later in the morning, depart for Giurgiu on the Danube. En route, stop at noted champagne producer Azuga Winery, for a private tour and tasting with lunch. Board AmaMagna in Giurgiu approximately 5 pm. (B, L, D)
PRE-CRUISE TOUR ENDS. CRUISE BEGINS UPON BOARDING AMAMAGNA.
7 NIGHT LOWER DANUBE CRUISE, GIURGIU TO BUDAPEST
SUNDAY, APRIL 10 – SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022
DAY 1: SUNDAY, APRIL 10
Planning Your Travel: The beautiful port city of Giurgiu, located along the Danube River in Romania bordering Bulgaria and is approximately 1.5 hour driving time from Bucharest.
If booking your own flights: Bucharest (OTP) is the nearest airport, and two options are available for travel to Giurgiu.
- Coach Transportation: For those arriving into Bucharest on the same day as embarkation AmaWaterways offers one transfer to the ship – Passengers requesting this service need to arrive in Bucharest “before” 4:00 PM. Cost is $99.00 per person and must be booked with Expanding Horizons at time of final payment.
- Private Car Transportation: This service is offered by various companies – for example BlackLane Global Chauffeur Services.
- Services subject to change without notice.
Meet your fellow passengers this evening (D)
DAY 2: MONDAY, APRIL 11
GIURGIU – ROUSSE, BULGARIA
Experience more of Bucharest or visit Bulgaria’s ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to explore 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: TUESDAY, APRIL 12
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, or 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 option to take an exhilarating bike tour through Vidin. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, you can bike through Vidin or enjoy a wine tasting. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13
SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES
The Iron Gates are some 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. After your scenic cruise, you will arrive at Golubac Fortress – one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe – for a tour. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: THURSDAY, APRIL 14
Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Or visit the Royal Palace – the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family – and tour the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia; or hike to Belgrade Fortress. In the afternoon, 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 6: FRIDAY, APRIL 15
NOVI SAD, ILOK CROATIA
Discover Novi Sad, the “Serbian Athens,” 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 to Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. Later in the day, cruise to Vukovar, 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 7: SATURDAY, APRIL 16
MOHÁCS – PÉCS, HUNGARY
Visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, and 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 from Mohács through Danube-Drava National Park. (B,L,D)
POST-CRUISE – 2 NIGHT BUDAPEST TOUR
SUNDAY, APRIL 17 – TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2022
DAY 1: SUNDAY, APRIL 17
DISEMBARKATION / BUDAPEST ROYAL PALACE OF GODOLLO / LAZAR EQUESTRIAN ESTATE
Disembark the AmaMagna at 9am. We have a uniquely Hungarian sightseeing program today visiting two superb attractions outside the city. The Royal Palace of Godollo was the summer getaway for Emperor Franz Josef and his beloved queen Elizabeth, fondly called “Sisi” by Hungarians. After a tour of the palace visit the extraordinary Lazar Champions Estate. Here brothers Vilmos and Zoltan Lazar raise Hungary’s finest horses, including the beautiful white Lippinzan breed and the enormous Hungarian draft horses. Enjoy a phenomenal riding show by Hungarian hussars in traditional costume, followed by refreshments and an authentic and delicious country lunch. NOTE: Great photo opportunities here! This evening is at leisure. (B,L)
TIP: Tonight stroll down Kazinczy Street and explore the lively Jewish Quarter’s night life. This is Budapest’s version of Bourbon Street with the many “Ruins” bars and night clubs.
Overnight: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus (2 nights)
DAY 2: MONDAY, APRIL 18
BUDAPEST AT LEISURE / GYPSY DINNER
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. Our tour desk in the hotel will offer optional tours to the Hungarian Parliament and Opera, the Szentendre Artist Village or an exploration of the city’s many Jewish sites and historical places. Tonight enjoy a Gypsy farewell dinner at the historic Karpatia Restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 3: TUESDAY, APRIL 19
This morning check out of the hotel after breakfast. You will be transferred to Budapest International Airport for onward flights. (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.