Passage to Eastern Europe featuring Transylvania
Cruise along the southern reaches of the Danube into the heart of the Old World, a land of sophisticated art and culture, medieval wonders, rich folk traditions, fairy-tale villages, bountiful comfort food, and so much more. Your itinerary takes you between elegant Budapest and fascinating Bucharest, visiting five different countries: Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
City Tour of Budapest
Enjoy a city tour of Budapest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) featuring Fisherman’s Bastion.
Hungarian Folklore Workshop
Take part in an insightful Folklore Workshop featuring paprika bread making, folk painting and embroidery.
Home-hosted lunch in Osijek, Croatia
You'll enjoy several Cultural Connections on your river cruise that provide opportunities to explore local traditions and meet local people. One of these is such as a home-hosted lunch in Osijek, Croatia.
During Vantage's Passage to Eastern Europe
river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest, you'll discover the country’s 2,500-year-old capital, Belgrade, on a half-day tour. Belgrade’s recent history has left the city somewhat disheveled — yet you’ll be impressed by bold redevelopment and the positive outlook of the residents. You’ll also visit Kalemegdan Fortress.
The Iron Gates of the Danube River
During your Vantage River Cruise, relax on deck and enjoy the views as you travel through Serbia and Romania on one of the most dramatic and beautiful stretches of the Danube river, the series of gorges known as the Iron Gates of the Danube.
Children’s Serbian Folk Dance
During your Vantage river cruise through Eastern Europe, you'll enjoy a charming dance performance by Serbian children in Donji Milanovac.
On board our ships, complimentary bicycles are available for your use so you can pedal along the scenic paths that wind along the river, or cycle around town, during your free time.
Optional Extension to Transylvania, Romania
Even without the lure of vampire legends, Romania's central region of Transylvania is a superb travel destination, with its rugged mountain scenery, medieval villages, and well-preserved towns. Now you can experience it firsthand — at a great Vantage value! — as an extension of your European river cruise. Most intriguing of all, you'll uncover the mystery of Dracula himself!
Optional Extension to Warsaw & Krakow
Experience the resurgence of Warsaw and Krakow on this historical foray into the heart of Poland. You’ll spend two days in Warsaw, the elegant capital meticulously restored after the destruction during World War II, before transferring to one of Europe’s most indisputably beautiful cities — Krakow. Enjoy informative walking tours of each city’s atmospheric and historic districts and visit the Warsaw Ghetto and the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps to explore some of the darkest chapters in world history. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites round out this extension — don't miss it!
George Bihoi, Cruise Director, Passage to Eastern Europe
Vantage travelers often compliment George Bihoi’s “wonderful bedside manner,” which is no surprise, since he has a Master’s degree in Health Care and Human Resources. His other credentials include certification as a national guide with the Romanian Ministry of Tourism, and as an official translator with the Romanian Ministry of Justice (the highest certification available in the field.) But perhaps his best qualification to lead you on a Main, Rhine, and Danube river cruise is his deep appreciation for the opportunity to discover new worlds. He credits his mother with that, since she was an English teacher who made sure her son knew what was behind the Iron Curtain long before it fell. Says George, “By 1989 when the revolution came, I was ready to open up to the newly discovered democracy. It’s been 12 years for me leading tours and I can safely say that each time I go back to a place, I find something new and exciting worth sharing with our visitors.” Among his favorite places to share are the Iron Gates and Transylvania, especially in fall and spring. A true man for all seasons, George still helps out in the emergency room of a Bucharest hospital when not on tour.
Bogdan Curea, Cruise Director, Passage to Eastern Europe
As a child growing up in Bucharest, Bogy loved to tag along when his bus driver father drove travelers on tours all over Romania. “It was love at first sight, traveling and discovering new places and people.” Bogy went on to study history and finance, earning an MBA and working for international hotel chains such as Hilton and Crowne Plaza. Now he is back doing what he loves best, “Getting to know different people, sharing my knowledge, treating everybody as I wish to be treated when I am on holiday.” One of his favorite holiday destinations is Transylvania, with its “gorgeous nature and unspoiled lands, the medieval castles, UNESCO sites, and the special atmosphere.”
The ms River Splendor
Unpack just once, relax, and discover the most luxurious and rewarding way to see Europe. The Deluxe ship, the ms River Splendor
, has been designed specifically for the discerning traveler, with spacious staterooms, a state-of-the-art infotainment system, gourmet international dining, themed lounges, complimentary Concierge service, and a crew-to-passenger ratio of better than 1:4.
Owner's Suite on the ms River Splendor
The 330 square-foot Owner's Suite has all the features of a Deluxe Suite, including floor to ceiling windows with remote control curtains; private airport transfers upon arrival and departure from your destination when you purchase Vantage air, laundry service, and more.
Deluxe Suites on the ms River Splendor
Make the most of your journey by upgrading to a 250-square-foot Deluxe Suite at a surprisingly reasonable price. Your Deluxe Suite includes all of the amenities of Deluxe Staterooms, plus a minibar, luxurious bathrobes and slippers, a bathroom with a shower and bathtub, and more.
Deluxe Staterooms on the ms River Splendor
Join us and unpack just once in your private stateroom. All staterooms face outside and feature a glorious view. Deluxe staterooms on the Navigator deck have French balconies, which offer the best of all worlds: grand, panoramic views and the ability to open your room to fresh river breezes — without reducing valuable interior space, the way a traditional balcony does.
Single Staterooms on the ms River Splendor
If you're traveling solo, you'll also have the choice of reserving a single cabin so you don't have to pay based on double-room rates. (Availability is limited, so reserve promptly if interested.)
Health & Wellness During Your European River Cruise
Our tours are designed to help you get out and explore, no matter your activity level. Ideally paced and full of options, our trips put you in control, whether you want to “do it all” or unplug and do nothing. Join a walking tour to the next village, or cycle alongside a Dutch canal with one of the complimentary bikes we offer on board. Plus, you’ll have ample free time to experience the world in your own unique fashion.