Danube River Cruise: Vienna to Bucharest

  • $2,999
    Tour Only
  • $3,699
    Flights Included
  • 13
  • Average Tour Review


On this air-inclusive trip, sail down the Danube River stopping at some of Eastern Europe’s most fascinating cities—from Vienna and Budapest to Belgrade and Bucharest. Before setting sail, go sightseeing in Vienna, which features beautiful palaces and modern architecture. Then, depart on the ship to Bratislava, Slovakia where you’ll explore the sights around Old Town. Next, stop down the river takes you into Hungary for a visit to Budapest. You’ll tour the city and then have a full day to discover sights at your leisure. Sail along the picturesque Drava River to Croatia for a day around Osijek and then set your sights on Serbia, with stops at the charming cities of Novi Sad and Belgrade. Admire the stunning vistas as we cruise to Bulgaria, bringing you to Vidin.

For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.

Did you know that you can make this tour private for your friends and family? Find out more about pricing and options for your group.

Itinerary at
a Glance

  • 10-night Cruise from Vienna to Bucharest
  • Vienna (Austria)
  • Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • Budapest (Hungary)
  • Vukovar (Croatia)
  • Novi Sad (Serbia)
  • Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Vidin (Bulgaria)
  • 1 night in Bucharest hotel
  • Optional Dracula’s Castle Extension


  • Hofburg Palace (Vienna)
  • St. Martin’s Cathedral (Bratislava)
  • Matthias Coronation Church (Budapest)
  • Gypsy Concert (On Board – Budapest)
  • Old Town with Concert (Osijek)
  • Petrovaradin Fortress (Novi Sad)
  • Kalemegdan Fortress (Belgrade)
  • Iron Gates Gorge
  • Baba Vida Fortress (Vidin)
  • Palace of Parliament (Bucharest)
  • Optional Dracula’s Castle Extension

Activity Level: Discoverer 

Your Tour

  • Round-trip airfare from New York area (JFK or EWR) (passengers may also book this tour without flights)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • 10-night cruise aboard the MS River Governess in a main deck cabin with 2 half windows
  • One night in a Bucharest hotel
  • Port charges
  • 30 meals: 11 buffet breakfasts (B), 9 lunches (L), 10 dinners (D)
  • Wine or beer with lunches and dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours, shore excursions, onboard lectures, folklore performances, and concerts
  • Free Wi-Fi (where available)
  • English-speaking cruise director and tour guides

Your extension includes:

  • Transportation to and from the Carpathian Mountains resort of Brasov and nearby Dracula’s Castle
  • Breakfast (B) daily and two dinners (D)
  • Tour of Peles Castle, Brasov City & Dracula’s Castle

Tour Itinerary


Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.

Depart USA

Your fascinating river cruise journey begins as you depart on your overnight flight to Europe.

*Passengers who did not purchase flights will join the tour in Vienna on Day 2.

Arrive Vienna (Austria)

Arrive in Vienna, the splendid capital of Austria and the center of the Hapsburg Empire. You’ll be met at the airport and will travel to your cruise ship for embarkation. This evening enjoy a welcome cocktail followed by an orientation briefing and reception and then dinner.

MS River Governess | Dinner

Vienna Sightseeing/Set Sail

Today, experience Vienna’s glorious past as you embark on an included panoramic tour taking you along the Ring Boulevard, past Emperor Franz Josef’s Hofburg Palace and the State Opera to the Cathedral of St. Stephen’s. Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own. Your cruise director can assist in arranging tickets for an optional concert or cultural performance. Set sail late tonight.

| Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bratislava (Slovakia)

Welcome to Slovakia! Depart on your morning walking exploration of the lovely city center, past St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Primate’s Palace. The sightseeing will end with a walk through the Old Town – Michael’s Gate, Michael’s Tower, Main Square, Old Town Hall and Slovak National Theatre. Return to the ship for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is back on board and an evening free to waltz the night away! | Breakfast, Lunch,…

Budapest (Hungary)

Morning at sail. In the afternoon, your motor coach tour of this lovely city will include the most popular sights: The Parliament Building, St. Stefan Cathedral, the Opera, the Square of Heroes, (the Millennium monument) and the town park with the Vajdahunyad Castle, etc. There will be stops at the Square of Heroes, the Fisherman’s Bastion and Gellert Hill. The rest of the evening is at leisure. You may consider an optional Hungarian Folklore show…

Budapest (Hungary)

Full day at leisure for independent exploration. You may want to join your Cruise Director for a wonderful walking tour of downtown Budapest. Prior to dinner enjoy a short live concert of Hungarian Gypsy music performed in the lounge. This evening set sail.

| Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Vukovar (Croatia)

After breakfast this morning, head up to the sun deck to observe the beautiful vistas as you sail into Vukovar, Croatia. This afternoon, after entry formalities, depart for a walking tour. Enjoy some free time to explore the city at your leisure before returning to the ship for dinner.

| Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Novi Sad (Serbia)

Welcome to Serbia! When you wake up this morning, you’ll say hello to Novi Sad, Serbia’s lively university town. You will be delighted with this pedestrian-friendly town as you are led on a walking tour through the town center and the Petrovaradin Fortress, referred to as the “Gibraltar on the Danube.” Built in the 18th century on over 116 hectares, the fortress has four levels and more than 16km of underground tunnels. After the tour enjoy free…


Witness the “new” Belgrade today as it rebuilds and once again warmly welcomes Western visitors. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is located on a hill at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. This ancient city, dating back to the Roman Empire, was destroyed and rebuilt several times during its tumultuous history. This morning’s motorcoach tour of the city highlights includes the Kalemegdan Fortress, the imposing St. Sava Cathedral and the cobblestone bohemian quarter…

Sailing through the Iron Gates (Serbia)

This morning, savor the beautiful vistas while learning about the fascinating history of the Balkans. Relax on board or consider an optional tour exploring the historical landmarks of the Iron Gates. After lunch, enjoy one of the highlights of your voyage: passage through the impressive Iron Gates Gorge and the gigantic Djerdap Lock where the Danube surges down from the Carpathian Mountains. The views along the two-mile long gorge are spectacular! Arrive in Vidin, Bulgaria…

Vidin (Bulgaria)

This morning, embark on a walking tour of this delightful Bulgarian river port highlighted by a visit to the 13th century fortress named “Baba Vida” (“Grandma Vida”) the best preserved medieval fortress in the country. Then enjoy some free time for strolling and shopping or take the optional Belogradchik Rock excursion.

| Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Disembark/Bucharest (Romania)/Dracula's Castle Extension

Dock at the Romanian port of Turnu Magurele and journey to nearby Bucharest, the capital of Romania, founded in 1459 by order of Prince Vlad Tepes, the original “Dracula.” Over the years, it has gone from times of greatness to periods of grief but especially flourished in the early 20th century when it was known as “Little Paris.” The influence of French architecture is still evident throughout, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Enescu Museum and…


Board your return flight after ending your Danube River cruises. Your fascinating voyage ends as you arrive New York later today.

*The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights on Day 13 in Bucharest.

| Breakfast

Guided Tour Pricing

Book by Dec. 3, 2021 to get the best price. The starting prices below reflect a $100 discount applied when you pay by echeck.

Prices and dates below include round-trip airfare from the New York area. Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination.

2022 Tours Tour Only With Flights  
May 13
May 25
$3,699 $3,299
$4,499 $4,099

Call to book

June 2
June 14
$3,799 $3,399
$4,499 $4,099

Call to book

July 12
July 24
$3,699 $3,299
$4,399 $3,999

Call to book

September 10
September 22
$3,899 $3,499
$4,599 $4,199

Call to book

September 30
October 12
$3,799 $3,399
$4,499 $4,099

Call to book

October 20
November 1
$3,399 $2,999
$4,099 $3,699

Call to book

Rates are based on double occupancy from New York (JFK).
Single room supplement add $1899

2022 Departures: $699 based on double occupancy / $878 based on single occupancy

For 2022 Departures
Rates are based on Main Deck (Cat D) cabins with 2 half windows. Upgrade to higher category cabins:
• CAT. C, Middle Deck with outside facing cabin with french balcony: add $249
• CAT. B, Middle Deck with outside facing cabin with french balcony: add $399
• CAT. A, Upper Deck with outside facing cabin with french balcony: add $699

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00am – 5:30pm EST) at 1.800.337.7773.

Reservations and Payments 
Reservations can be made by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $99 per person for all 2021 departures, and $300 per person for all 2022 departures. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.

Extended Tours

Overview: Dracula's Castle Extension

  • From approx. $649 Per Person

Why not take advantage of your already included airfare to Europe and add a visit to the enchanting Carpathian Mountains resort of Brasov and to nearby Dracula’s Castle?


Disembark and depart by road for Sinaia and visit the magnificent Peles Castle, a former summer residence of the Romanian Royal Family. Continue to Brasov, a medieval resort town set high in the scenic Carpathian Mountains. Aro Palace Hotel or similar. (B,D)

Dracula's Castle Excursion

Enjoy a morning tour of Brasov including Town Square and the renowned Black Cathedral. Proceed to the nearby town of Bran where the highlight of the visit is a tour of the mystical Vlad Tepes Dracula’s Castle. Afternoon is at leisure to explore lovely Brasov independently. (B)


After breakfast it’s time to check out of your hotel and board your bus for the leisurely 2 hour ride back towards Bucharest for a half day city tour prior to checking in to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a wonderful farewell dinner with live entertainment at one of the city’s renowned restaurants. Novotel Hotel or similar (B,D)


Board your return flight. Your fascinating voyage ends as you arrive New York later today.

*The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights on Day 15 in Bucharest.

| Breakfast

Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.

To make your cruise more even more memorable, we’ll offer several optional tours and cultural/dining evening activities. These are subject to change (and others will likely be added), and the prices are approximate. They are payable by cash (euros) or by credit card with a surcharge. Note that optional tours are non-refundable.

Classical Music Concert

  • Vienna
  • From approx. $97 Per Person
Quite rightfully, Vienna is often called the “Musical Capital of the World”. Enjoy a concert in the heart of Vienna at Kursalon Wien, an exclusive and splendid building of the 19th century built in the Italian Renaissance style. In the very place where Johann Strauss used to direct his orchestra from the position of first violin, enjoy the essence of Vienna’s classical music! The Salonorchester Alt Wien, one of the best-known interpreters of classical Viennese…

Hungarian Folk Ensemble & Budapest by Night

  • Budapest
  • From approx. $77 Per Person
The Ensemble is regarded as one of the best in Hungary and one of the top ten touring groups in the world. It consists altogether of over 30 artists, dancers and musicians, members of the Gypsy Orchestra and of the Hungarian Folk Orchestra. Their performance of vigorous dances and beautiful tunes will take you through the different traditions of the Hungarians. After the performance, a short bus tour will take you around the Hungarian capital…

Walking Tour of Downtown Pest

  • Budapest
  • From approx. $26 Per Person

Join your Cruise Director for a delightful stroll down Vaci Utca, the city’s main pedestrian promenade full of shops, cafes, and beautiful people! Your stops will include the Great Market Hall and Gerbeaud, the oldest sweet shop in Budapest which opened in 1858! Your tour ends with a delightful ride aboard an old-fashioned tram back to the docking location.


Krusedol Monastery & Wine Tasting

  • Novi Sad
  • From approx. $52 Per Person
Travel by motor coach through the Serbian countryside for a visit to Krusedol Monastery, located on the nearby mountain of Fruska Gora where more than 15 Serbian orthodox monasteries were built in medieval times. Well renowned for its fresco paintings dating from the early 16th century, the monastery is also a burial place for legendary personalities throughout Serbian history, such as King Milan Obrenovic and Duchess Ljubica. On the way back, stop in Sremski Karlovci,…

Historical Landmarks in the Iron Gates

  • From approx. $39 Per Person
This tour connects different points over time and opens the way through the history of this part of Europe. Disembark the ship right by the impressive fortress of Golubac. Start your tour with a visit of this important witness of the local history. Established in the 13th century by the Serbs, the fortress played an important role at this strategic point of the river, being held at times by Hungarians, Ottomans, again Serbs. Today the…

Belogradchik Rocks

  • Belogradchik
  • From approx. $52 Per Person
Take the tour to the most famous natural phenomena in the region, Belogradchik Rocks. This rocky fairy-tale is spread from west to east and it is 30km long and 3km wide. The most attractive rocks are around the town and named as The Madonna, The Monks, The Rider, The Dervish, The Bear, Adam and Eve, The Castle, The Little Shepherd, The Mushrooms, The Lion and many others. The Belogradchik fortress is situated at an altitude…


Patti C

My husband and I were recently on A Danube Discovery Cruise. Our tour Director was Dusan Kuljic. When the unimaginable happened, and my husband became ill and needed emergency surgery in Novi Sad Serbia, Dusan jumped in and stayed by our sides throughout the ordeal. Once he'd found me a place to stay, he returned to his ship but never gave up contact with us, calling frequently to see if we needed anything. When the cruise ended and we were still in Novi Sad, Dusan returned to Belgrade, came to pick us up and move us to Belgrade where we could get a flight home. This man was truly our angel and turned what could have been a real nightmare into an opportunity to develop friendships, sight see, and rest as needed. He is one in a million and thoughts of him will always be at the top of our best memories of this trip.

Virginia W

We thought the trip was excellent. The river boat was good and the people on the boat were VERY gracious. I loved the size of the river boat. Our TD, Dusan J, was excellent. Would have loved for him to stay with us the whole trip. He left after the cruise and we had another one for mountain portion of the trip. He was OK but I can't remember his name. He was very knowledgeable about the area. It would be better if you kept same one for all of the trip. I will take another river cruise with smarTours.

Prakash P

Everything was great.We had wonderful time.Tour guides,staff,crew and food was excellent.Also the group was the best ever.This was our seventh tour with smarTours.


This vacation was one of the best we have had. Everything, including the ship, all accommodations (ship and land), tours and tour guides, cuisine was very well prepared and excellent. The personnel (ship and land) did everything possible to make everyone happy and satisfied.

Hersh R

We are now on our way home from this wonderful Danube River cruise. I would like to sum up our experience on the Little Prince as outstanding. This trip turned out to far exceed our expectations. The crew and cruise director (Duschan) were terrific. Dining room staff and food quality was excellent. Kitchen staff and our waiter Liviu went out of their way to accommodate the kosher requirements of our table. Tour guides in most locations were very knowledgeable and spoke good english. Our only criticism was the air conditioning in the cabin and dining room. The cabin was very hot and humid and nothing could be done by the staff. We will highly recommend SmarTours to our friends.

Karen Y

Great itinerary. Included excursions were OK but did not really cover a lot of things we wanted to see. Seemed like we viewed a lot of the places from the bus or a walk by but did not go into many places. Boat was older and seemed like a camping trip with the bath being very small and single beds hard. Difficult to regulate the temperature in the room too. Food was good and the staff on the boat was great, very accommodating to food allergies. Hotel in Bucharest was very nice.
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