River Cruise along the Danube River – Vienna to the Black Sea

River Cruise along the Danube River – Vienna to the Black Sea



Join this extraordinary 13-day journey along the fabled Danube River, from the Habsburgs’ imperial capital of Vienna, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the captivating Black Sea. Cruise for nine nights aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe Amadeus Star and spend two nights in Romania’s elegant capital, Bucharest. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates and discover the enchanting eastern Danube River Valley, a mystical region virtually unknown to Westerners. Visit the ancient land of Bulgaria, the young territories of Serbia and eastern Croatia, Hungary’s fabled Puszta (plains) and the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated castles, palaces and squares of Budapest.

Pricing from

Early booking savings of up to $2,000!

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International River Voyages
Departure Dates
Oct 7, 2023 - Oct 19, 2023


Imperial Vienna – Pre-Program Option
The former seat of the Habsburg Empire and one of Europe’s most vibrant cultural centers, Vienna showcases an open‑air museum of splendid Baroque architecture in its historical center—a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along the famous Ringstrasse, see this remarkable city’s most important landmarks. Visit Hofburg Palace and see the Gothic‑style Stephansdom (Saint Stephen’s Cathedral). Learn more about the Austrian Empire in Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Habsburgs’ summer estate. Accommodations are for two nights in the historical, Five‑Star Hotel Imperial Vienna.

Castles of Transylvania – Post-Program Option
Enjoy mystical Transylvania, Latin for “the land beyond the forest,” and learn more about central Romania’s rich medieval heritage. Admire the auburn splendor of the Carpathian Mountains, an evocative backdrop for grand castles with soaring spires where the Gothic narrative of Count Dracula lives on in local lore. Tour the 19th‑century fairy‑tale Peleş Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Europe; the imposing, 14th‑century Bran Castle; and Romania’s beloved Queen Marie’s former summer residence. See the Gothic Black Church in Braşov; visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated, 14th-century Sighişoara, the birthplace of Vlad Țepeş; and explore UNESCO‑inscribed Prejmar, the largest fortified church in southeast Europe. Spend two nights in the ideally located, deluxe Aro Palace in BraȘov and one night in the Five‑Star Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest.


  • Richard Wagner

    Richard Wagner

    Richard Wagner, PhD, AIA, is an architect specializing in historic preservation and rehabilitation projects. He founded and directed the National Main Street Center’s Urban Program, as well as the nation’s first on line graduate program in historic preservation. He has also held an appointment as Research Professor in Historic Preservation, The George Washington University. Richard founded and directed the Forums on Historic Preservation Policy, a biannual discussion on the future of preservation now housed at the College of Charleston and the Joseph P Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities in Charleston SC. Currently, Richard is Chair, Board of Directors, College Park City University Partnership, a local development and preservation corporation owned by the City of College Park Maryland and the University of Maryland.  A graduate of the University of Virginia, and the University of Edinburgh, Richard brings an international perspective on architecture, architectural history, and historic preservation to his tours


CANCELLATION FEES: Final payment due at least 95 days prior to departure. Cancellation fees and penalties apply as follows:


96 days or more prior*

95-61 days prior

60-45 days prior

44-0 days prior


Full refund

50% of program price

75% of program price

100% of program price

*In the event of a cancellation between 45 and 95 days prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan & Company trip which commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. Click here for more information.


Danube Black Sea map


  • day 1

    Depart the U.S. for Vienna, Austria

    Depart the U.S. on Monday.

  • day 2

    Vienna, Austria/Embark Amadeus Star

    Arrive in Vienna the next day and embark the deluxe Amadeus Star. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner Tuesday evening.

  • day 3

    Bratislava, Slovakia

    Dock in Slovakia’s capital in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. The festive “little big city” of Bratislava showcases 21st‑century life amid its 2,000‑year‑old history. Enjoy a walking tour of the city’s Staré Mesto (Old Town) and its medieval, Renaissance and 19th‑century architecture. Visit the Gothic, 14th‑century Saint Martin’s Cathedral, where 19 Hungarian kings and queens were crowned, and the elaborate Primate’s Palace, famous for its rare collection of 17th-century English tapestries. See Michael’s Gate, Bratislava’s oldest preserved medieval fortification, built in 1300, and the eclectic, 14th‑century Old Town Hall, embedded with a cannonball fired by Napoleon Bonaparte during his siege of the city in 1809.

  • day 4

    Budapest, Hungary

    Referred to as the “most Hungarian Habsburg,” Austrian Archduke Joseph Anton Johan is credited with creating Budapest— an imperial capital that rivaled the scale and flamboyance of Vienna. Swaths of historical Budapest have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status— the embankments of the Danube, including monuments of the centuries‑old twin cities of Buda and Pest; the medieval Buda Castle Quarter, site of the Roman city of Aquincum; and the illustrious palaces, mansions and squares of elegant Andrássy Avenue. In Pest, see the Gothic Revival Hungarian Parliament Building, completed in 1904. At UNESCO-inscribed Heroes’ Square, admire monuments honoring Magyar chiefs who occupied the Carpathian Basin and established the Kingdom of Hungary in A.D. 896. Along Andrássy Avenue, see the 19th‑century, neo‑Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House. Cross the landmark Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the first stone bridge to link river‑level Pest to the hills of Buda. On Castle Hill, visit the late‑19th‑century, neo‑Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion and the astonishing Gothic‑style Saint Matthias Church, where Charles I, the last Habsburg ruler, was coronated in 1916.

  • day 5

    Kalocsa and Puszta

    Enjoy views of Hungary’s scenic, protected Puszta, one of Europe’s largest expanses of rolling grassland plains, where pastoral traditions have prevailed for over two millennia. Visit a working horse farm to see a performance of authentic Hungarian horsemanship and enjoy a traditional lunch of regional specialties in the farm’s restaurant. In Kalocsa, known for its intricate, brightly hued Hungarian embroidery, visit the House of Folk Art and Paprika Museum for further insights into the spice referred to as “red gold.”

  • day 6

    Vukovar, Croatia/Novi Sad, Serbia/ Sremski Karlovci

    Explore renewed Vukovar, “The Hero’s Town.” See restored landmarks and monuments that stand as powerful symbols of resistance, including 18th‑century Eltz Manor, a paradigm of Croatian Baroque architecture; the iconic Grand Hotel, famously purchased by the city’s Labour Movement in 1919; and the imposing red-brick water tower. Visit the Baroque Church of Saints Philip and James and see its intricate stained‑glass windows. “The Athens of Serbia,” Novi Sad is Serbia’s vibrant second city. Enjoy a walking tour of the pedestrian-only Stari Grad (Old Town) to see the city’s most beautiful buildings—the neo‑Gothic Name of Mary Church and the neo‑Renaissance Town Hall. Crowning the Old Town, the 18th‑century Petrovaradin Fortress, the “Gibraltar on the Danube,” is Europe’s second largest fortress. On a panoramic tour of quaint Sremski Karlovci, see the 19th‑century Patriarchate Court and the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas with its twin bell towers. Savor regional honey with a tasting in the Museum of Beekeeping.

  • day 7


    Belgrade traces its origins from the Stone Age, and was ruled by Celts, Byzantines, Serbs, Ottoman Turks and Austrians, each leaving a lasting impression. Enjoy a walking tour featuring historical Terazije Square and the domed Temple of Saint Sava, Serbia’s patron saint. Visit the strategic Kalemegdan Fortress, one of the world’s oldest fortifications, commissioned by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in A.D. 535. Tour the famous “House of Flowers” memorial dedicated to former Yugoslavia’s longstanding leader, Josip Broz Tito.

  • day 8

    Donji Milanovac for Lepenski Vir/ Cruising through the Iron Gates

    Tour Lepenski Vir, an exceptional Paleolithic site (6500 to 5500 B.C.) and archaeological exhibition center. Stone idols found in Lepenski Vir, including the famous 9,000-year‑old Foremother sculpture, represent the oldest stone sculptures in Europe. Enjoy spectacular views of the Danube Gorge in its dramatic, autumnal glory. Cruise through southeastern Europe’s picturesque scenery, passing the Golubac Fortress, guardian to the legendary Iron Gates, naturally carved by the Danube River.

  • day 9

    Nikopol, Bulgaria, for Arbanasi and Veliko Târnovo

    Dock in Nikopol and continue to the 12th‑century hillside village of Arbanasi, where nearly 90 historical buildings are protected monuments. Learn more about the life of a 17th‑century merchant in the perfectly preserved Konstantsaliev House and admire elaborate icons and frescoes in the 15th‑century Church of the Nativity of Christ. Continue to the medieval town of Veliko Târnovo, capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire between the 12th and 14th centuries. Savor lunch in a local restaurant and enjoy a walking tour of the town center—an open‑air museum of National Revival architectural splendor.

  • day 10

    Feteşti, Romania, for Constanţa and Adamclisi

    The principal Romanian seaport of Constanţa was established in the sixth century B.C. as the Greek trading settlement of Tomis. The port later became a part of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Explore Constanţa’s Old Town and view the Roman poet Ovid’s famous statue in Ovidiu Square. Later, see the many elegant mansions and hotels that remain from the 19th century when King Carol I revived Constanţa. Visit the Natural History & Archaeological Museum. This afternoon, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and time at leisure. En route to the ship, stop in Adamclisi, where the Tropaeum Traiani commemorates Roman Emperor Trajan’s victory over the Dacians in A.D. 102. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and dinner this evening.

  • day 11

    Feteşti/Disembark ship/Bucharest

    Disembark the ship in Feteşti and drive through the rolling Romanian campii (plains) to the diverse capital city of Bucharest. Along the Grand Boulevard, visit the Palace of Parliament—the infamous vision of Nicolae Ceaușescu and valued as the world’s most expensive administrative building—and the open-air National Village Museum. Check into the ideally located, Five‑Star Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest

  • day 12


    Visit the National Art Museum in the 19th‑century Royal Palace, housing Romania’s finest collection of artistic treasures. Your afternoon is at leisure; enjoy the Farewell Reception in the hotel this evening.

  • day 13

    Bucharest/Return to the U.S.

    After breakfast, continue on the Castles of Transylvania Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.

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