Overview

Danube River – Bucharest to ViennaOur unique 11-night journey visits six historic countries and features some of Europe’s greatest cultural and natural treasures, including four UNESCO World Heritage sites. Begin with two nights in Bucharest, featuring Romania’s capital and the cultural treasures of Brasov and Transylvania. Cruise aboard one of the exclusively charted, deluxe vessel, the AMADEUS ROYAL from Romania and marvel at the natural wetlands of the Danube. Visit the medieval Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo, through the Iron Gates and into the ancient lands of southern Central Europe, a rich mosaic of medieval cities, charming villages and enchanting countryside. Immerse yourself in the Slavic heritage of medieval Belgrade; visit Hungary’s fabled puszta (plains) and the tranquil foothills of the Carpathian Mountains.  Conclude with three striking capitals of Central Europe: glittering Budapest, classical Bratislava and regal Vienna.   Enjoy three night Bucharest and Carpathian Mountains and two night Vienna pre- and post-tour options.

Program Highlights

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna

  • Two nights in Bucharest, Romania
  • Full-day journey to Transylvania
  • Unique nine-night cruise on the AMADEUS ROYAL
  • Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates dividing the Carpathian mountain range and the Balkan Mountains; explore the Danube Delta region; visit four impressive capital cities of Central Europe: Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna.

Faculty

Julian W. Connolly, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Julian W. Connolly is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia, where he served as Chair of the Slavic Department from 1988 to 1993 and 2001 to 2011. He received his A.B, M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University, before coming to the University in 1977. With research interests in nineteenth and twentieth century Russian and East European literature and culture, he has authored or edited eight books and written over eighty articles. He served as an instructor on two Semester at Sea academic voyages in the Baltic and Mediterranean, and has made scholarly presentations in Russia, Poland, Hungary, France, and Germany. He received an All-University Outstanding Teacher award in 1999 and will receive the Richard Stites Senior Scholar Award from the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies in March 2016.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday, October 17

Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S.

Day 2 - Tuesday, October 18

Bucharest, Romania

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna
Arrive and transfer to the Athenee Palace Hotel in the heart of Bucharest. The afternoon is at leasure and we will have an informal reception in the evening.
(R)

Day 3 - Wednesday, October 19

Bucharest, Transylvania, Brasov, Romania

From the ancient capital city of Bucharest, travel into central Romania to Transylvania, “the land beyond the forest.” Here, amid the spectacular Carpathian mountains, seven medieval Saxon villages and their fortified churches have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, while imposing Gothic castles and local lore keep the legend of Dracula alive. Tour imposing 14th-century Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle although the connection to the mythical count is tenuous—infamous Vlad T¸epe¸s (otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler and Dracula) merely passed through Bran during his flight from the Turks in 1462. Today, the castle rooms appear much as they did in 1920, when Queen Marie transformed the castle from a fortress into the Romanian royal family’s summer residence, with furniture imported from Western Europe and customized tile heating stoves. Visit 19th-century Pele¸s Castle, a fairy-tale palace with a German-Renaissance façade, and tour grand halls decorated in Florentine, French and Moorish styles. Intended as the summer residence of Romania’s King Carol I, Pele¸s was the first European castle to have central heating and electricity. Walk the cobblestone streets of enchanting Bra¸sov, said to be the city where the fabled Pied Piper led the children of Hamlin. Return to Bucharest for an evening at leisure. Breakfast,Lunch(B,L)

Day 4 - Thursday, October 20

Bucharest/Fetesti, Romania

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna

This morning, enjoy a tour along the grand boulevards of Romania’s dynamic capital city. Visit the National Art Museum in the 19th-century Royal Palace, housing Romania’s finest and most extensive collection of artistic treasures. Following lunch in a nearby restaurant, see the immense Palace of Parliament, the world’s second largest building and an eclectic architectural style incorporating many classical motifs. Continue to Fete¸sti to embark the deluxe M.S. AMADEUS ROYAL. Attend the Captain’s Welcome reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)

Day 5 - Friday, October 21

St. Gheorge/Danube Delta Region

In the village port of St. Gheorghe, board a small excursion boat for a private cruise in the vast Danube Delta, where land, river and sea converge to create one of Europe’s last wilderness areas. The fertile marshlands of the delta support dense growths of semi-aquatic plants and provide shelter for vast numbers of fish and birds—over 300 avian species have been observed here, many of them migrants from Northern Europe and the Central Asian steppes. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Saturday, October 22

Cruising the Danube River

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna
During a day at leisure on board, enjoy autumn Danube scenery seldom seen by Westerners and attend educational lectures lead by our faculty. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Sunday, October 23

Ruse/Veliko Tarnovo/Svisthov, Bulgaria

Dock in Ruse and travel to the deep valley of the River Lom to visit the incredible, rock-hewn Basarbovo Monastery, still an active, medieval center of faith and healing. Continue to the medieval city of Veliko Târnovo, historic capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire between the 12th and 14th centuries. Visit the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, renowned for its exquisite murals painted in the unique style of the Târnovo Artistic School, which flourished during the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. See the town’s 13th-century “New Town” along the banks of the Yantra River. Reboard the ship in Svishtov. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Monday, October 24

Iron Gates

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna

Today, relax aboard ship while cruising through some of southeastern Europe’s most impressive scenery—the legendary Iron Gates, a picturesque canyon carved by the Danube River in the course of its passage through the Transylvanian Alps. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Tuesday, October 25

Belgrade

One of the oldest cities in southeastern Europe, Belgrade traces its origins from the Stone Age. In later centuries, Romans, Byzantines, Serbs, Turks and Austrians each left lasting impressions. The walking tour features Terazije Square, the mid-19th-century Palace of Prince Milos and the imposing Church of St. Sava, Serbia’s patron saint. Visit the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress, overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, and the famous “House of Flowers,” the mausoleum and museum dedicated to the memory of Yugoslavia’s longstanding leader, Josip Broz Tito. The afternoon is free for independent pursuits in Belgrade. The ship cruises late this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Wednesday, October 26

Kalocsa/Hungarian Plain

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna

Dock in Mohács for a scenic drive across Hungary’s protected puszta, one of Europe’s largest expanses of rolling grassland plains. Travel through Hungary’s bucolic countryside to a traditional Hungarian farm in the puszta. Board a horse-drawn carriage for a short ride to a colorful performance of authentic Hungarian horsemanship at a csarda, a traditional working farm. Enjoy lunch and folk entertainment in the farm’s award-winning restaurant, then continue to Kalocsa, a town known for its creation of finely worked embroidery and the cultivation of paprika, the fabled spice that adds zest to Hungarian cuisine. Attend a specially arranged organ recital in the town cathedral before reembarking the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Thursday, October 27

Budapest

Arrive in Budapest, “Pearl of the Danube.” Buda and Pest, the centuries-old twin cities facing each other across the Danube River; the embankments along the river; and Buda Castle Quarter are together designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Pest, where the elegant neo-Gothic limestone Parliament Building, built between 1884 and 1904, towers over the river. Pass through Heroes’ Square and admire the monuments honoring the Magyar chiefs who conquered Hungary in AD 896. Visit the 19th-century, neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House. Cross the imposing Chain Bridge linking Pest to the Buda side of the Danube. On Castle Hill, visit the stately late-19th-century neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
(B, L, D)

Day 12 - Friday, October 28

Bratislava

Danube River – Bucharest to Vienna
Dock in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains overlooking the banks of the Danube River. Beautifully restored since the end of the Cold War, the city showcases 21st-century life amid its 1000-year-old history. Enjoy a morning walking tour of Bratislava’s Old Town; its medieval, Renaissance and 19th-century architecture is among the finest in central Europe. Visit the Romanesque 14th-century Cathedral of St. Martin and the elaborate Primatial Palace. St. Michael’s Gate is the only remaining intact portion of the city’s medieval fortifications. This afternoon, the ship cruises from Bratislava to Vienna, through the Donau-Auen National Park, which preserves the last remaining major wetlands environment in central Europe.
This evening, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 13 - Saturday, October 29

Vienna

Disembark in Vienna and continue on the Vienna Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.

Vienna Post-Program Option
The former seat of the Habsburg Empire and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and vibrant cultural centers, Vienna’s historic city center is an open-air museum of splendid baroque architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour this remarkable city’s most important landmarks, including the Habsburgs’ summer estate at Schönbrunn Palace, and the lavish Hofburg Palace. A lunch of Austrian and international specialties in Vienna’s oldest restaurant, Restaurant Griechenbeisl, is included. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe InterContinental Wien.

$595 per person based on double occupancy
$895 per person based on single occupancy

Accommodations

  • 2-nights at the HILTON BUCHAREST
  • 9-nights aboard the AMADEUS ROYAL

Meals

All meals included during the cruise

Program Fees

Prices are based on double occupancy and are land/cruise only plus taxes.
Gratuities to drivers/guides are included
A limited number of single rooms are available in the specific categories listed.
AmadeusRoyaldeckplans_Cabin

Cat 6 $4,395 (Haydn Deck- aft) Small window, 161 sq. feet

Cat 5 $4,995 (Haydn Deck-forward) Small window, 161 sq. feet

Cat 4 $5,595 (Haydn Deck-mid.) Small window, 161 sq. feet

Cat 3 $5,895 (Strauss Deck- aft.) French balcony (floor to ceiling glass door with railing) 161 sq. feet

Cat 2 $6,395 (Strauss Deck-mid and forward) French balcony (floor to ceiling glass door with railing) 161 sq. feet

Cat 1 $6,895 (Mozart Deck – mid.) French balcony (floor to ceiling glass door with railing) 161 sq. feet

Cat Jr Suite $7,595 SOLD OUT

SINGLES
Cat 4 $8,995
Cat 2 $9,995

Taxes: $130 per person

Price includes: hotel nights, cruise, tours

Does not include:

  • Taxes (currently $130 per person), airfare, or gratuities to ship staff
  • Transfers or baggage handling to/from airport on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • Passport fees
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and internet access; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance
  • Anything not specifically listed as included

 

Vienna Post-Program Option
The former seat of the Habsburg Empire and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and vibrant cultural centers, Vienna’s historic city center is an open-air museum of splendid baroque architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour this remarkable city’s most important landmarks, including the Habsburgs’ summer estate at Schönbrunn Palace, and the lavish Hofburg Palace. A lunch of Austrian and international specialties in Vienna’s oldest restaurant, Restaurant Griechenbeisl, is included. Accommodations are for two nights are in the deluxe InterContinental Wien.

$595 per person based on double occupancy
$895 per person based on single occupancy

General Terms & Conditions

RESPONSIBILITY: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company, the sponsoring associations/organizations, and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line.

Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

NOT INCLUDED: Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air/airport tax(es); airfare and associated local taxes, airport facility and security taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included in the travel program; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel/ship on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned as included in the travel program.

AIRFARE: Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan. LUGGAGE: Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without prior notice. Please contact your airline(s) for the most current luggage allowance policy.

PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY: All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of Gohagan. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply: reservation cancellation(s) are subject to a $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person administrative fee from the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure; from 95 through 119 days prior to departure, $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person; from 60 through 94 days prior to departure, 50% of the published full regular tariffs; cancellations 59 days or less prior to departure, a no-show, or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs. In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply.

TRIP INSURANCE: Because our cancellation policies are strictly enforced, we strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Trip cancellation insurance is available through Gohagan and others for comprehensive coverage of such expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident, and damaged or lost luggage. We will send you an application upon receipt of your reservation.

RATES: Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

REGISTRATION: CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.

BINDING ARBITRATION: Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement, the brochure, or any other information relating in any way to the trip, or to the trip itself, shall be settled solely and exclusively by binding arbitration in Chicago, Illinois, in accordance with the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association then existent. In any such proceeding, the substantive, but not procedural law of Illinois will apply. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable.

ACCEPTANCE OF CONTRACT: By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS BY: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company.