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Grand River Voyage II - The North Sea to the Black Sea
Encompassing three of Europe’s most famous waterways - the Rhine, Main and Danube – and eight countries, this grand voyage across the continent will travel 2,200 miles through Europe to the Balkans...

Grand River Voyage II – The North Sea to the Black Sea

Amsterdam to Fetesti

Monday 9th May to Wednesday 1st June 2022

From £12,450 per person

23 nights including
6 Gala Dinners

Encompassing three of Europe’s most famous waterways - the Rhine, Main and Danube – and eight countries, this grand voyage across the continent will travel 2,200 miles through Europe to the Balkans. Promising picturesque riverscapes at every bend, centuries of intriguing history and culture will unfold before your eyes. Discover Europe’s great treasures as well as off-the-beaten-path gems.
Uncover Europe’s majestic jewels as you wander wide-eyed through world-famous cities such as Cologne, Vienna and Budapest. Discover the wonders of numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites such the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the picturesque Wachau Valley and the Danube Delta.
This ultimate Grand Voyage will leave you mesmerized and throughout your journey, tantalize your senses with exclusive wine and beer tastings, along with private musical recitals in some of the most impressive and atmospheric settings imaginable. Brimming with highlights, this magnificent journey will transport you in comfort and relaxing style on board Royal Crown through spectacular and ever- changing scenery to a new destination every day with the convenience of only unpacking once!

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Grand Voyage II route map

See our itinerary below...

Below you can explore the itinerary for this cruise. Click on the arrows to see more information on each days itinerary. Simply click the ‘Book this Cruise’ button to get booking and embark on ab exciting journey with us…

Guest Speakers: Michael Buerk, James Naughtie and Nick Hammond

 Royal Crown cruise guest speaker Michael Buerk Royal Crown cruise guest speaker James Naughtie Royal Crown cruise guest speaker Nick Hammond

Michael Buerk: Michael Buerk is perhaps best known as the BBC correspondent responsible for two reports from Ethiopia in 1984 that are widely regarded as the most influential pieces of television ever broadcast. He has reported for the BBC from nearly 70 countries, has covered more than a dozen wars, been jailed, blown up, shot at and gassed during the course of his assignments. He was main presenter of BBC Television’s flagship news programme for 15 years and continues to chair BBC Radio 4’s long-running ethical debate programme, the Moral Maze. He also writes for several leading newspapers and magazines.

James Naughtie: James Naughtie is one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters. A special correspondent for the BBC, he presented Today on Radio 4 for twenty-one years and has reported from home and abroad for more than three decades. He presents Bookclub on Radio 4 and has written and broadcast on classical music for many years. As an author he has published books on politics, a history of music, an account of experiences over half a century in the United States, and two novels.

Nick Hammond: Nicholas Hammond combined his boyhood passions for wildlife and art in a career that included being editor of Birds, head of publications and director of communications with the RSPB, before working for the Wildlife Trusts. He has written four books and numerous magazine articles about art and wildlife. A widely travelled guest speaker on cruises, his topics on this voyage will include the wildlife of the Danube, wild animals in fine art and stories of eccentric human interaction with the natural world.

Monday 9th May

UK / Amsterdam

Accompanied flight to Amsterdam, where Royal Crown awaits

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Tuesday 10th May

Arnhem – Het Loo Palace.

Beautiful Arnhem plays host to our excursion to one of the most stunning royal residences in The Netherlands, the 300 year old Het Loo Palace. William III had a royal place built on the Royal Estate Het Loo as early as 1685. It served as the royal family’s summer residence for many years, but was converted into a magnificent museum in 1984. Its lavishly furnished rooms offer a splendid insight into royal life over the last few centuries and the meticulously sculpted gardens remain in their original formal 17th century style.

We spend the afternoon relaxing on board cruising the lower Rhine to Cologne.

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Wednesday 11th May

Cologne – City tour, cathedral and Romano-Germanic Museum.

Cologne Cathedral in Germany

2,000-year-old Cologne spans the Rhine River and has a distinctive historical charm. Here, we embark on an exciting journey of discovery into the city’s past, and visit a landmark of High Gothic architecture set amid the reconstructed Old Town, the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral which still stands proud after being hit by 14 large aerial bombs during World War II.

Standing on the foundations of an urban Roma villa, with the world-famous Dionysius mosaic, the Romano- Germanic Museum houses Roman antiquities and explores the archaeological heritage of the city and the surrounding area from the Palaeolithic period to the early Middle Ages.

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Thursday 12th May

Rhine Gorge - Cruise the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Rhine Gorge/ Rüdesheim - Schloss Vollrads tour and wine tasting.

The Rhine Gorge in Germany and Rheinstein Castle

Cruising through the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage site of the Rhine Gorge, we are immersed in a stunningly beautiful landscape of fairytale castles atop the steep, terraced banks before passing the legendary Lorelei Rock, where it is said the sweet songs of lovelorn maidens lured enchanted sailors to their doom.

From Rüdesheim, we venture to Schloss Vollrads, one of the oldest wineries in Germany. Situated above Oestrich- Winkel in the Rheingau it is attractively nestled in a cultivated landscape and an ideal venue at which to enjoy our tour and wine tasting. Only Riesling grapes are cultivated on the 80 hectares of vineyards, used to make unique and authentic wines. All vineyards around Schloss Vollrads descend down to the Rhine in a southerly direction and, using knowledge and a tradition of over 800 years of viticulture, they create very special Riesling wines.

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Friday 13th May

Aschaffenburg - Tour of Old Town / Schloss Mespelbrunn

The medieval Mespelbrunn Castle in Bavaria, Germany

This morning is spent cruising the Rhine Valley and the Main, with the opportunity to perhaps attend an enlightening talk by our guest speaker in the Lounge, or enjoy panoramic vistas from the Sun Deck.

After exploring the Old Town of Aschaffenburg, we travel to Schloss Mespelbrunn, a true jewel in the heart of Bavaria. The romantic castle is surrounded by a water- filled moat and, due to its hidden location in a quiet valley, it has never suffered any war damage. The present Renaissance building is mostly from the mid- 16th century. Still a private residence, it provides a great insight into life in a castle of yesteryear.

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Saturday 14th May

Miltenberg - Walking tour / Wertheim am Main - Bronnbach Monastery.

The medieval German town of Miltenberg

This morning we step ashore in the delightful Franconian town of Miltenberg, famed for its magnificent half- timbered buildings, where our walking tour allows us to discover the Old Market Place, known as the ‘Schnatterloch’ and the Gasthaus zum Riesen, Germany’s oldest royal inn.

Our next port of call is Wertheim am Main. Situated at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers, it is famed for its landmark castle and the medieval buildings of its Old Town. Here, we discover one of the best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in southern Germany. Bronnbach Monastery was established in 1151 and wine growing was an integral part of the cloister life of the Cistercians. The long history has left a rich legacy such as the Romanesque church with baroque altars and choir stalls and the Gothic cloister.

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Sunday 15th May

Würzburg - Walking tour and Prince Bishop’s Palace.

The Marienberg fortress in Wurzburg in Bavaria

Today, we join Germany’s ‘Romantic Road’ in Würzburg. The city is set in a beautiful hilly location on the River Main and possesses a wealth of history, as well as playing host to a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Residence Palace. A walking tour of the city’s main attractions takes us to the Prince Bishop’s Palace for a tasting of renowned local Franconian wines.

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Monday 16th May

Bamberg - Walking tour and private recital at the New Residence.

The stunning old buildings in the old town of Bamberg by the River Main

The vine-clad hills of the Main valley glide gently by as we navigate the river to join the continent’s greatest man-made waterway, The Rhine-Main-Danube canal, at Bamberg.

Standing on seven hills, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bamberg, with its 11th century Romanesque cathedral, welcomes our arrival. Exploring on foot, we embrace the old town and its preserved medieval buildings, including the muraled Altes Rathaus, located on an island in the Regnitz river.

Before departing Bamberg, we travel to the New Residence, which served as the seat of Bamberg’s prince bishops. We enjoy an exclusive Champagne

reception prior to a private string quartet recital with musicians from the world- renowned Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in the newly renovated Imperial Hall.

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Tuesday 17th May

Nuremberg – City tour and Albrecht Durers house / Roth Castle and city tour.

The beautiful historic buildings of the old town of Nuremberg and trees lining the river

Nuremberg – City tour and Albrecht Durers house / Roth Castle and city tour.

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Wednesday 18th May

Regensburg - Walking tour of the Old Town and the world’s oldest sausage kitchen.

The medieval city of Regensburg by the River Danube

Situated at the northernmost point of the Danube River, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town of Regensburg is the best-preserved medieval city in Germany. Founded by the Romans in 179 AD, Regensburg has a special charm and offers world renowned sights such as Porta Praetoria, the gate to the Roman Castra Regina, the Old Stone Bridge and St.Peter’s Cathedral.

In 1146, German builders completed work on a stone bridge crossing the Danube. With the project finished, the tiny construction office, next to the bridge, found new life as a food stand serving meat dishes. Today, it still serves customers, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the world and we sample the local speciality of Bavarian sausages.

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Thursday 19th May

Passau – City tour and Cathedral of St Stephen.

The colourful buildings of Passau by the Danube River

Constructed at the confluence of three rivers, the Inn, Ilz and Danube, the Baroque design of Passau is dominated by large squares, romantic promenades, winding lanes and majestic bridges. Framed by the Veste Oberhaus castle and the pilgrimage monestary Mariahilf, the historical city centre of Passau looks like a floating ship. We take a guided walk through the 2,000 year old city which culminates in a visit to the breathtaking Cathedral of St Stephen, which houses one of the world’s largest pipe organs.

We while away the afternoon on board as the stunning scenery of the UNESCO protected Wachau Valley glides gently by.

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Friday 20th May

Melk - Artstetten Castle and Wachau Valley cruise. Dürnstein – Town tour and wine tasting at Weissenkirchen.

The colourful buildings of the medieval town of Dürnstein by the Danube River

The enchanting Artstetten Castle is situated high above the Danube in a charming park and is flanked by seven characteristic towers. This is a place of commemoration for Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Duchess of Hohenberg. Both were assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914 and have found their final resting place here. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum provides us with a look into the eventful life of the crown prince and his family.

On the banks of the Danube River, the ancient city of Dürnstein is best known for its grape growing, historic character, and castle that imprisoned English King Richard the Lionheart. Narrow cobbled streets surrounded by historic buildings are hidden behind a fortification wall, all waiting to be discovered on our walking tour. From Dürnstein, we travel to the picturesque wine-growing village of Weissenkirchen to sample the excellent local wines.

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Saturday 21st May

Vienna - City tour including St Stephen's Cathedral and Opera House / Palace of Schönbrunn – Private tour, concert and dinner.

Schönbrunn Palace Vienna with the beautiful statues in the the water in the foreground

Sailing further east, the romantic city of Vienna and former capital of the Habsburg Empire beckons. A panoramic tour of this elegant capital takes us around the famous Ringstrasse and the Old Quarter, including St Stephen’s Cathedral and one of the oldest opera houses in the world.

In the evening, we are treated to a private tour, exclusive concert, drinks reception and dinner at the magnificent imperial palace of Schönbrunn, the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. At the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I

commissioned the Baroque architect, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, to design an imperial hunting lodge for his son, Crown Prince Joseph, later to become Emperor Joseph I. Replacing the château de plaisance,

built on this site for the dowager empress Eleonora of Gonzaga in 1642, it was to grow into a palatial imperial residence over the course of the 18th century. During the reign of Maria Theresa, as an imperial summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace became the glittering focus of court life. From this time on, it played host to the leading statesmen of Europe.

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Sunday 22nd May

Bratislava - Tour of the old town / String quartet recital in the gothic Klarissen

Bratislava the capital city of Slovakia with the Bratislava Castle overlooking the River Danube

Our cruise continues along the Danube into Slovakia, where we visit the capital, since the country’s independence in 1993, Bratislava. Bratislava is a mosaic of illustrious history: a medieval and Gothic old town, baroque palaces commissioned by Hungarian nobles, and the crowning castle, rebuilt to Renaissance finery.

Our tour of the old town includes many of the city’s historic buildings, such as the only remaining medieval fortification, St Michael’s Gate, St Martin’s Cathedral, the Baroque Grassalkovich Palace and the Neo Classical Primate’s Palace.

We conclude our visit with a string quartet recital in the gothic Klarissen Church, part of a complex of medieval buildings forming the former Convent of Poor Clares in the old town of Bratislava.

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Monday 23rd May

Budapest - Hungarian Parliament and Market Hall / Buda Castle Gardens & Museum of Fine Arts.

The city of Budapest in Hungary with the Hungarian Parliament building by the Danube River

Budapest – Hungarian Parliament and Market Hall / Buda Castle Gardens & Museum of Fine Arts.

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Tuesday 24th May

Kalocsa - Archbishop’s Palace and Organ Concert / Puszta excursion and horse-riding display.

The Bishop’s Palace of Kalocsa in Hungary

Set on the left bank of the Danube, Kalocsa is one of Hungary’s oldest towns and dates back to the early 11th century. This quaint town, filled with culture, is famed for its paprika, commonly known as ‘red gold’, and its intricate hand-crafted embroidery.

Built in the 1760’s, the Baroque-style Archbishop’s Palace houses astronomical devices and maps dating to the Middle Ages, and the 150,000-volume library includes a bible written by Martin Luther. Here we enjoy a concert of organ music before embarking on a fascinating excursion into the Puszta, the hinterland of Hungary, renowned for its paprika production and where we are treated to an impressive display that showcases the exceptional riding skills of the Puszta horsemen.

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Wednesday 25th May

Novi Sad - City tour / Sremski Karlovci – City tour and wine tasting.

The old town of Sremski Karlovci in Serbia

Our morning is spent exploring Serbia’s second largest city, Novi Sad. Overlooking the Danube, Novi Sad is a city of history and culture overlooked by the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress.

The pretty town of Sremski Karlovci has a huge history that belies its modest size. Originally home to an ancient Roman Fortress, the village became a major cultural and spiritual centre during the 18th century, a legacy still visible in its beautiful baroque edifices. Sremski Karlovci is also famous for its local wines, and we visit a local winery to sample the regional varietals.

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Thursday 26th May

Belgrade – City tour and private visit to the Royal Place with exclusive reception.

The beautiful old buildings of Belgrade in Serbia overlooking the Sava River

Our tour of Serbia’s ancient capital reveals the story of this remarkable city and highlights include the Orthodox Cathedral, the Square of the Republic and the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress which once contained the whole city within its walls and affords breathtaking river views over the Sava towards the Danube.

The highlight of our tour is a private visit to the Royal Place. Built between 1924 and 1929, with the private funds of His Majesty King Alexander I, today the palace is inhabited by

Crown Prince Alexander who, if in residence, will welcome us to his home at our exclusive reception.

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Friday 27th May

Golubac – Golubac Fortress. Cruise the Iron Gates Gorge.

Golubac Fortress by the Danube River

Dominating a rocky promontory where the river narrows, the 14th century fortress of Golubac guards the entrance to the Iron Gates Gorge. It was a formidable structure, fought over by the Ottomans, Bulgarians, Hungarians and Serbs.

This afternoon, we will cruise through the Iron Gates, which originally consisted of four narrow gorges and three wide basins until a huge lock and dam was built in the 1960s to control the speed of the river and make navigation safer. A haven for wildlife and birds, the Iron Gates is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural wonders and areas of outstanding beauty. The spectacular fjord- like scenery is to be enjoyed as Royal Crown sails between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains.

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Saturday 28th May

Vidin / Belogradchick - Baba Vida fortress and private symphony concert at the Opera House / Belogradchik rock sculptures.

The spectacular rocks in the Belogradchick mountains with lush greenery surrounding them

The rocks of Belogradchik are rock sculptures situated in the fore hills of the western Balkan mountain range. They contain groups of rock figures resembling people, animals, fortresses and pyramids, their red colour contrasting beautifully with the green broadleaf forests, the lush meadows and small vineyards around the site.

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Sunday 29th May

Svishtov / Ruse - Veliko Turnovo. Svishtov – Arbanassi.

Veliko Turnovo in Bulgaria on a summers day

From Svishtov, we venture to Veliko Turnovo, the evocative capital of the medieval Bulgarian Tsars and dramatically set amidst forested hills, divided by the Yantra River. Commanding pride of place is the impressive Tsarevets fortress, citadel of the second Bulgarian empire, which is complemented by scores of churches and other ruins, many of which are still being unearthed.

The village of Arbanassi became a wealthy crafts and trade hub during the 17th and 18th centuries. Today Arbanassi is a picturesque open-air museum of cultural heritage and architecture. We re-join Royal Crown in Ruse.

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Monday 30th May

Sulina - A relaxing day cruising to the Black Sea / Sulina – sunset arrival at the Black Sea with Champagne on the Sun Deck.

The Danube Delta at sunset where the Sulina Channel meets the Black Sea in Romania

We spend the day relaxing on board as we sail along the border of Romania and Bulgaria. Watch the scenery glide gently by from the comfort of the Sun Deck or perhaps attend a lecture by our guest speaker.

Arriving in Sulina at sunset, this most easterly point of our journey is where the River Danube meets the Black Sea. The Danube stretches for 2,845km and kilometre markings can be seen along the length of the river; today, we celebrate the end of its journey at ‘Km 0’ with Champagne on the Sun Deck.

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Tuesday 31st May

Tulcea - Danube Delta boat tour.

A Pelican colony on the Danube Delta

Tulcea is the gateway to the Danube Delta, and from here we embark on a boat tour of this UNESCO protected aquatic wilderness which has the third largest biodiversity in the world, hosting over 5,500 flora and fauna species. Resident species include cormorants, white tailed eagles and glossy ibises whilst millions of Egyptian white pelicans arrive here every spring to raise their young.

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Wednesday 1st June

Fetesti / UK

We disembark Royal Crown in Fetesti, before being transferred to Bucharest airport for our flight home.

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Our decks and Cabins

Below you can see our decks and what cabins are on each of them. If you click the arrow you can see further information on each cabin and what it has to offer. So get exploring and get booking. We look forward to you joining us on board for an experience of a lifetime…

Suite
RS

Royal Suites

Panorama Deck

The Royal Suite cabin on the Royal Crown cruise ship of Hebridean Island Cruises

Panorama Deck
Picture windows
King-size bed

The Royal Suites are centrally located on the Panorama Deck, each with a king-size bed comprising two single mattresses in one solid bed frame with two duvets; the beds cannot be split into twin format. The suites also comprise a separate seating area with sofa, easy chair and dressing table/writing desk.

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Cabins With Double Twin Beds
PS

Premium Cabins

Select Deck

The Premium Suite cabin on the Royal Crown cruise ship of Hebridean Island Cruises

Select Deck
Portholes
Queen-size bed

The Premium Cabins are located on the Select Deck, each with a queen-size bed comprising two single mattresses in one solid bed frame with two duvets; the beds cannot be split into twin format.

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DC

Deluxe Cabins

Select Deck

The Deluxe cabin on the Royal Crown cruise ship of Hebridean Island Cruises

Select Deck
Portholes
Twin beds (2 single beds)

The Deluxe Cabins are located on the Select Deck each with twin beds; the beds cannot be arranged as a double.

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Single Cabins
DS

Deluxe Single

Select Deck

The Deluxe cabin on the Royal Crown cruise ship of Hebridean Island Cruises

Select Deck
Portholes
Twin beds (2 single beds)

The Deluxe Cabins are located on the Select Deck each with twin beds; the beds cannot be arranged as a double.

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CONTACT US

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any queries regarding our Cruise or booking. We would be delighted to hear from you and help you on your way to enjoying a wonderful cruise with us...

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