Cruise with us through Eastern Europe! We’ll begin in beautiful Budapest and visit historic fortresses and castles, explore medieval towns and temples, and experience the flavors, natural wonders, and cultures of this region before disembarking in Romania.
- When: March 20-27, 2023
- Where: Eastern Europe – Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania
- Begins/Ends: Budapest, Hungary to Giurgiu, Romania
- Optional Extensions (when trip confirms): 2 nights in Vienna, Austria (pre-cruise); 2 nights in Braşov & 2 nights in Bucharest, Romania (post-cruise)
- Registration Deadline: September 30, 2021
- Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs, St. Peter’s Basilica and catacombs*
- Vukovar, Croatia city tour, Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle
- Novi Sad, Serbia walking tour to Dunavski Park, the Old Town, and Petrovaradin Fortress
- Belgrade city tour
- Cruise through the Iron Gates*
- Vidin, Bulgaria – Baba Vida Fortress and Belogradchik rock formations*
- Veliko Tarnovo medieval fortress and temples
- Bucharest city tour
- And more – ports will have multiple excursion options, including hikes and bike rides, so you can personalize your experience.
*These are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – designated and tentative.
Itineraries for 2023 may change, but this is what we’re planning. A cell phone and international data plan for one adult in your party is required for the duration of the trip. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Cabins, Cost, and What’s Included
Your cost depends on the cabin type and how many people are in your party. Prices are heavily discounted, include almost everything outside of airfare and airport transfers, and are based on a full ship. (This is a private charter – our group will be the only travelers on board.)
Cabins have two twins or one queen bed and are set up for two people. If you have three people in your party and one is age 10 or younger, the third person can share your cabin,* but must use existing bedding (it’s a tight fit with only one queen or two twins for all three people – no additional bedding is allowed in the cabins). Age is determined as of March 20, 2023, and passports must be presented to verify age. *Category E, D, and C cabins are limited to two people.
Since prices are based on two people per cabin, parties of 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. will have to pay for an unused spot in a cabin (minus port charges and gratuity). I recommend inviting an extra person (grandparent, relative, friend, etc.) to make it an even 2 per cabin for the best value.
Every cabin must have at least one person age 18 or older. If there are two adults and two children in your party, you’ll be paired as an adult/child in each cabin. There are no connecting cabins.
The prices below are per cabin (not per person), and differ depending on type of cabin, location, and how many people are in the cabin. Since they’re based on double occupancy, the price for one person isn’t much cheaper than the price for two people. (There are no single cabins.) Cabins are described from least expensive to most expensive.
Cabins are on three decks:
- Lowest cabin deck is mostly below the waterline, except for windows.
- Middle cabin deck is completely above the waterline.
- Highest cabin deck is higher above the waterline.
French balconies are like sliding patio doors. When the patio doors (full-length glass windows) are closed, it’s an indoor sitting area with a full view. When you slide the doors open, it’s like a balcony, but you can’t step out (there’s a rail there to keep you from falling into the river). There isn’t a separate outdoor space.
Twin balcony rooms have a French balcony as described above, plus a separate outside balcony.
PRICES ARE PER CABIN, NOT PER PERSON
Category E – Lowest deck, 170 square feet
No balcony, windows are smaller and don’t open, closer to crew cabins
1 person – $3,567 per cabin
2 people – $3,934 per cabin
Category D – Lowest deck, 170 square feet
No balcony; windows are smaller and don’t open; a little farther from crew cabins
1 person – $3,865 per cabin
2 people – $4,232 per cabin
Category C – Middle deck & highest deck, 170 square feet – limited
French balcony, end of the deck on both levels
1 person – $4,665 per cabin
2 people – $5,032 per cabin
Category BB – Middle deck, 210 square feet – limited
Twin balconies, larger than Category E, D, C
1 person – $5,265 per cabin
2 people – $5,632 per cabin
3 people – $8,448 per cabin
Category BA – Highest deck, 210 square feet
Twin balconies, larger than Category E, D, C
1 person – $5,465 per cabin
2 people – $5,832 per cabin
3 people – $8,748 per cabin
Category AB – Middle deck, 235 square feet
Twin balconies, largest non-suite cabin
1 person – $5,665 per cabin
2 people – $6,032 per cabin
3 people – $9,048 per cabin
Category AA – Highest deck, 235 square feet
Twin balconies, largest non-suite cabin
1 person – $5,865 per cabin
2 people – $6,232 per cabin
3 people – $9,348 per cabin
Suite – Highest deck, 350 square feet – limited
Twin balconies, largest cabins, most living space, has a tub in addition to a shower
1 person – $7,165 per cabin
2 people – $7,532 per cabin
3 people – $11,298 per cabin
Your total includes port charges, gratuity for ship staff/crew, and all meals, excursions, and site admissions on our itinerary during the cruise. (Tips for local guides are at your discretion.)
Meals include full buffet breakfasts, lunch buffets, afternoon tea, desserts, and sandwiches, and multi-course dinners. Drinks include pre-dinner cocktails and regional wines, beer, and soft drinks for lunch and dinner. Cappuccino, latte and espresso available upon request during all meals. Coffee, tea, and water are available all day, and bottled water is provided in the cabins.
Prices don’t include airfare, airport transfers, any extra tours or excursions you do on your own, any meals while off the ship, trip insurance, and the optional pre- and post-cruise extensions.
Payment Schedule, Cancellation, and No-Refund Policy
A $100 non-refundable registration fee is required, and will be charged to your debit/credit card when you submit your request for spots. This fee will be applied toward your final balance. (If I don’t have spots available for your family, or if I cancel the trip, this registration fee will be returned to your credit/debit card. It is non-refundable for any other reason.)
Half of your total is due within 7 days of my confirmation of your spots. Since mail is running a little slower than normal, I’ll wait a few more days for mailed payments to arrive, but will not be able to hold spots beyond 10 days. The remaining balance will be due by February 1, 2022.
If you pay in full upfront, you’ll receive a $150 discount per cabin.
I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers (if your bank offers that). I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, any payment method that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
This is a custom cruise, with great discounts, but with unforgiving contract terms, so I can’t refund any payments, for any reason (medical, job lay-off, death in the family, anything). When I sign the contact, I have to pay for the entire ship, regardless of whether all cabins are filled.
Please make sure you understand and agree with this before you register – no refunds, no matter what. I can’t afford to pay for empty spots. Your signed waiver, registration form, and payment acknowledges your understanding and agreement with my no-refund policy.
Travel insurance that covers your expenses if you cancel the trip is strongly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure of the reasons you can cancel, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.). Pandemics and civil unrest usually aren’t covered, but may be now, so make sure you check carefully, ask questions, and get answers in writing.
Food Allergies, Special Needs
Make sure you list any food allergies or other special needs on your registration form. I’ll check to see if your needs can be accommodated before I confirm your registration. (No money will be refunded due to allergies or other special needs if you don’t tell me about them when you register.)
Multi-city airfare and transfers to and from the airport are not included in the price. Do not purchase non-refundable airfare until the trip is confirmed. Airlines have their own refund policies and I have no control over them.
I’ll email flight recommendations/details after the cruise is confirmed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this trip still open? What cabins are left?
Registration will remain open until I fill the ship, or until the registration deadline – whichever comes first. I’ll update trip details at the top of the page (below the picture) when availability changes, and will update the cabin list so you’ll know which cabin categories are still available when you register.
Is the price per person?
It’s per cabin. For example, a Category E cabin is $3,934 total for two people ($1,967 each). The cabin is $3,567 if there’s only one person in the cabin.
This is a lot of money to send to someone I don’t know, especially with no refunds. Can you provide references?
I could provide references from families who’ve traveled with me since I began doing these trips in 2006, but the references could be faked.
Instead, read my About page to find out more about us, then do a search of “Carolina Homeschooler trips” and “Traveling Homeschooler trips.” If I’ve cheated anyone, it’ll be all over the internet. My “Traveling Homeschoolers” name is newer, created in 2016 to differentiate between my local member trips, and trips that are open to everyone, so search both names.
You can also get a sense of who we are if you follow me on Facebook.
It’s too stressful to send money until you trust me. So research first!
Do you think you’ll fill the ship and be able to confirm the cruise?
We were able to confirm our first river cruise (Danube) and second (Rhine), but the rest were impacted by COVID. We’re hopeful this will be our victory cruise!
I’ve never been on a river cruise before. Can you give me an idea of what the ship’s like, activities, etc.?
The ship may change (since it’s 2 years out), but most river cruise ships are typical – the top deck is open for viewing and hanging out in the sun. The remaining decks are half cabins, half social areas (lounge, seating areas, restaurants, etc.).
The cabins are 170-350 square feet. The smaller ones have fixed windows or French (inside) balconies, while the bigger ones have twin balconies (inside and outside balconies). Rooms have two twins or 1 queen (they hook the twins together to make the queen). Although we didn’t receive any complaints about the beds, their twins and queens seemed smaller than regular twins/queens.
My description above explains what meals, amenities, etc., are included in the price (almost everything).
The focus of river cruising is on the places we’ll visit, not the ship (the opposite of ocean cruises), so there aren’t a lot of planned ship activities during the day (because we’re out touring).
In the evenings, we enjoy socializing, playing games, and just getting to know each other and being together. They often bring local entertainment (musicians, etc.) on board.
There’s plenty to do, but also time for parents and children to socialize and bond. And they did plenty of that on our Danube cruise – it was wonderful!
Does the description above list everything we’ll be doing?
Cruise itineraries for 2023 haven’t been finalized yet and are subject to change. Also, we usually have a choice of tours each day, so you’ll have a lot of choices – tours, walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. However, I’ve listed some highlights of what to expect.
When will you post information about the optional pre- and post-cruise extensions?
I’ll post more information when the trip confirms.
I have young children. Can we all share one room?
This trip is recommended for ages 8 and up, and only children ages 10 and younger can be added to a cabin as a third person. Since no additional bedding can be added to the cabins, all three would have to share two twins or one queen (however you want to configure it). It’s a tight fit.
Are cabins with beds for 3, 4, 5, 6… available?
Cabins are set up for two people, and there are no connecting cabins.
I have a baby, toddler, preschooler – do they count in the price.
This trip is recommended for ages 8 and up, but everyone, regardless of age, counts in the price.
Should people with mobility issues go on this trip?
We’ll have “gentle walker” versions of most tours to accommodate travelers with mobility issues. There’s no elevator access to the lowest cabin deck (Category E and D cabins), or the top (open, non-cabin) deck.
Describe your issues in the “special needs” section of the registration form and I’ll make sure we can accommodate your issues before I confirm your spots and you mail your payment.
What cities will we fly into and out of?
I’ll provide flight information soon. Please don’t purchase airfare until we confirm the trip.
What payment methods do you accept?
The non-refundable $100 registration fee must be paid by credit/debit card when you submit your registration. This will be applied to your final (second) cruise payment.
For the rest of the cruise payment, I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers (if your bank offers that).
I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, any payment method that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
Are there any discounts?
If you pay in full upfront (instead of half now, half in February 2022), you’ll receive a discount of $150 per cabin.
Want to join us?
- Register here for our cruise!
- Please note that a cell phone and international data plan for one adult in your party is required for the duration of this trip.
- If you don’t receive a confirmation with payment information within 5 days, please email me.
- Half of your total is due within 7 days of receiving my confirmation of your spots. I can’t hold your spots or cabin requests after 10 days. The remaining balance is due by February 1, 2022.
- If you pay in full (instead of half now and half later), you’ll receive a $150 discount per cabin.
- Your $100 registration fee will be deducted from your total.
- I’ll email a confirmation when I receive your payment, and send you periodic trip updates via email.
- And that’s it! Email me if you have any questions.