Sailing from Romania
Setting sail from Bucharest
Once known as the 'Paris of the East', it's fair to say that modern Bucharest bears some pretty ugly architectural scars from the 22-year dictatorship of the late Nicolae Ceauşescu. Of all the concrete monstrosities bequeathed by Ceauşescu, the enormous Palace of Parliament is both the most grotesque and the most fascinating, a monument to one man's staggering vanity. Looks aren't everything though, and Romania's capital has emerged from the ashes of communism as a feisty, dynamic city with some lovely parks, interesting museums and a lively nightlife.
There are some lovely parks and gardens, not to mention the burial ground. Use them to escape from the summer heat and some of the grim architecture.
Scenic river cruising
The riverside town of Silistra, situated in northeastern Bulgaria, was once the Roman settlement of Durostorum, a heritage you can explore at the interesting Archaeological Museum. You can also visit the town’s Ottoman era fort or take a trip out into the surrounding countryside.
The riverside town of Vidin is situated in the north west corner of Bulgaria, close to the border with Romania and Serbia. The architectural highlight is the magnificently well preserved Baba Vida fortress, and the town is also home to a mosque, a synagogue and several churches.
Serbia: Donji Milanovac
Belgrade has been invaded and occupied dozens of times over the centuries, a fact that's reflected in the mish-mash of architectural styles, from Ottoman and Art Nouveau to grim relics of the communist era. But Belgrade is also a city with real soul, emerging from a difficult recent history as one of Europe’s most exciting capitals.
Osijek is the capital of Slavonia, a region of eastern Croatia that is hemmed in on three sides by Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia. Tourists are thin on the ground compared to the Dalmatian Coast, yet Osijek is an elegant and cosmopolitan city surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Mohács was the scene of a decisive battle in 1526 that brought Hungary under Ottoman control, but is best known these days for its Busó carnival in February, when men in creepy-looking costumes take to the streets to celebrate the end of winter. The town is also a jumping off point for the attractive city of Pécs, half an hour’s drive away.
Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s most appealing cities, a vibrant and welcoming capital that straddles the Danube. The history of Budapest has been somewhat turbulent, but plenty of beautiful buildings survive, including the imposing Parliament and iconic St Stephen’s Basilica.
Bratislava, Slovakia’s quaint little capital, straddles the Danube close to the border with Austria and Hungary. The compact old town is the best place to begin your exploration, before heading up to the hilltop castle for commanding views of the city and surrounding countryside.
30 April - 1 May
Arriving in Vienna
Formerly the centre of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is as grand a European capital as you can imagine, jam packed full of thrusting, bombastic buildings that stand as a reminder of Austria's glorious imperial heyday. Architectural highlights include the Spanish Riding School, the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg, the sprawling former residence of the Habsburg royals. Vienna is also a city rich in cultural capital, and still reverberates to the sound of the great composers who lived and worked here, including Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt.
Schloss Schonbrunn, the Habsburgs' summer palace, with great gardens too. Just a few of the huge number of rooms are open – the Imperial Tour takes you into 26.
Your home from home
Scenic Crystal, Jewel and Jade accommodate 163 guests in stylish surroundings and offer a luxurious way to explore the great rivers of Europe.
What we love
Sleek and contemporary, with an extensive list of onboard inclusions, Scenic's aptly named Space-Ships are renowned for their high levels of personal service, relaxed ambience and inviting public areas.
|Crew||59 European Staff|
Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.
|Year Built||2012 (Crystal); 2013 (Jewel); 2014 (Jade)|
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Bucharest
Stay in grand style at the JW Marriott – an imposing palace!
See more of Austria
If you’ve got time, go to magical Salzburg too, you will love it.