Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & the Balkans

17 Days | Venice to Istanbul

from
$19,494
Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & the Balkans
  • 17 days
  • 7 countries
  • UNESCO

Experience a one-of-a-kind journey by cruise and train as you travel between northern Italy and the diverse nations of the Balkan Peninsula, discovering a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures along the way.

Embark on a private train journey to Istanbul, during which you’ll sleep on the luxury Golden Eagle Danube Express with ever-changing views at your window—the perfect addition to a river cruise. Along the way, visit Alpine lake towns, historic cities across Eastern Europe, and more.

For the cruise portion of your journey, board the S.S. La Venezia in romantic Venice and treat yourself to a private evening lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica. Depart the enchanting “City of Water” to explore the waterfront shops, colorful facades, and peaceful canals unique to Burano, Mazzorbo, and Torcello. Farther south, discover Chioggia—a charming southern port loved by fishermen, artists, and anyone looking for unique gifts or souvenirs.

Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & the Balkans Map
LEGEND
  • UNESCO
  • Motorcoach
  • Embark/Disembark
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
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Day 1

Venice (Embark)

Venice

Arrive at Venice Marco Polo International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. Unpack, relax and enjoy your first evening on the Venetian Lagoon.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.
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Day 2

Venice

With your early morning arrival at Doge’s Palace, you’ll be able to marvel at the estate in total peace. Wander through a Venetian neighborhood and experience daily life in an authentic Venetian residential quarter. Later in the evening, cap the day off with a private once-in-a-lifetime experience at an after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica without the crowds.

Featured Excursions

A Walk in Venice with Doge’s Palace Visit

Please note that the amount of walking during this excursion is extensive.

Venice has no need to designate a pedestrians-only historic district because no cars are permitted within the island city - all transportation is by foot or water.

You first arrive at the Doge’s Palace and most famous...

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A Walk in Venice with Doge’s Palace Visit

Please note that the amount of walking during this excursion is extensive.

Venice has no need to designate a pedestrians-only historic district because no cars are permitted within the island city - all transportation is by foot or water.

You first arrive at the Doge’s Palace and most famous plaza in Italy - St. Mark’s Square. Venetians elected their first doge, or duke, in AD 697 and began building the palace around AD 800.

The palace complex, as it exists now, mostly dates to the 14th and 15th centuries, and it brims with jaw-dropping artistic gems, including Tintoretto’s wall-sized Paradise and works by Veronese, Tiepolo and Titian. Throughout its history, Venice has been a supremely political city. Those convicted of crimes were led across the Bridge of Sighs to prison. Follow their footsteps to the prison and gaze into the cells. Casanova escaped from one of these cells. Other less-fortunate prisoners whiled away their time by inscribing graffiti on the walls, which you can still read.

You will continue this exploration by strolling through the historic Castello district. It’s the largest of Venice’s six districts. Back in the 13th century the Castello district was home to the Arsenal, where Venice’s ships were built. (Venetians boasted that they could build a complete ship in a single day.) This is also where the famous Biennale art exhibition now takes place. As you pass 800-year-old homes, you’ll hear the murmur of the soft local dialect through the open windows. Clothes flap from lines strung over tiny canals and kids kick soccer balls along cobbled alleys. It’s a real, living, breathing neighborhood, not just a historic site.

In addition to its well-known museums, Venice is also home to some highly specialized ones: Displays at the Correr are devoted to the history of Venice; the Museo della Musica contains 17th and 18th-century musical instruments and exhibits about composer Antonio Vivaldi. Known as the Red Priest for his hair color, Vivaldi taught music to the daughters of Venetian noblemen. The Museo Ebraico examines the history of the Jewish community that was confined to an island known as Ghetto Nuovo. The latter was one of Europe’s wealthiest and most cultured Jewish communities, made up in part with refugees from the Spanish Inquisition.

Nights Out: Private After-Hours Visit to Saint Mark's Basilica

Welcome to Saint Mark’s Basilica. The doors of this icon are specially opened for you tonight. You will see the glorious church in the evening light and without the crowds. You’ll find it almost impossible not to gaze heavenward as you enter St. Mark’s. High overhead, magnificent...

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Nights Out: Private After-Hours Visit to Saint Mark's Basilica

Welcome to Saint Mark’s Basilica. The doors of this icon are specially opened for you tonight. You will see the glorious church in the evening light and without the crowds. You’ll find it almost impossible not to gaze heavenward as you enter St. Mark’s. High overhead, magnificent domes are sheathed in mosaics telling the story of the New Testament, but don’t miss the intricate pattern of marble and mosaic tile under your feet. Ahead of you is the famous altarpiece made by 10th-century Byzantine artisans who gilded it and decorated it with precious gems, some of which were subsequently stolen by Napoleon. The building, which exemplifies the city’s historic connection to Byzantium and the Eastern Mediterranean, was finished in the 11th century and incorporates the remnants of earlier churches. Golden glass-tiled mosaics line the interior walls and cupolas, giving the church its nickname, Church of Gold. It houses treasures collected by Venetians over the centuries. The relics of St. Mark, patron saint of the city, were stolen from Alexandria, and the Tetrarch, a group of four crowned figures, was looted from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. Every successful Venetian voyager returned with something to decorate the basilica—a frieze, a statue—and the result is one of the most stunning works of art and architecture in this amazing city.

Please note: It is not always possible to arrange an after-hours visit to St. Mark’s Basilica if religious functions or festivities are taking place in the evening, such as during the week of Easter. On such occasions, an alternative option will be arranged.

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Day 3

Venice, Mazzorbo (Burano)

Start your morning in one of two of the Veneto region’s UNESCO World Heritage cities, Vicenza or Padua. In the afternoon, you'll reboard the ship for scenic sailing across the lagoon as we head towards Mazzorbo and Burano.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Featured Excursion

Evening Stroll in Burano

Hot pink, chartreuse, orange, lemon yellow—Burano’s brightly painted fishermen’s cottages are an artist’s dream. Burano is known for its lace-making tradition, handed down from mother to daughter since the first workshop was set up at the end of the 16th century. Stroll into ...

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Evening Stroll in Burano

Hot pink, chartreuse, orange, lemon yellow—Burano’s brightly painted fishermen’s cottages are an artist’s dream. Burano is known for its lace-making tradition, handed down from mother to daughter since the first workshop was set up at the end of the 16th century. Stroll into town with your Cruise Manager just before dinner to appreciate this charming island when most of the tourists have left for the evening. While you’re here, you’ll visit a historic lace-making atelier to see some of their delicate work.

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Vicenza with Teatro Olimpico

Set out for Vicenza, a beautiful town famous for its shopping, its architecture, and for being the home of the Teatro Olimpico. Considered by many to be one of the greatest masterpieces of famous 16th-century architect, Andrea Palladio, the Teatro Olimpico is the oldest Italian Renaissance theater...

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Vicenza with Teatro Olimpico

Set out for Vicenza, a beautiful town famous for its shopping, its architecture, and for being the home of the Teatro Olimpico. Considered by many to be one of the greatest masterpieces of famous 16th-century architect, Andrea Palladio, the Teatro Olimpico is the oldest Italian Renaissance theater still in existence. A first of its kind, this indoor theater was crafted in wood, stucco, and plaster, with seating room for 400. Enjoy a captivating light and music show while you’re here—an absolute must-see. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on your own in town.

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Padua Walking Tour

Join your local guide on a walking tour of medieval Padua. Discover the city’s great squares, churches and palaces.

Padua flourished as a hub of learning and discovery in the 13th and 14th centuries. The second-oldest university in Italy was founded here in 1222, hosting such...

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Padua Walking Tour

Join your local guide on a walking tour of medieval Padua. Discover the city’s great squares, churches and palaces.

Padua flourished as a hub of learning and discovery in the 13th and 14th centuries. The second-oldest university in Italy was founded here in 1222, hosting such students as Copernicus and faculty as Galileo. Immediately outside the Palazzo del Bo, the university’s first home, you’ll see a cafe where revolutionaries met to plot an uprising against Austrian invaders in 1848.

Stroll past the largest public square in Italy, Prato della Valle, originally laid out by the Romans and transformed in the 18th century into a graceful, elliptical open space with a serene canal and statues of local nobles. Gaze upon the Byzantine-influenced domes and towers of the vast Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, where you’ll often find a crowd waiting to offer thanks or prayers.

You will have some free time too explore Padua on your own, perhaps stopping for lunch at one of the many delicious eateries in town.

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Day 4

Mazzorbo, Burano, Chioggia

Chioggia

Spend the day exploring the northern lagoon of Venice and its captivating islands. Start with a visit to Torcello's famous basilica with an art historian, then stroll through the agricultural island of Mazzorbo and the rainbow-hued island of Burano during your free time after lunch. Alternatively, you can take the afternoon to see the renowned glassblowing artisans of Murano at work.

Featured Excursions

Torcello: Hidden Treasure of the Lagoon

Settled before Venice was founded, Torcello was once the greatest, most populous city in the lagoon. Now, however, only a handful of people live there. Its centerpiece is the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the oldest church in the lagoon and a monument to Torcello's lost might. The doors...

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Torcello: Hidden Treasure of the Lagoon

Settled before Venice was founded, Torcello was once the greatest, most populous city in the lagoon. Now, however, only a handful of people live there. Its centerpiece is the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the oldest church in the lagoon and a monument to Torcello's lost might. The doors open early for you, so you can see the stunning 11th-century mosaic of the Last Judgment without the crowds—and with expert commentary from your art historian guide.

Before we head back to the ship, relax with a cup of coffee at a serene little Osteria on the island.

Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration

Murano’s glassblowers are renowned for being amongst the best in the world—and how could they not be, with a tradition of craftsmanship dating back eight centuries? Watch a glass-master shape beautiful works of art in their Murano workshop. Before you leave, take some time to roam...

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Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration

Murano’s glassblowers are renowned for being amongst the best in the world—and how could they not be, with a tradition of craftsmanship dating back eight centuries? Watch a glass-master shape beautiful works of art in their Murano workshop. Before you leave, take some time to roam around the factory’s gallery to view works in a wide variety of styles—from tableware to sculptural, traditional to modern. You can even purchase some for yourself to bring a piece of Murano to your home.

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Day 5

Chioggia

Today, you’ll admire the greatest sites of charming and coastal Chioggia, including a stop at the local and lively market.

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Chioggia Market Visit

Chioggia is the quintessential Venetian Lagoon fishing village. Founded in the fifth century, it was known as the pantry of Venice because of its many small truck farms, which supplied Venetian households with produce until just a few decades ago. It is still a thriving fishing port; its wholesale...

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Chioggia Market Visit

Chioggia is the quintessential Venetian Lagoon fishing village. Founded in the fifth century, it was known as the pantry of Venice because of its many small truck farms, which supplied Venetian households with produce until just a few decades ago. It is still a thriving fishing port; its wholesale fish market is one of the largest in Italy. On Thursdays, Chioggia also hosts Corso del Popolo—a dynamic outdoor market along its main thoroughfare where stands sell everything from clothes, shoes, purses, gadgets and “every-day” domestic items. Locals usually do their shopping here as prices are more affordable than retail shopping.

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Let's Go: Biking Chioggia

Set off on a light bicycle ride along the beaches of Chioggia, an island often described as a second Venice in miniature. Head to Lusenzo Lagoon, break to see the fishing boats, and then continue on to Isola dell’Unione.

Let's Go: Biking Chioggia

Set off on a light bicycle ride along the beaches of Chioggia, an island often described as a second Venice in miniature. Head to Lusenzo Lagoon, break to see the fishing boats, and then continue on to Isola dell’Unione.

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Bragozzo Ride with Tastings at Ca’ Zen

Head to one of the most enticing islands of the Venice lagoon, Chioggia. A small fishing port often referred to as a Venice in miniature, with a well-preserved tradition due to its relative lack of crowds, Chioggia is a wonderfully authentic and picturesque island. Board a genuine Adriatic wooden...

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Bragozzo Ride with Tastings at Ca’ Zen

Head to one of the most enticing islands of the Venice lagoon, Chioggia. A small fishing port often referred to as a Venice in miniature, with a well-preserved tradition due to its relative lack of crowds, Chioggia is a wonderfully authentic and picturesque island. Board a genuine Adriatic wooden sailing boat, a bragozzo, to take in the island from the clear blue waters of the lagoon.

After your sailing, return to shore for a visit to Tenuta Ca’ Zen, a beautiful Venetian villa with a fascinating story. Here, you can explore the expansive grounds, antique stable, family chapel and more before rejoining the group for a tasting of local products, which include organic olive oil, wines, honey and cheeses.

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A Noble Country Villa and Its Wines

With a sommelier as your guide today, you will learn about the long history of winemaking in the Veneto region. Visit Dominio di Bagnoli, one of the oldest wine producing properties in Europe, for a private tasting. A variety of wines are produced here, with the most popular being made from an...

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A Noble Country Villa and Its Wines

With a sommelier as your guide today, you will learn about the long history of winemaking in the Veneto region. Visit Dominio di Bagnoli, one of the oldest wine producing properties in Europe, for a private tasting. A variety of wines are produced here, with the most popular being made from an indigenous grape variety. The beautiful property of Dominio di Bagnoli is also a farm, where rice, grain and other products are grown. You’ll have the opportunity to see the granary on your visit today.

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Day 6

Chioggia, Venice

This morning, join a sailing excursion where you’ll explore the Po Delta where the Po River and the Adriatic Sea meet. Later, during lunch, we sail back to Venice.

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Po Delta Sailing

Po Delta Sailing

Po Delta Sailing

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Castello del Catajo Visit

Set off for the Euganean hills to discover one of Europe’s most majestic castles. Enjoy a guided tour of a palace so beautiful that it became a resort for the Habsburg Dynasty before being returned to Italy following the first world war. After marveling at its frescoed walls, continue on ...

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Castello del Catajo Visit

Set off for the Euganean hills to discover one of Europe’s most majestic castles. Enjoy a guided tour of a palace so beautiful that it became a resort for the Habsburg Dynasty before being returned to Italy following the first world war. After marveling at its frescoed walls, continue on for a guided walk around its beautiful gardens or take some free time for yourself to explore as you please before returning to the ship.

Masterpiece Collection Providing the most all-inclusive luxury to our guests is the heart and soul of our brand and that will never change. Yet sometimes our guests want something that goes even "above and beyond" our included experiences. In light of this, we now offer guests a curated selection of optional excursions, available for an additional charge.

Jewish Ghetto

2 hours
Activity Level: Intermediate
$117
Take a stroll through Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto with a local guide, starting at the Synagogue museum. This district became the world’s first official Jewish ghetto in the 16th century, and the conditions for the people forced to live in this district were appalling. In spite of such...
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Jewish Ghetto

Duration: 2 hours
Activity Level: Intermediate
$117 pre-purchase €99 EUR onboard

Take a stroll through Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto with a local guide, starting at the Synagogue museum. This district became the world’s first official Jewish ghetto in the 16th century, and the conditions for the people forced to live in this district were appalling. In spite of such discrimination, the Jewish people of Venice built a series a small synagogues, each a hidden gem of modern Venice that many visitors overlook.

*Masterpiece Collection are optional experiences that go above and beyond our daily selection of included excursions and can be booked for an additional fee. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be pre-booked. Please note that requests to pre-book must be made by calling our Reservations Team no later than 6 days prior to departure and are subject to availability. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change. Masterpiece Collection excursions may not operate if they occur on a holiday or if they require a minimum number of participants and that minimum is not met.

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Day 7

Venice

As your water taxi glides past narrow side canals and the Canal Grande, you’ll arrive in style at the Rialto Bridge. The iconic stone arch bridge sits at the narrowest point of the Canal Grande and holds numerous shops and restaurants.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

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Do as the Locals Do: Venice Walking Tour

Back when Venice was at the height of its power, only the Rialto Bridge spanned the Grand Canal—and the city’s famous Rialto markets for fish and produce have sprawled at its feet as long as the bridge has arched over the water. Here you’ll find violet artichokes from the nearby...

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Do as the Locals Do: Venice Walking Tour

Back when Venice was at the height of its power, only the Rialto Bridge spanned the Grand Canal—and the city’s famous Rialto markets for fish and produce have sprawled at its feet as long as the bridge has arched over the water. Here you’ll find violet artichokes from the nearby island of Sant’Erasmo, honey from the salt marshes, white asparagus from Giare—and Venetians shopping for their dinners in the historic heart of the city. Join them as you explore the colorful, noisy and fun arcades with your guide (the ship’s chef often accompanies this expedition), who knows Venice’s culinary arts intimately. Freshly caught local fish is sold to knowledgeable customers under the Gothic arches of the covered fish market, which was probably originally built in the 11th century. At the end of the tour (and after some free time where you should have plenty of time to enjoy a gondola ride), join your guide at a bacaro (a casual wine bar) for the Venetian version of happy hour, called ombra e cicchetti—a drink (often a glass of prosecco) with a bite of something delicious—perhaps crostini with salt cod spread or another Venetian fish specialty.

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Venice Walk with Gondola Artisans Visit

Get an early morning start to see a side of Venice most of the tourists miss—The Dorsoduro. One of Venice’s six main sestieri, or districts, The Dorsoduro is quieter than some of the more popular districts and thus has an authentic, easygoing atmosphere. Enjoy a walking tour around ...

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Venice Walk with Gondola Artisans Visit

Get an early morning start to see a side of Venice most of the tourists miss—The Dorsoduro. One of Venice’s six main sestieri, or districts, The Dorsoduro is quieter than some of the more popular districts and thus has an authentic, easygoing atmosphere. Enjoy a walking tour around this picturesque side of town before moving on to visit a gondola artisan. See the craftwork that goes into Venice’s iconic sailing vessels and meet some local masters at work.

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Ca' Macana Mask Atelier

An integral feature of the Carnival of Venice, masks are known for their intricate beauty and wide variety of styles. See for yourself how these masks are created at one of the top handmade mask ateliers in town.

Ca' Macana Mask Atelier

An integral feature of the Carnival of Venice, masks are known for their intricate beauty and wide variety of styles. See for yourself how these masks are created at one of the top handmade mask ateliers in town.

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Rowing Venice

Venice is known for a unique style of rowing—standing up and facing forward—that is iconic to its gondoliers. This style is also used by athletes, who race batellina boats. The sport, known as Regate, has been held in Venice for over a thousand years. Try your hand at the technique in...

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Rowing Venice

Venice is known for a unique style of rowing—standing up and facing forward—that is iconic to its gondoliers. This style is also used by athletes, who race batellina boats. The sport, known as Regate, has been held in Venice for over a thousand years. Try your hand at the technique in a lesson led by Row Venice, a non-profit organization of female rowers dedicated to preserving the sport and supporting female rowers, who are vastly underrepresented.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 5: Gender Equality; and Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

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MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

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Day 8

Venice (Disembark), Transfer to Train (Embark), Trieste

Disembark the ship and join the Golden Eagle Danube Express at Venice Santa Lucia Station. As you settle into your cabins, the train will thread its way out of the station and onto the causeway across the lagoon that links Venice to the mainland. Your first stop is the ancient port of Trieste for a tour of the city.

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Day 9

Postojna, Ljubljana

Ljubljana

Our morning tour takes us to the Postojna Cave. Ride an underground train deep into the cave and tour the network of magnificent halls, a myriad of cave formations, and mysterious animals. Later, we arrive in Ljubljana, the delightful capital of Slovenia. Discover the city’s combination of ancient architecture and youthful culture on our afternoon walking tour of Ljubljana’s Old Town, which includes a visit to Preseren Square, the Three Bridges, Dragon Bridge, and Plecnik Market.

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Day 10

Sarajevo, Mostar

Sarajevo

Early in the morning, you’ll arrive in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, which has an intriguing blend of Eastern and Western culture. It has mosques and minarets, an ancient bazaar, and an atmospheric old Turkish quarter.

Discover the city’s poignant history through a truly absorbing tour detailing the horrors of the Balkan War. Sarajevo suffered from the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The scars of war are still evident in the war-torn buildings you’ll pass before making a special visit to the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport. Your guide, who lived through the 1992-1996 conflict, brings to life in a touching fashion the struggles the citizens of Sarajevo faced during the siege of the city.

Following lunch, you’ll travel along a very scenic line to the historic city of Mostar, the crossroads of many civilizations, cultures, and religions. Mostar was one of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire. The town’s renowned stone arch bridge linking the Christian and Muslim areas was rebuilt in the summer of 2004. Visit the Turkish House and the mosque before walking through the narrow bazaar streets, where you can shop for traditional souvenirs and handicrafts

Later in the afternoon, we’ll travel by bus to Dubrovnik, where we’ll stay the night at the beautiful Royal Palm Hotel (or similar).

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Day 11

Dubrovnik

Since its foundation in the 13th century, Dubrovnik has been attacked many times. It has since been restored to one of the great cities of the Mediterranean, essentially unchanged for 700 years. We will tour the city, traveling through Ploce Gate to visit the Franciscan Monastery with one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. You’ll see the Old Harbour, St. Laurence Fortress, and the Rector’s Palace. Sit for lunch overlooking the Adriatic and take some free time to wander the city’s narrow streets.

Afterward, we’ll drive by bus to meet the train in Čapljina for dinner as we depart towards Serbia.

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Day 12

Belgrade

Belgrade

Arrive this morning in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, the former Yugoslavian capital. Located at the strategic meeting point of the Danube and Sava Rivers, this truly cosmopolitan city has fortifications from Celtic times, medieval tombs, and Turkish baths. We spend a full day here, and our city tour includes the ‘House of Flowers’—the mausoleum of Josip Tito, the Town Hall, Republic Square, and Knez Mihajlova Street, as well as ‘Varos’ Gate and a visit to the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress.

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Day 13

Skopje

Skopje

This morning, you’ll arrive in the little-visited Skopje and discover a city where the Ottoman influences are still strong. Explore the narrow streets of the Old Town with tiny shops and mosques with ceramic-tiled interiors. Meander through the Old Bazaar area, brimming with things to buy, and cross the 15th-century stone bridge that links the bazaar to the modern town.

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Day 14

Sofia, Plovdiv

After breakfast, your train arrives in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital at the foot of Mt Vitosha. On your morning tour, you will visit sections of the Roman wall and admire the ancient church of St George, the golden-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the Turkish Bashi Mosque.

Enjoy lunch on the train as you travel from Sofia to Plovdiv. The second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, ‘The City of Seven Hills’ is one of the oldest cities in Europe with more than 200 known archaeological sites. You’ll visit the charming Old Town, including its medieval walls and Ottoman baths. Enjoy the final night’s dinner onboard this evening as you head for Turkey.

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Day 15

Istanbul (Disembark)

Istanbul

This morning we arrive in Istanbul, where we stay for two nights at the stunning Pera Palace Hotel. Today see how old meets new and east meets west as we visit a selection of Istanbul’s must-see historic sites, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

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Day 16

Istanbul

Also included in our Istanbul program is a visit to the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace. This stunning monument is the largest and oldest palace in the world and was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1853. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience.

We also visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest covered markets with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. In operation since the 14th century, the bazaar is especially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices, and carpets.

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Day 17

Istanbul

This morning, you’ll check out of the hotel and be transferred to Istanbul Airport for your departure.

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What's Included

Dining

  • All meals onboard cruise and train, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 16 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 16 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Excursions

  • 15 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
Golden Eagle Danube Express

Accommodations

  • 6 nights in a luxury cabin onboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train
  • 1 night in Dubrovnik at the Royal Palm Hotel (or similar)
  • 2 nights in Istanbul at the Pera Palace Hotel (or similar)
  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom onboard the elegant S.S. La Venezia
  • Well-appointed en-suite sleeping cabins and suites on the train have remote-controlled air-conditioning and heating, individual bathrobes and slippers, wardrobes, large viewing windows, and day seating that converts into comfortable beds for the evening
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites on the cruise have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Wi-Fi

Experiences

  • 7 countries: Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey
  • 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment

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Cruise & Rail: Venice, Istanbul & the Balkans

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