Grand Danube Passage

Quick Facts
SEP. 1-16, 2017 From $4,695
Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Prague
Aboard Amadeus Silver UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Mild Activity Hide This
Book This Tour


Grand Danube Passage

SEP. 1-16, 2017
Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Prague
Aboard Amadeus Silver

Explore marvelous Old World capitals, picturesque villages and the many facets of rich Eastern European culture with UCLA History Professor Teofilo Ruiz on this journey aboard the MS Amadeus Silver. Begin your voyage with a two-night stay in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. Recall the majesty and power of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments in Bulgaria, and experience the splendor of Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna.  Enjoy the formidable Iron Gates gorge, the twists of Danube Bend and the breathtaking Wachau Valley. Conclude the journey through eight countries with a three-night stay in elegant Prague. This expertly crafted program provides flexibility with a choice of excursions and activities in each port.

Cost: From $4,695
AHI Travel
Activity Level: Mild Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Enjoy an nine-night Danube River cruise aboard the exclusively chartered MS Amadeus Silver.
  • Discover the Old World charm and rich culture of Sofia and Prague.
  • Personalize your cruise with a choice of included excursions in select ports of call.
  • See castles, churches and beguiling scenery in eight countries: the Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.
  • Cruise some of the storied Danube River’s most historic and beautiful stretches: the Iron Gate Gorge, Danube Bend and Wachau Valley.
  • Experience four UNESCO World Heritage sites: Budapest, Hungary, including the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue; the Historic Center of Vienna, Austria; the Wachau Cultural Landscape; and the Historic Center of Prague, Czech Republic

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Department of History
Teofilo Ruiz received his doctorate from Princeton University and has taught at many universities, including the University of Michigan and Princeton. He served as UCLA History Department chair (2002-2005) and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese (2008-2009). A medievalist and early modern historian, Ruiz was selected by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the four Outstanding Teachers of the Year in 1994. The author of 14 books, he received the prestigious 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and the Distinguished Teacher Award at UCLA. In 2012, Ruiz was selected as the Senior Research lecturer at UCLA and received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.



Day 1 | Sep. 1.
Depart for Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 2 | Sep. 2. Sofia, Bulgaria
Upon arrival, transfer to the Sofia Hotel Balkan.

Day 3 | Sep. 3. Sofia
Educational Focus: A Prologue to the Bulgarian Revival.
Excursion: Sofia. See the highlights of the Bulgarian capital. Attend a Welcome Reception and Dinner at the hotel tonight.

Day 4 | Sep. 4. Sofia/Vindin
Excursion: Vidin. Visit the Baba Vida fortress and St. Pantaleimon Church. Embark the MS Amadeus Silver. Gather for an on board Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Day 5 | Sep. 5. Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Excursion: Drobeta. Tour the Museum of the Iron Gate Region and walk through the nearby park to see statues and a WWI Memorial. Cruise the Iron Gate Gorge, a stunning natural wonder.

Day 6 | Sep. 6. Belgrade
Educational Focus: Serbia Today.
Excursion: Belgrade. Explore the city, including the Kalemegdan Citadel and ornate Orthodox churches.
Independent Exploration: Spend the afternoon at leisure. Enjoy a local folk show tonight.

Day 7 | Sep. 7. Pécs/Moháca
Excursion: Pécs. See Roman ruins, and enjoy a wine tasting.

Day 8 | Sep. 8. Budapest
Choose from three excursions:
Excursion: Budapest. Discover the city on both sides of the Danube River.
Excursion: Living Local. Visit the Grand Market and a coffeehouse.
Excursion: Jewish Budapest. Tour the historic Jewish Quarter.

Day 9 | Sep. 9. Bratislava
Educational Focus: The Velvet Revolution.
Choose from three excursions:
Excursion: Bratislava. Take a walking tour of this medieval city.
Excursion: Musical Bratislava. Learn about the city’s operatic heritage.
Excursion: Old Capital. Explore the Bratislava Castle and Old Town, followed by a beer tasting.

Day 10 | Sep. 10. Vienna
Educational Focus: Vienna.
Choose from two excursions:
Excursion: Imperial Vienna. Visit Hofburg Palace and other highlights.
Excursion: Art and Wine. Visit a Klosterneuburg Monastery to admire its art collection. Enjoy a wine tasting.
Independent Exploration: Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 11 | Sep. 11. Dürnstein/Melk
Choose from three excursions:
Excursion: Dürnstein. Explore this historic medieval town.
Excursion: Wachau Cycling. See this pretty region by bicycle.
Excursion: Wachau Wines. Visit a local winery for a wine tasting. Cruise the beautiful Wachau Valley.
Excursion: Melk. Marvel at Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey.

Day 12 | Sep. 12. Passau
Embark the MS Amadeus Silver.
Excursion: Passau. See the Old Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and more. Enjoy a Farewell Reception and Dinner

Day 13 | Sep. 13. Prague
Disembark the ship and check in to the Imperial Hotel.
Independent Exploration: Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 14 | Sep. 14. Prague
Excursion: Prague Castle and Old Town. Visit Prague Castle and the Old Town. See the Royal Palace, St. George Basilica and Charles Bridge.
Independent Exploration: Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 15 | Sep. 15. Prague
Excursion: Prague’s Jewish Heritage. Visit Prague’s National Jewish Museum and Jewish Quarter.
Independent Exploration: Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Enjoy a Farewell Reception.

Day 16 | Sep. 16.
Transfer to the Prague airport for the return flight to your gateway city.


Prague, Czech Republic
Built in the early 1900s, the elegant Art Deco Imperial Hotel is listed on Prague’s register of historic buildings. With an art deco façade and a curvilinear art nouveau interior, the hotel is one of the city’s architectural gems. It sits in the heart of historic Prague near restaurants, shops and historic attractions. A spa, fitness center and complimentary Wi-Fi are among the hotel’s many amenities, and the Café Imperial is considered to be one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city.


The state-of-the-art MS Amadeus Silver offers the utmost in service, safety and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambience reminiscent of a high-end hotel. Relax on the sun deck, challenge a friend to a game of chess or shuffleboard, browse in the boutique or connect with family at the Internet station. Practice your golf game on the putting green, exercise in the fitness room or treat yourself to a soothing massage. Savor international cuisine at the restaurant’s delicious breakfast and lunch buffets, and enjoy regional specialties served with wine at dinner. At the end of each day, return to the comforts of your cabin, appointed in bright, modern décor and featuring a river view, satellite TV and a bathroom with a shower. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available, but access may be limited.


Sofia, Bulgaria
Located in the center of Sofia near cultural and historic sites, restaurants and upscale shops, the Sofia Hotel Balkan is a city landmark. After exploring Sofia, enjoy fine dining in the hotel’s restaurant or linger in the hotel’s lounge over a cocktail before retiring to your comfortably appointed guest room. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.

Book this Tour

How to Book

Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to AHI Travel. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.