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Uniworld 10 August Highlights of Eastern Europe (Budapest to Bucharest) is a GO!


PhD-iva
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Finally some communication from Uniworld, received earlier today. Hallelujah, I’m going on a Uniworld cruise!
Dear Robin,
We can’t wait to welcome you onboard our River Duchess for what is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.
 
Due to Hungarian regulations for arrivals by air, we will be unable to provide our Budapest program. Guests will need to proceed directly to the ship from the airport and remain onboard until departure on the evening of Tuesday, August 10. We understand that this is a disappointing development and apologize for the change to our program.
 
Guests with Uniworld transfers will be taken directly to ship from the Budapest airport for embarkation.
 
Guests without Uniworld transfers have the option of booking an airport-to-ship shuttle leaving from the airport at 1:00 PM or making their own way to the ship. Please note however, that if you are arriving by air in Budapest you are expected to be transiting to another location outside of Hungary. The expectation is that you will proceed directly to your next point of transportation. For most guests this will be our ship. Guests who go through customs at the Budapest airport may not be allowed out of the airport without a plan for transiting out of the country within the next 24 hours. Guests arriving by train, car, or ship do not have a limit to how long they can stay in Budapest.
 
The Uniworld airport shuttle must be pre-booked by August 5 in order to confirm your transfer. Please contact Uniworld or your travel agent right away if you would like to join this shuttle transfer. For guests making their own way, the ship will be docked at:
 
               Garam 1 
Carl Lutz rkp.
Budapest 1138
Click HERE for map
 
As always, we encourage guests to confirm docking locations 24-hour hours in advance on our Port Locations webpage.
 
While we regret that we cannot provide the Budapest tours, we are excited to instead provide a day in Novi Sad, in the cultural heart of Serbia. The full updated schedule is listed below.
 
Day 1 Budapest
Transfer from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport to the ship. Relax onboard in our Lounge or on the Sun Deck. After dinner, the ship will being our scenic sailing from Budapest.
Day 2 Mohacs/Batina 
Choice of
a: Vucedol Culture Museum and lunch at a family winery [AM]
b: Home-hosted lunch with Karanac Craft Museum visit [AM]
Day 3 Novi Sad
a. Novi Sad Walking Tour & Petrovaradin Fortress AM
b. Fruska Gora Hiking Tour PM
Day 4 Belgrade
Choice of
a: Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic
Dynasty Palace [AM]
b: “Let’s Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour [AM]
Rakija distillery visit with Avala Tower Masterpiece Collection excursion [PM]
Day 5 Golubac
Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle [AM]
Donji Milanovac
Day 6 Vidin
Choice of
a: Belogradchik red rock valley [AM]
b: Banitza home baking experience [AM]
Day 7 Ruse
Choice of
a: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch [AM]
b: Ruse walking tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo Monasteries [AM]
Farewell Dinner
Day 8 Giurgiu
Motorcoach from the ship to the hotel in Bucharest Disembark
Bucharest Bucharest communist tour with People’s Palace‡ [AM]
Day 9 Bucharest
Choice of
a: Snagov Palace with Vlad the Impaler’s Tomb [AM]
b: The Ceaucescu Mansion–a Dictator’s Private Home Masterpiece Collection excursion [AM]
Day 10 Bucharest
Transfer from the hotel to Henri Coandă International Airport
 
We also would like to ensure that all guests are aware of the current Covid-19 testing requirements in place at this time. 
 
EMBARKATION: For guests who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 a test is not required for embarkation. Guests should bring their original vaccination card and ID for documentation. For guests who are not fully vaccinated a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of embarkation will be required. Rapid Covid-19 tests are widely available at most major drugstores, medical centers, and airports. Guests participating in a Uniworld pre-cruise land package will be assisted by our local staff to obtain the required test before embarkation.
 
DURING THE CRUISE-TOUR: All visitors of indoor public spaces will need to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with your original vaccination record and ID. Unvaccinated guests will need to provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72/48 hours of visiting designated spaces. Guests are responsible for obtaining and carrying this documentation while on tour, and for any associated costs. Indoor public spaces can include museums, restaurants, trains, shops, and cathedrals among others. Please note that certain venues require us to provide guest contact details (name, address, phone/email) for the purpose of contact tracing, and/or for advanced check-in of our guests. This information will be collected at embarkation by our staff.
 
These regulations are subject to change. While it is our guests’ responsibility to comply with local regulations, our onboard and on shore staff will be there to assist guests with obtaining any needed documents. 
 
DISEMBARKATION: Our onboard staff will assist guests who need a Covid-19 test as a condition for their return flight with locating a testing sight and arranging transportation. Any costs associated with this will be yours to pay. Guests who are extending their stay on a Uniworld post-cruise land package will be assisted by our Local Host.
 
We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause. If you have any questions, please call us at 1 (800) 733-7820 or email us at info@uniworld.com. If you have questions while traveling on embarkation day, please contact the ship directly at +49 15 222 6 999 40.
 
Thank you, 
 
THE UNIWORLD TEAM
   
 
 

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@PhD-iva, yay you're going on a cruise.  Sorry about missing Budapest.  Have you ever visited there?  It's a great city.  You can take in some of the city sites and ambience while docked there overnight.  I did Bucharest to Budapest with Uniworld in 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  

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So glad your trip is going ahead, but sorry you will miss Budapest.  Sounds like a great trip, and looking forward to reading your review.

 

Happy sailing!

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to hear about the elimination of the Budapest portion of your trip.  We did Bucharest to Prague on Uniworld 2 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary.  Hopefully you will have a future chance to visit Budapest - it is special.

 

On another note, I see that the AMAMagna started sailing on the Danube on July 21, which means they have now embarked and debarked from Budapest twice.  Has anyone heard if their passengers have also been restricted to the ship while in Budapest?  Seem there would be comments on this board if that has been the case.

Edited by Farang
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Happy to hear your cruise is still on!  Shame you have to miss Budapest though.  Sounds like unvaccinated people will need to have multiple COVID tests throughout the cruise since the places they visit require tests within 72/48 hours.  That would be a colossal inconvenience.  I hope all passengers are vaccinated!

 

 

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We are doing Prague to Bucharest September 1.  From what I've read, there are only entry restrictions for those flying into Budapest/Hungary, so hopefully the tours will still be available to us since we'll be arriving by boat.

 

I'm still not 100% certain the trip will go (Avalon says it's a go), since circumstances seem to change on a dime, but I'll be packed and ready just in case.

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Thanks for posting these updates.  Please do report back on how everything went.  It seems completely bizarre there are restrictions on those arriving by air, but not those by ship, train, or other means of transportation.  The Uniworld letter says "Guests arriving by train, car, or ship do not have a limit to how long they can stay in Budapest," but it also doesn't mention what the conditions of that stay are.  For U.S. citizens, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest is still showing need for a 10-day quarantine (which may be waived with two COVID-19 tests):  https://hu.usembassy.gov/covid-19/.  It does also note--which is at odds with the statement about USCs generally not being allowed entry--that "As of July 1, 2021, except in the case of entry by aircraft or from Ukraine, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without epidemiological restrictions, but providing other general conditions of entry (such as valid travel documents) is necessary."  That would seem to be in line with what is stated in the Uniworld letter.  I note, however, that the Czech Republic is not one of the countries from which free entry--except by air--is allowed.

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Thx to all for your good wishes! Wifi willing, I promise to keep you updated on cruise status, conditions and to answer questions to the best of my ability.

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Since I found the guidance on the U.S. Embassy Budapest a little confusing--saying USCs are generally not admitted to Hungary, but noting the free entry via land since 21 July 2021--I sent the American Citizen Services section an email last evening.  Here is their response in full:

 

"Thank you for your inquiry.

 

"We suggest you to read the State Department’s Travel Advisory on Hungary: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Hungary.html

 

"Except in the case of entry by civil aircraft, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without restrictions.

 

"Please find below the detailed information about entering Hungary right now. This is the current situation, unfortunately, we do not know what will happen in the next few weeks and months. These regulations made by the Hungarian Authorities so they can give answers to specific questions regards entering Hungary. Please note that the situation might change by the time you are ready to travel.  Please check with the Hungarian authorities right before your departure time. http://www.police.hu/en/content/information-on-general-rules-of-border-crossing

 

"For further questions we suggest that you contact the Hungarian Covid-19 Government office directly:  koronavirus@1818.hu  They deal with foreign language inquiries as well.

You may also call:   +36 1 550 1825

 

"Regarding a Hungarian citizens travel to the USA please contact the following phone number:

+36-1-701-2000

 

American Embassy

Citizen Services

1054 Budapest

Szabadság tér 12.

E-mail: ACS.budapest@state.gov

Website: https://hu.usembassy.gov/"

 

Here is the current State Department travel guidance on Hungary as copied from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/hungary-travel-advisory.html:

"Level 3:  Reconsider travel to Hungary due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

"Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Hungary due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Hungary. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

"Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Hungary.

"Read the country information page.

"If you decide to travel to Hungary:

See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
   -Visit the CDC’s webpage on  Travel and COVID-19.
   -Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  --Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
   --Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hungary.
    --U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information."

 

And to correct an error in post #10, Hungary does not list the Czech Republic as one of the countries for free entry as, of course, it does not share a land border with the latter.  For our Danube cruise in late October, we are planning a pre-cruise stay in Prague, then taking a train to Budapest--but forgot it transits through Austria before reaching Hungary.  D'uh!

 

Safe travels to PhD-iva!  Really hope you have a great trip!!

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52 minutes ago, loriva said:

Since I found the guidance on the U.S. Embassy Budapest a little confusing--saying USCs are generally not admitted to Hungary, but noting the free entry via land since 21 July 2021--I sent the American Citizen Services section an email last evening.  Here is their response in full:

 

"Thank you for your inquiry.

 

"We suggest you to read the State Department’s Travel Advisory on Hungary: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Hungary.html

 

"Except in the case of entry by civil aircraft, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without restrictions.

 

"Please find below the detailed information about entering Hungary right now. This is the current situation, unfortunately, we do not know what will happen in the next few weeks and months. These regulations made by the Hungarian Authorities so they can give answers to specific questions regards entering Hungary. Please note that the situation might change by the time you are ready to travel.  Please check with the Hungarian authorities right before your departure time. http://www.police.hu/en/content/information-on-general-rules-of-border-crossing

 

"For further questions we suggest that you contact the Hungarian Covid-19 Government office directly:  koronavirus@1818.hu  They deal with foreign language inquiries as well.

You may also call:   +36 1 550 1825

 

"Regarding a Hungarian citizens travel to the USA please contact the following phone number:

+36-1-701-2000

 

American Embassy

Citizen Services

1054 Budapest

Szabadság tér 12.

E-mail: ACS.budapest@state.gov

Website: https://hu.usembassy.gov/"

 

Here is the current State Department travel guidance on Hungary as copied from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/hungary-travel-advisory.html:

"Level 3:  Reconsider travel to Hungary due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

"Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Hungary due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Hungary. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

"Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Hungary.

"Read the country information page.

"If you decide to travel to Hungary:

See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
   -Visit the CDC’s webpage on  Travel and COVID-19.
   -Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  --Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
   --Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hungary.
    --U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information."

 

And to correct an error in post #10, Hungary does not list the Czech Republic as one of the countries for free entry as, of course, it does not share a land border with the latter.  For our Danube cruise in late October, we are planning a pre-cruise stay in Prague, then taking a train to Budapest--but forgot it transits through Austria before reaching Hungary.  D'uh!

 

Safe travels to PhD-iva!  Really hope you have a great trip!!

Thanks for posting this intel! Will keep in touch with this forum as I travel.

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The River Duchess is in v good shape. I took a short video of my stateroom, which I’ll try to post someday. Yes, dinner table and companions are set at the first meal, so choose wisely! 
I’m told current pax count is about 70, and max would be about 110. 
The ship had to depart Budapest yesterday, so no time allowed in Budapest. 

I’ll post more later.

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Thank you for posting all this information. 

I see Uniworld has changed out the menu to make it easier for them.  It used to be a choice from three different appetizers, three mains and multiple dessert.   Many times I would order all the starters, no main and then the cheese plate. 😊

Enjoy your vacation .

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:43 AM, Farang said:

Sorry to hear about the elimination of the Budapest portion of your trip.  We did Bucharest to Prague on Uniworld 2 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary.  Hopefully you will have a future chance to visit Budapest - it is special.

 

On another note, I see that the AMAMagna started sailing on the Danube on July 21, which means they have now embarked and debarked from Budapest twice.  Has anyone heard if their passengers have also been restricted to the ship while in Budapest?  Seem there would be comments on this board if that has been the case.

My wife and I sailed on the July 28 AmaMagna sailing.  We had our flight changed to land in Vienna and then we were bused to Budapest.  We had two days prior to embarking and spent the third day in Budapest aboard ship.  There were NO restrictions on where we could go in Budapest.

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The menu does look a little limited, I wonder if it is to do with the current situation or a standard thing now. Sweet corn soup - hmm, I can tell it is an American ship. It is always interesting for me to read the subtle differences in menu between the main countries of origin of the passengers.

 

They come for a face check at 6am?! EEEk! How did this go?

 

@PhD-iva it sounds a long day, but with a very interesting excursion. I hope it has been a great day for you.

 

Thank you for all the info. I am sure it is very helpful for future cruisers.

 

Enjoy your time on the Danube. :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

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1 hour ago, Hbgyergers said:

My wife and I sailed on the July 28 AmaMagna sailing.  We had our flight changed to land in Vienna and then we were bused to Budapest.  We had two days prior to embarking and spent the third day in Budapest aboard ship.  There were NO restrictions on where we could go in Budapest.

Several passengers reported flying in early to Budapest on their own. They experienced no delays, no restrictions, no difficulties. But I guess  Uniworld Has to comply with official regulations.

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Hmmm, most of my posting was “lost” will try again.

Notes:

Wednesday, day two. Mohacs/Vukovar, Croatia : full day excursion  including archeological museum, lunch at craft historical museum and restaurant, water tower. Lunch was clear soup with noodles, pork roast with potatoes and green salad with tomatoes. Dessert was something good.
Back on the ship before dinner there was a Croatian local band in the lounge, open bar. Very enjoyable, although pls forgive if it reminded me of Mexican folkloric.

see previous post for photos of dinner - sorry I forgot to take a picture of the menu. Very good dinner w v good wine pairings. After dinner back to the lounge for 15 to 20 minutes of disco dancing with the DJ. Great fun.

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8 hours ago, Ritabob said:

Thank you for posting all this information. 

I see Uniworld has changed out the menu to make it easier for them.  It used to be a choice from three different appetizers, three mains and multiple dessert.   Many times I would order all the starters, no main and then the cheese plate. 😊

Enjoy your vacation .

I think my technical difficulties give a poor impression of Uniworld. Yes, three choices of starters, some soups, several mains, several desserts. I will try to do better in future to provide the entire 2 page menu. Lots of choices, sorry to imply otherwise. Food is excellent. Having a great time!

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