Balkan Explorer

Venice, Turkey
11 Nights
Offer ends:
24 September 2024
Valid for travel:
21 - 23 Sep, 11 - 22 Oct 24


This voyage of a lifetime transports you from the enchanting “City of Water” to the jewel of the Byzantium Empire. Evocative of the refinement and sumptuous elegance of a by-gone era, our trains capture the vintage charm of the golden era of travel. Begin your journey in Venice before meandering through the captivating Balkan Region. Experience exclusive excursions across this iconic route before arriving in the magical city of Istanbul.


  • Enjoy a gondola ride through the iconic waterways of romantic Venice
  • Explore the ethereal Postojna Cave network of limestone caverns and monuments
  • Discover Sarajevo's poignant history through a truly absorbing guided tour of the city
  • Visit one of the world's best preserved Roman ampitheatres in ancient Plovdiv
  • Tour Istanbul's magnificent Sultan Ahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque)

Adult Twin Share from $29,019* per person twin share

Adult Sole Use from $43,295* per person sole use

Upgrade to a Superior Deluxe Class from $3,687* per person twin share

Upgrade to a Superior Deluxe Class from $17,415* per person sole use

In partnership with:


  • Private ensuite accommodation on the Golden Eagle Danube Express train in a Deluxe Class Cabin
  • 1 night accommodation at Royal Palm Hotel, Dubrovnik
  • Post tour accommodation at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from standard bar list
  • Expertly guided off-train excursions
  • Cabin attendant service including evening turndown
  • Services of an experienced Tour Management team
  • Services of a UK-registered Doctor and medical facilities on board
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Luggage porterage throughout the journey
  • All gratuities


On arrival in Venice, transfer to the hotel for a two-night stay. The rest of
the day is at leisure for you to explore this wonderful city. Enjoy a welcome
reception dinner in the elegant surrounds of this art nouveau landmark
where you can meet your fellow travellers on this voyage of discovery.

Overnight: Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal Venice
Meals: Dinner

Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivalled beauty takes
away the breath of first-time visitors and regulars alike. Today enjoy a
walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city.
Walk through the winding lanes beside the Grand Canal to St Mark’s
Square, which for 1,000 years was the heart of Venetian life. See St Mark’s
Basilica and stroll through the Rialto Market.

Overnight: Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal Venice
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, transfer from the hotel, by boat, directly to Santa Lucia
Railway Station on the Grand Canal, to board the Golden Eagle Danube

Mid-morning the train will thread its way out of the city onto the 3-mile
causeway over the Venice Lagoon and on to the first stop at the Italian port
city of Trieste, for an afternoon tour. Stop at the imposing Miramare Castle
and also visit the vast Piazza Unita d’Italia, the main town square. Standing
on a hill overlooking Trieste is the famous Church of San Giusto which
was built around a medieval complex and dates back to the 13th century.
Venture inside the church for a close-up view of the splendid Byzantinestyle
architecture enriched with precious mosaics.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today visit Postojna caves, where you will venture deep underground and
tour the network of magnificent halls, a myriad of cave formations.
Return to Ljubljana, the delightful capital city of Slovenia, which offers a
combination of ancient architecture and youthful culture. An afternoon
walking tour of Ljubljana’s Old Town includes a visit to Preseren Square,
the Three Bridges, Dragon Bridge and Plecnik Market.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arrive in the early morning at the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo which is
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 as you travel past war-torn buildings and make a special visit to the
Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport. Your guide, who lived through
the 1992-1996 conflict, brings to life in touching fashion the struggles the
citizens of Sarajevo faced during the siege of the city.
Following a lunch on board the train, this afternoon travel along a very
scenic line to the historic city of Mostar, the crossroads of many civilizations,
cultures and three 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 re-built in the summer of 2004. Visit Turkish House and the mosque before walking through the narrow, bazaar streets,
where you can shop for traditional souvenirs and handicrafts.
Later, travel onto Dubrovnik by coach where you will spend the night at the
Royal Palm Hotel.

Overnight: Royal Palm Hotel, Dubrovnik
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Since its foundation in the 13th century, Dubrovnik has been attacked
many times but it is now restored as one of the great cities of the
Mediterranean, essentially unchanged for 700 years.
Tour the city travelling through Ploce Gate to visit the Franciscan
Monastery with one of the world’s oldest pharmacies, the Old Harbour, St
Laurence Fortress and the Rector’s Palace.
This afternoon, enjoy lunch overlooking the Adriatic and have free time
to wander the narrow streets. Mid-afternoon, travel back to the train
positioned close to the Croatian border in Capljina, and relax over dinner
as the train depart towards Serbia.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning arrive 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.
Enjoy a full day here experiencing a city tour which 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.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today 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 which links the bazaar to the modern town.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The site of Bulgaria’s modern capital, at the foot of Mt Vitosha, Sofia
was first occupied by the Thracian tribe of Serdi. The morning tour visits
sections of the Roman wall, admire the ancient church of St George,
the golden domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Turkish Bashi
Enjoy lunch on the train as it travel 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. Spend the
afternoon exploring the Roman Forum and Amphitheatre. Visit the
charming Old Town including its medieval walls and Ottoman baths.

Overnight: Golden Eagle Danube Express
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

On day ten, arrive into Istanbul where you will stay for two nights.
This fabled city, that spans Asia and Europe, is the final stop on this tour.
Discover how old meets new and east meets west when visiting Istanbul’s
must-see historic sites.
Included in your two night stay is a visit to the crown jewel of the
Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace. This stunning palace is the largest and
oldest 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
Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian and
was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman
conquest, it was converted to a mosque and is today one of the most
magnificent Grand Mosques in the world.
One of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic
worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation
in the classical Ottoman style. Marvel at the exterior of the building which
features six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main
Also included is an afternoon’s cruise on the legendary Bosphorus and a
visit to the Grand Bazaar.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Terms & Conditions

* Conditions apply. On sale until  24 Sep 24 for travel until 22 Oct 24. A non-refundable deposit of USD2000 (approx AUD3138) per person for Deluxe Class and USD2500 (approx AUD3922) per person for Superior Deluxe Class is required at time of confirmation. Non-refundable final balance is due at 75 days before departure. Prices correct as at 23 Apr 24 but may be adjusted if surcharges, fees, taxes, or currency exchange rates are affected. Offers subject to availability. (All savings and bonus nights are included in the advertised price). Fees apply for direct payments made to Viva Holidays using a debit or credit card. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Bookings must be made directly with Viva Holidays or a travel agent, please confirm all prices, availability and details with your consultant before booking. Cancellation fees apply, offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. The Viva Holidays General Booking Conditions apply Viva Holidays Pty Ltd ABN 78 634 662 294.


$29,019* | per person twin share
Venice, Turkey
11 Nights
Offer ends:
24 September 2024
Valid for travel:
21 - 23 Sep, 11 - 22 Oct 24

Find an Agent

Your nearest stores