Folklore memories to bring home on your Eastern Europe adventure
From supernatural spirits to traditional song and dance passed down through the centuries, you’ll explore Eastern Europe’s unique mythology and folkloric convention on this illuminating cruise. Alongside your included sightseeing, Vantage’s roster of Cultural Connections will enhance your understanding of the cultural, religious, and historical influences that have shaped distinct folk traditions throughout Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia.
Kalocsa Folklore Workshop
Get hands-on in the Hungarian town of Kalocsa, otherwise known as the paprika capital of the world. Here, you’ll learn about local folkloric conventions with workshops on egg painting and embroidery. Then, channel your inner chef when you learn how to make the local specialty, paprika bread.
Icon painting demonstration
Meet a local Bulgarian artist and Orthodox priest who will teach you about the country’s ancient tradition of icon painting, which still endures today. As the first Slavic country to adopt Christianity in 865, Bulgaria features some of the earliest Byzantine icon paintings, first used to decorate 9th-century monasteries
Visit a primary school in the small Serbian town of Donji Milanovac where you’ll enjoy an introduction to the Cyrillic alphabet, the script invented by a 9th-century Byzantine monk that’s now used throughout the Slavic world.
Home-hosted lunch in Croatia
Break bread with a local family in Vukovar, Croatia. Make connections, enjoy the local cuisine, and see firsthand the day-to-day life of local residents in this part of the world. Always a traveler favorite!
Traditional Serbian salt & bread welcome
Kick off your Serbian explorations with this traditional welcoming custom, often used to welcome foreign dignitaries to the country. Most Eastern European countries feature some variation of this tradition, but in Serbia, it’s customary to offer bread and salt to new guests because bread carries an important significance in Serbian culture. In Belgrade, two traditionally-dressed women will welcome you with conventional pogača bread
, which symbolizes family unity and goodness, while salt represents prosperity and good fortune.
Onboard lecture series
While you cruise, you’ll be treated to fun and educational lectures that will deepen your understanding of the regions you’re exploring. On this cruise, enjoy lectures on modern Serbia, as well as a presentation on Bulgaria, Romania & EU Expansion.
Experience the ways that folklore and tradition have carried over into contemporary life with a roster of local entertainers, brought to you most evenings as onboard entertainment. You’ll hear bands revamping traditional music and watch several folk and dance ensembles, including a children’s folkloric dance show in Serbia. Not to mention, you’ll attend an organ concert in Kalocsa’s cathedral and an Eastern Orthodox choir performance at the Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, located in Arbanassi, Bulgaria.