What to expect
Spend a week by the blue Danube river, cycling alongside its banks and sleeping on a traditional riverboat each night. As you follow the river from Germany to Austria you’ll find captivating cities and baroque buildings embedded in green landscapes. Pedalling downstream from the pretty German town of Passau, the Danube cycle path flows gently downhill, making this tour ideal for occasional cyclists or families with older children.
The musical city of Vienna is a real highlight towards the end of the trip and you can look forward to a whole day here to experience grand palaces, horse-drawn carriages and delicious Viennese coffee. Before you cruise back to Passau, the rugged peaks, apricot trees and wine terraces of Wachau National Park bring this tour to a climax – look forward to stunning fortresses, idyllic villages and magnificent monasteries.
You have a choice of two boats on this tour that follow very similar itineraries. Alternatively, travel on the Danube River - MS Theodor Körner which has a slightly different itinerary.
At a glance
- Traditional river towns and spectacular cities of Vienna and Linz
- Relaxing riverside scenery and the dramatic Wachau National Park
- Gentle cycle paths, ideal for occasional cyclists or families with older children
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Passau
Meet the boat in the town of Passau, which sits at the crossroads of three rivers. Step aboard from 4-5 pm and enjoy a welcome drink and your first evening as the Normandie departs for Engelhartszell around 7pm (the Arlene II boat remains in Passau for the night).
Day 2 (Sun):
Engelhartszell (or Passau) – Danube Loop – Linz
22 miles (35 km) or 32 miles (52 km)
Visit the Trappist monastery of Engelhartszell, renowned for its schnapps, and try some of their special cordials and liqueurs. Take a little ferry boat (not included) through the Danube Loop, where the river makes a very abrupt and spectacular 180 degree turn, before meeting your boat at Untermühl in the early afternoon and cruising to Linz. After dinner discover Linz, the capital of upper Austria.
Arlene II customers start cycling from Passau so have a longer ride today of 32 miles (52 km).
Day 3 (Mon):
Linz- Mauthausen - Grein
22-26 miles (36-42 km)
Sail to Mauthausen and visit the medieval village and former concentration camp before cycling to the Celtic village of Mitterkirchen. Choose the easy cycle route alongside the Danube or opt for a more challenging track through the Strudengau hinterland. Arrive in Grein and visit the imposing riverside castle.
Day 4 (Tue):
Grein – Melk – Tulln
31 miles (50 km)
Experience the wild landscape of Strudengau, a narrow section of the Danube which was infamous amongst skippers. See the valley broaden by the town of Persenbeug and visit the Benedictine abbey at Melk. Enjoy a sundowner on deck as you cruise towards the rugged peaks and ornate castles of Wachau and onwards to the Roman tower at Tulln.
Day 5 (Wed):
Tulln - Vienna-Nussdorf / or Korneuburg
22 miles (35 km)
Discover the 900-year-old Baroque monastery of Klosterneuburg embedded in the landscape and hike through vineyards for a panoramic view over Vienna.
Day 6 (Thu):
Vienna / Korneuburg
Take time to see the pulsating city of Vienna, stopping off at landmarks such as St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace. Enjoy an afternoon stroll or relax in a typical Viennese cafe before spending an optional evening at an opera in the Hofburg. Cruise towards Dürnstein or Rossatz overnight (Krems for Arlene II boat).
Day 7 (Fri):
Wachau– Pöchlarn/ Emmersdorf
24 miles (39 km) or 22 miles (35 km)
Pedal through charming villages and a delightful landscape of apricot trees, castles, monasteries and vineyards. Sights include the ruin that looms over the small Baroque town of Dürnstein and the blue tower of the monastery, a landmark of Wachau. Why not stop off at Spitz for some wine tasting at one of the cosy taverns along the bike path?
The Normandie will stop in Pöchlarn and the Arlene II will stop in Emmersdorf.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Passau
Enjoy a final morning on the Danube, arriving back in Passau to disembark at approximately 10.30 . We recommend you arrange connecting trips from 12.00 onwards.
Please Note: The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in water levels and local conditions.
The MS Normandie is a comfortable, spacious boat with a panoramic salon and bar on the upper deck and restaurant on the main deck. On deck there are deck chairs and ordinary chairs and tables, perfect for relaxing and watching the scenery float past and chatting to fellow cyclists. There are 49 twin-bedded cabins, all with single beds (one of which can be folded against the wall to maximise space during the day) and two single cabins. All have shower, wc, hairdryer, TV, safe, centralised air-conditioning and a picture window. Cabin windows on the upper deck can be opened. *Guests in rear upper deck cabins will hear engine and generator noise when the boat is moving.
MS Arlene II
The Ms Arlene II is being refurbished for 2019 departures. The restaurant is on the main deck and the saloon/bar with panoramic windows is on the upper deck. The large partly shaded sun deck is a great place to relax on a deck chair and enjoy the scenery. The upper deck has 8 suites (15m2) with a twin bed, a small sitting area, a French balcony and sliding glass doors. There are 16 upper deck twin cabins (10m2), six rear twin upper deck cabins (you will hear engine and generator noise when the boat is moving) and two upper deck single cabins (8m2) – both the twin and single cabins have windows that open . On the main deck there are 24 twin cabins with a ventilation window that partially opens. All the cabins are en-suite with a shower, hair dryer, TV, safe and air-conditioning.
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2019 dates
- 7 nights accommodation: MS Normandie or MS Arlene II with en-suite and air-conditioning
- Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunch for cyclists or lunch on board (non-cyclists) and dinner
- Services of an English speaking on-board guide with daily briefings of the bike tours
- Maps and route information
- Welcome meeting with cocktail
- Local contact number for assistance
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Mooring fees
- Coffee in the afternoon
- Daily live music
- Flights and transfers
- Cycle helmets
- Bike hire
- Transfers to/from the docking in Passau
- Entrance fees and excursions
- Ferry fees
- Child up to 12 years sharing with one full paying passenger - 20%
Bike Hire & Extras
Pannier per bike, handlebar bag, repair kit, spare inner tube, pump and lock per cabin all included at no extra cost when you hire a bike.
Hybrid 7 gears with pannier
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
Will the itinerary ever change?
For Boat & Bike tours the boat will generally keep to the advertised itinerary, however the captain may have to adapt the itinerary due to the river or sea conditions.
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
What are the average temperatures for this tour?
Can the boat cater for special dietary requirements?
Please advise us of any special requirements at time of booking and we will notify the boat operator in advance. Understandably, kitchen galley space is limited and it may not be possible to provide specialist products (eg. Gluten free). We suggest you bring a few items with you and, in some cases, these can be provided at a supplement.
Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?
Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling.
Will I be cycling with other people?
Although there is no organised group, self-guided guests regularly find they come across their fellow passengers along the route during the day and may even get together to form their own cycling groups.
Can I book by myself?
Absolutely! Boat & Bike tours are very sociable and a good choice for single travellers wishing to mix with other guests and share your common interest of cycling.
What does my on-board Tour Leader do?
Your on-board Tour Leader provides daily briefings ahead of the next day's ride. These are always beneficial, including information on the local area, main sights, and tips on good places to stop en route.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
The tour was much better than anticipated, the boat had just been refurbed and so was in excellent condition, the food was exceptional, the tour guide was fun and a character, my wife had her birthday on the Saturday, and was treated to a bottle of wine, a cake with a Roman candle, and a bottle of champers in the cabin, the waiter was very attentive and obliging, the bike routes were quite easy, the bikes were old and clunky, but overall the holiday was excellent.Steve Waters, UK, September 2018
A thoroughly enjoyable holiday, lots of interest and good, relatively easy cycling. Staff on MS Normandie were attentive, cheerful and all round excellent as was the food.Kenneth Suggett, June 2015