What to expect
Spend two weeks cycling and sailing along the course of the Danube, experiencing six different countries and four capital cities. The cycling is mostly on riverside paths or quiet country roads with lots of highlights to stop-off at en route, from fortresses and farming villages, to wine tasting taverns. There are three official rest days and, if you need to take more, you’ve always got the option to stay on board and cruise to the day’s destination instead.
A real cultural adventure, you’ll sail into Vienna, ride past Baroque palaces in Bratislava and experience traditional folklore in Budapest and Belgrade. As you cycle and cruise between the cities, the river’s natural beauty is breathtaking. Riding along Austria’s Danube Bend makes a stunning introduction to your holiday, and sailing through the Iron Gates gorge is a real halfway highlight before you pedal through the vast Pannonian Plains, across the breadbaskets of Croatia and Serbia and beneath the hilltop monasteries of the Wachau Valley.
At a glance
- Two week boat and cycle tour of six different countries
- Capital cities of Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade
- Stunning beauty of Iron Gate gorges, Pannonian Plains and Wachau Valley
- Mostly flat cycle paths with the option of rest days on the boat
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Passau
Make your way to Passau, Germany - a town at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. Step aboard your boat for a 5pm departure, traveling through leafy forests to the German/Austrian border.
Day 2 (Sun):
Engelhartszell – Aschach
26 miles (42 km)
Cycle from the Engelhartszell monastery and along the beautiful Danube Bend at Schlögen, passing pretty farming villages and stopping off at a cider tavern. Rejoin the boat in the historic shipbuilding town of Aschach and sail through the night to Devin, Slovakia.
Day 3 (Mon):
Devin – Bratislava
27 miles (43 km)
From the castle ruins at Devin, cycle along the former Iron Curtain to Schloss Hof palace and gardens. Continue through the countryside to the capital, Bratislava, and experience the citys' historic centre and hilltop fortress, or see more with a mini-train tour (optional).
Day 4 (Tue):
Budapest | Optional trip to Szentendre or rest day
34 miles (54 km) or rest day
Arrive in Budapest and take a guided tour of the Hungarian capital (optional). Alternatively, cycle to the pretty town of Szentendre and visit the art galleries. Experience a Hungarian folklore show and traditional evening meal (optional).
Day 5 (Wed):
Baja – Mohacs
23 miles (37 km)
Cycle from the baroque town of Baja (famous for its fish soup), taking in the sleepy countryside, sunflower fields and Gemenc floodplain forest. Take the ferry to Mohacs – Hungary’s most southerly Danube town where battles were fought with the Ottoman Turks.
Day 6 (Thu):
Belgrade (rest day)
Explore Serbia’s capital by bike or bus (optional), learning about the rise and fall of Yugoslavia as you experience the city’s architecture, coffee houses and historic landmarks. Enjoy an optional evening folklore show with regional food in the bohemian Skadarlija district (optional).
Day 7 (Fri):
Iron Gates National Park (rest day)
Navigate past fjord-like landscapes of the Iron Gates gorge as the river cuts through Romania’s Carpathian Mountains and the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. With dramatic scenery and fortresses this is definitely a day to stay on deck.
Day 8 (Sat):
Novi Sad – Ilok
30 miles (48 km)
Wake up in Novi Sad, Serbia, where the Petrovaradin fortress perches above the city. Cycle upstream on a flat path and take the ferry to Fruska Gora National Park. Cycle past orchards, vineyards and farming villages to Ilok, Croatia, for a glass of local wine and an (optional) evening tour.
Day 9 (Sun):
Batina - Mohacs
26 miles (42 km)
Cycle through canola fileds in the border region of Croatia, Serbia and Hungary. Enjoy the the Nemzeti National Park and take the ferry to Mohacs.
Day 10 (Mon):
Kalocsa – Solt
31 miles (50 km)
Experience Hungary’s Paprika Capital of Kalocsa, with its colourful houses, cathedral and Paprika Museum. Follow a cycle path through The Puszta plains, riding past seemingly endless cornfields and orchards. Arrive in Solt, where the Vecsey Castle and library (home to around 34,000 books) are highlights.
Day 11 (Tue):
Danube Bend – Esztergom
27 miles (43 km)
Cycle through the Hungarian Wachau Valley, where steep wooded hills rise above the romantic river island of Szentendre. As you continue through pretty villages towards Esztergom city, you’ll see the dome of Hungary’s largest basilica clearly visible on the horizon.
Day 12 (Wed):
Vienna (rest day or optional cycle rides)
Relax on the boat as you sail into Vienna via Donauauen National Park. Enjoy an optional cycle on Vienna’s Danube Island, ride to Klosterneuburg Abbey, or experience the vineyards and views at Kahlenberg hill. In the evening, attend a waltz and operetta concert in a Viennese palace (optional).
Day 13 (Thu):
Vienna (rest day)
Explore Vienna on a guided cycle tour or hop-on-hop-off bus (optional), then experience the architecture of the Ringstraße and the famous Naschmarkt food stalls. End your day in a rustic Vienna wine tavern.
Day 14 (Fri):
Wachau | Krems – Melk
23 miles (37 km)
Continue through the gently undulating terrain of the Wachau Valley, passing castles and palaces surrounded by apricot trees and vineyards. Stop off in Weißenkirchen at one of several wine taverns (optional wine tasting) near the cycle path.
Day 15 (Sat):
Depart from Passau
Sail back into Passau and step ashore at around 10 am, giving you plenty of time to make your way home. We recommend arranging connecting trips from 11 am onwards.
The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.
MS Carissima - 2020 departures
This deluxe boat was renovated for 2017. All 75 cabins are 14 m² and feature a double bed which can be converted to two single beds.All cabins are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower, hair dryer, TV, safe and air-conditioning. Some cabins are located in the front and rear part of the ship where engine noise is possible. Half-height windows on the main deck cannot be opened but the cabins on the upper and middle deck provide full-size picture windows which do open.
There is a Panorama lounge with a bar plus a wellness area with sauna and whirlpool or alternatively jump into the pool (June to August) on the sun deck. Wifi is available on board (payable onboard, please note the connection can vary).
MS Theodor Körner - 2019 departures
The MS Theodor Körner is a traditional, spacious boat which has been lovingly renovated during the winter of 2013/14 in an Art Deco style. There is plenty of communal space; a panoramic bar where there is often a musician in the evenings, a saloon with library and parlour games and a sun deck with chairs and sun loungers for watching the scenery pass by.
There are 60 cabins with large windows, shower, wc, hair dryer, flat screen TV, safe and air-conditioning. Choose between cabins with bunk beds (8-9m2), twin cabins (10-11m2) with optional extra bed (upper and promenade decks), more spacious junior suites with double bed and optional extra bed and single cabins (bunk cabin for single use).
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2020 departures on sale
- 14 nights accommodation: on a deluxe or superior boat with en-suite and air-conditioning
- Board basis: Full board including buffet breakfast, packed lunch for cyclists, afternoon coffee & cake, three course dinner with choice and late night snack
- Services of an English speaking on-board guide with daily briefings of the bike tours
- Maps and route information (one per cabin) -GPS tracks available on request
- Welcome meeting with cocktail
- Local contact number for assistance
- Daily cabin cleaning, towels and bedlinen
- Harbour fees
- Daily live music
- Farewell Gala dinner with cocktail
- Flights and transfers
- Cycle helmets
- Bike hire
- Transfers to/from the docking in Passau
- Optional excursions as listed in the itinerary (can be booked individually or as a package on board)
Guided cycling upgrade
- Guided cycling upgrade includes: a cycling tour guide, 3 city bus tours (Budapest, Belgrade & Vienna), ferry rides and rental helmet
- 2020 itinerary may be slightly different
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes are provided with a pannier, an odometer, a pump, a lock and a repair kit. A handlebar bag is included.
Hybrid bike with 21 gears with pannier
You can add these when you price your trip
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
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.
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.
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.
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 other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
An excellent tour - it felt good at the time and left us with a continuing lighthearted glow. The cruise, the rides and special tours, the food and accommodation were all excellent and managed with understanding and wit by a virtuoso cruise director. The travelling along the Danube was, of course, the centre piece and lived up to its reputation. The crew were top rate - for our comfort onboard and in preparing and maintaining the bikes as well as managing the ship with deceptive ease - and making us smile. The special rest-day tour guides were well chosen and, together with the bike routes themselves, gave glimpses of their countries beyond the usual brochure view. All in all a very good and lasting experience.Reg Phillips, July 2017
Well organised and very enjoyable trip. Bike routes were easy to follow and ride. Food was excellent and all staff on the boat were friendly and helpful. Special mention must go to Andreas the tour director for his friendly, helpful explanations of the routes and his professionalism.Alan Jackson, June 2017