What to expect
Follow the Danube river from Germany to Austria and on to Slovakia, sleeping on your 'floating hotel' each night and cycling along riverside cycle paths by day. Discover Wachau's magnificent landscape as you pedal past traditional river towns and spectacular Baroque cities.
Spend a day in Vienna exploring its famous architecture and visiting traditional Viennese cafes. Sail into Bratislava and admire its 18th century architecture and green parks. The gentle, downhill cycle routes along the Danube make this an ideal tour for families and occasional cyclists.
Alternatively, travel on the Danube River - MS Normandie which has a slightly different itinerary.
Find out why the Danube is best discovered by bike with our staff photo diary and video (below) from Catherine, head of Freedom Treks, who cycled this tour in May 2017.
At a glance
- Spend time exploring the Danube's "Great Loop"
- Captivating cities and Baroque buildings
- Take a break from cycling to relax on deck
- Gentle flat routes, perfect for families and occasional cyclists
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Passau
Meet the boat in the town of Passau, which sits at the crossroads of three rivers. Step aboard at 4pm for a welcome evening of cocktails, dinner and live music. At 6.30pm you will set sail along the Danube.
Day 2 (Sun):
Mauthausen - Grein
22 miles (35 km)
Today's bike tour takes you directly along the Danube where you have enough time to enjoy the natural state of the meadow landscape. Visit the medieval village and former concentration camp at Mauthausen. The Celtic village Mitterkirchen gives you an insight into the past. The alternative route, "Clam Castle," through the beautiful back country of the "Strudengau" is slightly hilly but a fantastic scenery. Grein, with its mighty castle, is the destination of today's stage. After a romantic sunset cruise you arrive in the morning at Devin with its castle ruin overlooking the Danube.
Day 3 (Mon):
Devin - Bratislava
27 miles (43km)
From Devin you follow the former ‘Iron Curtain’, cross the former border and reach the imposing Baroque Palace of Hof with its beautifully terraced gardens. Cycle through Austria’s ‘vegetable garden’ to the coronation city and former capital of Hungary, Bratislava located at the slopes of the Little Carpathians. Explore the hidden alleyways and sights of Bratislava on an optional city tour.
Day 4 (Tue):
Vienna (day of rest)
During a city tour by bike or bus (optional) you will experience Vienna’s most famous examples of architecture: the imperial Hofburg, St. Stephens Cathedral, the gorgeous ‘Ring’- boulevard and the State Opera House, the Burgtheater and town hall and, of course, the colourful "Hundertwasserhaus". There is enough time in the afternoon to stroll or visit one of the famous Viennese cafés. The evening can end in numerous ways. For example by visiting a Waltz and Opera concert at a famous Viennese Palaces (optional).
Day 5 (Wed):
Wachau/ Krems - Melk
Today’s biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small dreamy towns, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this hilly landscape enchants everybody. You will be biking on cloud nine! A powerful ruin looms above the small baroque town of Durnstein, while the blue spire of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau. In Weißenkirchen you will find comfortable wine taverns right along the bike path.
Day 6 (Thu):
Melk - Grein
31 miles (50 km)
After breakfast you have plenty of time to visit the gorgeous baroque monastery of the Benedictine brethren of Melk. Today's stage is marked by diversity. Starting in the wide valleys of the Nibelungenau you follow the Danube and cycle further into the Strudengau – a narrow point of the Danube which used to be notorious amongst skippers. Today’s destination is the – already well known – city of Grein, home of Austria's oldest city theatre.
Day 7 (Fri):
Great Danube Loop - Untermühl - Engelhartszell
16 miles (25 km)
Today you will cycle through the Danube Valley and will pass through many picturesque villages. Along the cycle path you may smell freshly grilled mackerels, with small pubs doing all they can to entice cyclists to stay. Make sure you follow the small walking trail to the lookout high above the Danube Loop - what a breathtaking panoramic view of the Danube Valley it provides of the meandering Blue Danube! Need a refreshment? Try some of the special cordials at the Trappist monastery at Engelszell, today's destination.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Passau
Enjoy the first sunbeams and the peaceful silence of the Danube Valley on deck before you arrive relaxed at Passau at around 10am. Disembarkation approx. 10.30 am . We recommend arranging connecting trips from 11 am onwards.
Please note: The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.
MS Theodor Körner
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 for watching the scenery pass by. There are 61 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 (or bunk cabin for single use).
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation: MS Körner with en-suite and air-conditioning
- Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunch for cyclists and three course dinner with choice, late night snack
- Services of an English speaking on-board guide with daily briefings of the bike tours
- Maps and route information
- GPS tracks available on request
- Daily briefings
- Welcome meeting with cocktail
- Local contact number for assistance
- Daily cabin cleaning, towels and bed linen
- Mooring fees
- Daily live music
- Farewell Gala dinner with cocktail
- Flights and transfers
- Cycle helmets
- Bike hire
- Transfers to/from the docking in Passau
- Parking (including transfers) - payable locally - 77 Euros.
- Excursions to Austria's oldest theatre in Grein, city tour of Vienna
- Under 3 year olds free of charge (in a cot)
- 3 to 12 years in cabin with min. 1 full paying adult - 50%
- Age 13+ - in bunk bed or 2 bed cabin with 2 full paying adults - 20%
Comfort Package Upgrade
- Cycling tour guide
- Ferry journeys
- Entry to Austria's oldest theatre in Grein
- Cider tasting in Upper Danube valley
- Wine tasting in the Wachau region
- Guided city tour by bike in Vienna
- City tour by train and walking tour in Bratislava
- 2019 comfort package available - May 11, June 8, July 6 & 27, August 24, September 21
- Minimum 8 people, Maximum 22 people
Walking Package Upgrade
- Walking guide
- Shuttlebus to start/end point of daily walks
- 2019 walking package available - May 18, July 20, September 14
- Minimum 8 people, Maximum 16 people
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes are provided with a pannier, an odometer, a pump, a lock and a repair kit.You will also receive a handlebar bag.
Hybrid bike with 21 gears
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!
A really unusual and life affirming experience - well worth the money and effort. Comfort, exercise, views, culture, an eclectic group of nice people, all rolled into one new experience.Robert Plersted, UK, August 2018
This was our first cycling tour but it definitely will not be our last. From our very first contact with Freedom Treks to our final transfer from the boat the trip ran smoothly and was totally enjoyable. The guys at Freedom Treks really care about their clients, their customer service is outstanding and the advice and recommendations shared prior to booking was excellent. We felt that nothing was too much trouble.Diane Ross, UK, August 2018