Boat & Bike Passau – Vienna – Passau

8 days / 7 nights | Ship: MS Normandie | Self guided bike tours

The bike tour along the German/Austrian Danube is a very special pleasure, because your "swimming hotel" is always with you! Gently downhill, you will cycle along lush green river banks, through small, dreamy villages in the impressive Danube landscapes. You will discover the breathtaking natural wonder of the "Great Loop" (a swift 180º turn!) and immerse yourself in legendary Wachau with its vineyard terraces and enchanted castles and monasteries. Then Vienna – an abundance of sights! A city, hardly to describe – you have to see and feel it! Sights like St. Stephen's Cathedral, the city hall and the world's oldest Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) are easy to reach during a wonderful sightseeing tour by bike. A stroll through the Naschmarkt (famous food market) is a wonderful cultural and culinary adventure. You can also relax at any of the cosy coffee houses or at a typical traditional Viennese wine tavern in the suburbs.

The highlights of the tour:

Passau, the City of 3 rivers, the Schloegen Danube Loop, the World Heritage Site Wachau, Upper Austria's capital Linz, the cosmopolitan city Vienna with a plethora of sights.


Day 1 (Sat): Arrival in Passau

The Episcopal city close to the Bavarian/Austrian border is also known as the "City of three Rivers." Boarding time is at 4:30 p.m. In the evening before dinner you will enjoy a welcome cocktail. Approx. 7 p.m. departure to Engelhartszell.

Day 2 (Sun): Engelhartszell – Linz (Cycling 35 km / 22 miles)

Downstream, the way leads you to pretty villages amid natural landscape. Need a boost? Try some of the special cordials and liqueurs in the Trappist monastery in Engelhartszell. Supposedly, they have "special healing power." Relax on the sun deck after a successful day while the ship takes you through the romantic Schlögener loop, where the river makes a very abrupt 180 degree turn. And after dinner, ride on the bright yellow City-Express (optional, not included) and discover Linz, the capital of upper Austria.

Day 3 (Mon): Linz – Mauthausen – Grein (Cycling 36–42 km / 23–26 miles)

In the early morning shipping to Mauthausen. You have the possibility to visit the memorial-place KZ-Mauthausen. The Celtic town Mitterkirchen gives you an insight of the past. For easy cyclists the tour leads along the Danube, the alternative route, "Clam Castle," through the beautiful back country of the "Strudengau" is slightly hilly, but a fantastic landscape. In Grein, the impressive Castle of Greinburg is worth a visit (optional, not included).

Day 4 (Tue): Grein – Melk – Tulln (Cycling 50 km / 31 miles)

Today's stage is marked by a diverse landscape. At the beginning, there is the Strudengau – a narrow point of the Danube which used to be notorious amongst skippers. The valley expands from Persenbeug and the bike tour leads you further to Melk with its gorgeous baroque monastery of the Benedictine brethren. On deck, you enjoy the sunset and the beautiful evening illumination of the Wachau. Today's final destination is Tulln, famous for its numerous market gardens where the famous Art Nouveau artist Egon Schiele was born (museum).

Day 5 (Wed): Tulln – Vienna/Nussdorf (Cycling 35 km / 22 miles, city tour optional)

Right in front of Vienna's entrance, embedded in a breathtaking landscape, the monastery of Klosterneuburg is situated. You can already see the cupola of this 900 year old baroque building from a distance. "Kahlenbergerdorf" with it's wine taverns is only a hop from the shipping pier and definitely worth a visit. After a stroll through the vineyards, you can enjoy the panoramic view over Vienna. During the city tour by bus and foot (optional, not included) in the afternoon, you will pass most of the numerous and famous sights of the beautiful city.

Day 6 (Thu): Vienna (day of rest) | city tour (opt.) | Waltz and Operetta concert (opt.)

You should be sure to see the most famous places of interest like the Prater, the St. Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg. You can take a city tour by bike (optional, not included). The gorgeous boulevard "Ringstraβe" with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House and the town hall takes you back to the past. There is enough time in the afternoon to stroll or visit one of the famous Viennese coffee bars. The evening ends impressively with a Waltz and Operetta concert (optional, not included). In the night shipping to Dürnstein.

Day 7 (Fri): Wachau | Dürnstein – Pöchlarn (Cycling 39 km /25 miles) | Wine-tasting (opt.)

Your last biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small dreamy villages, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this gentle hilly landscape enchants everybody. A powerful ruin looms above the small Baroque town of Dürnstein, while the blue tower of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau. Possibility for a wine-tasting (optional) im Klosterhof in Spitz. You will find more comfy wine taverns right along the bike path. You owe it to yourself to take a break! In the evening farewell dinner and cocktail. Departure to Passau.

Day 8 (Sat): Passau

Once again you enjoy on deck the first sunbeams and the peaceful silence of the Danube Valley. Take a last sight at the Schlögener Schlinge ("Great Loop") before you arrive relaxed at Passau. Arrival is about 10 a.m., disembarkation half an hour later. We recommend to arrange connecting trips from noon onwards.

Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.