Highlights of this tour

Guidance
  • Fully-guided: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Semi-guided: Daily briefing by the tour leader, independent cycling but tour leader available ICE.
  • Independent: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
  • Multi guidance: For this tour various types of guidance are available
Independent Individual
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1

Germany, Austria, Czech Rep., Hungary

Day of rest & exploration in Budapest

Around 200 km / 147 miles

Ships with max. 100 passengers

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Bike and Barge Danube: Passau – Budapest – Passau | Normandie and Arkona / Arlene II

Accompanied by a cruise ship you cycle along Europe’s second largest river Danube from the charming Bavarian “three river city” of Passau straight into the heart of the once glorious Imperial and Royal Monarchy.

Enjoy three of the most enchanting European capitals: the lively Vienna, the Slovak coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and Budapest, the “Hungarian Danube Queen”! By bicycle you discover the stunning natural spectacle of the Schlögener Donauschlinge (“Great Loop”), the legendary Wachau with romantic towns and mighty castles amidst lovely vineyards, the untouched alluvial forests of the Danube National Park, as well as the picturesque Hungarian Danube bend where the important cupola of the basilica in Esztergom salutes from the distance.

The highlights of the tour: Passau, the City of 3 rivers, the Schloegen Danube Loop, the Hungarian Danube Bend, the World Heritage Site Wachau, the metropoles of Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna.

Day to day program Arkona and Normandie - 2018

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: (Mon): Embarkation: Passau | Passau – Engelhartszell

Arrival in the “Three River City”. Passau attracts many with the world’s greatest church organ at the Stephansdom and its charming Old Town. Embarkation will be around 4:30 p.m., departure around 7 p.m. Enjoy your first dinner on board and an evening sail to Engelhartszell, arrival around 10 p.m.

Day 2: (Tue): Engelhartszell – Great Loop – Brandstatt (approx. 46 km/27.6 mi.) | Brandstatt – Devin 

The day starts in Engelhartszell (the only Trappist monastery in Austria), where we head towards the “Great Loop” – one of the most beautiful and original sectors of the Danube. Your cycling will encounter small villages and cosy must-see taverns. You’ll board again in Brandstatt. Then, you “sail into the night” towards Devin.

Day 3: (Wed): Devin – Bratislava, (approx. 54 km/32.4 mi.), city tour (optional) | Bratislava – Budapest

Arrival at Devin in the morning. The cycle tour takes you to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof. After crossing the green line you cycle along the former “Iron Curtain” towards the coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains.  During a tour by mini train and by foot in the evening (optional) you can discover hidden alleys of Bratislava, places and all the sights of this ambitious metropolis. In the night shipping to Budapest.

Day 4: (Thu): Budapest (day of rest) | city tour “Hop on Hop off” bus or bicycle (optional)| roundtrip to Szentendre 40 km | In the evening: “Budapest by Night” (opt.)| Budapest – Visegrad

In the early morning, you enjoy the panoramic view of the Danube’s gorgeous landscape on the Sundeck. The gateway to Budapest is overwhelming, as many of the famous tourist features are situated directly next to the river bank. In the afternoon you can explore the city during a city tour by coach and by foot (optional). Nearby, you find the Margaretheninsel which is outstandingly qualified for small bike tours or the charming town of Szentendre with Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art life. In the evening you can enjoy Budapest by Night with folklore program (opt.) Around 10 p.m. the ship sails off to Visegrad.

Day 5: (Fr): Visegrad – Esztergom (Approx. 25-60 km/15-36 mi.) | Esztergom – Vienna

The Danube bend is definitely one of most delightful and attractive parts and is called the Hungarian Wachau. Today’s bike leg starts at Visegrad with its famous fortress and the ruins of the former palace. You can choose from 2 different routes: the longer one (only for experienced cyclists) includes a side trip to the island of Szentendre and the baroque village of Vác, which has been influenced by the architects of the Austrian empress Maria Theresia. The other route leads you directly to the bishop-town of Esztergom, with its gorgeous basilica – Hungary’s largest Catholic Church – overlooking the village. In the night shipping to Vienna.

Day 6: (Sa): Vienna-Nussdorf / (Korneuburg may also be possible) (day of rest) | city tour by bike or by coach/foot (optional) | Waltz and Operetta concert (opt.) | Vienna – Rossatz or Dünstein

You certainly have to  see the most famous places of interest like the St. Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg. You can take a city tour by bike or by coach/foot (optional, not included). The gorgeous boulevard “Ringstraβe” with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House and the town hall takes you back to the past. The evening ends impressively with a Waltz and Operetta concert (optional, not included). In the night shipping to Rossatz or Dürnstein (Wachau).

Day 7: (So): Wachau – Melk – Pöchlarn (Approx. 42-52 km/25,2-31,2 mi.) | wine-tasting (opt.) | Pöchlarn – Passau

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. In the afternoon you will see the impressive Melk Abbey, one of the most important baroque buildings of Austria. In Pöchlarn there is the possibility for a wine-tasting – optional. Here you’ll board again. After the farewell gala dinner, you start “sailing” back to Passau.

Day 8: (Mo): Disembarkation: Passau

Every journey draws to an end. 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: approx. at 11:00 a.m., disembarkation half an hour later. We recommend to arrange connecting trips not earlier than noon.

Good to know

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

To bring your own bike: on request only – due to lack of space on sundeck.
Languages on board: German, English
Cycle tours: all distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When a guest does not want to cycle one day, she/he can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next harbour. The bike tours are individual, at your own pace, without a tour guide, but with daily briefings on board and detailed bicycle maps and directions. All cycle tours can be classified as being easy.
Luggage: we recommend rainwear, bicycle helmet, sunhat and sneakers. Please be aware that the cabin storage space is very limited.
Smoking: the interior of the ship is a non-smoking zone: smoking is only allowed on the sun deck. As a safety measure, a statutory smoking ban applies in all cabins; this means that all cabins and rooms on board are non-smoking areas.
Land excursions: we offer an optional (surcharge – not included in the tour price) excursion programme which can be booked directly on board at the cruise director only. Together with your travel documents you will get a brief description. Depending on the number of participants some excursions could be carried out in 2 languages (German/ English).
Routing/Program: basically, we reserve the right to make changes of routing and program. In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages by buses. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted of both situations. The same applies for officially ordered – previously not announced – repair work on locks or bridges. Please be aware that a cruise ship on the Danube is not only your hotel but also a machine, working with engine power also during the night. Especially crossing locks and bridges – and the preparation work – may cause noise. If you are sensitive please bring your own ear plugs.
Travel documents: EU-citizens (without special situations like dual citizenship, main residence abroad or a limited-validity passport) are required to have a valid passport or ID-card, not expiring within six(6) months of the return of your cruise. We kindly ask non-EU citizens, EU-nationals with multiple citizenship or anybody who has to respect special legal entry requirements for the country to visit, to inform about visa and entry documents at the competent embassy.

This trip is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

Day to day program Normandie/Arlene II - 2019

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1 (Mon): Passau – Engelhartszell

Arrival in the “Three River City”. Passau attracts many with the world’s greatest church organ at the Stephansdom and it’s charming Old Town. Embarkation will be around 4 p.m., departure around 7 p.m. Enjoy your first dinner on board and an evening sail to Engelhartszell.

Day 2 (Tue): Engelhartszell – Great Loop – Brandstatt – Devin, ca. 46 km/27.6 mi.

The day starts in Engelhartszell (the only Trappist monastery in Austria), where we head towards the “Great Loop” – one of the most beautiful and original sectors of the Danube. Your cycling will encounter small villages and cosy must-see taverns. You’ll board again in Brandstatt. Then, you “sail into the night” towards Devin.

Day 3 (Wed): Devin – Bratislava, ca. 54 km/32.4 mi.

Arrival at Devin in the morning. The cycle tour takes you to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof. After crossing the green line you cycle along the former “Iron Curtain” towards the coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Tip: discover the hidden alleys of Bratislava, places and all the sights of this ambitious metropolis during a tour by mini train and by foot. In the night shipping to Budapest.

Day 4 (Thu): Budapest (day of rest) or round trip to Szentendre, ca. 40 km/24 mi.

In the early morning, you enjoy the panoramic view of the Danube’s gorgeous landscape on the Sundeck. The gateway to Budapest is overwhelming, as many of the famous tourist features are situated directly next to the river bank. In the afternoon you can explore the numerous attractions of the city. Nearby, you find the Margaretheninsel which is outstandingly qualified for a small bike tour or the charming town of Szentendre with Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art life. In the night shipping to Visegrad.

Day 5 (Fri): Danube Bend | Visegrad – Esztergom, ca. 25 – 60 km/15 – 36 mi.

The Danube bend is definitely one of most delightful and attractive parts and is called the Hungarian Wachau. Today’s bike leg starts at Visegrad with its famous fortress and the ruins of the former palace. You can choose from 2 different routes: the longer one includes a side trip to the island of Szentendre and the baroque village of Vác, which has been influenced by the architects of the Austrian empress Maria Theresia. The other route leads you directly to the bishop-town of Esztergom, with its gorgeous basilica – Hungary’s largest Catholic Church – overlooking the village. In the night shipping to Vienna.

Day 6 (Sat): Vienna-Nussdorf / (Korneuburg may also be possible) (day of rest)

You should be sure to see the most famous places of interest like the St. Stephens Cathedral, the Hofburg, the gorgeous boulevard “Ringstraβe” with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House or the town hall that takes you back to the past. In the night shipping to Rossatz or Dürnstein (Wachau).

Day 7 (Sun): Wachau – Melk – Pöchlarn, ca. 42 – 52 km/ 25.2 – 31.2 mi.

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. In the small village of Pöchlarn you will board again. After the farewell gala dinner, you start “sailing” back to Passau.

Day 8 (Mon): Departure from Passau

Every journey draws to an end. 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: approx at 10:00 a.m., disembarkation half an hour later. We recommend to arrange connecting trips from noon onwards.


Prices & information

Prices
Cabin type For Season A Season B Season C
2-Bed lower deck 2 pers. €799 €879 €919 2-Bed Upper deck Astern* 2 pers. €839 €919 €959 2-Bed Upper deck 2 pers. €939 €1019 €1059 Suite Upper deck (only on Arlene II) 2 pers. on request €1219 €1259 Single Upper deck 1 pers. €1189 €1269 €1309
Included in this tour

7 nights in outside cabins with private facilities and air conditioning

Program according to itinerary from/to Passau

Captains greeting and Welcome cocktail

Full board: 7x breakfast, 6x lunch snack on board (non cyclists) or packed lunch for cyclists, 6x afternoon coffee break, 6x 3-course-dinner and 1x farewell-dinner with farewell-drink

Bed linen and towels on board

Daily cleaning of the cabin

Daily live music

Tour guide on board (does not cycle with the group)

Detailed road book (one per cabin)

Daily information meeting for bike tour instructions

Port and Tourist taxes

Excluded in this tour

Transfers to/from the docking place in Passau

Rental bicycle or e-bike (optional)

Other transfers

Parking fee

Entrance fees & excursions

Drinks on board

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Additional options & information

Rental bicycle (incl. rental bike insurance): € 70 per week/person
Rental E-Bike (incl. rental bike insurance): € 165 per week/person (only on request, limited number of e-bikes available, early bookings strongly recommended.
You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.

Safe on the way, helmet required in Slovakia!: We advise you wear a bike helmet (in Austria children under 12 yrs are obligated to wear a bike helmet, in Slovakia children till 15 yrs and all bikers (except in built-up areas) are obligated to wear a helmet. Please bring your own helmet. You can also buy a helmet (UVEX I-VO) for €40 p.p. on board (limited stock).

Parking in Passau:
Parking space inclusive transfer to/from ship    66
Parking garage inclusive transfer to/from ship  77
(registration form in the travel-documents, payable on site)

Minimum number of participants: 50 guests (must have been reached within 21 days prior to departure).

Legal notice:
Boat Bike Tours is not the operator of this tour; this is a so called ‘partner tour’. Tour operator is: SE Tours GmbH, Bremerhaven, Germany. Other conditions may apply to this tour: further details on request.



Reviews

Rated 8.2 out of 10 based on 9 reviews
4 stars

Michael W

This trip was very enjoyable and certainly met our expectations. Bikes were good and the food was good. The scenery is beautiful. Two suggestions are: 1. Include mileage markings on the maps to assist cyclists. 2. Signage or better directions should be provided for getting back to the ship, specifically in Vienna.

5 stars

Volker M

One week trip on Carissima was a blast. Enjoyable cycling, great dinners and superb staff. There are newer and fancier boats but I doubt there are any better ones.

4 stars

Ralph Backé

Really enjoyed the biking and towns we visited. Would have liked more time in towns. Food on board was great. Biggest dissapointment Vienna. Best city Budapest.

3 stars

H & S Peters

Wonderful cycling along the Danube, experience on board the ship surpassed our expectations – great service, fabulous food. The reason for only 3 stars is that communication left a lot to be desired. Having done other cruises, including along the Rhine, we are used to more information in advance. For this tour we didn’t even […]

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Normandie Danube
max. 100 passengers
51 cabins
2 tours available with this ship
Ship Arlene II Germany, Danube
max. 98 passengers
50 cabins
2 tours available with this ship
Ship Arkona Germany, Danube
max. 96 passengers
58 cabins
5 tours available with this ship

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