Check availability Book Request a quote

Highlights of this tour

UNESCO Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Ideal for a beautiful, relaxing holiday

Home to many legends like the Loreley

Ship with max. 96 passengers

  • 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
guidance Individual
  • 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
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

Bike and Barge Germany: Mainz – Cologne or vice versa | Olympia

Numerous romantic castles and fortresses have been built along the banks of the Rhine between Cologne and Mainz and they have many exciting stories to tell. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley is rich in tales and adventures and it is very beautiful. The Rhine in this area pushes its way through rocks and passes towns like Koblenz, which are over 2000 years old and have old towns with many timber framed houses. This is the ideal landscape for a beautiful and relaxing holiday. Last but not least many of these towns between Cologne and Mainz are home to some noble wines and regional delicacies, which make this journey also a culinary one.

The UNESCO world cultural site „Upper Middle Rhine Valley“ is a paradise for romantics. Follow the river Rhine through a splendid hilly landscape in which aristocratic developers built many castles and fortresses in the past and where elaborate timber framed houses dominate the lanes of the historical old town.

At the same time you will experience a wild romantic landscape which is home of many legends like the Loreley. Your journey from Mainz to the Cathedral City of Cologne is not least a journey with many culinary delights. Along the Rhine grow grapes for excellent wines and the art of cooking is in no way inferior to the skills of local wine growers.


Day to day program Mainz - Cologne

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.

Alterations of schedule or program:  Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Mainz

Embarkation in Mainz from 3 till 5 pm. There may be time to see the old town of Mainz with its lovely alleys and public squares.

Day 2 (Sun): Mainz – Rüdesheim (32 km/19 mi.)

Today we will show you why the river Rhine and its surroundings are part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. Beautiful islands, steep slate rocks and vinyards shape the region around Rüdesheim. By bike you will pass Eltville with its fortress „Kurfürstliche Burg“ and Oestrich-Winkel with its crane for loading wine as a famous landmark and arrive finally in Rüdesheim. Here, the world-famous wine alley „Drosselgasse” is well worth a visit.

Day 3 (Mon): Rüdesheim – St. Goar (St. Goarshausen) (32 km/19 mi.)

Today you will cycle along the Rhine through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, passing romantic castles and ruins. These buildings include the fortresses Reichenstein and Rheinstein. The famous rock of the Loreley will also be on your way to St. Goar, your destination for today. From the top of the rock you will have a beautiful view of St. Goar and St. Goarshausen.

Day 4 (Tue): St. Goar – Koblenz (38 km/23 mi.)

Boppard and the Marksburg are possible destinations today on your way to Koblenz with its famous “Deutsche Eck” (German corner), where the rivers Moselle and Rhine are merging. From the fortress Ehrenbreitstein which you can reach comfortably by cableway you will enjoy a fantastic view over the splendid landscape of the Rhine.

Day 5 (Wed): Koblenz – Andernach (25 km/15 mi.)

Your path will lead you past Neuwied with its castle Engers to Andernach, your destination for today. This city is like Koblenz one of the oldest cities of Germany. Here you will find the famous cold water gush spring, whose water fountain of 50 to 60 meters is said to be the highest in the world. In Andernach you can enjoy sights like the Round Tower or visit the wine village Leutesdorf, which you can reach from Andernach by ferry.

Day 6 (Thu): Andernach – Bonn (45 km/27 mi.)

On your way to Bonn it is worthwhile to visit in Königswinter castle Drachenburg on the Drachenfels (steep slope) or the Sea Life with its various marine inhabitants. Finally you will reach Bonn. The former capital of Germany is both cosy and yet cosmopolitan. Numerous global organisations still have their headquarters here and provide the city of Beethoven with international flair.

Day 7 (Fri): Bonn – Cologne (37 km/22 mi.)

Before you reach Cologne by bike, there is the possibility for a nice rest at the leisure island Groov amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zündorf. Once you have reached the city center of Cologne, take your time for a stroll through the Old Town.  Also worthwhile are one of the museums as well as the modern parts of Cologne, which can be found at the port of the Rheinaue wetland with its crane houses. The breweries with their famous beer “Kölsch” show a relaxed side of this big city.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Cologne

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:00 am.

Good to know

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.

Alterations of schedule or program:  Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Cycle Tours: unguided. You will cycle between 25 and 45 km per day. The kilometers indicated for the suggested cycle tours are approximate.
  • Cycle routes/ level of difficulty: The quality of the cycle ways along the route is excellent. Most of the stretches are paved or asphalted, and lead alongside the Rhine dikes without any gradients of note. This makes the trip suitable even for unpracticed cyclist.
  • Luggage on board: We recommend waterproof rain gear, bike helmet, sun hat and sports shoes. We would like to ask you to do without hard-side luggage, as storage space in the cabin is very limited!
  • 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 Cologne - Mainz

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.

Alterations of schedule or program:  Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.

Alterations of schedule or program:  Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Cologne

Individual arrival to Cologne and Embarkation between 3 and 5 pm. Enjoy the evening on board or with a Kölsch beer in one of the pubs with a view over the river Rhine.

Day 2 (Sun): Cologne – Bonn (37 km/22 mi.)

Before starting your first cycle tour, take the opportunity to stroll through the Old Town. Afterwards you start your first cycling tour to the city of Beethoven, Bonn. This federal city and former capital of Germany still has international flair. On your way it is worthwhile to visit the leisure island Groov amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zündorf. In Bonn there are museums like the House of History or the Bundeskunsthalle courting for visitors’ attention and the House of Beethoven, the Rheinaue as well as the Bundesviertel with the path of Democracy are equally worth a visit.

Day 3 (Mon): Bonn – Andernach (45 km/27 mi.)

You will continue towards Andernach by bike today. Königswinter with its castle Drachenburg on the Drachenfels (steep ascent) as well as the Sea Life with aquariums for more than 6.000 sea animals is worth a visit. Your destination for today, Andernach, is famous for the world´s biggest cold water gush spring with its impressive fountain of 60 m.

Day 4 (Tue): Andernach – Koblenz (25 km/15 mi.)

On your way to Koblenz you will find castle Engers in Neuwied. At the famous “Deutsche Eck” (German Corner) the river Mosel merges with the river Rhine. Another place of interest is the fortress Ehrenbreitstein which you can also reach by cableway across the Rhine in Koblenz. Tickets for the cableway are available on board.

Day 5 (Wed): Koblenz – St. Goar (38 km/23 mi.)

You continue your journey by bike up the river Rhine through the UNESCO world heritage site Upper Middle Rhine Valley. You will pass the romantic fortress Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of middle Rhine which has never been destroyed, as well as the city Boppard with its fortress Kurfürstliche Burg, before you will reach St. Goar. Here you will find the ruins of fortress Rheinfels, which is the biggest of its kind along the Rhine. The fortresses Katz und Maus (cat and mouse) in St. Goarshausen on the other side of the Rhine are also worth visiting.

Day 6 (Thu): St. Goar – Rüdesheim (32 km/19 mi.)

Again you will pass very beautiful Rhine castles like Burg Reichenstein and Burg Rheinstein. You will cycle past the famous rock Loreley before you reach Rüdesheim. In Rüdesheim we recommend a city walk around the historical town with its beautiful half-timbered houses. Or treat yourself to a ride on the cable car up to the Niederwald monument. Here you will have a beautiful view over the old town of Rüdesheim and the river.

Day 7 (Fri): Rüdesheim – Mainz (32 km/19 mi.)

On your final cycling stage you will find the Rhine at its best. The city Eltville am Rhein with its emblem, the castle Kurfürstliche Burg, is on your way. Mainz, your destination of today, presents itself with numerous impressive buildings. You may want to visit its cathedral Hoher Dom St. Martin, one of the proud imperial cathedrals of Germany, or the castle Kurfürstliches Schloss. In the old town you will find attractive alleys and squares like the Augustinerstraße and the Kirschgarten with its lovely timber framed houses and wine restaurants.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Mainz

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9 am.

Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2020
Cabin type For all dates
Twin cabin on lower deck 2 pers. € 999 Twin cabin on upper deck 2 pers. € 1199 Twin cabin on upper deck astern* 2 pers. € 1149 Twin lower deck for single use 1 pers. € 1299 Single cabin on upper deck 1 pers. € 1399
Included in this tour

8 days/7 nights

Outside cabin with shower/WC and air conditioning

Program according to itinerary

Captains greeting and Welcome drink

7 x breakfast

6x light lunch on board (non cyclists) or packed lunch for cyclists

6x afternoon coffee break

7 x dinner

Use of bed linen and towels; change when required

Daily cleaning of the cabin

Daily briefings by multilingual (German/English) on board tour manager

Independent cycling tours (on board tour manager can be reached on his cell phone)

Maps and information material for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)

Excluded in this tour


Coffee and tea on board at other hours

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental incl. pannier bag

Helmet (not available on board)

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions

City maps

Fees for ferries

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information 2020
  • Rental bicycle: €75 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
  • To bring your own bike: on request only – due to lack of space on sundeck. Storage of bikes inside the ship is not possible.
  • Optional Excursions: tour legs and the ship‘s time in port permitting, an optional excursion program will be organised. Excursions can only be booked and paid (in cash) aboard the ship.


There is a train connection between Mainz and Cologne. Duration between 1 hrs 24 and 2 hrs depending on the connection.
Please visit one of the following websites for timetables, tickets or more information or

Parking possibility:

  • Cologne: Car park with an attendant: „Globus-Parkgarage“ (to be reserved in advance) – approx. 6 km from berth in Cologne, Fare: approx. € 90 to € 110 per week.
  • Mainz: Car Park at the central station (unguarded, cannot be booked in advance) in Mainz. Parking fee approx. € 10 per day.


Minimum number of participants: 80 guests (must have been reached within 21 days prior to departure).

Partner tour:
Legal notice: Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing operator, but the travel agent for this tour; this is a so called ‘partner tour’, available on request. Tour operator is: SE Tours, Bremerhaven, Germany.


Germany: Mainz – Cologne or vice versa Rated 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
5 stars

Renate Rapsch

Info, Essen, Kabinen, Räder alles super!

4 stars

Sig Neuheimer

Neat ,clean, great food and excellent bikes. Lower cabins were too warm, could not open windows..Air conditioning does not work.

3 stars

Pamela TIdy

I received no information about the trip, just a demand for early payment from Boat Bike Tours. My friend had to email to get details of where to meet etc. The guide and route map were adequate but we got lost several times, as did many other people.

5 stars

Ray and Pam Hollis

Well organized, good food, helpful staff, good bikes, suitable accommodation. Thanks Ray and Pam

Reply from Boat Bike Tours Thanks very much for your review. Team Boat Bike Tours.
Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Olympia Germany, Netherlands
max. 96 passengers
49 cabins
4 tours available with this ship

Your selected tour:

Germany: Mainz – Cologne or vice versa

Request a quote

  • Please enter a number from 1 to 150.
  • Month (March until October) and year
  • Your data

Check availability Book Description Program Pricing overview Photos & video Reviews Ships