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Location: Italy | Adriatic Coast | Venetië
Price: From € 990,-
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Boat Bike Tours Italy: Venice | barges Vita Pugna & Ave Maria

The itinerary winds its way along the Mincio and the Po, penetrating into rural areas of the Italian countryside that are still uncontaminated, and ends in the warm embrace of the Venetian Lagoon. This territory has been reclaimed from the marshes for many centuries now and is framed by green pinewoods, which offer protection for numerous species of animals. The work of man overlaps nature in a constant game of roles: reclaimed land alternates with natural canals, fishermen’s huts are camouflaged in the reeds, and bridges formed of boats reduce the distances between strips of sand.
Italie-Venetie-AveMaria-VitaPugna

Italy

 

  • Dates/Prices Venice

  • Ship information

    Vita Pugna

    After many years as cargo boat Vita Pugna was totally renewed at the beginning of the 1990s in order to start her new life as floating hotel along the Dutch canals. After a famous long journey from Holland to Italy, this charming Dutch lady has been sailing with great success between Venice and Mantova since 2008. On board Vita Pugna you will find the same style and cosy atmosphere of the bike & boat cruises in Holland enhanced by the friendly and homely management of the international crew. A surplus is surely represented by the high quality meals served on board. The typical wooden cabin area and the comfortable air-conditioned living room will welcome the customers for a well deserved rest after a day on bike. There are 9 twin cabins and a triple one, accommodating up to 21 guests. Each double cabin with traditional portholes (which can be opened) is approx. 7/8 sq.m. big and has 2 low twin beds with en-suite facilities and air conditioning. Bed size is: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m. The boat also has a spacious air-conditioned restaurant/lounge and there is a large sundeck, which is partly uses to store your bikes. There is free WiFi , a free hot drinks machine (incl. Italian ground coffee) and a 42″ screen for video in the living room.

    Vita Pugna
    Ave Maria
    This Italian boat was totally rebuilt in 2011 in order to meet the most challenging clients’ requests. Only the hull of the original 1970s sand digger sailing along the Po has remained and the boat is now brand new. It was completely designed by a renowned Italian architectural firm. Its shapes, colours and materials have been chosen carefully in order to create a warm, sober and yet sophisticated atmosphere. The ship can accommodate max. 40 guests and has a total of 17 cabins; 10 standard twin cabins below deck (approx. 11 sq.m., 3 of these can become triple cabins, with a bunk bed); 4 superior twin cabins above deck (approx. 11 sq.m., 2 of these can become a triple or four bedded cabin, with 2 bunk beds) and 3 bunk bed cabins (approx. 7,5 sq.m., also available as single cabin). All cabins have a large window (the ones in the superior cabins can also be partially opened), comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities, air conditioning and safety box. Bed size is 2.00 x 0.80 m. Most of the double beds can be separated into two single beds. The air conditioned living room is divided into two areas: the restaurant and the lounge. The barge has two sundecks and a dedicated bike storage. There is free WiFi in the common areas. In the lounge there is a large 55″flat screen for video and a free hot drinks machine (incl. Italian ground coffee). A few hair-dryers are available on request.

    Ave_Maria_2

  • Program Mantova-Venice

    Tour Details Italy: From Mantova to Venice | Vita Pugna & Ave Maria

    Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Mantova
    We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 4.30 p.m. onwards, and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Mantova!

    Day 2 (Sun): Mantova (round tour approx. 25 km/15 mi.)
    Ruled by the House of Gonzaga for four centuries, the city state of Mantua attracted a dizzying roll call of names across the arts – from Rubens and Mantegna to Monteverdi and Mozart – and to this day the town is renowned for its international book festival. A ride through the center soon takes us past Palazzo Tè, on the outskirts, the Gonzagas' summer residence. Onwards to the hamlet of Grazie and its historic church: a site of pilgrimage, it is adorned with an intriguing host of wooden figures, personifying the many torments that pilgrims of yore could identify with. A cruise on a local barge takes us home through a waterscape rich in bird life, lilies and other aquatic flora. This afternoon you meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour of the historic center, and enjoy the rest of the day in town, at our own leisure.

    Day 3 (Mon): Mantova – Governolo | Governolo – Ostiglia – Bergantino – Zelo (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.)
    After breakfast, you set sail from the “lakes” of Mantua and cruise through the lush wetlands that lead to Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the Po. Here, you saddle up and follow the broad sweeps of the levee towards Ostiglia, renowned for its medieval fortress and fierce fighting in 1945, as the Allies drove Hitler's forces back. Next: Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). This village is also in the heartland of Grana Padano – the arch-rival of Parmesan – and a visit to the local cheese factory, sampling some well seasoned Grana, is de rigueur. You catch up with your barge in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

    Day 4 (Tue): Zelo – Ferrara (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.) | Ferrara – Adria (60 km by bus)
    This morning you cross the Po and ride southwards through a patchwork of farmland, orchards and hamlets, as far as Ferrara. Under its ruling family, the Este, this city state attracted architects, artists and scholars for centuries, pioneering town planning principles that have been emulated worldwide ever since. To this day, Ferrara University ranks among the best, and the town is dubbed the ”Cycling Capital of Italy”. A private bus and trailer then take you back to your floating hotel in Adria, an ancient Roman port once washed by the sea which bears its name. Adria is also renowned for its Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is in order.

    Day 5 (Wed): Adria Po Delta Nature Reserve  – Chioggia/Pellestrina (Approx. 40 km/24 mi.)
    After a short cruise, you cycle into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a size-able colony of flamingos. Weather permitting, as we continue towards Chioggia, we can also enjoy a break at a fine-sand beach nearby for a dip in the Adriatic – not forgetting a hot savoury piadina! Also known as “Little Venice”, the colourful fishing hub of Chioggia is a great place to “go local”, and what better way than by making your own bigoli for dinner? This quintessentially Venetian type of pasta is at its best when made fresh, and a delicacy served with a creamy baccalà sauce.

    Day 6 (Thu): Chioggia/Pellestrina | Pellestrina – Lido Island (ferry) | Lido Island – Venice (Bike Tour Approx. 30 km/18 mi.)
    Venice beckons, but first another world altogether: Pellestrina, the first of two islands you traverse today – a humble and tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque as ever with its cottages, boats and nets. A short island-hop by ferry lands us on the Lido. Fashionable in high society ever since the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. After rejoining your barge, an unrushed cruise takes you to our final destination. After dinner you can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia!

    Day 7 (Fri): Venice
    After breakfast – and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader – you all meet up with a Venetian guide for a tour through the historic center. Christened La Serenissima (“The Most Serene”), the Venetian Republic held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.

    Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Venice
    After breakfast and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits of Venice, or return home, if you haven’t booked any extra night.

    Details: In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    When a guest does not want to cycle one day, he or she can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
    Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

  • Program Venice-Mantova

    Tour Details Italy: From Venice to Mantova | Vita Pugna & Ave Maria

    Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Venice
    We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 4.30 p.m. onwards, and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner you can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia.

    Day 2 (Sun):  Venice
    After breakfast – and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader – you all meet up with our Venetian guide for a tour through the historic center. Christened La Serenissima (“The Most Serene”), the Venetian Republic held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.

    Day 3 (Mon): Venice – Pellestrina/Chioggia (Approx. 30 km/18 mi.)
    Cruising out of Venice at a gentle pace, you start your bike and boat adventure on the Lido, the first of the two islands you explore today. Fashionable with the artists and aristocracy of the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. A short island-hop takes you into another world: Pellestrina, where you ride past the picturesque cottages and boats of this humble fishing backwater. You rejoin the barge and sail to Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing harbour known as “Little Venice”.

    Day 4 (Tue): Chioggia– Po Delta Nature Reserve –Adria (Approx. 40 km/24 mi.)
    You open the day with a stroll through Chioggia, followed perhaps by a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Weather permitting, you can also bask in the sun at a fine-sand beach nearby: a dip in the Adriatic, a hot savoury piadina – and you are well and truly local! Then onwards into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. You moor for the night in Adria, a key Roman port, once washed by the waters of the sea which bears its name. Adria is also renowned for its Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is in order.

    Day 5 (Wed): Adria – Ferrara – Zelo (Approx. 35 km/21 mi. + 35 km by bus)
    After a short cruise you saddle your bikes and, following the Po through farmland and hamlets, you reach Ferrara. Under its ruling family, the Este, this City State attracted architects, artists and scholars for centuries, pioneering town planning principles that have been emulated worldwide ever since. To this day, Ferrara University ranks among the best, and the town is dubbed the ”Cycling Capital of Italy”.  A private bus and trailer takes you back to your floating hotel in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

    Day 6 (Thu): Zelo – Bergantino – Ostiglia – Mantova (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.)
    This morning you head for the village of Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). But first things first: you are in the heartland of Grana Padano – the arch-rival of Parmesan – and after visiting the local cheese factory, you enjoy a degustazione of sharp and seasoned Grana, washed down with a glass of Valpolicella. After your customary picnic lunch, you leave Bergantino and follow the river to Ostiglia, famed for its medieval fortress and the fierce fighting that took place here in 1945, as the Allies and partisans drove Hitler's forces back. You ride on and rejoin our barge at Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the Po. Veering north, youcruise through the lush wetlands that finally emerge into the glorious “lakes” of Mantua.

    Day 7 (Fri): Mantova (round tour approx. 25 km/15 mi.)
    Ruled by the House of Gonzaga for four centuries, the city state of Mantua attracted a dizzying roll call of names across the arts – from Rubens and Mantegna to Monteverdi and Mozart – and to this day the town is renowned for its international book festival. A ride through the center soon takes you past Palazzo Tè, on the outskirts, the Gonzagas' summer residence. Onwards to the hamlet of Grazie and its historic church: a site of pilgrimage, it is adorned with an intriguing host of wooden figures, personifying the many torments that pilgrims of yore could identify with. A cruise on a local barge takes you home through a waterscape rich in bird life, lilies and other aquatic flora. This afternoon you meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour of the historic center, and enjoy the rest of the day in town, at our own leisure.

    Day 8 (Sat): Mantova
    Departure after breakfast.

    Details: In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    When a guest does not want to cycle one day, he or she can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
    Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

  • Included

    INCLUDED:
    – Boat & Bike tour with the Vita Pugna/Ave Maria, 8 days/7 nights; accommodation on board in the booked category;
    – Full board (breakfast and dinner on board, a self-made packed lunch during bike tours); Tea, coffee and other hot drinks on board;
    – Use of bed linen and towels; daily short cleaning of the cabin and towel change on request;
    – Courtesy kit;
    – English speaking tour leader (within an international group) on board and during bike tours;
    – Second tour leader with a minimum of 25 people only aboard Ave Maria ;
    – Detailed route description and maps;
    – Bus transfer Ferrara – Zelo/Ferrara-Adria;
    – Guided tour in Venice and Mantova;
    – Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of the typical Grana Pardano;
    – Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum;
    – Boat excursion in the Nature Reserve of the Mincio Park.

    NOT INCLUDED:
    – Transfers to/from docking places in Mantova and Venice (Italy);
    – Reservation fee;
    – Other transfers and Ticket for public transportation in Venice;
    – Parking fee;
    – Rental bicycle;
    – Entrance fees & excursions;
    – Ticket public transportation Pellestrina (we recommend you to buy a 72 hour-ticket, price 40 €);
    – Drinks on board;
    – Personal (travel) insurance;
    – Gratuities (at your discretion).

    Reservation fee: €15 per booking/group (obligated)
    Rental bicycle with 27 gear, hand- and/or pedal brakes, pannier bag: €85 per week (optional)
    Rental E-Bike: €195 per week (only on request, limited number available, early booking recommendable)
    Rental bike helmet: €15 (on request) 

  • Cabin types and prices 2017

    TOURPRICE 2017 per person (dd.mm):

    MS VITA PUGNA:

     

    Departures

    Saturdays

    08.04. –  22.04. 29.04. – 19.08/ 07.10./21.10.  

    26.08. – 30.09.

    Twin Single Twin Single Twin Single
    From Mantova or Venice 840 1,140  

    990

     

     

    1,290

     

    1,060 1,360

      

    MS AVE MARIA:                

     

    Departures

    Saturdays

     

    01.04. – 22.04.

     

    29.04. – 19.08/ 07.10.-21.10..

     

    26.08. – 30.09.

    Superior Twin Single Superior Twin Single Superior Twin Single
    From Mantova or Venice

     

     

    1,130

     

    990

     

    1,290

     

     

    1,330

     

    1,190

     

    1,490

     

     

    1,500

     

    1,360

     

    1,660

     

    Reductions:
    Bunk bed cabin: Discount of €100 p.p. (only Ave Maria)
    3rd person in a cabin: discount of €250 p.p.
    Children discount (only on MS Ave Maria): 0–2 yrs: 90%; 3–5 yr.: 50%; 6–8 yrs: 30%.
    Only valid in triple/quadruple cabin with 2 full paying persons. Quadruple cabin only as superior cabin available.

    BOTH SHIPS:
    Rental bike (27-gear) per week                                €      75
    Rental electro-bike                                                      €    170
    Rental bike helmet                                                      €      15 (on request)
    Reservation fee (per booking/group)                  €      15 (obligated surcharge)

    DEPARTURE DATES 2017: Weekly, every Saturday
    MS VITA PUGNA:
    Departures from Mantova to Venice (Italy)
    April 8 and 22, May 6 and 20; June 3 and 17; July 1, 15 and 29; August 12 and 26, September 9 and 23, and October 7.
    Departures from Venice to Mantova
    April 15 and 29; May 13 and 27; June 10 and 24; July 8 and 22; August 5 and 19; September 2, 16 and 30, and October 14.

    MS AVE MARIA:
    Departures from Mantova to Venice (Italy)
    April 1, 15 and 29; May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24; July 8 and 22; August 5 and 19, September 2, 16 and 30, and October 14.
    Departures from Venice to Mantova
    April 8 and 22, May 6 and 20; June 3 and 17; July 1, 15 and 29; August 12 and 26, September 9 and 23, October 7 and 21.

  • Cabin types and prices 2018

    DEPARTURE DATES Venice 2018: Weekly, every Saturday
    VITA PUGNA:
    Departures from Mantova to Venice (Italy)
    April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19; June 2, 16 and 30; July 14 and 28; August 11 and 25, September 8 and 22 and October 6.
    Departures from Venice to Mantova
    April 14 and 28; May 12 and 26; June 9 and 23; July 7 and 21; August 4 and 18; September 1, 15 and 29 and October 13.

    AVE MARIA:
    Departures from Mantova to Venice (Italy)
    March 31; April 14 and 28; May 12 and 26; June 9 and 23; July 7 and 21; August 4 and 18; September 1, 15 and 29 and October 13.
    Departures from Venice to Mantova
    April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19; June 2, 16 and 30; July 14 and 28; August 11 and 25, September 8 and 22; October 6 and 20.

    TOURPRICE Venice 2018 per person (dd.mm):

    VITA PUGNA:

     

    Departures

    Saturdays

    07.04. –  21.04. 28.04. – 18.08/ 13.10.  

    25.08. – 06.10.

    Twin Single Twin Single Twin Single
    From Mantova or Venice 840 1,140  

    990

     

     

    1,290

     

    1,080 1,380

      

    AVE MARIA:                

     

    Departures

    Saturdays

     

    31.03. – 21.04.

     

    28.04. – 18.08/ 07.10.-20.10..

     

    25.08. – 13.10.

    Superior Twin Single Superior Twin Single Superior Twin Single
    From Mantova or Venice

     

     

    1,130

     

    990

     

    1,290

     

     

    1,350

     

    1,210

     

    1,510

     

     

    1,530

     

    1,390

     

    1,690

     

    Reductions:
    Bunk bed cabin: Discount of €100 p.p. (only Ave Maria)
    3rd or 4th person in a cabin: discount of €250 p.p.
    Children discount (only on MS Ave Maria): 0–2 yrs: 100%; 3–6 yr.: 50%; 7–10 yrs: 30%.
    Only valid in triple/quadruple cabin with 2 full paying persons. Quadruple cabin only as superior cabin available (Ave Maria).

    BOTH SHIPS:
    Rental bike (27-gear) per week                                €      85
    Rental electro-bike                                                      €    195
    Rental bike helmet                                                      €      15 (on request)
    Reservation fee (per booking/group)                  €      15 (obligated surcharge)

  • Good to know

    BICYCLES:
    Rent of a bicycle is optional. The bikes on board are different frames sizes of unisex bikes with 27-gears Shimano Deore. They are fully equipped with a trip computer, side-bag, water bottle and combination bike lock. Self-guided cyclists are provided with a map holder/front bag and a repair kit (1 per couple). You can also decide to book a Kalkhoff Electro-Bike 8-gear Shimano Nexus.
    Other bicycles and devices, like child bikes, follow-me tandem, family tandem, child trailer or seat are on request available. Due to limited space on board only a few own bikes will be accepted upon request. Due to high transportation costs of the bikes in Venice and logistic issues it is strongly advised not to bring own bikes.

    Helmets:  At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All the helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

    BIKE ROUTE:
    This cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 25 km to 55 km (15 to 33 miles) – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads. The boat is moored at night and normally cruises of after breakfast, meeting up with the cyclists in the afternoon. Some parts of the itinerary are undertaken by boat, to allow easier access onto cycling paths  or simply to enjoy the cruise.
    Activity level
    Easy: easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.
    The tour is also suitable for children. If the child one day does not want to cycle, he/she can stay on the boat with one of the parents.

    Tour program variations
    The program has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po river and connects Mantua to the Adriatic Sea. Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered – previously not announced – repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.

    Tour leader
    Our tour leaders are carefully selected and rigorously trained. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre. As we like to say, our tour leaders are CDO (Controlled Designation of Origin), a real traveller’s ticket to discover the land with ease and to live an unforgettable active travel experience.

    TRANSFER BACK:
    Mantova and Venice are linked very well by train (ca. 2,5 hrs).

    INDIVIDUAL OR GUIDED TOURS:
    This tour offers the chance to choose if pedaling alone (taking advantage of a very detailed route description) or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour you need to specify which option is chosen (i.e. if Guided or Self guided).

    EXTEND YOUR TRIP:
    You can extend your trip by booking an additional night in Mantova, Mestre or Venice: prices on request.

    CONTACT:
    Boat Bike Tours BV
    ’t Prooyen 3-B
    1141 VD Monnickendam
    The Netherlands
    Tel: +31 299 313071
    Fax: +31 299 313065
    info@boatbiketours.com
    www.boatbiketours.com

    Legal notice: Tour operator for this tour is Girolibero, Vincenza, Italy. Other conditionals may apply to this tour.

    Updated: Sept. 9th, 2017

  • Photos