Danube 4 Countries Bike and Boat – MS Normandie

  • 4.5
    (2 reviews)
  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided
  • Grade

  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Passau / Passau
  • Distance

    157 miles/252 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

  • Tour code

Price From £753


A bike and boat cycling holiday along the most impressive and beautiful section of the mighty Danube River aboard the comfortable MS Normandie. Highlights include the Danube Loop, the wonderful Wachau Valley, elegant Vienna, beautiful Bratislava and Budapest.

Join your ship, the MS Normandie, in Passau on the German/Austrian border and embark on a week’s cycling adventure through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Each day you will disembark for thrilling but easy rides along the riverbank passing castles, historic villages, romantic ruins and famous cities. The scenery is breathtaking and each bend in the river reveals something new.


Spitz – Wachau Valley

The MS Normandie is a cosy and comfortable river cruiser with a relaxed atmosphere on board. On the upper-deck deck there is a comfortable lounge and bar and a separate restaurant. There is also a sundeck complete with deck chairs, tables and regular chairs.

An easy cycling holiday on mostly level terrain, along quiet roads and riverbank cycle paths.

Itinerary & Map

An easy cycling holiday on mostly level terrain, along quiet roads and riverbank cycle paths.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

View larger map

Day 1: Passau – Engelhartszell

Passau - Germany


Upon arrival in Passau make your way to your riverboat where boarding take place at 4pm with a planned departure time of 7pm. Settle into your cabin and explore the ship before enjoying a welcome cocktail with your fellow passengers and hearing more about the coming week from the captain and crew. If you arrive early, Passau is a charming town with plenty to see and do. It is the point at which the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers all meet, so there are plenty of riverbanks to stroll along. We recommend making the climb to Veste Oberhaus, a medieval fortress and museum that offers a fantastic, panoramic view of the town and rivers. Enjoy dinner on-board as the boat cruises downstream to Engelhartszell where it moors for the night.

Day 2: Engelhartszell – Danube Loop – Brandstatt, 28 miles/46 kms

The Great Loop of the Danube River

Danube Loop

Before setting off from Engelhartszell you may wish to visit the Trappist Monastery where you can sample the rather good, locally produced liquors. You then enjoy a pleasant, gentle start to your cycling holiday pedalling alongside the river, downstream through gorgeous unspoilt countryside passing pretty towns and villages along the way. A highlight of the day is drinking in the views of the incredibly scenic Danube Loop, a majestic bend in the great river. Rejoin the boat in Brandstatt and settle in for dinner. During the night the boat cruises further downstream towards Bratislava.

Day 3: Bratislava, 34 miles/54 kms

Bratislava - Slovakia


The boat arrives in the Slovakian capital at around noon. A leisurely bike route leads you out of Bratislava to the medieval town of Hainburg and then on to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof to admire its beautiful terraced gardens. After returning to the boat you can step ashore once more for a stroll around the delightful old-town. Highlights not to be missed include the gorgeous medieval old town with its winding lanes and beautiful squares, the wonderful St Martins’s Cathedral and the city’s most prominent feature, Bratislava Castle. In the late evening the boat departs the Slovakian capital and heads downstream towards Budapest during the night.

Day 4: Budapest – Szentendre, 25 miles/40 kms

Parliament building - Budapest

Parliament building – Budapest

After an overnight cruise the boat arrives in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Have the camera ready as many of the sights are right on the riverbank including the famous and awe-inspiring Gothic Parliament building. The river divides the city in two, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east. After mooring up you can step ashore and explore this magical city at your own pace. If you are in the mood for more cycling, then you could cycle out to Szentendre, a charming artists’ town 20 kms north of the city. In the evening the boat cast off towards Visegrad during the night.

Day 5: Visegrad – Danube Bend – Esztergom, 15 to 35 miles/25 to 60 kms

Esztergom castle - Hungary


Visegrad, sits on a very picturesque bend of the river. After disembarking you can opt between two rides, the longer option takes you across to the baroque village of Vac and also includes a side trip to the island of Szentendre before arriving to Esztergom. The shorter ride goes straight along the southern bank of the river, around the beautiful Danube Bend to Esztergom, home to Hungary’s largest Catholic Church, which overlooks the village. You re-board the boat in Esztergom and during the night the boat cruises upstream to Vienna, the Austrian capital.

Day 6: Vienna

Johann Strauss - Vienna - Austria

Johann Strauss – Vienna

Today is your free day to explore Vienna either on your own or on an optional guided tour (payable locally). Visit Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace. You may also want to take in the ‘Riesenrad’, the giant ferris wheel, made famous in the 1949 British film, ‘The Third Man’, and no trip to Vienna would be complete with out enjoying a coffee and cake in one of the city’s elegant coffee houses. During the night the boat cruises back upstream to Rossatz or Dürnstein in the Wachau Valley.

Day 7: Wachau Valley – Melk– Pöchlarn, 26 to 32 miles/42 to 52 kms

Duernstein - Wachau - Austria

Duernstein – Wachau Valley

Your last cycling day is one of the highlights of the trip as you’ll be cycling through the Wachau Valley, the most scenic stretch of the whole river in our opinion. See the ruins of Dürnstein castle perched on a bluff above the and powder-blue tower of the monastery church of Wachau. The scenery is dotted with charming towns, vineyards, castles and of course the apricot trees, for which this area is famous. You may also want to sample some of the regions superb local wine along the way. In the small village of Pöchlarn we will board MS Normandie again. A farewell dinner on board in the evening  brings this very pleasant day to a close. While you sleep the boat cruises back upstream towards Passau.

Day 8: Passau

Enjoy a gentle early morning cruise back to Passau with one last look at the Danube Loop on the way. You arrive in Passau at approximately 10am where it’s time to disembark and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates

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2020 Prices
Per person
25 Apr
09 May
30 May
01 Jun
05 Sep
06 Sep
26 Sep
MS Normandie - Comfort
Lower Deck
Twin £753 £838 £875 £838              
Twin - sole use £1129 £1256 £1313 £1256              
Upper Deck
Eco Twin £790 £875 £913 £875              
Twin £894 £979 £1016 £979              
Single £1177 £1261 £1299 £1261              
Twin - sole use £1341 £1468 £1524 £1468              

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Deposit per person £272

Price Includes

7 nights on board the MS Normandie. See practical information
7 x Breakfast, 6 x Packed lunch, 7 x Dinner
Captain's greeting with a welcome cocktail and farewell dinner with a farewell drink
Daily afternoon tea & coffee
Maps & route information
Services of on-board representative
Daily information meetings
Port fees
Daily live music
GPS route data
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Helmet (€40, payable locally)
Drinks on-board
Ferries, entrance fees and excursions
Parking and transfer to boat (pre-bookable, payable locally, outdoor area - €68, parking garage - €79)


Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£74)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£163)


20% for child up to 13 yrs sharing with one adult

Practical Information


E-bike and regular bike

E-bike (left) and regular bike used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 7 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, adult helmets are available to buy (payable locally, €40).


MS Normandie - cabin

MS Normandie – cabin

On-board payments: Cash and credit cards accepted.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

MS Normandie (Comfort)

The MS Normandie is a cosy and comfortable river cruiser with a relaxed atmosphere on board.

She has 51 air-conditioned cabins with ensuite shower and toilet, hair dryer, safe and TV. All cabins have windows and the upper deck cabins open to fresh air. 49 of the cabins have two lower beds, one of which can be folded against the wall during the day for more comfort. 2 cabins are single and have one bed. Some cabins, located towards the stern, have been designated as ‘eco’ cabins and are available at a lower price because of perceivable engine noise when underway.

MS Normandie - restaurant

MS Normandie – restaurant

On the upper-deck there is a comfortable lounge and bar along with a small sauna. The comfortable restaurant with panoramic windows is located on the main deck. There is also a sundeck complete with both deck chairs, tables and regular chairs.

A hearty breakfast is provided each morning, as are packed lunches to take with you on the daily rides. A three-course meal is served each evening.

Getting there

Fly to Linz, Vienna, Munich or Salzburg airports and then travel by train onwards to Passau.

Research flights from UK airports.

Research onward rail connections.


Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 2 reviews 4.5
  • Date - 28/09/2017
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Everything was first class, the booking, the tour info, the ship, the food, the crew. the accommodation and the other guests. Apart from raining in Budapest, the 7-days cycling was great. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Unfortunately, we arrived at the Vienna Opera House late so had to sit at the back of a flat floor thus could not see.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - Same as I said in the pre-tour service. I will highly recommend Flexitreks to others
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the positive review. and or the glowing recommendation We love the MS Normandie and her wonderful crew too.
  • Date - 01/08/2017
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Efficient and helpful in finding a suitable cycle cruise.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - The Danube is a beautiful place to do a cycle-cruise, with lots to see and do. The Normandie was a great boat - comfortable, lovely and helpful staff, great food and lots of help and advice on the cycling and where to go.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for taking the time to provide such a lovely review. We love the MS Normandie too, her fan base seems to be growing fast!