Danube 4 Countries Bike and Boat – MS Normandie

  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Easy
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Passau / Passau
  • Distance

    143 miles/230 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    033-102CAT
Price From £760

Overview

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

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.

View larger map

Day 1: Passau – Engelhartszell

Passau - Germany

Passau

Upon arrival in Passau make your way to your riverboat where boarding commences at 5pm 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 the Austrian/Slovakian border.

Day 3: Bratislava, 34 miles/54 kms

Bratislava - Slovakia

Bratislava

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. You return to the boat for dinner where-after you can join an optional guided tour of the city (payable locally). Of course you can also explore the city at your own pace if you prefer. 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 the Slovakian/Hungarian border.

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 either join the optional guided tour (payable locally) or 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 cruises back upstream to Visegrad where it moors for the night.

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

Esztergom castle - Hungary

Esztergom

Visegrad, sits on a very picturesque bend of the river. After disembarking you can opt between two rides, the longer option takes you across the river to the baroque village of Vac and then along the northern bank before recrossing the river 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. In the evening you might like to attend a Waltz and Operetta concert (payable locally). During the night the boat cruises back upstream to Rossatz or Duernstein in the Wachau Valley.

Day 7: Wachau Valley – Melk– Poechlarn, 26 – 32 miles/42 – 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 Duernstein 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. 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

2017 Arrival Dates
April29
May1327
June101724
July822
August519
September21630
Seasons:
Season 1:29 April and 30 September
Season 2:27 May, 02 and 16 September
Season 3:10, 17 and 24 June. 08 and 22 July. 05 and 19 August
2017 Prices
033-102CAT
Per person
Lower deck
Twin
Lower deck
Sole use twin
Upper deck
Twin
Upper deck
Single
IGNORE
Sleeps X
IGNORE
Sleeps X
IGNORE
Sleeps X
IGNORE
Sleeps X
Season 1 £760 £1105 £894 £1131        
Season 2 £817 £1191 £951 £1188        
Season 3 £865 £1262 £998 £1236        
Accom Type 4                
Accom Type 5                
Accom Type 6                
Accom Type 7                
Accom Type 8                
Accom Type 9                
Accom Type 10                

Price Includes

7 nights on board the MS Normandie
Board basis: Breakfast, packed lunch & dinner
Maps and route information
Port fees
Captain's greeting and welcome cocktail
Services of on board guide
Daily information meetings
Daily live music
Coffee and tea in the afternoon
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Cycle helmets (€40, payable locally)
Drinks on board
Optonal guided city tours and excursions
Supplements for special dietary requests
Gratuities/tips

Supplements

Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£76)
Electric bike (£179)

Reductions

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

Notes

Deposit per person £150

Practical Information

Bikes

Unisex city bike

Unisex bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern, alloy framed 7-speed hybrid models with comfortable saddle and upright riding position, perfect for sightseeing. They are also equipped with a pannier, handlebar bag/map holder, lock, repair kit and odometer.

E-bikes are also available and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Helmets are not provided but a limited amount are available to purchase on board (approximately 35 euros).

Accommodation

MS Normandie - cabin

MS Normandie – cabin

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.

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.

Gallery