Danube 4 Countries Bike and Boat – MS Prinzessin Katharina
CategoryBike and Boat
Start / FinishPassau / Passau
Distance150 miles/241 kms
A bike and boat cycling holiday along the most impressive and beautiful section of the mighty Danube River aboard a comfortable and elegant river cruiser. Highlights include the serene Danube Loop, the stunning Wachau Valley, regal Vienna, beautiful Bratislava and intriguing Budapest.
Join your beautiful river cruiser, the MS Prinzessin Katharina, in Passau on the German/Austrian border for a 7 night cycling adventure through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Each day you will disembark for highly enjoyable and 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.
The MS Prinzessin Katharina is an elegant and very comfortable river cruiser and is the perfect base or your cycling holiday. Dine in style in the panoramic restaurant, watching the scenery slip by through the large viewing windows. A partially covered sundeck offers comfortable seating in the fresh air with nothing between you and the beautiful scenery and in the evening there are two cosy bars to choose from
An easy cycling holiday on mostly level terrain, along quiet roads and riverbank cycle paths.
Itinerary & Map
Day 1: Passau – Engelhartszell
Upon arrival in Passau make your way to the MS Prinzessin Katharina 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 she moors for the night.
Day 2: Engelhartszell – Danube Loop – Brandstatt, 28 miles/46 kms
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 MS Prinzessin Katharina cruises further downstream towards the Austrian/Slovakian border.
Day 3: Bratislava, 34 miles/54 kms
The boat arrives in the small riverside town of Devin, just over the Slovkian border in the early morning. A leisurely bike route leads you away from the river to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof where you can admire its beautiful terraced gardens. You then cycle along what was once the “Iron Curtain” border to Slovakia’s charming old capital city Bratislava. There is plenty of time to explore this delightful old-town and 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 MS Prinzessin Katharina slips her moorings and embarks on an overnight cruise downstream to Budapest in Hungary.
Day 4: Budapest – Szentendre, 25 miles/40 kms
In the early morning the MS Prinzessin Katharina arrives in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Have the camera ready as many of the city’s famous landmarks, including the awe-inspiring Gothic Parliament building are right on the river bank. 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
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 MS Prinzessin Katharina in Esztergom and during the night she cruises upstream to Vienna, the capital of Austria.
Day 6: 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
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 according to many. 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 Prinzessin Katharina 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
|2021 Arrival Dates|
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|MS Prinzessin Katharina - Comfort|
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|Deposit per person||£265|
7 x Breakfast, 6 x Packed lunch, 7 x Dinner
Captain's greeting with a welcome drink
Daily afternoon tea & coffee
Maps & route information (one per cabin)
Services of on-board representative
Daily information meetings
GPS route data
Bike hire (see supplements)
Helmet (available to purchase on board €40, payable locally)
Ferries. Entrance fees and excursions
Parking and transfer to boat (pre-bookable, payable locally, outdoor area - €68, parking garage - €79)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£173)
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).
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 Prinzessin Katharina (Superior)
The MS Prinzessin Katharinae is an elegant, very comfortable river cruiser offering a tasteful interior and a wealth of on-board amenities.
She has a total 71 air-conditioned cabins with ensuite shower, toilet, hair dryer, mini refrigerator and TV.
The upper deck features 29 twin cabins, 1 triple and 2 single cabins. All feature floor to ceiling windows which can be opened to the fresh air.
On the lower deck there are 38 twin bedded cabins, each featuring two sofa beds at right angles to each other and there is also one single cabin. The picture windows in these cabins cannot be opened. Some cabins, located towards the bow or stern, have been designated as ‘eco’ cabins and are available at a lower price because of perceivable engine noise when underway.
On the upper-deck there is a panoramic restaurant, a comfortable salon and two bars. There’s a quiet book corner as well as a small shop and hair-dressing salon. The top deck is a partially covered sun-deck with plenty of seating for watching the scenery drift by.
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