Danube 4 Countries Bike and Boat – MV Carissima
CategoryBike and Boat
Self Guided or Guided
Start / FinishPassau / Passau
Distance136 miles/219 kms
A bike and boat holiday along the most impressive and beautiful section of the mighty Danube River aboard the newly renovated MV Carissima. Highlights include the Danube Loop, the wonderful Wachau Valley, elegant Vienna, beautiful Bratislava and Budapest.
Join your ship, the MV Carissima, 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.
A typical week on board the Carissima
The MV Carissima offers excellent accommodation in modern, well appointed double/twin bedded cabins arranged over 3 decks. Her sun deck and viewing decks are the perfect vantage points from which to watch the wonderful scenery drift by.
This is predominantly a self guided tour but on certain dates a guided option is offered – see the dates and prices page for more details
An easy cycling holiday on mostly level terrain, along riverbank cycle paths.
Itinerary & Map
This is an easy cycling holiday on mostly level terrain, along riverbank cycle paths.
Day 1: Passau
Upon arrival in Passau make your way to your riverboat where boarding commences at 4.30 p.m. The boat casts off at 6pm for a leisurely cruise through the serene and beautiful Danube Valley.
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 river banks to stroll along but we also recommend making the climb to Veste Oberhaus, a medieval fortress and museum that offers a fantastic, panoramic view of the town and river.
Day 2: Danube Loop, 27 miles/42 kms
Enjoy a pleasant, gentle start to your cycling holiday pedalling alongside the river downstream through pretty towns and villages. Stop to visit the only Trappist monastery in Austria at Engelhartszell where you may wish to sample the locally produced and rather good liquors. Walk to a nearby viewpoint for a breath-taking view of the beautiful Danube loop before cycling on to the charming village of Aschach to rejoin the boat.
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava , 27 miles/43 kms
Overnight the boat cruises downstream to Devin on the Austrian/Slovakian border. Today your ride takes you along the former Iron Curtain border, first to the grand and imposing Hof Palace and then on to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. Join the guided tour of this fascinating city (optional) or explore it at your own pace. Highlights not to be missed are the gorgeous medieval old town in the centre of the city with its many winding lanes and beautiful squares, wonderful St Martins’s Cathedral and the city’s prominent feature, Bratislava Castle.
Day 4: Bratislava – Budapest – Szentendre, 34 miles/54 kms
After a relaxing cruise downstream into Hungary you arrive in stunning Budapest, cruising past the awe-inspiring Gothic Parliament building on the riverbank – have the camera ready! The river divides the city in two, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east. After mooring up you can either cycle out to Szentendre a charming artists’ town or explore Budapest at your own pace. Guests who book the Guided option can join a hop on hop off bus tour.
Day 5: Danube Bend – Esztergom, 27 miles/43 kms
Today the boat starts back upstream to the idyllic artists’ island of Szentendre where you disembark to begin following a delightful route upstream. After a few kilometers you reach the the Danube Bend, a particularly beautiful meander in the river’s course. Carry on upstream, enjoying the wide green valley and eventually you arrive in Esztergom, home to Hungary’s largest Catholic Church. Re-board the Carissima and settle in for the night while the boat cruise upstream to Vienna.
Day 6: Vienna
Today is your free day to explore Vienna – guests who book the Guided option can join a guided tour of the city, included in their package. 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 its famous coffee houses.
Day 7: Wachau Valley: Krems – Melk, 23 miles/37 kms
Today you leave the city and head back upstream into the Danube countryside. There’s a real treat in store today as you get to enjoy a leisurely cycle ride through the stunning Wachau Valley. Picture perfect villages, apricot orchards, vineyards and hilltop castles characterise this stunning landscape that captivates all who visit. The charming village of Dürnstein with its haunting ruin and monastery church is definitely a highlight as is Weisskirchen which offers many opportunities for wine tasting. A farewell dinner on board in the evening brings this very pleasant day to a close.
Day 8: Passau
Enjoy a gentle morning cruise back to Passau with one last look at the Danube Loop on the way. You arrive in Passau at approximately 11am.
Dates & Prices
|2018 Arrival Dates|
|Key||* Guided option also available|
|May||6 *||13||20 *||27|
|June||3 *||10||17||24 *|
|September||2 *||9||16 *||23||30 *|
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|MV Carissima - Superior|
|Eco twin for sole use||£962||£1104||£1175||£1104||£1175||£962|
|Twin for sole use||£1062||£1203||£1274||£1203||£1274||£1062|
|Eco twin for sole use||£1147||£1288||£1359||£1288||£1359||£1147|
|Twin for sole use||£1288||£1430||£1501||£1430||£1501||£1288|
|Twin for sole use||£1388||£1530||£1600||£1530||£1600||£1388|
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|Deposit per person||£200|
Board basis: Full board*
Welcome cocktail and farewell gala dinner with a cocktail
Daily afternoon tea and coffee
Services of on-board cruise director and daily information meeting
Maps & route information
GUIDED TOUR - See below & supplements
Cycle touring guide
Cider and wine tasting
City tour by bike in Vienna & by Hop On Hop Off Bus in Budapest
Transfers (see supplements)
Bike hire (see supplements)
Cycle helmet (€25, payable locally)
Parking (pre-bookable, payable locally, outdoor area - €66, parking garage - €77)
Transfer Munich Airport - Passau one way (£67)
Transfer Munich Airport - Passau return (£114)
Extra night in Passau double/twin, 3 star (£56)
Extra night in Passau single, 3 star (£80)
Extra night in Passau double/twin, 4 star (£64)
Extra night in Passau single, 4 star (£86)
Bike hire with pannier & lock. See practical information. (£69)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£161)
Bringing own bike (£16)
20% for 1 child, 3-12 years sharing with an adult
The bikes provided on this tour are modern, alloy framed 21-speed hybrid models with comfortable saddle and upright riding position, perfect for sightseeing. They are equipped with a pannier for your personal possessions.
E-bikes are also available as are child seats, child bikes and trailer bikes. All are subject to availability at time of booking.
Helmets are not provided but are available to purchase on board (25 Euros). Please note that cycle helmets are mandatory in Austria for children up to 12 years old.
MV Carissima (Superior)
Following an extensive re-fit during the winter of 2016/17 the Carissima boasts a range of spacious, high-standard cabins coupled with an array of stylish public areas and facilities.
Her 75 deluxe cabins, each occupying 14m², are arranged over three decks. All offer a comfortable, hotel-style double beds, which can also convert into two single beds, a private shower/toilet, TV, safe and air conditioning. The cabins on the lower deck feature half-height windows which cannot be opened. The mid and upper deck cabins offer full-size, picture windows that can be opened to the fresh air.
Some of the upper, promenade deck cabins are available as deluxe suites and consist of two adjoining cabins, one of which is configured as a lounge.
A number of cabins towards the front and rear of the lower and mid decks are susceptible to engine noise and these ‘eco’ cabins are offered at a discount.
The stylish lounge and bar on the upper deck offers a comfortable, convivial atmosphere as well as large, panoramic windows. The light and airy restaurant is located on the middle deck and also features large windows, allowing diners to enjoy the scenery drifting by. The spa towards the stern features a sauna and a whirlpool for soothing those muscles after the day’s exertions and on the sun-deck there is also a small pool.
A hearty breakfast is provided each morning and cyclists can then pick up their packed lunches before leaving for the day’s ride. Those remaining on board enjoy lunch in the restaurant where the evening meal, always a culinary delight, is also served.