Danube Bike and Boat – MS Normandie

  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided
  • Grade

  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Passau / Passau
  • Distance

    123 miles/198 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

  • Tour code

Price From £621


This popular Danube River bike and boat cycling holiday between Passau and Vienna aboard the comfortable river cruiser MS Normandie showcases the most impressive and beautiful section of the mighty river. Enjoy easy, daily cycle rides along the riverbank through spectacular scenery including the Danube Loop, and Wachau Valley.

Start in the impressive city of Passau on the German/Austrian border. If you have time we suggest a pre or post tour stay in this wonderful old town, which sits astride the confluence of three rivers – the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz. On day two the adventure really begins as you cycle across the border into Austria. An easy riverside path leads you past pretty villages and through gorgeous countryside. Cruise around the impressive Danube Loop and then moor for the night in the bustling riverside town of Linz.


Spitz – Wachau Valley

And so it continues – the following days slip by a pleasant mix of easy, scenic cycling and relaxing on-board while the beautiful, timeless scenery drifts by. You can look forward to seeing wonderful, baroque buildings, monasteries and abbeys, the stunning Wachau Valley with its patchwork of vineyards and of course the wonderful city of Vienna.

The MS Normandie is a cosy and comfortable river cruiser with a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. On the upper-deck there is a comfortable lounge and bar and a separate restaurant. There is also a sundeck complete with plenty of seating – perfect for watching the beautiful scenery drift by. This is an easy cycling holiday on level terrain following scenic, riverbank cycle paths.

Itinerary & Map

This trip offers easy cycling along riverside cycle paths on mostly level terrain.

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.

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Day 1: Passau – Engelhartszell

Passau - Germany

Passau – Germany

Upon arrival in Passau make your way to your riverboat where boarding is between 4pm to 5pm. 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 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 surrounding countryside. At 7pm the crew cast off for a dinner cruise downstream to the village of Engelhartszell where we moor for the night.

Day 2: Engelhartszell – Danube Loop – Linz, 22 miles/35 kms

The Great Loop of the Danube River

Danube Loop

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 where you may wish to sample the locally produced and rather good liquors. A little further downstream you reach the famous Schlögener Loop – also known as the Danube Loop –  where the mighty river makes an abrupt 180 degree turn. Re-board the boat in the village of Untermühl and cruise to the bustling town of Linz. After dinner why not step ashore for a wander around this lovely old town.

Day 3: Linz – Mauthausen – Grein, 23 to 26 miles/36 to 42 kms



The day starts with a short early morning cruise downstream to Mauthausen. Here you can visit the thought provoking Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial before enjoying an easy ride to the Celtic village at Mitterkirchen. This open-air museum showcases how the Celts lived in this region over two thousand years ago. Afterwards, you can choose between an easy ride along the banks of the Danube to the pretty town of Grein or alternatively, you can take on a slightly more challenging route into the Strudengau countryside to Castle Clam which offers fabulous views across the valley. On arrival in Grein you will have plenty of time to explore the picturesque town and castle.

Day 4: Grein – Melk – Tulln, 32 miles/50 kms

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey

The landscape is ever changing today. Start at one of the narrowest points of the Danube, where steep green hillsides drop directly to the river. After Persenbeug the valley widens out considerably and you disembark for a pleasant ride along the river bank to Melk. Here you can marvel at the baroque splendour of the Benedictine abbey set on a rocky outcrop above the town. In the early evening the boat cruises through the beautiful Wachau valley enabling you to enjoy the stunning scenery of this incredibly picturesque region. Don’t worry, you will have an opportunity to enjoy it by bike on the return journey a few days later. The boat moors for the night in the riverside town of Tulln, famous for its numerous market gardens.

Day 5: Tulln – Vienna/Nussdorf, 22 miles/35 kms

Klosterneuburg - Vienna - Austria*


Today is a relatively short cycle ride. Approaching Vienna, the 900-year-old monastery of Klosterneuburg comes into view. The boat moors just north of the city in Nussdorf or sometimes Korneuburg. Take a stroll though the nearby vineyards and enjoy some wonderful views across the city’s skyline. We also recommend sampling the local wine in one of the many local taverns in the suburb of Kahlenbergerdorf.

Day 6: Vienna

Johann Strauss - Vienna - Austria

Johann Strauss – Vienna

Today is your free day to explore the elegant city of Vienna. 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 without enjoying a coffee and cake in one of the city’s elegant coffee houses. During the night the boat cruises back upstream to Dürnstein or Rossatz in the Wachau Valley.

Day 7: Wachau – Pöchlarn, 24 miles/39 kms

Duernstein - Wachau - Austria

Duernstein – Wachau Valley

Your last cycling day is one of the highlights of the trip. See the ruins of Dürnstein castle and the blue tower of the monastery church of Wachau.  The scenery is dotted with charming riverside villages, vineyards, castles and apricot orchards. You may also feel inclined to sample some of the superb local wines which are offered at the many taverns along the way. 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 10am and disembarkation is about half an hour later.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates

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2020 Prices
Per person
18 Apr
02 May
16 May
30 May
29 Aug
05 Sep
19 Sep
03 Oct
MS Normandie - Comfort
Lower Deck
Twin £621 £743 £819 £856 £819 £743 £621        
Twin - sole use £931 £1115 £1228 £1284 £1228 £1115 £931        
Upper Deck
Eco Twin £659 £781 £856 £894 £856 £781 £659        
Twin £762 £885 £960 £998 £960 £885 £762        
Single £1045 £1167 £1242 £1280 £1242 £1167 £1045        
Twin - sole use £1143 £1327 £1440 £1496 £1440 £1327 £1143        

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Deposit per person £257

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 (available to purchase on board €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).

Please note that cycle helmets are mandatory for minors up to 18 years old and you will need to bring your own child size helmet.


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 en-suite 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.