Danube Bike and Boat – MS Prinzessin Katharina
CategoryBike and Boat
Start / FinishPassau / Passau
Distance125 miles/201 kms
This popular Danube River bike and boat cycling holiday between Passau and Vienna aboard the comfortable river cruiser MS Prinzessin Katharina 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 along an easy riverside bike path through gorgeous countryside and pretty villages. See the beautiful and serene Danube Loop before reboarding the boat and cruising downstream to the bustling riverside town of Linz where you will moor for the night.
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 Prinzessin Katharina is an elegant and very comfortable river cruiser with a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. On the upper-deck there is a panoramic restaurant, a comfortable salon and two bars. There is also a partly covered 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
Day 1: Passau – Engelhartszell
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
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
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
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
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 Valley, 24 miles/39 kms
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
The MS Prinzessin Katharina arrives back in Passau around 10am. It is 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||£260|
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.