Danube - Bike and Boat – MS Primadonna

Cruise and cycle the Danube River between Passau and Vienna aboard the elegant and stylish MS Primadonna. Disembark each day for relaxing rides along the riverside cycle path to historic towns and delightful wine villages.

Your bike and boat holiday starts in Passau, on the German/Austrian border. From here you embark on a week long adventure downstream to the Austrian capital and back again. Daily bike rides along the well-maintained riverside cycle path will unveil something different each day. You'll see the natural beauty of the serene and beautiful Danube loop at Schlögen before cycling through the Kaiserau, an enchanting, sparsely inhabited valley. You'll cycle from the bustling city of Linz, past castles and charming villages to the baroque town of Grein.

Dürnstein - Wachau Valley

A full day in Vienna allows you to explore the many sights and attractions of this historic and elegant city before heading back up-stream to spend a full day riding through the beautiful wine villages of the stunning Wachau Valley.

Your floating hotel, the MS Primadonna, offers a very high standard of comfort and service and is the perfect base for your Danube cyleing holiday.

This leisurely cycle route follows mostly level terrain along a dedicated cycle path and as such is achievable for anyone with a basic level of fitness. Regular hybrid bikes are included in the package but it is also possible to pay a supplement and upgrade to an e-bike if you prefer.

Danube - Bike and Boat – MS Primadonna

Cruise and cycle the Danube River between Passau and Vienna aboard the elegant and stylish MS Primadonna. Disembark each day for relaxing rides along the riverside cycle path to historic towns and delightful wine villages.

Your bike and boat holiday starts in Passau, on the German/Austrian border. From here you embark on a week long adventure downstream to the Austrian capital and back again. Daily bike rides along the well-maintained riverside cycle path will unveil something different each day. You'll see the natural beauty of the serene and beautiful Danube loop at Schlögen before cycling through the Kaiserau, an enchanting, sparsely inhabited valley. You'll cycle from the bustling city of Linz, past castles and charming villages to the baroque town of Grein.

Dürnstein - Wachau Valley

A full day in Vienna allows you to explore the many sights and attractions of this historic and elegant city before heading back up-stream to spend a full day riding through the beautiful wine villages of the stunning Wachau Valley.

Your floating hotel, the MS Primadonna, offers a very high standard of comfort and service and is the perfect base for your Danube cyleing holiday.

This leisurely cycle route follows mostly level terrain along a dedicated cycle path and as such is achievable for anyone with a basic level of fitness. Regular hybrid bikes are included in the package but it is also possible to pay a supplement and upgrade to an e-bike if you prefer.

Itinerary

Below you will find the daily itinerary for cyclists but bear in mind if you fancy a day off or have travelling companions who don't wish to cycle it is perfectly ok to remaon on board and enjoy a leisurely cruise along teh river to the next port of call.

Day 1 : Passau

Upon arrival in Passau make your way to the boat and settle into your cabin, embarkation and check-in is at 4pm. During dinner the crew cast off and cruise downstream for 3 hours to Schlögen/Obermuhl where we moor for the night. 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.

Day 2 : Danube Loop - Linz
34 miles/55 kms

After a hearty breakfast you disembark for the first cycle ride of the holiday. The ride starts at the Schlögener Loop, also known as the Danube Loop, where the mighty river makes an abrupt 180 degree turn – a very picturesque and famous scene. You continue along the riverbank cycle path, riding through a serene and peaceful valley where steep, forested hillsides descend to the river. Shortly afterwards you’ll pass through the pleasant town of Aschau, perhaps stopping for a coffee, before continuing on along the river. After passing through some more pretty riverside villages you arrive in the city of Linz, where the Primadonna is waiting for you. At 5pm you are invited to attend a concert in the nearby village of St. Florian where you can hear the mighty Bruckner organ play. Afterwards dinner on board. The Primadonna remains moored in Linz overnight

Day 3 : Linz - Grein
35 miles/57 kms

A beautiful ride today with mile after mile of beautiful scenery dominated by a green landscape and ancient castles. You leave Linz, cycling past the Pleschinger Lake, where locals go to relax and swim. Before long you are in open countryside following the riverside cycle path. In Mauthausen you may choose to make a short detour inland to visit the Mauthausen concentration camp memorial - a thought provoking place. A little further on you have a fabulous view of Castle Walsee on the opposite riverbank (you can also crossover the dam for a closer look and visit if you like). Today's destination is the beautiful baroque town of Grein. In teh afternoon you are invited to attend a concert in the town's imposing Greinburg Castle. During the night the Primadonna cruises downstream to Ybbs.

Day 4 : Ybbs - Spitz
31 miles/50kms

Today's ride leads you through the picturesque and fantastically named Nibelungengau region. You be following the bike path of the north side of the river through pretty villages such as Gottsdorf, Marbach and Emmersdorf. Your destination today is the gorgeous wine village of Spitz which stands at the gateway to the charming Wachau Valley (You will get the chance to cycle through the valley on your return journey later in the week). Top tip, we recommend cycling up to the 'Rotes Tour' viewpoint above teh village for some truly wonderful views across the village, river and valley. You re board the Primadonna in Spitz and during the night she cruises further downstream, past Vienna to Hainburg, close to the Slovakian border.

Day 5 : Hainburg: Nationalpark cycle tour roundtrip
24 miles/40kms

Today's circular route leads you from Hainburg across the river to Castle Eckartsau where you are invited to join a guided tour of the old hunting lodge. From here you enjoy a pleasant ride across open countryside to the splendid former residence of Prince Eugen of Savoy. The castle and manicure abaroque gardens are well worth a visit and entry is around 18 euros per person (payable on site). From here you can either return to the boat via the way you came or extend the ride slightly by cycling across the river into Slovakia to Castle Devin and the small capital city of Bratislava (+15kms). After dinner the Primadonna cruises back up stream to the Austrian capital.

Day 6 : Vienna

After breakfast you are invited to join a City Tour of Vienna which will take approximately 2 hours. Thereafter the rest of the day is your to explore the fascinating city further by bike or on foot. It's worth planning your day in advance as there is so much to see and do in the Austrian capital. The Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace are popular highlights. 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 its famous, convivial and elegant coffee houses. That evening, after dinner, the Primadonna slips her moorings and heads back up stream towards the Wachau Valley.

Day 7 : Wachau Valley: Krems - Dürnsten - Melk - Pöchlarn

Every day on this trip is special but the scenery on today’s bike ride is truly sublime. Disembark in Krems, a pretty place that was once the country’s richest town, and start to follow the river bank upstream. Before long you enter the beautiful, winding Wachau Valley. Steep hillsides, often crowned by castle ruins, descend via a cascade of stone-walled, vineyard terraces and orchards to the river. Tiny, impossibly idyllic, wine villages dot the landscape, many with inviting bars and Gasthofs that tempt you to stop and sample the excellent, local wines. The baroque church on the riverbank in Dürnstein is stunning but we also urge you to invest in the climb to the castle ruins above the town to see where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned. Around the next bend in the river you reach Weißenkirchen, another gorgeous wine village, closely followed by its charming neighbour, Spitz. Its worth climbing the hillside behind Spitz for sensational views of the river valley with the village in the foreground. You rejoin the Primadonna in the town of Pöchlarn and at 5pm she starts the final leg of her journey back to Passau.

Day 8 : Passau

The Primadonna arrives back in Passau at around 9am. Disembarkation begins after breakfast at 9am. Now it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes are included in the package price. They are modern, alloy framed models with 21 speeds and come equipped with pannier and lock.

You can also choose to upgrade to an electric bike for a supplement. Important: A security credit card deposit of €180 will be requested on arrival as a ‘guarantee’ only. This will be returned when you return the e-bike in good condition.

Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.

Accommodation

MS Primadonna (superior)

The MS Primadonna is the second largest cruise ship on the Danube and offers elegant, spacious accommodation and facilities.

All 80 outside cabins are arranged over three decks; lower deck, mid deck and upper deck. All offer individually controlled air conditioning, ensuite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. Additionally there is a hair dryer, satellite TV, minibar and spacious wardrobe.

There are 40 lower deck cabins. 8 of which are 10 m² towards the stern of the ship with 1 lower and 1 upper bed. 32 of which are 11,5 m² and have 2 single beds (one can be a sofa-bed) and a desk with chair. 3rd and 4th bed will be a bunk bed/folding bed. All have an unopenable porthole or window.

There are 20 mid deck cabins. Mid deck cabins are spacious cabins occupying 16,5 m² and have panoramic, sliding French windows and balcony with external bench seat. All mid deck cabins are double cabins – 2 beds together, which cannot be separated and which have separate mattresses and duvets. There is also a desk with chair and a small sofa (75x185cm) which is used as the 3rd bed, when a triple is booked and a small safe.

There are 20 upper deck cabins. All upper deck cabins are spacious cabins occupying 16,5 m² and have panoramic, sliding French windows and balcony with external bench seat. All upper deck cabins are double cabins – 2 beds together, which cannot be separated and which have separate mattresses and duvets. There is also a desk with chair plus two separate small armchairs and a small safe.

The ship’s public areas are modern and elegant, providing customers with very comfortable amenities for the week afloat. A 6o meter long lounge provides a lively place to meet and socialise. There’s also a panoramic restaurant and bar. At the front of the boat there is a fabulous viewing gallery with wonderful, unobstructed forward views. Other amenities include a spacious sundeck offering a range of seating as well as a Jacuzzi (only open if the weather permits). The Spa with Kneipp pool is open all season while the sauna is open June through to August only.

Meals

On board you will enjoy sophisticated international cuisine. Breakfast is an extensive American breakfast buffet while lunch consists of a light 3 course, a-la-carte menu or a packed lunch for cyclists. In the evening there is a 4 course a la carte menu with a full gala dinner once a week.

Tea, coffee and cake is provided each late afternoon and the bar also serves snacks late into the evening.

On-board payments: Cash and debit/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.

Getting there

Fly to Munich or Vienna (Salzburg or Linz are also possibilities). Then take the train from Munich/Vienna airport to Passau with one change. From Passau train station it is a shot taxi ride of approximately 5km to where the boat is moored.

Research flights from UK airports.

Research onward rail connections.

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