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 to the Austrian capital and over the Slovakian border to Bratislava 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.

Danube - Bike and Boat – MS PrimadonnaDürnstein - Wachau Valley

A stop 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 to the Austrian capital and over the Slovakian border to Bratislava 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.

Danube - Bike and Boat – MS PrimadonnaDürnstein - Wachau Valley

A stop 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 fine to remain on board and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the river to the next port of call.

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Day 1 : Passau

Upon arrival in Passau make your way to the boat and settle into your cabin, embarkation and check-in is at 3pm. The boat casts off at 19:30 and travels downstream for 3 hours to Schlögen/Obermuhl where you 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. 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.

Pre-bookable Excursion package: Concert on the Bruckner organ in Linz, Vienna city tour, ticket Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. (Minimum 20 adults)

(Some excursions can also be booked individually on board, subject to availability and according to the price list (e.g. Vienna city tour 1,5 h approx. € 30.-).

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. Here you may opt to attend a concert in the nearby village of St. Florian where you can hear the mighty Bruckner organ play (payable locally). 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 the 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 - Dürnstein
37 miles/59kms

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 into the Wachau Valley. Here steep hillsides, often crowned by castle ruins, descend via a cascade of stone-walled, vineyard terraces and orchards to the river. Idyllic, wine villages such as Weissenkirchen and Spitz dot the landscape, many with inviting bars and Gasthofs tempting you to stop and sample the excellent, local wines

Your destination today is the gorgeous wine village of Dürnstein. The baroque church on the riverbank 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 - the views along the valley are also not to be missed. The Primadonna remains moored in Dürnstein overnight.

Day 5 : Wachau - Tulln - Vienna
27 miles/44kms

The day starts with a lovely ride through the vineyards beside the river to the historic town of Krems. The old town is well worth a stroll around before contnuing along the banks of the Danube to the town of Tulln where the Primadonna is waiting for you. An afternoon cruise downstream delivers us to the outskirts of Vienna where the Primadonna moors for the night. Time allowing, you may wish to venture into the city for some sightseeing.

Day 6 : Vienna - Hainburg - Bratislava
17 and 42 miles 27 and 68 kms

After breakfast you can follow the bike path into the centre of Vienna and spend the morning visiting the city's many famous sights. 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. In the afternoon the crew cast off and the Primadonna cruises downstream to Hainburg where you can disembark with the bikes and ride through the National Park via Wolfsthal to the center of Bratislava,the Slovakian capital. You can of course also remain on board and cruise to the Slovakian capital in comfort. Later that evening the Primadonna slips her moorings and begins to cruise back upstream to Melk in the Wachau Valley.

Day 7 : Wachau Valley: Melk - Pöchlarn - Grein
32 miles/52kms

Today's ride starts in Melk with its impressive, gold domed, monastery standing guard over the town. The route leads you along the river bank through Pochlärn and past the church of Maria Tarfel high on the opposite bank's hillside. The beautiful countryside glides by as you follow the riverside cycle path through the peaceful Strudengau to Grein where the Primadonna is waiting for you. That evening, during the onboard farewell dinner, she begins her final cruise through the night back to Passau.

Day 8 : Passau

The Primadonna arrives back in Passau at around 9am. Disembarkation begins after breakfast at 10am. Now it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern, alloy framed models with 21 speeds and come equipped with pannier and lock.

Electric bikes are also available. 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 therefore you will need to bring 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, en-suite 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 9.5 m² towards the stern of the ship with 1 lower and 1 upper bed/bunk. 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 a large porthole which cannot be opened.

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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