This tour will reveal you the highlights of the Danube taking you on a bike and boat trip from Passau, sometimes called Bavarian Venice, directly into the heart of the famous and glamorous former Austro-Hungarian Empire. You will visit three of Europe’s most charming capitals: Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. The bike tour leads you to the romantic Great Loop (Schlögener Donauschlinge), the picturesque Danube Bend with Hungary’s largest cathedral and the legendary Wachau valley, part of the UNESCO World Heritage with its small villages, beautiful palaces and castles.
Please note: bike rental is not included in the cost of this holiday.
- Passau at the intersection of three rivers
- The “Great Loop” Schlögener Donauschlinge
- UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site Wachau
- Hungarian Danube Bend
- The cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest
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Day 1: Passau
Boarding time at 4 pm. Located at Danube, Inn and Ilz’s confluence, Passau has numerous interesting sites to visit. Use your free time and stroll through the cobblestoned Old Town centre, listen to the bells of Passau’s Gothic Town Hall or have a look at the world’s largest Catholic Church organ in the Passau Cathedral. Departing at 6 pm.
Day 2: Great Loop / Engelhartszell – Aschach | 42km
Your first cycling tour begins with a ride through the classic scenery of the ‘Great Loop’ Donauschlinge – one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube. Along the way, you will encounter tiny villages and cosy cider taverns. In Austria’s only Trappist monastery at Engelhartszell, you can taste their delicious liquors and cheese. The famous ‘Schlogener View’ provides a wonderful panorama of the surrounding Austrian countryside. The boat welcomes all cyclists back on board in the charming market town of Aschach.
- Cycling for the day: approx. 42km
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava | 43km
You pedal along the former ‘Iron Curtain’, cross the green line and reach the imposing Imperial Schlosshof Palace with its beautifully terraced gardens. Follow the bike path through Austria’s ‘vegetable garden’ to the coronation town Bratislava and the slopes of the Little Carpathians and discover the hidden alleyways and sights of Bratislava on an optional city tour.
- Cycling for the day: approx. 43km
Day 4: Budapest / Excursion to Szentendre | 54km
The entrance to Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is stunning. Savour the beauty of Budapest during a coach tour or a guided bike tour (optional) to discover many of the highlights of this beautiful city. You can also choose to cycle to the charming town of Szentendre with its Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art scene. You will get a very close experience of Hungarian culture at an evening Folklore show with traditional music, local appetizers and dance (optional).
- Cycling for the day: approx. 54km (or day of rest)
Day 5: Danube bend – Esztergom | 43km
Situated in the middle of the Danube River, the idyllic isle of Szentendre exudes silent Puszta romance. History, folklore and Hungarian way of life will accompany you on your way to Esztergom, where the gorgeous basilica – Hungary’s largest Catholic Church – impresses its guests.
- Cycling for the day: approx. 43km
Day 6: Vienna Rest Day
Discover Vienna’s most beautiful attractions. During a city tour by bike or bus (optional), you will experience Vienna’s most famous examples of architecture: the imperial Hofburg, St. Stephens Cathedral, the gorgeous ‘Ring’-boulevard and the State Opera House, the Burgtheater and town hall, and of course the colourful “Hundertwasserhaus”. Take time to relax in one or more of Vienna’s famous cafés, while the evening ends impressively at a classical concert (optional) at a famous Viennese Palace.
Day 7: Wachau / Krems – Melk | 39km
Your last biking day is a special highlight! A powerful ruin looms above the small Baroque town of Durnstein, while the blue spire of the monastery church is a landmark of the renowned Wachau Valley. Amidst dreamy towns, apricot trees, vineyards and castles, this hilly landscape enchants everybody who visits. In Weißenkirchen (possibility for wine-tasting – optional), you will find comfortable wine taverns along the bike path.
- Cycling for the day: approx. 39km
Day 8: Passau
As you cruise back up the Danube, enjoy the early morning sunshine as you wind your way to Passau, where you’ll disembark at approx. 11 am. Connecting travel should be booked from 12 am onwards.
What to expect
Accommodation is on a comfortable traditional riverboat for the duration of the whole tour. The first thing you’ll experience when boarding is the friendly atmosphere and the cosiness of the river ship. In the restaurant, you will start your culinary excursion through the Danube countries – the fantastic view of the beautiful scenery will sweeten the diversity of flavours you taste. In the Panorama Lounge, with its bar, you can enjoy a glass of wine with your new friends and travel mates while the gorgeous landscape is passing by.
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- MV Swiss Crown – Stylish, elegant and timelessly beautiful – this is how the premium ship MS Swiss Crown presents itself as it glides gently along the Danube river. You will immediately feel at home on board as soon as you enter the spectacular foyer. Designed in warm wood tones, the ship radiates comfort and leaves nothing to be desired. The simple elegance of the timelessly beautiful staterooms, which are decorated with great attention to detail, will inspire you. Sit back and enjoy the serene, relaxed atmosphere, the fantastic views of breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes, sometimes from the bicycle seat, sometimes from the inviting, partially covered sun deck. Let yourself be pampered by the friendly, accommodating crew and create onboard relationships alongside memories to last a lifetime. 68 outward-facing cabins are spacious 14 m2 and convince with elegant, comfortable interior. The cabins have a double bed (can be separated into 2 single beds), shower/WC, hairdryer, SAT TV, safe, coffee maker and individually adjustable air conditioning.
- MV Vivienne – The exquisite premium ship MV Vivienne (renovated 2020) sets new standards in comfort and spaciousness and offers a tasteful, high-quality ambience in a luxurious style. Experience a fantastic view of breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes, sometimes from the saddle of a bicycle, sometimes from the inviting, partially covered sun deck. The panorama lounge, equipped with comfortable club chairs and sofas in light colours, and a cosy bar offer a very special atmosphere. In the first-class, light-flooded panorama restaurant, you can take a culinary journey through the Danube countries and their variety of flavours. Rest and relaxation await you after an eventful day of cycling in the wellness area. On the spacious, partly covered sun deck you can enjoy a very special kind of nature cinema with a glass of wine together with like-minded people.
Package includes full board: breakfast buffet, lunch on board (non-cyclists) or packed lunch (cyclists), afternoon coffee break, dinner (2-3 dishes to choose from), late-night snack.
Difficulty and terrain
The tour is easy and follows mainly the Eurovelo 6 cycle path leading through terrain with only slight gradients. Do not feel like cycling? You can also reach your destination by ship (read more about difficulty grades). Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps or overview maps, route descriptions, tourist attractions and important telephone numbers (1 set per room). The package also includes daily information meetings as well as a tour guide on board.
When to go
This trip is available from April until October. Weather is best in July – August. The tour departs on Sunday (MV Vivienne), on 20 May 2023, 3 June 2023, and 2 and 16 September 2023 (MV Swiss Crown).
Guided tour available on: 28 May, 18 June, 16 July, 6 August, 3 and 24 September 2023.
FCO up-to-date travel advice on Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.
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- In case you travel by train, the best connections are from Schärding and Passau train stations. At Passau the parking costs between €71 (outdoor area) to € 83 (parking garage), including shuttle transfer to and from pier; payable locally.
- For more information, use the Omio planner above.
- 7 nights in traditional standard cabins with private facilities and air conditioning
- Port charges
- Programme according to itinerary from/to Passau
- Captain‘s greeting and welcome cocktail
- Gala dinner and farewell cocktail
- Daily cabin cleaning, towels and bed linen
- Full board: breakfast buffet, lunch on board (non-cyclists) or packed lunch (cyclists), afternoon coffee break, dinner (2/3 dishes to choose), late-night snack.
- Trip manager on board (does not cycle with the group)
- Daily information meeting
- Detailed roadbook per cabin
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single cabin and to solo travellers (upon request; upper deck only)
- Cabin upgrades (upon request: comfort and superior cabins)
- Bike rental
- Guided supplement including a private guide while cycling, bus city tour in Budapest, cider and wine tastings
We offer 28-Zoll-Unisex KTM tour bikes, equipped with either 21 or 24-derailleur-gear (depending on ship) with override, caliper breaks and robust wheels. Our bicycles are mostly not older than 3 years. You are liable for any damage, loss or theft during the journey. Corresponding bike insurance can be completed on board. All bicycles have a deep comfort entry (wave frame) and men’s frames are available from a height of 186 cm.
Our e-bikes come with a hub gear, freewheel, powerful electric motor and gradually selectable pedal assistance. The battery range depends on the support level, driving style, body weight and terrain.
All bicycles are equipped with puncture-proof tires, one waterproofed pannier bag, one handlebar bag and an air pump. You will receive one service kit with breakdown tools and a bicycle lock per cabin.