A bike by day for transport, a boat by night for meals and a good sleep. Your barge or river cruiser is your floating hotel and follows the cycling stages along the river. Fancy a lazy day in? – Well, there’s your home from home.
Both boats are fully crewed: a skipper at the helm, and catering staff to prepare breakfast, a dinner and all you need for your packed lunch. Our Bike & Boat tours can be enjoyed either on a group tour accompanied by a tour leader, or self-guided.
Each alternate week our ships change direction, ie. Venice to Mantova. Early booking is essential with these tours!
Day 1 Arrival in Mantova
Bicycles are available from noon at the boat, which is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the centre. The cabins are available from 4.30 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, ie. 7 p.m.
Day 2 Mantova round tour (35 km).
A day dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the Mincio, and its surrounding countryside – once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family and now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. In the late afternoon a local guide will lead you through the most known highlights of the town.
Day 3 Mantua–Governolo–Zelo (50 km by bike).
A short cruise along the lush banks of the Mincio takes us to Governolo, where it flows into the Po and forms the largest inland basin in Italy. At Governolo Lock, once a vital staging post for local navigation, we saddle our bikes and follow the Po through Ostiglia (famed for its medieval fortress and floating mill) and on to the village of Bergantino. Here we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum. Finally, we reach Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
Day 4 Zelo–Ferrara–Adria (50 km by bike + 60 km by bus).
After breakfast we continue our bike and boat adventure cycling towards Ferrara, another key City State of ancient Italy. You will visit this historic town and discover its little touched centre, still surrounded by the original city walls. From Ferrara a short transfer by private coach will take you to Adria. Once close to the shores of the sea which bears its name, Adria was an ancient Greek port, famous for trading Baltic amber. Its remarkable museum also bears witness to its Etruscan, Roman and Venetian heritage.
Day 5 Adria–Po Delta Nature Reserve – Pellestrina Island (40 km).
After a short cruise, we cycle into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a sizeable colony of flamingos. Weather permitting, as we continue towards Chioggia, we can also enjoy a break at a fine-sand beach nearby for a dip in the Adriatic – not forgetting a hot savoury piadina! Chioggia is also known as “Little Venice”, a colourful fishing hub. The overnight takes palce on the Island Pellestrina, just in front of Chioggia.
Day 6 Pallestrina Island –Venice (30km)
Venice beckons, but first another world altogether: Pellestrina, the first of two islands we traverse today – a humble and tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque as ever with its cottages, boats and nets. A short island-hop by ferry lands us on the Lido. Fashionable in high society ever since the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. After rejoining our barge, an unrushed cruise in front of St Mark’s square takes us to our final destination. After dinner we can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia!
Day 7 Venice
After breakfast – and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader – we all meet up with our Venetian guide for a tour through the historic centre. Christened La Serenissima (“The Most Serene”), the Venetian Republic held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.
Day 8 Venice
After breakfast, with a view of the lagoon and the customary goodbyes, time to return home.
Different frame sizes of unisex bikes with 27-gears Shimano Deore will be available on board. They are fully equipped with 1x side-bag, 1 water bottle, 1 map holder/front bag, 1 padlock per bike and 1 repair kit per couple.
GUIDED or SELF GUIDED TOURING OPTIONS
This tour offers the chance to pedal alone, or with the whole group following the tour leader. You may choose each day which you prefer. Each client can take advantage of very detailed route descriptions and maps supplied onboard.
Touring option must be specified at time of reservation.
NAVIGATION ON RIVERS AND CANALS
The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantova to the Adriatic Sea. A few weeks in the year, when the waters of the Po are favourable, the barge will be allowed to navigate along the Po River itself. This means that the some
of the overnight stays will be modified. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistical obstacles can modify some of the daily stretches or embarkation points.
These decisions are taken by the boat’s captain.
A level route with a few very small hills. You cycle only on asphalt paths and almost car-free side roads. You do not need to be a very experienced cyclist but a reasonable level of fitness is helpful. Suitable for families, seniors and novice cyclists.
The nearest airports are Verona and Venice. Regular train service is available from both airports to Mantova and Venice.
Departing from Mantua: 2020 dates: Saturday 4.04, 2.05, 11.07, 25.07, 22.08, 5.09, 19.09
Departing from Venice: 2020 dates: Saturday 11.04, 25.04, 9.05, 20.06, 4.07, 18.07, 1.08, 15.08, 29.08, 10.10
Departing from Mantua: 2021 dates: Saturday 3.04, 17.04, 1.05, 15.05, 12.06, 26.06, 10.07, 24.07, 7.08, 21.08, 4.09, 18.09, 2.10, 16.10
Departing from Venice: 2021 dates: Saturday 10.04, 24.04, 8.05, 25.05, 05.06, 19.06, 3.07, 17.07, 14.08, 21.08, 11.09, 25.09, 9.10, 23.10
Departing from Mantua: 2020 dates: 28.03, 11.04, 25.04, 9.05, 20.06, 4.07, 18.07, 1.08, 15.08, 12.09, 26.09, 24.10
Departing from Venice: 2020 dates: 4.04, 18.04, 2.05, 13.06, 27.06, 11.07, 25.07, 8.08, 17.10
Departing from Mantua: 2021 dates: 27.03, 10.04, 24.04, 8.05, 5.06, 19.06, 3.07, 17.07, 31.07, 14.08, 28.08, 11.09, 25.09, 9.10, 23.10
Departing from Venice: 2021 dates: 3.04, 17.04, 1.05, 22.05, 12.06, 26.06, 10.07, 24.07, 7.08, 21.08, 16.10
In 2020 there are 3 seasons as follows:
|VITA PUGNA – value season 2020||
|VITA PUGNA – standard season 2020||
|VITA PUGNA – high season 2020||
|Single cabin surcharge||$600|
|Surcharge for e-bike||$180|
|Surcharge for gluten free or vegan diets||$85|
|AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – value season 2020||
|AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – standard season 2020||
|AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – high season 2020||
|Superior cabin on upper deck surcharge||$240|
|Double cabin lower deck with bunk beds reduction per person||
|Single cabin surcharge||$480|
|Surcharge for e-bike||$180|
|Surcharge for gluten free or vegan diets||$85|
This tour includes:
One ferry-boat stage in Pellestrina
Entry to museums etc. and everything which is not mentioned above.
Telephone: 705-949-1710 or 888-297-4786
Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Saturday: by appointment