The most famous bike tour in Europe along the beautiful Blue Danube, however this time we enjoy our moving hotel as we cruise and cycle through the Austrian countryside to Vienna before returning to Passau, Germany.
Biking along the Danube – always gently downhill, mostly with a helpful tailwind, you will experiencing the impressive meanders of the Donauschlinge (“Great Loop”). Enjoying the gorgeous landscape of the legendary Wachau region you will immerse in the untouched woods of the National Park Donauen (”Danube Meadow”).
Visit the former capital of Hungary, the coronation city of Bratislava. In Vienna, a beautiful city rich in architecture and history, you will enjoy exploring the metropolis during a wonderful sightseeing tour by bike. In many ways it is a city that is hard to describe – you really do have to see and feel it for yourself! Once you have finished sightseeing on your bicycle you can relax in any one of the many cozy cafés or in a typical Viennese wine tavern. The Austrian hospitality and cuisine will make this trip an unforgettable experience.
New for 2018 is the opportunity to enjoy a Guided Hiking Tour variant of this trip, instead of cycling.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
Day 1: Passau
Boarding time is at 4 p.m. The “Bishop City,” close to the Bavarian/Austrian border, is also known as the “City of three Rivers.” Use your free time and stroll through the old charming centre, visit the world largest catholic church organ in the cathedral and enjoy the easy atmosphere of a typical Bavarian beer garden. At 6.30 p.m. cast off! Your vacation begins with a boat ride through the romantic Danube Valley.
Day 2: Mauthausen – Grein, approx. 35 km
Today’s bike tour takes you directly along the Danube where you have enough time to enjoy the natural state of the meadow landscape. Visit the medieval village and former concentration camp at Mauthausen. The Celtic village Mitterkirchen gives you an insight into the past. The alternative route, “Clam Castle,” through the beautiful back country of the “Strudengau” is slightly hilly but a fantastic scenery. Grein, with its mighty castle, is the destination of today’s stage. After a romantic sunset cruise you arrive in the morning at Devin with its castle ruin overviewing the Danube.
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava, approx. 18-43 km
From Devin you follow the former ‘Iron Curtain’, cross the former border and reach the imposing Baroque Palace of Hof with its beautifully terraced gardens. Cycle through Austria’s ‘vegetable garden’ to the coronation city and former capital of Hungary Bratislava located at the slopes of the Little Carpathians. Explore the hidden alleyways and sights of Bratislava on an optional city tour.
Day 4: Vienna (day of rest)
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”. There is enough time in the afternoon to stroll or visit one of the famous Viennese cafés. The evening can end in numerous ways. For example by visiting a Waltz and Opera concert at a famous Viennese Palaces (optional).
Day 5: Wachau | Krems – Melk, approx. 37 km
Today’s biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small towns, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this hilly landscape enchants everybody. You will be biking on cloud nine! A powerful ruin looms above the small baroque town of Durnstein, while the blue spire of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau. In Weißenkirchen (possibility for a wine-tasting – optional) you will find comfortable wine taverns right along the bike path.
Day 6: Melk – Grein, approx. 50 km
After breakfast you have plenty of time to visit the gorgeous baroque monastery of the Benedictine brethren of Melk. Today’s stage is marked by diversity. Starting in the wide valleys of the Nibelungenau you follow the Danube and cycle further into the Strudengau – a narrow point of the Danube which used to be notorious amongst skippers. Yours today’s destination is the – already well known – city of Grein, home of Austria’s oldest city theatre (optional, not included).
Day 7: Great Danube Loop | Obermühl – Engelhartszell, approx. 28-43 km
Today you will cycle through the Danube Valley and will pass through many picturesque villages. Along the cycle path you may smell freshly grilled mackerels, with small pubs doing all they can to entice cyclists to stay. Make sure you follow the small walking trail to the lookout high above the Danube Loop – what a breathtaking panoramic view of the Danube Valley it provides of the meandering Blue Danube! Need a refreshment? Try some of the special cordials at the Trappist monastery at Engelszell, your day’s destination.
Day 8: Passau
Enjoy the first sunbeams and the peaceful silence of the Danube Valley on deck before you arrive relaxed at Passau. Disembarkation approx. 9.30 am. We recommend arranging connecting trips from 10.30 am. onwards.
Flat paved cycle paths along both sides of the Danube, suitable for beginner cyclists, children and experienced cyclists alike!
We suggest flying into Munich. We can supply semi-private transfers from Munich Airport to Passau for $100.00 per person each way (min. 2 persons).
Completely renovated in winter 2013/2014 in trendy Art Deco style; a very spacious, nostalgic ship of traditional shipbuilding skill with a high level of comfort and a family atmosphere. Excellent service and attention to detail are the priority of the captain and crew who are looking forward to welcoming you on board. Your bike tour through various countries is also a culinary expedition through the diversity of the national and the regional cuisine.
The ship offers a restaurant, a panorama-bar, a salon with sunny patio as well as a spacious sun deck with lounge chairs that are at your disposal. Books and magazines in our air-conditioned library provide relaxation and reading pleasure as well as parlour games. After an eventful cycling day you will find relaxation in the sauna, and in the evening a musician will perform for you to dance!
Our 61 comfortable cabins are from 8 to 16m², and equipped with either 2 adjoined beds, 2 separate beds, or with bunk beds, ALL with en suite (shower and toilet), flat-screen TV, radio, air conditioning, large picture windows, safe and hair-dryer. Some also have a 3rd bed possible. Cabin types are:
2-bed-ECO: bunk bed (app. 8-9 m2)
2-bed: 2 low beds (app. 10-11 m2)
1-bed: single cabin or 2-bed-ECO/single occupancy
Junior Suite: queen size bed (app. 13-16 m2)
Addit. bed: Junior-Suites (sleeping couch), 2-bed cabins Promenade Deck (bunkbed)
Technical details: manufactured in 1965, general renovation 2013, length 87m, breadth 17m, draft 1,7m, speed 25km/h, 65 cabins, 135 passenger maximum
Language on board: German, English
On joining this vessel you are immediately aware of the cosy and informal ambience on board. On the upper deck you will find the comfy panorama salon with its bar and the small sauna, on the main deck the comfortable restaurant (no direct access from the cabin-zone). On deck there are both deck chairs and ordinary chairs and tables, which encourage conversation and communal activity in fresh air.
MS NORMANDIE possesses two single cabins and fortynine 2-bed-cabins. They are all outside cabins, giving some 10-11 square metres of space (2-bed) and about 7 sq.m (1-bed). All 2-bed-cabins on main and upper deck are equipped with two lower beds, one of which can be folded against the wall during the day to provide a more homely atmosphere, plus shower and WC, hairdryer, TV, safe (deposit), central air-conditioning and a picture window. Only on the upper deck the windows may be opened. 1-bed cabins have one lower bed and are otherwise equipped with the same features.
Prices for ms Normandie on request.
2018 Independent tours: Every Saturday from May 5 to September 22
Guided Cycling tour dates: May 19, June 16, July 28, Aug. 25 Sep. 22
Guided Hiking tour dates: May 12, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25 Sep. 22
Price per person, double occupancy, CAD$
|Main deck – 2 bed ECO||$1115|
|Main deck – 2 single beds||$1235|
|Upper deck – 2 bed ECO||$1275|
|Upper deck – 2 single beds||$1435|
|Upper deck – Junior Suite||$1670|
|Promenade deck – 2 single beds||$1465|
|Promenade deck – Junior Suite||$1670|
|Guided Cycling tour option||$350|
|Guided Hiking tour option||$380|
|3rd person in cabin (subject to availability)||$900|
|Supplement for departures in May and August||$160|
|Supplement for departures June/July/September||$245|
|Single cabin supplement:||50%|
This independent tour includes:
Optional Land Excursions:
The following optional excursions (surcharge – not included in tour price) can be booked directly on board with the cruise director.
GUIDED CYCLING TOUR – ADDITIONAL INCLUSIONS:
GUIDED HIKING TOUR – ADDITIONAL INCLUSIONS:
Your tour guide provides daily route notes, maps, advice etc each morning however the daily bike tours are unescorted.
All mileages are approximate distances of recommended routes.
Please notice that storage space in cabins is very limited.
Please be aware that your ship, like all other ships on the Danube, is not only your hotel but also a machine, working with engine power often during night. Especially crossing locks and bridges, the preparation work may cause noise.
Schedule: In case of flood or low tide the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages with buses. In extreme cases the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted of both situations (Water level is force majeure). The same applies for officially ordered (previously not announced) repair work on locks or bridges or in case of undeserved breakdown of engine and power unit. We reserve the right to change the Schedule when low/high water bars the ship from passing through a certain area. Some parts can be negotiated by bus (free of charge).
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