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”).
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.
You also have 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: Engelhartszell – Brandstatt, approx. 45 km
Breathe in the fragrance of the dense forest and freshly mown meadows. Explore the pristine countryside of the Upper Danube valley on the former towpath as it runs past sleepy villages. Small, rustic inns at the edge of the trail invite you to linger, the aroma of fresh fish grilled according to tradition on a stick wafts through the air. The Schlögener Blick observation point offers a truly stunning view of the Schlögener Schlinge where the Danube carves its way through a gorge and doubles back on itself.
Day 3: Brandstatt – Linz, approx. 26 km
Catch some fresh country air again – at lunch time, you’ll reach the Upper Austrian capital of Linz. Discover the European Capital of Culture 2009 on a bright yellow miniature train (optional). The cathedral is the biggest church in Austria, the Pöstlingbergbahn the steepest adhesion railway in the world. Are you curious about the future? At the ARS Electronica Museum you can try out some of the most impressive examples of modern technology for yourself. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Day 4: Mauthausen – Grein , approx. 35 km
A beautiful and varied route lies ahead of you as you explore the idyllic hinterland of the Strudengau by bike: the Celtic Village of Mitterkirchen, the Baroque monastery of Baumgartenberg and the romantic ruins of Burg Clam castle. Then it’s time to enjoy the little medieval town of Grein with its Baroque facades, imposing castle and the oldest municipal theatre in Austria. After a romantic journey sailing past towns and villages full of twinkling lights, you arrive – just like Sisi did way back then – in the City of Waltz early in the morning.
Day 5: 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 6: Wachau Valley roundtrip, approx. 25-40 km
An unforgettable day in the picturesque Wachau. Cycle through delightful wine-growing villages surrounded by terraced vineyards and apricot trees. The charming little town of Dürnstein with its narrow lanes is an absolute highlight. In Weißenkirchen – the most important wine-growing village in the World Cultural Heritage Landscape – you can discover the first rate famous Wachau wines.
Day 7: Weißenkirchen – Pöchlarn, approx. 35 km
Enjoy this stage of your cycling holiday passing through the wild and romantic scenery along the mighty Danube with its rustic wine-growing villages set amongst the vineyards. In Spitz, situated on the “1000-Eimer Berg”, take the ferry to the sleepy southern bank of the river and after a leisurely ride reach the imposing Benedictine Abbey of Melk, one of the loveliest Baroque ensembles in Europe. Having passed the town of Pöchlarn, which featured in the Nibelungen saga, settle down to enjoy the stunning views of the rugged and romantic Nibelungengau.
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 $110.00 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.
2020 Independent Cycling tours: Every Thursday from April 30th to October 8th
Guided Cycling tour dates: June 4, July 9, Sep. 3
Guided Hiking tour dates: TBA
Price per person, double occupancy, CAD$
|Main deck – 2 bed ECO||$1080|
|Main deck – 2 single beds||$1170|
|Upper deck – 2 bed ECO||$1240|
|Upper deck – 2 single beds||$1385|
|Upper deck – Junior Suite||$1650|
|Promenade deck – 2 single beds||$1470|
|Promenade deck – Junior Suite||$1650|
|Guided Cycling tour option||$260|
|Guided Hiking tour option||$420|
|3rd person in cabin (subject to availability)||$900|
|Single cabin supplement:||50%|
|Supplement for departures July & August||$160|
|Supplement for departures May, June and September||$240|
|Optional electric bike||$170|
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