Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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A self-guided cycling holiday along the Danube from Passau to Vienna
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Highlights

  • Explore the best Austria has to offer along the world-famous Danube River
  • Glide through the wine-growing villages and vineyards of the Wachau Valley
  • Enjoy a classic waltz and operetta concert in Vienna, Austria’s Capital City
  • Ride along the easy-going, way marked Danube Cycle Path
  • Feel the warmth of the sunset while cruising after a good days cycling

Cycle and sail down the world-famous Danube in Austria, taking in some of the most exciting sections of one of Europe’s great waterways. Your boat becomes your home for the week, while you get to discover sleepy valleys, historic castles, and wine-growing towns and villages.

There is a treasure trove of attractions on this trip, with visits to Vienna and the Wachau Valley being the main highlights. Sample the local cuisine, and listen to the sounds of Vienna at one of the opera palaces.

Cycling along the easy pathways is the best way to experience the Danube region, where every day is different from the last. You have a knowledgeable tour guide on board who will brief you on each day's cycle and will be able to tell you where the secret sights and eateries are on each day.

Day 1: Arrive Passau

Arrive in Passau, on the German border where 3 major rivers meet to form the Danube. This is where you will meet your river cruiser to begin your adventure along the Danube. Boarding will be around 4:00PM and the boat will depart Passau roughly at 6:30PM. If you have time to waste, the cathedral is well worth a visit.


Day 2: Engelhartszell to Brandstatt

Your first day’s cycle is filled with interesting things to do and see. The route takes you into dense forests and meadows as you discover the Celtic past with a historical appearance. Pass sleepy villages and castles as you cycle through the Upper Danube valley. The Schlögener Schlinge offers unique views, make sure to have your camera ready! Ride through a protected nature reserve until you get to Brandstatt.


Cycle: 45km


Day 3: Brandstatt to Linz

Catch some fresh air as you make your way through the countryside to Linz, home of the biggest church in Austria and the steepest railway in the world. Ride along easy-going cycle paths and quiet roads enjoying the scenery of the area. Dine in one of the traditional restaurants where typical dishes such as ‘erdäpfelkäs’, a spread made of mashed potato and cream, and ’strudel’ are served.


Cycle: 26km


Day 4: Mauthausen to Grein

Enjoy a varied route exploring the village of Mitterkirchen, the romantic ruins of Burg Clam Castle and Baroque monastery of Baumgartenberg. On today’s ride you will be passing medieval towns and villages on your way to Grein, where a visit to the castle and Austria’s biggest theatre are a must.


Cycle: 35km


Day 5: Explore Vienna

Vienna is one of Europe’s great cities and you have a full day to explore and visit its famous attractions, such as the giant Ferris wheel at Riesenrad, which was made famous in Graham Greene’s film The Third Man, the fabulous Hofburg Palace, St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Prater. Another highlight is  the boulevard "Ringstraβe" with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House and the town hall which take you back in time. Make sure you have time to also visit one of the famous Viennese coffee bars. This evening you may like to opt for a waltz and operetta concert at a famous Viennese palace (optional, arranged onboard).


Cycle: Optional cycling tour


Day 6: Wachau Valley roundtrip

An unforgettable day lies ahead in the famous wine-growing region of the Wachau Valley. Beautiful villages are set amidst vineyards and apricot orchards and rub shoulders with castles, monasteries and numerous historical ruins. The charming village of Dürnstein with its narrow, cobbled streets and tempting taverns, is certainly a highlight. An optional extra is a visit to a traditional Wachau wine grower for a tasting (arranged on board).


Cycle: 25-40km


Day 7: Weißenkirchen to Pöchlarn

On your last day in the saddle you will ride through more rugged scenery along the Danube. Then take a ferry from Spitz to the southern bank of the river to reach the imposing Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Enjoy a relaxing cycle through a sleepy valley until you reach Pöchlarn. Settle down on the sundeck to enjoy romantic views over the Nibelungau before getting ready for your last dinner on board.


Cycle: 35km


Day 8: Passau & Disembarkation

As you cruise back up the Danube enjoy the early morning sunshine as you wind your way to Passau, where you will arrive at about 09:00AM and you’ll disembark about 30 minutes later. Connecting travel should be booked for 10.30 onwards, to be on the safe side!

Cruise Ship

MS Theodor Körner***:Your accommodation will be one of the cabins of MS Theodor Korner. This boat is a spacious traditional Danube River cruise ship with comfortable cabins, welcoming staff and designed in an Art Deco style, fitting to its suroundings.



The specialist crew is there to satisfy your every wish and are a vital part of what makes your voyage such a delight.


Your cycle tour along the Danube is also a culinary expedition through the diversity of the national and the regional cuisine, and in the evening a musician will perform so you can even enjoy a dance.



The ship’s on-board amenities include a comfortable restaurant, panorama bar, relaxing lounge, as well as a broad sun deck with comfortable deck chairs. Books and magazines are available in the library as are parlour games for all the family. WiFi is also available (connection speeds may vary).


The 60 comfortable cabins are spread across three decks; the upper deck, main deck and promenade deck. They are equipped with shower and toilet, TV and air conditioning. The windows can be opened in all cabins on the promenade deck and upper deck.


The cabins are configured as follows:


2-bed ECO (bunk beds, approx. 8-9sqm)


2-bed (2 low beds, approx. 10-12sqm)


1-bed (single cabin, approx. 8-9sqm)


Junior Suite (queen size bed, approx. 13-16sqm)


Additional bed (junior suites—sleeping couch) or (2-bed cabin on Promenade deck in a bunk bed)


Technical details: Length 87m, width 17m, depth 1.70m, speed 20 km/h; 65 cabins, max. 135 passengers. View Deck Plan.


Our standard tour price (for two people sharing) is based on a 2-bed 'ECO' cabin on the Main Deck, which has upper and lower berths. Upgrades to other cabin types are available at an optional supplement.


MS Theodor Koerner


Sun Deck


Restaurant


 


General Information

In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages by bus. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted in 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 or power unit.


NB: Please be aware that your cruise ship on the Danube is not only your hotel but also a machine, working with engine power even at night. Especially crossing locks and bridges - and the preparation work - may cause noise. If you are a light sleeper it is worth bringing some ear plugs. 


Single Cabins & Solo Cyclists

This trip is available to solo cyclists and is perfect as there are plenty of people to chat with every day.


Solo travellers and persons wishing a single cabin, although there would be an additional supplement and there is usually designated cabins. Please see the deck plan online. 


Meals

All meals on board are included; a sumptuous breakfast, lunch on board for non-cyclist or packed lunch for cyclists, afternoon coffee break and dinner each evening. You can look forward to delicious regional cuisine, reflecting the area you are sailing through. As of 2020, we also include house wine, draught beer and soft drinks with your evening meal.

Availability

This tour is available to start on Saturdays from April to October: Prices vary depending on the season and the type of cabin preferred. Starting prices are for a main deck ECO cabin. Upgrades can be booked to further cabin types, by adding a supplement when booking.


Children price reduction: under 3 yrs FREE when sharing a 2-bed cabin with 2 full-paying adults. Aged 3-13 yrs (inclusive) 50% discount when sharing a cabin with min. 1 full-paying adult.


Time of Year

Cycling the Danube is possible from April to October.  May to September are the busiest months, and July and August are the hottest.  This trip books out extremely quickly for the busiest months in particular, so we recommend booking early if you have specific travel dates in mind. We would suggest between 8 and 6 months in advance if you would prefer May and around 10 months in advance for September, this way you will have a better chance of getting your preferred cabin option.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Danube Cycle Path is extremely well signposted, as it is one of the main European waterway cycle routes, and very popular. You will be issued with tour specific route notes and maps upon arrival. Your tour guide will also give you a briefing each evening or in the morning about the days cycle. You will find that along the route there are arrowed stickers to guide you during the day, these have been placed there by the tour guide. What could be easier?! 


Grade & Terrain

Although almost completely flat this cycle tour is graded easy to moderate as the daily distance ranges from 26 - 45 km. You will be cycling on the Danube Cycle Path which follows traffic free cycle paths and some quiet roads. This tour is particularly well suited to families and novice cyclists as the route is flat, path predominantly traffic free and you have the option of staying on board if you don’t feel like cycling. The route is way marked throughout and we supply you with a detailed route map, guidebook and information pack so you will have no problem following the route. The on board tour guide will also give you a briefing each evening about the route and highlights of the next day’s cycle.


Rental Bikes

7-speed unisex hybrid bikes with coaster (back pedal)/caliper brakes are included in the cost of your trip. If you would prefer we also have an option of 21-speed hybrid bikes. Electric bikes are available on request at an additional supplement.


Children’s bikes, seats, tagalongs and trailers are also all available on request. All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag) and a speedometer. Helmets are not included as part of the rental package and we ask that you bring your own helmet or buy one on board (€25 - €35).


Due to very limited space on board there is limited availability to bring your own bike – please check with us.

 

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as helmet, good shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to/from Passau

Passau is located in Germany close to the Austrian border. It has a railway station and is easily accessible.


By Air: Passau has direct train connections to Linz (1h30), Salzburg (2h45), Munich (2.5h) and Vienna (3.5h), which are the most convenient airports. Please visit the DB Bahn Website to check times. We can arrange transfers from Munich Airport to Passau.


By Train: Visit the DB Bahn Website to check train times and book tickets to Passau from European destinations. You may also wish to try Rail Europe for European rail tickets and passes.


By Car: Parking is available in Passau from between €58 and €69 per week including return transfers to the ship.

Included

  • 7 x Overnight in a comfortable cabin on the MS Theodor Korner
  • All meals (and drinks during evening meals)
  • 21-speed bike hire
  • Daily entertainment (music)
  • Tour guide on board, daily briefings
  • Information pack, detailed route notes and map
  • Captains dinner with farewell cocktail and crew show

Excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to and from Passau
  • Personal equipment
  • Ferry rides
  • Helmets
  • Excursions
  • Expenses
  • Miscellaneous

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Cabin upgrade
  • E-Bike upgrade
  • Single Cabin or Solo Cyclist supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this trip is extremely popular especially during peak season from July to August.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded as easy because the route is almost entirely flat. Daily distances are between 30 and 52 km so you will need to have a basic level of fitness and we advise some training before the trip.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The best option is to fly into Munich or Linz, which connect by train to Passau and ideally out of Vienna.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, waterproof jacket and trousers, a helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

When does the boat sail?

The Danube is a busy and working river, there are lots of operational boats on the river. Depending on clearance and the Captains schedule the boat will then sail during the day when you are cycling (unless specified), if you like you can stay on the boat. The times of sailing can change from day to day but they do try to keep this on schedule to the itinerary.

Excellent Ride!!

5

The ride was more than we expected. The choice of daily rides was perfect as was the amount of miles each day. Options to add to the distance were great as well. The food on the boat was great and very casual atmosphere. We met some great people from all over the world. Can't wait to do another one!

Robyn

California

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Amazing adventure ...!

5

Brilliant all round activity holiday...not too strenuous...fabulous landscapes...on perfect paths....this was an amazing holiday. Boat and cabin much better than anticipated...smooth sailing on the Danube. Staff were very helpful...meals were delicious and wholesome. As a vegan I was generously catered for with no fuss. Guide was excellent and everything was so well organised. I can't fault it...in fact I'm planning a repeat ....thank you to all concerned.

Angela

Liverpool

Actively recommending to friends

5

We had a great holiday. We were in an eco cabin on the lower deck which was fine for all the time we spent in it. The food on the boat was very good, the Slovakian staff all very lovely, happy and smiley people and the tour director was very organised and experienced. There were 11 different nationalities on the boat. We would do this holiday again without a doubt.

Ann

Scotland

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Fabulous trip - a real winner

5

The choice of bike rides was exceptional for finding the most charming villages and avoiding hills. We enjoyed all the stops and the boat was comfortable and not as noisy as advertised. Sleep while cruising was very restful. Food choice was thoughtful and the food was good. Crew always helpful and friendly. A terrific experience all around.

Birdie

Canada

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Doddle up and down the Danube

5

We used the park and ride service as we had driven out, it was easy to find and we had a lift straight to the boat. We did not see our luggage again until we were in the cabin. Rooms are small on the boat but we did not spend much time in them and there were areas on the boat where you could find a quiet spot to read. The bikes were excellent, well maintained and looked after by the crew who were always on hand at the beginning and end of every ride to make sure all was ok. The routes were explained the night before and they are well signposted, along with an excellent map provided we did not get lost. everyday was a different type of ride with interesting detours en route. Cider houses, churches, vineyards, lovely villages castles, stately homes, ice cream and of course views of the Danube along the way. The trails were tarmac and mainly traffic free and when you did have to join a road there were cycle lanes. It is flat cycling all the way. Did not feel nervous on the roads and I am not an experienced rider. we were a group of 4 who all had different fitness levels and experience but we all really enjoyed the trip. Food on board was a bit hit and miss but you had a choice of 3 main courses which you selected the night before. Staff where cheerful and helpful and most spoke English. Out of 80 people on board there were 24 English speaking and the rest were German.

Carol the Cyclist

Isle of Wight

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Excellent trip

4

Well organised trip. Even when the boat had a slight accident hitting a bridge the tour director made sure the holiday continued with very little disruption. That was impressive.

Geoff

Crawley

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Good mix of exercise and sightseeing.

4

This was a nice combination of a little exercise and beautiful sightseeing.

Di

Canada

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The best way to see the Danube

5

Beautiful scenery. Sunny every day. Excellent programme and choice of routes. Friendly and efficient crew. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole week and would happily go again.

D

Coventry

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I would definitely do another bike/boat trip.

5

The average age of the 55 passengers was in the 60s with no ome under 50. This was perfect for me. Half of the passaengers were German speaking and half were English speaking. The bike/boat trip is the best of both worlds. Many fellow travelers as wel as I said that they wanted to do another bike/boat trip.

Ed

Texas

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Altogether a great well thought out holiday.

5

Macs chose a good trip, everything was in german and Enlglish despite english being in minority, interest tours were good. Food good , very helpful staff on boat and rides. Generous. Well planned routes and boat stops Mac answered any queries straight away.

Jo The leisure cyclist

Essex

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Danube Bike and Boat: Passau to Vienna

4.7 20

100.0

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