Along the Lower Rhine
With Bike and Barge from Cologne to Rotterdam.
What could be more natural than discovering the beauty of the Lower Rhine by bike? The Lower Rhine Region has one of the most beautiful and largest cycle route networks in Europe.
Along high-quality routes, explore the marvellous landscape: this well-develloped route leads past river landscape, meadows and fields and offers especcially for lovers of nature a relaxed possibility to explore the region. Labyrinths of rivers on the Rhine delta in the Netherlands, quaint little towns and vibrant major cities along the route offer a welcome change and guarantee a relaxed and eventful stay.
The MS ARKONA is being completely refurbished during the winter of 2017/2018. The modern and elegant atmosphere aboard the vessel will make your journey a relaxed experience.
The Upper deck holds the tastefully furbished saloon with bar and a bright and friendly restaurant. The spacious sun deck is partly shaded and features comfortable deck chairs, which invite the passengers to enjoy the passing scenery in relaxation. Both the Upper and the Main deck hold comfortable cabins of 11 m², furnished in a modern way. All cabins feature hotel-style beds, en-suite facilities with shower and hair dryer, TV, safe and individually controlled air conditioning. Upper deck: twelve two-bed-cabins with sliding glass doors and French balcony (= room high window, the upper part of the window is to open) and two one-bed-cabins with a small double bed (140cm) and opening panoramic windows. Main deck: 34 two-bed cabins with non-opening windows.
Day1: Arrival to Cologne
Embarkation from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a cosy evening on board the ship or taste a Kölsch, a typical beer from Cologne, in one of the numerous Old Town pubs with view over the Rhine. Besides its many historical treasures, the Cathedral City offers a considerable number of parks and gardens.
Day 2: Cologne - Düsseldorf, Cycle Tour, approx. 55 km
Cycle along the Rhine Cycle Route on well-paved cycle ways, past quaint villages and with view over the other bank of the Rhine. This route offers variety between industry and idyll. At the end of this tour leg, you reach Düsseldorf. The multifaceted city is one of the leading cultural metropolis’ in Germany.
Day 3: Boat Tour Düsseldorf – Xanten / Xanten - Emmerich, Cycle Tour approx. 30 km; Boat Tour Emmerich - Arnhem
Already at night your boat will move to Roman City of Xanten. Almost 2000 years ago the Romans liked this tiny place and settled here. The Archaeological Park is worth a visit. Here you start your today cycle tour, passing nature reserves and moving on to the village Kalkar until you reach the oldest German suspension bridge in Emmerich. Your ship is waiting here to go on and to pass the Dutch-German border and brings you to Arnheim.
Day 4: Arnhem - Rhenen, Cycle Tour approx. 30 km; Boat Tour Rhenen - Wijk bij Duurstede
Today start for the cycle tour in Arnhem – a detour to the city centre will take you back to bygone days with narrow alleys and picturesque buildings. Continue cycling through the Betuwe – one of the Netherland’s largest fruit-growing regions, past dike foreland and reach Rhenen. In the evening, the ship will take you from Rhenen to Wijk bij Duurstede.
Day 5: Wijk bij Duurstede - Gorinchem; Cycle Tour approx. 50 km
Enjoy your cycle tour through unspoilt nature and pass cute villages and the historic place of Fort Everdingen. Continue following the Linge River, a tributary of the Rhine to reach the fortified city of Gorinchem.
Day 6: Gorinchem - Dordrecht, Cycle Tour approx. 37 km
On your way from Gorinchem to Dordrecht, you pass by the national park of De Biesbosch, a green maze of rivers with crystal clear water and small forested islands. It is one of the few tidal freshwater zones in the world. At the end of the day, from the quietness of nature dive into the vivid city life of Dordrecht. The oldest city in the Holland area lies on an island bordered by large rivers and is characterised by numerous historic buildings, city ports and a fantastic atmosphere.
Day 7: Dordrecht - Rotterdam, Cycle Tour approx. 40 km
On your last stretch, explore the best-known windmills in the Netherlands at Kinderdijk. The 19 windmills, which date back to the 18th century, are beautifully preserved and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The windmills are well worth a visit! Follow the route along the Maas River up to Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world.
Day 8: Departure from Rotterdam
After breakfast, disembarkation until 09:00 a.m. Individual journey home.
- 7 nights in outside cabins on MS ARKONA with private facilities and air condition
- Programme according itinerary
- Port fees included
- Captains greeting and Welcome drink
- Daily cabin cleaning, Changing of towels and bed cloths if wanted
- Full meals: 7x breakfast, 6x light lunch on board (non cyclists) or packed lunch for cyclists, 6x afternoon coffee break, 7x dinner
- Daily informational meeting
- Information pack with route book (one per cabin)
- SE-Tours Tour guide on board (does not cycle with group)
Services not included:
- Journey to Rotterdam and from Cologne
- entrance fees and excursions
- bike rental
- ferry fares
- travel insurances
- parking fee
- drinks on board
Rental 7-gear-bicycle, hand- and coaster brake or free wheel (advance reservation, limited number), pannier bag and rental bike insurance. € 70,-
Rental E-Bike (advance reservation, limited number) with pannier bag and rental bike insurance. € 165,-
- Embarkation: between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Disembarkation: until 9:00 a.m.
- Bike Hire on Board: smooth-running 7 speed - unisex- city bikes with hand- and back pedal brakes or with free-wheel hub (please indicate upon booking) and pannier bags. Electric bikes (limited availability – timely booking required)
- To bring your own bike: on request only – due to lack of space on sundeck. Storage of bikes inside the ship is not possible.
- Cycle Tours: unguided. You will cycle between 30 and 55 km per day. The kilometres indicated for the suggested cycle tours are approximate.
- Cycle routes/ level of difficulty: The quality of the cycle ways along the route is excellent. Most of the stretches are paved or asphalted, and lead alongside the Rhine dikes without any gradients of note. This makes the trip suitable even for unpractised cyclist.
- Optional Excursions: tour legs and the ship‘s time in port permitting, an optional excursion programme will be organised. Excursions can only be booked and paid (in cash) aboard the ship.
- Luggage on board: We recommend waterproof rain gear, bike helmet, sun hat and sports shoes. We would like to ask you to do without hard-side luggage, as storage space in the cabin is very limited!
- Alterations of schedule or programm: Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
- Travel documents: EU-citizens (without special situations like dual citizenship, main residence abroad or a limited-validity passport) are required to have a valid passport or ID-card, not expiring within six (6) months of the return of your cruise. We kindly ask non-EU citizens, EU-nationals with multiple citizenship or anybody who has to respect special legal entry requirements for the country to visit, to inform about visa and entry documents at the competent embassy.
This trip is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.