Bike and Barge Germany
Koblenz - Saarburg
As far as cycle touring destinations in Europe go there are few better than the Moselle and Saar River valleys in Germany.
During a cycling cruise you can find out and experience yourself. In a word it is a “stunning” region highlighted by an enchanting countryside, fairy tale castles, award-winning vineyards on impossibly steep slopes and historic medieval towns and villages.
The Rhine’s peaceful little sisters, the Moselle and Saar Rivers as they meander from picturesque village to village, offer unsurpassed views of castles high on the hills, stone-clad fortresses, picture perfect wineries and much, much more. On a day to day basis as you cycle through this magical region you will visit culturally rich cities, will soak up the sights of untouched nature, will meet local winegrowers and bottlers and, importantly, will get the opportunity to relive the rich history of the region. It is without doubt a cycle tour not to be missed!
Picturesque villages, castles and fortresses and picture perfect wineries – Saarburg to Koblenz
The history of the region along the banks of the Moselle and Saar Rivers dates back to the Roman Era, some 2000 or so years ago. For guests on a bike and barge tour on board the MS Patria there is much to see… beautiful timbered houses dating back to medieval times, vineyards, the Porta Nigra, built by the Romans in Trier and the oldest defensive structure in Germany, the “German corner” at the junction of the Moselle and Rhine Rivers in Koblenz and Saarburg, widely referred to as “Little Venice” are just a few of the highlights of this memorable trip.
The Moselle, with a length of 544 km, is the Rhine’s longest tributary and is also the second most important shipping route in Germany, while the Saar, with a length of 246 km, is the Moselle’s longest tributary. This tour is perfect for families with children or for anyone of any age for that matter as the cycle paths along the banks of the Moselle and Saar Rivers do not have any gradients of note and are asphalted or paved. Your floating hotel for the duration of the tour will be the MS Patria, a much loved ship for bike-boat holidays for many years.
On the Moselle and Saar Rivers by Bike & Barge Tour the 68 metre-long MS Patria is your sailing home away from home for the week.
The journey along the Moselle and Saar Rivers takes you from Koblenz to Saarburg, with the return trip taking place the following week from Saarburg back to Koblenz.
Tip for a two-week journey:
It is possible to combine two beautiful tours to create a particularly diverse 15-day boat and bike holiday on the Patria. The journey along the Moselle and Saar Rivers takes you from Koblenz to Saarburg; the return trip taking place the following week from Saarburg back to Koblenz. On various dates the Patria also sails along the Rhine and Neckar Rivers from Koblenz to Bad Wimpfen and returns a week later, with highlights including the fascinating cities of Heidelberg, Worms, Mainz and much more.
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Koblenz
The MS Patria awaits you in Koblenz where the crew will welcome you on board from 4pm. Your first night will be spent in this fascinating and historic city, an important defensive and economic centre for centuries. Highlights include the old castle of Ehrenbreitstein which dominates the right bank of the Rhine, the 12th century Alte Burg Castle and old Koblenz town.
Day 2 (Sun): Koblenz – Alken | Alken – Moselkern – Cochem (Approx. 29 km/18 mi.)
Your tour starts this morning as the MS Patria sails to Alken where, following the distribution of bicycles, you will start pedalling via Moselkern to Cochem, your destination for the day. Cochem is a lovely little town that features historical half-timbered-houses, a picturesque old town and Reichsburg Castle.
Day 3 (Mon): Cochem – Beilstein – Zell on the Moselle (Approx. 39 km/24 mi.)
After breakfast you will cycle to Beilstein, one of the best preserved historical villages along the length of the Moselle. Towering above the village, which you will have the opportunity to explore, are the ruins of Castle Metternich. After leaving Beilsten you will pass Europe’s steepest vineyard – with slopes between 50 and 55 degrees – at Bremmer Calmont. Today’s tour ends in the wine village of Zell on the Moselle, well known in the wine industry for the wine “Zeller Schwarze Katz”. In Zell you should use the opportunity to get to know the good wines of the Mosel.
Day 4 (Tue): Zell on the Moselle – Bernkastel-Kues (Approx. 43 km/26 mi.)
Today you will cycle from Zell to the romantic village of Traben-Trarbach, located on the left bank of the Moselle and famous for its Jugendstil (art nouveau) architectural style. From there you pass through the wine city of Kröv – famous for producing the popular Kröver wine – to Bernkastel-Kues, your destination for the night. The grand half-timbered houses that surround Bernkastel-Kues’s market place date back to the Middle Ages and are a photographer’s delight. You will reach the ship in Kues after a tour through town.
Day 5 (Wed): Bernkastel-Kues –Piesport – Mehring (Approx. 47 km/29 mi.)
Today’s cycling tour is all about the history of wine growing along the Moselle. After breakfast you will cycle to Piesport, the oldest winegrowing community along the Moselle. Here is the largest ever found Roman wine complex North of the Alps. Later in the morning you will cycle to Neumagen-Dhron, widely recognized as the oldest wine growing city in Germany. After the lunch break, the tour continues to Mehring, another village famous for its fine white wine, where your floating hotel will be waiting for you.
Day 6 (Thu): Mehring – Trier (Approx. 26-29 km/16-18 mi.)
You will cycle via Pfalzel to Trier, where the ship is waiting for you. Trier is undoubtedly the historic highlight of the tour. A walk through the 16 B.C. founded Trier is an overwhelming journey through the millennia, with no other place in Germany able to give you a better chance to experience the time of the Romans. Highlights include impressive structures such as the Porta Nigra, the Konstantin Basilica and the Roman Amphitheatre.
Day 7 (Fri): Trier – Wasserbillig – Saarburg (Approx. 38 km/23 mi.)
Today you will be cycling along the river from Trier via Wasserbillig in Luxembourg to Saarburg, also called “little Venice”. In its center you will find a waterfall of 20 meters deep.
Day 8 (Sat): Saarburg
After breakfast until 09:00 a.m.: disembarkation and end of tour.
Details: In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.
Daily self-guided cycling tours. All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
When guests do not want to cycle, they can stay on board, relax and enjoy sailing.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
On the first day you are welcome to bring your luggage on board from 10am.
- 8 days/7 nights
- 7 x breakfast
- Packed lunches or noontime snacks
- 7 x 3- or 4-course dinner
- Coffee and tea on board till 4 PM
- Welcome drink
- Use of bed linen and towels
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Climate-controlled cabin (lower deck)
- Daily briefings by multilingual (German/English) on board tour manager
- Independent cycling tours (on board tour manager can be reached on his cell phone)
- Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
- Coffee and tea on board after 4 PM
- Bicycle rental or E-bike rental incl. pannier bag (bicycle only included for departures on April 6, 13 and 20 and Oct. 12, 2019)
- Helmet (not available on board)
- Personal insurances
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Entrance fees and excursions
- City maps
- Fees for ferries
- Transfers to/from the docking place
- Parking fees
- Wi-Fi (unlimited data package to be purchased on board: € 10 per device)
Additional options and information
- Rental bicycle: €75 per week
- Rental E-Bike: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available) You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
Transfers: Between Saarburg and Koblenz by train (in 2 hrs. for about € 24 p.p., group tickets can be bought on board with the tour manager) or minivan as from 4 persons (approx. € 75 p.p., bike: € 15). Limited number available, arranged by the tour manager on board, to be paid on site.
Excursion program: when the cycle stages and docking times make it possible an excursion program is compiled, which is bookable and payable only on board. Depending on the nationalities of the participants the excursions are available if necessary bilingual German-English.