Bike and Barge Germany
Saarburg - Koblenz
As far as cycle touring destinations in Europe go there are few better than the Moselle and Saar River valleys in Germany.
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. On various dates the MS Patria also sails along the Rhine and Neckar Rivers from Koblenz to Bad Wimpfen and return a week later. Highlights of both tours include the fascinating cities of Heidelberg, Worms and Mainz and much more. It is therefore possible to combine both tours to create a particularly diverse 14-day bike-boat holiday.
Tour dates 2019 – Patria: Koblenz – Saarburg: departures on April 6 and 20; May 4; June 1, 15 and 29; July 27; August 10 and 24; Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 Saarburg – Koblenz:departures on April 13 and 27; May 11; June 8 and 22; July 6; August 3, 17 and 31; Sept. 28 and Oct. 12
Season A: departures on April 6 and Oct. 12 (rental bicycle incl.) Season B: departures on April 13 and 20 (rental bicycle incl.) Season C: departures on April 27; May 4 and 11; Oct. 5 Season D: departures on June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; July 6 and 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; Sept. 21 and 28
Tour Details Germany: From Saarburg to Koblenz | MS Patria
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Saarburg
The MS Patria awaits you in Saarburg where the crew will welcome you on board from 4 pm. You will spend your first night and evening in Saarburg a welcoming city that you are encouraged to explore. Highlights include Saarburg Castle (Saar Castle), a massive complex mentioned in official documents as early as 964, the Saarburg Waterfall on the River Leuk and many historical buildings.
Day 2 (Sun): Saarburg – Wasserbillig (Lux) – Trier (Approx. 38 km/23 mi.)
Following the distribution of bicycles your first day of cycling will see you pedal from Saarburg along the idyllic nature reserve of the abandoned meander of the River Saar. Further on to Wasserbillig in Luxemburg and from here to the Igeler Säule. Later you will reach Trier, your destination for the day and where the MS Patria will be waiting for you. If you are interested you can book an optional guided excursion of Trier (bookable on board). A walk through the 16 BC-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 3 (Mon): Trier – Pfalzel – Mehring (Approx. 26-29 km/16-18 mi.)
After breakfast you will cycle from Trier via the charming village of Pfalzel to Mehring, famous for its white wine and home to the largest winegrowing community in the Moselle-Saar-Ruwer region. In the evening you will have time to explore the village.
Day 4 (Tue): Mehring – Piesport – Bernkastel-Kues (Approx. 47 km/29 mi.)
You will reach Bernkastel-Kues by bike. The market place from the Middle Ages with many wood timbered houses invites you for a rest. On your way you come to Neumagen-Dhron which is the oldest wine city of Germany. Further on you reach Piesport, the oldest winegrowing community along the Moselle. Here you can book a guided tour and visit the Roman cellars and the vineyards.
Day 5 (Wed): Bernkastel-Kues – Traben-Trarbach – Zell (Approx. 43 km/26 mi.)
Today’s bike tour will take you to the romantic village of Traben-Trarbach, located on the left bank of the Moselle and famous for its Jugendstil (art nouveau) architectural style. Further along the Moselle your destination for the night is Zell, well known in the wine industry for the wine “Zeller Schwarze Katz”. In the evening you will have the chance to visit a local winegrowers place and enjoy a wine tasting with the famous Moselle wines (optional, bookable on board).
Day 6 (Thu): Zell – Beilstein – Cochem (Approx. 39 km/24 mi.)
Beilstein, ‘the Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle’ and one of the best preserved historical villages along the length of the Moselle is the highlight of today’s cycle tour. Towering above the village, which you will have the opportunity to explore, are the ruins of Castle Metternich. Today’s tour will end in Cochem, a lovely little town that features historical half-timbered-houses, a picturesque old town and Reichsburg Castle.
Day 7 (Fri): Cochem – Alken (Approx. 29 km/18 mi.) | Alken – Koblenz
After breakfast your final day of cycling will see you pedal to Alken, one of the oldest cities on the Moselle, where the MS Patria will be waiting for you to sail to Koblenz, where you will spend your final night on board. Koblenz, a fascinating and historic city, has been 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 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Koblenz
After breakfast: disembarkation and end of the 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 11am
- 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: €70 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.