Bike and Barge Germany.
Koblenz Bad Wimpfen
This boat and bike tour is without doubt a journey along two very contrasting and beautiful German rivers – the Rhine and Neckar. The romantic Upper Middle Rhine region is famous worldwide as a river valley straight out of a picture book, with towering cliffs, steep vineyards, castles perched on virtually every hilltop and pretty villages lining the river banks. By contrast the Neckar valley, unlike the Rhine, is a well-kept secret known only by a very few tourists outside of Germany. The Neckar valley boasts picture postcard medieval towns and villages, breathtaking views of castles and beautiful scenery at every turn of the river … it is simply a romantic gem waiting to be discovered by you on the best form of transport possible – a bicycle.
On board the MS Patria, your floating hotel for the duration of this 8 day/7 night bike and barge tour, you are in for a very special treat as you explore the most beautiful sections of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers by bicycle. While the Upper Middle Rhine is famous for its history, castles and medieval towns and villages, it is the much lesser known Neckar valley that promises to be the surprise card on this particular tour. What you will discover along the Neckar are ornately decorated half-timbered houses, impressive churches, castles, palaces and many historic monuments. Every city and village along the river has a unique atmosphere of its own, while the natural beauty of the valley has to be seen to be believed. At the end of the tour it will be interesting to see what your favourite valley was. Will it be the Neckar and its towns of Marbach am Neckar – famous worldwide as the birthplace of the classical poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller – the historic old town of Eberbach, Heidelberg, the city of romanticism or the idyllic and romantic spa village of Bad Wimpfen? Or maybe it will be the “Father Rhine”, which is associated with the famous Nibelungen saga, the Loreley rock, some of the best preserved medieval castles in Germany between Bingen and Koblenz or Mainz and its many museums… it will be an interesting choice. 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 both the Rhine and Neckar Rivers do not have any gradients of note and are asphalted or paved. For the duration of the tour you will live and travel on board the MS Patria, a firm favourite for cycle cruises in this area for many years.
The journey along the Rhine and Neckar Rivers takes you from Koblenz to Bad Wimpfen, with the return trip taking place the following week from Bad Wimpfen back to Koblenz. On various dates, the MS Patria also sails along the Moselle and Saar rivers from Koblenz to Saarburg and return a week later, with highlights including the ancient city of Trier, Cochem and Bernkastel. It is therefore possible to combine both tours to create a particularly diverse 14-day bike-boat holiday.
Day to day schedule
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Koblenz
The MS Patria awaits you in Koblenz where the crew will welcome you on board from 4 PM. 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 – Boppard | Boppard – Rüdesheim (Approx. 46 km/28 mi.)
Your cycle tour starts with the MS Patria sailing downstream along the river Rhine from Koblenz to Boppard – where the Romans set up a fortress 2000 years ago to guard the river – along the beautiful UNESCO heritage-listed Upper Middle Rhine Valley. From there you will cycle on the left bank of the river past towering castles and through the Lorely valley to Rüdesheim. Your night will be spent in either Rüdesheim or Bingen.
Day 3 (Mon): Rüdesheim – Mainz (Approx. 32-35 km/20-22 mi.)
Today you will have the choice of cycling on either the north bank of the Rhine from Rüdesheim through the beautiful Rheingau district to the historic village of Eltville and then onto Mainz or along the quiet left bank directly to the City of Mainz. In Mainz, a city with a rich history dating back to Roman times, you can enjoy many churches, museums and monuments. The most important are the Dom (cathedral), the Royal Palace, the State Theatre, the Citadel and the monument of Gutenberg.
Day 4 (Tue): Mainz – Nierstein (Approx. 17-26 km/10-16 mi.)
Today’s cycling will take you via Laubenheim to Nierstein, the biggest vine growing community on the river Rhine, where you will re-join the MS Patria to enjoy lunch on board. Later in the day you will have the chance to join a very special excursion. Explore the vineyards with a tractor wagon including a wine-tasting and diner at the local winegrowers (optional excursion, bookable on board). Guest who will not participate, will have dinner on board.
Day 5 (Wed): Nierstein – Mannheim | Mannheim – Heidelberg (Approx. 25 km/15.5 mi.)
Today the MS Patria will take you along the Rhine and into the Neckar River to Mannheim where you will start cycling to Heidelberg, your destination for the day. Along the way you will pass through the Celtic city of Ladenburg, one of the most colourful and best preserved villages on the Neckar River. In Heidelberg you can choose to walk to Heidelberg Castle on your own or you can join a guided tour through the city (optional excursion, bookable on board). Heidelberg is a city that attracts tourists from all over the world keen to visit Heidelberg Castle, the Old Neckar Bridge, Philosophers' Way, the narrow, winding alleys of the Old Town, the numerous market squares and the city’s magnificent churches.
Day 6 (Thu): Heidelberg – Eberbach (Approx. 34 km/21 mi.)
After breakfast you will cycle from Heidelberg via Ziegelhausen through the low mountain range of Odenwald to Neckarsteinach – famous for the four old castles that guard the village – to your destination for the day, the historic village of Eberbach. In the evening a night watchman in traditional clothing will guide you on a tour of the city (optional excursion, bookable on board).
Day 7 (Fri): Eberbach – Bad Wimpfen (Approx. 45 km/28 mi.)
The first stop on your final day of cycling is Burg Hornberg (Hornberg Castle) in Neckarzimmern. A partially ruined castle located on a steep outcrop overlooking the Neckar Valley, it is the largest and oldest castle in the valley. After visiting Burg Hornberg you will cycle to Bad Wimpfen, the destination of this tour. Make sure you explore Bad Wimpfen, a famous health resort on the river Neckar. The idyllic and romantic spa village is especially well-known for the warm, salty and revitalizing water that attract people from throughout Germany and beyond. The main sights are the Blue Tower, the ‘Steinhaus’ (Stone House) and the medieval old town.
Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Bad Wimpfen
After breakfast you will disembark, till 9 am: 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 10 am.
- 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 Oct. 13, 2018 or 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)
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 Koblenz and Bad Wimpfen by train (in 3,5 hrs. for ca. € 45 p.p. – group tickets can be bought through the on board tour manager) or minivan (approx. € 85 p.p., min. 4 pers., bike € 15). Limited availability, this will be arranged by the on board tour manager. To be paid on board.
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.