Bike and Barge Moselle and Saar
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 one 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, meandering from one picturesque village to the other, 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 cycling cruise not to be missed! The cycle paths along the banks of the Moselle and Saar Rivers do not have any gradients of note and are asphalted or paved.
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. The history of the region along the banks of the Moselle and Saar Rivers dates back to the Roman Era, some 2.000 or so years ago. For guests on a cycling cruise there is so much to see: beautiful timbered houses dating back to medieval times, vineyards, the Porta Nigra in Trier, built in Roman times, the oldest defensive structure in Germany, the “German Corner” at the confluence 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.
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.
Tour Details Germany: From Saarburg to Koblenz | MS Patria
Day 1 (Sat): Saarburg
The Patria awaits you in Saarburg where the crew will welcome you on board between 4 and 5 p.m. 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. You will be officially welcomed on board by the captain and crew at 6 p.m..
Day 2 (Sun): Saarburg – Wasserbillig (Lux) – Trier (38 km/24 mi.)
After 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. Continue to Wasserbillig in Luxemburg and from here to the “Igeler Säule”. Later you will reach Trier, your destination for the day, where the Patria will be waiting for you. If you are interested you can book a guided city walk in Trier (not included). 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 3 (Mon): Trier – Pfalzel – Mehring (26 km/16 mi. or 29 km/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.
Day 4 (Tue): Mehring – Piesport – Bernkastel-Kues (47 km/29 mi.)
You will reach Bernkastel-Kues by bicycle. 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 is the largest ever found Roman wine complex North of the Alps. You should take the time to enjoy the popular wines.
Day 5 (Wed): Bernkastel-Kues – Traben-Trarbach – Zell on the Moselle (43 km/27 mi.)
Today’s cycling 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 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 (optional, not included).
Day 6 (Thu): Zell – Beilstein – Cochem (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 cycling 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 (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 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 center 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): Koblenz
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.00 a.m.
Good to know
Parts that are printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended cycling tours
The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the cycling tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 10 am on.
Cycle tours: The daily cycling tours are non-guided, independent tours. You will ride individually with the help of a detailed cycling map and printed route notes (available on board). The on-board tour manager will provide you with all necessary tour information during her/his daily briefings. The on-board tour manager doesn’t cycle her-/himself but can always be reached on her/his cell phone. During days when two bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the short cycling option.
Bike routes / degree of difficulty: The quality of the bike paths is very good. The Moselle cycle path runs mostly on paved or asphalted roads without significant gradients. Therefore, this trip is also suitable for untrained cyclists.
Optional Excursions: Depending on 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!
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 tour is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.
- 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)
- GPS tracks
- 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 11 and 18; Oct. 10 and 17, 2020)
- 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: €75 per week (bike with freewheel OR backpedal brake, please indicate by booking)
- Rental E-Bike: €165 per week (only on request, e-bike with freewheel OR backpedal brake, please indicate by booking, 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).
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.
Minimum number of participants: 40 guests (must have been reached within 21 days prior to departure).
Travel during corona time
On our tours we make sure that you can travel safely! We follow all possible safety measures on board by observing hygiene rules, equipping staff with face masks and with extra cleaning and sufficient ventilation. All guests, crew and tour leaders complete a health declaration in advance, and during the trip we take care that everyone stays healthy!