Boat and Bike tour along Mosel and Saar
This tour along the Mosel and Saar combines the best of the German ‘Bundesländer’ Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland. While cycling from Cochem to Merzig you’ll discover the legacy of the Roman Empire, go beyond your limits and meet the ‘Queen of grapes’.
Go back in time and visit the Roman villas and public baths along the two rivers. In Trier you can visit the Porta Nigra. This ancient gateway is one of the best known monuments from the Roman era. On day six you go literally beyond your limits when we take a trip to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the village of Wasserbillig. While cycling through one of Germany’s major wine-growing areas this is an excellent occasion to taste a lot of different wines and see where they grow and how they are made. Get acquainted with the excellent but uncomplicated wines from the Saar and the so called ‘Spitzenweinen’ along the Mosel like the ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’. The main ingredient for those wines is the Riesling, a white grape variety which dates back to the 15th century and is crowned the ‘Queen of grapes’.
The route from dat to day Cochem to Merzig + km
- Sunday: Cohem, embarkation at 3 PM. Short cycling route
- Monday:Cochem - Zell, 44
- Tuesday: Zell – Bernkastel Kues, 40
- Wednesday: Bernkastel Kues,Moselle-Maare cycling trail, 55
- Thursday: Bernkastel Kues - Nearby Trier, 50
- Friday: Nearby Trier – Saarschleife - Saarburg, 35
- Saturday: Saarburg - Merzig, 35
- Sunday: Merzig, debarkation before 10 am.
Zwaan – Category ComfortPlus
- Capacity: 14/18 persons
- Length/width: 34 x 6,2 m
- Electricity: 220 V
- Wifi on board (free up to 100Mb)
Seven cabins with private shower, wash basin, toilet and central heating. The beds can not be placed together
- 2x Family-style cabins for 2 or 3 pax (double bed + single bed)
- 2x Friends-style cabins for 2 or 3 pax (twin beds + upper bunk)
- 2x Twin-style cabins for 2 pax (twin beds)
- 1x cabin in front of the barge for 1 or 2 pax (small double bed; accessible with steep stairs)
The chef prepares nice meals, which are served in the dining saloon or, weather permitting, on the sundeck.
Our motorised passenger vessels, about 35 - 45 metres in length, are former river vessels especially converted for this kind of holiday. The barges all comply with the strict safety regulations laid down by the Dutch Shipping Inspection Authorities. On board you find a cosy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.
Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Day to day schedule
1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1 Sunday: Cochem, embarkation between 2 PM and 3 PM
Your tour starts in the beautiful city Cochem with a lot of shops and terraces. Cochem is famous for its wines and dominated by the old Reichsburg.
Day 2 Monday: Cochem- Zell 44KM
The tour starts with a nice ride to the beautiful village of Beilstein, décor of many movies. Through five remarkable bends you’ll meander along the river to the famous vineyards of Calmont. The steepest slopes have a gradient of 65%, which makes it quite difficult for the farmers to tend their vineyards. Time for lunch on the banks of the river. Endpoint of today is the city of the black cat, Zell. The story goes that when a few wine merchants from Aachen had to choose which wine barrel they should buy a black cat jumped upon one of the barrels to defend it. Of course this made it clear for them which barrel they should buy.
Day 3 Tuesday: Zell–Bernkastel-Kues 40KM
As if it had imbibed a drink or two, the Mosel makes its way through a green and fascinating landscape with vineyards and forests. Just after leaving Zell you will bike to the “Marienburg” where you will be awarded by a splendid view over the Mosel Meander. Along the way you’ll find some beautiful towns and villages like the beautiful double city in Jugendstil, Traben Trarbach and the so called ‘Winzerdorf’ Wolf. The final destination is Bernkastel-Kues, a medieval town with romantic narrow streets, remarkable half-timbered houses and picturesque nooks and crannies.
Day 4 Wednesday: Bernkastel-Kues, Moselle-Maare cycling trail 55KM
In the morning the cycle bus takes you to Daun, to the start of the Moselle-Maare cycling trail, possibly the most famous cycling trail of the central Moselle. The track is built on an old railway line. There is no simpler way to cycle to the Moselle valley than on the former railway line through the Volcanic Eifel! The road runs through the landscape of volcanoes and crater lakes, along magnificent viaducts and past old railway stations. Light as a feather, it continues to roll on the Moselle bike path to Bernkastel-Kues.
Day 5 Thursday: Bernkastel-Kues - Nearby Trier 50KM
Along today’s route you’ll find a lot of Roman villas and public baths but also relics of other ancient civilizations as the Celts. All those historical buildings are placed on the slopes along the ever winding river. ‘Special by the day’ is the ‘Piesporter Goldtröpfchen’, a lovely local blended white wine that we are going to taste in a local wine-bar. The visit to the town of Neumagen-Dhron is interesting for its many Roman remains. This used to be an old Roman fortress and the place where the famous Roman whine ship was found. We spend the night at a mooring place near Trier.
Day 6 Friday: Nearby Trier - Saarschleife – Saarburg 35KM
During today’s tour we first take time to pay a visit to Trier, the oldest city of Germany, where you can visit some more Roman legacies like the Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine the Great and the amphitheatre. After lunch we leave the Mosel behind and go South along the Saar. Before you take ‘exit Saar’ we can take a detour and cross the border into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. One thing’s for sure, you’re not the first tourist in the area: it was around the year 365 A.D. that the Roman teacher and poet Magnus Ausonius wrote his hymn Mosella: ‘Greetings, river, framed by perfumed vineyard-covered hills, Framed by grass; river of greenest shores. Your strong waters carry ships, flowing in easy waves. Along the stream, and a glittering lake your depths emulate.’ For the night you’ll stay in Saarburg. Don’t forget to take a walk through the old town centre with the famous waterfalls and pay a visit to the old city castle.
Day 7 Saturday: Saarburg – Mettlach 35KM
From Saarburg you cycle south along the Saar. Around the little village of Saarhölzbach you leave Rheinland Pfalz behind and enter the Saarland. The history of this little village goes back to the year 802 and the government of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, king of Franks, king of Italy and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Today we will have lunch in Mettlach, a little town along the Saar River where you can visit the famous Villeroy & Boch porcelain museum. Today’s highlight is the beautiful Saarschleife (Saar loop). You will have the opportunity to hike to a panorama-point where you can have a great view over the whole region. After this interesting hike we double back for a few kilometres to our final destination Mettlach.
Day 8 Sunday: Mettlach, end of tour
After breakfast: disembarkation at 10 AM.
- All nights on board
- Breakfast and dinner on board
- Lunch packages when on the road
- Coffee and tea on board
- Moselle-Maare cycling trail
- Tour guide, cycles with the group
- Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
- Bike maps, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- Bicycle rent
- Bicycle insurance Hybrid bike (optional) E 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance E-bike (optional) E 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. E 15,- per tour
- Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance
If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a Lactose- or Glutenfree diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Glutenfree diet there is an additional charge of E 50, - per week.
Please take good notice of our booking conditions and cancellations terms.
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.