Cycle and boat trip: Cologne - Münster
From the biker‘s paradise Münsterland to the Rhine Cycle Route to Cologne. In between castles, nature and industrial culture
8 days | individual cycle tours
From the biker‘s paradise Münsterland to the Rhine Cycle Route to Cologne. In between castles, nature and industrial culture Cycle and boat trip: Münster – Cologne 8 days | individual cycle tours
Highlights of this bike and boat trip
- Historic “city of peace” Münster
- Nordkirchen Castle, the „Westphalian Versailles”
- Nature reserve Lippeauen on the Roman-Lippe cycle route
- UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein Coal Mine
- Lake Baldeney and Ruhr Valley Cycle Route
- Niederbergbahn panorama bike path
- Angertal nature reserve
- Museums and pub culture in the old town of Düsseldorf
- Zollfeste Zons on the Rhine
- Roman city of Cologne with the Cologne Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
This bike tour combines the highlights of several very different routes. From the park landscape of the idyllic Münsterland region with its moated castles and palaces to a somewhat different culture in the Rhine-Ruhr region, which has undergone major changes in recent decades. Winding towers are now monuments to industrial culture, old colliery sites have become parks and cultural centers - all nestled in a surprisingly wide and green landscape in which the industrial relics develop a romantic charm. On the cycle routes you will experience the beauty of castles and historic architecture, creative towns and idyllic nature areas. In many cases, the route leads along a river or canal, on the banks of which numerous caf.s, beer gardens or picnic areas with a view invite you to take a break. In Münster, Düsseldorf and Cologne you will also discover three of the most beautiful old towns in North Rhine-Westphalia. Your floating hotel, the cozy 24-passenger ship MS Quo Vadis, will accompany you and provide you with a comfortable stay on board at the end of each cycle route.
The routes are easy to ride and have low gradients. They follow Westphalian p.ttkes (quiet asphalt farm roads and hardsanded bike paths through nature), river bike paths, railroad tracks and well-signposted regional quality bike routes with good infrastructure. Only short stretches lead through urban areas. Day 6 is a bit more strenuous with some elevation gain north of Düsseldorf.
Ship Quo Vadis
Route Cologne – Münster
Day 1 (Sat): approx. 16:00 start in Cologne
The Roman city on the Rhine Cycle Route
Embarkation in the ancient Roman city of Cologne, where the Quo Vadis awaits you in the central Rheinauhafen. Take a walk across the Domplatte and through the alleys of Cologne‘s old town. 18:00 Reception on board with sparkling wine followed by dinner at 18:30.
Day 2 (Sun): Cologne – Rhine Cycle Route – Düsseldorf
Bike tour 48 km / 159 m uphill
Through the Rhine meadows to Düsseldorf
Today you cycle from the Cologne harbor through the industrial backdrop of the Ford factories directly into the green meadows of the Rhine. From here you will go to the customs fortress of Zons. It’s town wall and charm take you back to the Middle Age. You can relax on the riverbanks at the Rhine and follow the cycle path through the floodplain landscape of the Urdenbacher Kämpe with pollarded wil- lows and hundreds of apple and pear trees. Shortly afterwards you reach Benrath Palace, one of the most beautiful late Baroque garden palaces in Europe. The last kilometres of the day‘s stage lead along the Rhine bends via Vollmerswerth to Düsseldorf harbor. End the evening on the Rhine promenade and soak up the atmosphere of the special pub culture of the Rhenish metropolis.
Day 3 (Mon): Düsseldorf – Mülheim/Ruhr
Bike tour 50 km / 348 m uphill (flatter route possible)
Cycling along the river: Rhine, Anger and Ruhr
The first few kilometers are a relaxed cycle along the Rhine to Kaiserswerth and Kalkum Castle. Passing the Angermunder See lake, you cycle through the green countryside towards the Angertal valley. The Cromford Textile Factory Museum, located in an old English landscape park, offers interested visitors an insight into cotton spinning 200 years ago. Along the river Anger, floodplain forests alternate with green meadows. Haus Anger and Gräfgenstein Castle, visible from afar, still bear witness to the age of chivalry. The beer garden of the Auermühle, one of many along the Anger, is ideal for a break at the water. Later on, you cycle along the Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path, an old railway line. There are small slopes, but it also offers you exceptionally beautiful views. Soon you reach the Kettwiger reservoir and the Ruhr. Always close to the riverbank, the route leads to Mülheim an der Ruhr. There is much to discover around the city harbor, including the Aquarius Water Museum, Styrum Castle Park and the MüGa State Garden Show Park.
Day 4 (Tue): Mülheim an der Ruhr – Gelsenkirchen
Bike tour 49 km / 260 m uphill
From the Ruhr Cycle Route to the Zollverein Coal Mine The Ruhr Valley
Cycle Route takes you to Lake Baldeney, the largest of the 6 Ruhr reservoirs. Villa Hügel, the home of the Krupp family of industrialists, is worth a short detour. Follow the river through the Heisinger Ruhraue na- ture reserve, an old arm of the Ruhr, to Essen. A highlight of industrial culture awaits you in the north of the city in the form of the Zollverein Coal Mine (UNESCO World Heritage Site). A walk through the grounds offers you new perspectives of the imposing steel and brick Bauhaus architecture. The RuhrMuseum and the Red Dot Design Museum with 2000 exhibits are located on the grounds. Continue cycling along the Rhine-Herne Canal via the 7-bridges cycle path to the ship‘s berth in Gelsenkirchen. Alternatively, you can go (shorter route) from Mülheim to Stoppenberg via the Ruhr cycle path.
Day 5 (Tue): Gelsenkirchen – Datteln
Bike tour 44 km / 200 m uphill (shorter route 35 km possible) Industrial Culture Route
Today is again a day of contrasts between exciting industrial culture and nature. From the port of Gelsenkirchen you cycle into the forest landscape of the Resser Mark, past the Ewaldsee lake to the Rhine-Herne Canal. You follow the rou- te of Industrial Culture with the former Recklinghausen II Colliery with its historic winding tower, the Museum Strom und Leben, Bladenhorst Castle and the former Henrichenburg. The old ship lift is one of the most spectacular structures on the Route of Industrial Heritage. It was not until it was completed in 1899 that the Dortmund-Ems Canal could be navigated all the way to Dortmund harbour. From here it is not far to the ship that awaits you in the port of Datteln. The longer route includes a detour to Herten Castle and the idyllic old village of Westerholt. Here you can enjoy a drink in the castle garden or on the village square surrounded by half-timbered houses.
Day 6 (Mon): Datteln – Lünen – Werne – Hamm
Bike tour 45–59 km / 190–227 m uphill
Between the Ruhr district and Münsterland
Along the Lippe River, the route leads to Lünen and the listed Victoria coal mine settlement. After a few kilometers through nature and forest, Cappenberg Castle appears. About halfway along the way, the historic old town of Werne invites to a stop at the market square with a view on the old town hall. On the Römer-Lippe route, you then cycle surrounded by waterways. A dam leads in between the Lippe and the Datteln-Hamm Canal to Maximilianpark in Hamm, the first renaturalized coal mine site in Germany. Here, a special adventure park has been created: with lakes, art, a butterfly house, the 40m high glass elephant and relics of the mining era. Alternatively, to Oberwerries Castle in the Lippe meadows north of Hamm. At the end of the day, you will go back from Hamm to Datteln by ship.
Day 7 (Sun): Datteln – Lüdinghausen – Münster
Bike tour 61 km / 166 m uphill or 48 km / 152 m uphill.
Rivers and castles in Münsterland
During breakfast the ship departs and sails along the Dort- mund-Ems Canal to Lüdinghausen, known as the 3-castle town. Vischering Castle exudes medieval flair and can be reached quickly from the pier. Cycle around the picturesque Gräftenring and the nearby Lüdinghausen Castle before getting back on the bike for the last stage of the trip. Along the banks of the Stever you cycle out of the town into the Westphalian countryside with fields, ramparts and farms. Soon the Westphalian Versailles, the magnificent Nordkirchen Castle, is in sight. Admire the large baroque park with moats and sculptures. Continue on the 100 castles route: After the manor houses Haus Borg and Haus Bisping, you will reach the enchanting riverbank of the Werse behind Rinkerode. Follow the Werseradweg cycle path through the green park landscape to the city of peace, Münster. The ship is moored in the city harbour at the Kreativkai in the centre of Münster. A visit to the historic old town is worthwhile: visit the historic Friedenssaal (Peace Hall) or enjoy the view of the impressive cathedral, the gabled houses on Prinzipalmarkt and the old town hall in one of the street cafés.
Day 8 (Sat): End of the tour after breakfast.
Extension days possible.
All kilometres and metres in altitude are approximate. On the shorter routes, it is not possible to visit all of the mentioned stopovers.
- Bicycle and boat vacation 8 days, 7 nights
- Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x lunch/lunch pack, 5 x three-course dinners, 1 x four-course dinner)
- Welcome drink and information talk on the first evening
- Accommodation in the booked cabin category with shower and WC
- Bedding and bed linen, (on request daily fresh towels)
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Daily program briefings by the crew
- Maps and route descriptions for cycling tours (1x per cabin), tourist information
- GPS tracks
- Use of a waterproof pannier bag
- Travel to/from the ship‘s berth
- bike or e-bike rental
- personal insurance
- tips (at own discretion)
- 1 dinner on board
- entrance fees
- parking fees.
Note: 1 x no dinner on board, but at your own expense in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Restaurants are located near the pier in the city harbor of Mülheim.
Preview Travel dates 2023: 12 weeks
03 June to 26 August 2023