Impressions from the Danube
Accompanied by a cruise ship you cycle along Europe's second largest river Danube from the charming Bavarian “three river city” of Passau straight into the heart of the once glorious Imperial and Royal Monarchy.
Passau – Vienna – Bratislava – Budapest – Passau
Enjoy three of the most enchanting European capitals: the lively Vienna, the Slovak coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and Budapest, the "Hungarian Danube Queen"! By bicycle you discover the stunning natural spectacle of the Schlögener Donauschlinge ("Great Loop"), the legendary Wachau with romantic towns and mighty castles amidst lovely vineyards, the untouched alluvial forests of the Danube National Park, as well as the picturesque Hungarian Danube bend where the important cupola of the basilica in Esztergom salutes from the distance. The highlights of the tour: Passau, the City of 3 rivers, the Schloegen Danube Loop, the Hungarian Danube Bend, the World Heritage Site Wachau, the metropoles of Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna.
MS Arlene II:
The comfortable MS ARLENE II provides the right ambience to make you feel at ease. The ship is being refurbished and upgraded in the winter of 2017/2018 (another partial renovation will be carried out in winter 18/19). In the tastefully furnished and fully air-conditioned restaurant on the Main deck, you can enjoy your dinner. In the saloon/bar with panoramic windows on the Upper deck, you can reflect on the day’s events enjoying a glass of fine wine.
All cabins on the vessel are outside featuring en-suite facilities with shower and hair dryer, TV, safe and individually controlled air-conditioning.
Upper deck: eight suits (approx. 15 m2) with French balcony and sliding glass doors and two twin beds. Further 16 two-bed cabins (approx. 10 m2, upgrading in winter 18/19) with two separate lower beds, thereof 6 cabins astern at rear of the ship; perceptive engine and generator noise (when ship is in motion and in locks) as well as two single cabins (approx. 8 m²). Both the two-bed and the single cabins on the Upper deck are outfitted with opening windows.
Main deck: the 24 two-bed cabins (approx.10 m2) also feature two separate lower beds, and have windows with an opening ventilation flap.
The spacious and partly shaded sun deck holds deck chairs, which invite passengers to enjoy the passing scenery in relaxation. Here there is also the storage space for the bicycles.
Look forward to interesting cycle tours, meeting nice people and having enjoyable time aboard the ship.
Day 1: Passau – Obernzell
Arrival in the "Three River City". Passau attracts many with the world's greatest church organ at the Stephansdom and it’s charming Old Town. Embarkation will be around 4:00 pm, departure around 7 pm. Enjoy your first dinner on board and an evening sail to Obernzell.
Day 2: Obernzell - Great Loop – Aschach – Devin, ca. 40 km
The day starts in Obernzell, the former summer residence of the bishops from Passau and leads you via Engelhartzell (the only Trappist monastery in Austria), towards the "Great Loop" - one of the most beautiful and original sectors of the Danube. Your cycling will encounter small villages and cosy must-see taverns. You'll board again in Aschach. Then, you "sail into the night" towards Devin.
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava, ca. 54 km
Arrival at Devin in the morning. The cycle tour takes you to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof. After crossing the green line you cycle along the former “Iron Curtain” towards the coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Tip: discover the hidden alleys of Bratislava, places and all the sights of this ambitious metropolis during a tour by mini train and by foot. In the night shipping to Budapest.
Day 4: Budapest (day of rest) or roundtrip to Szentendre, ca. 40 km
In the early morning, you enjoy the panoramic view of the Danube's gorgeous landscape on the Sundeck. The gateway to Budapest is overwhelming, as many of the famous tourist features are situated directly next to the river bank. In the afternoon you can explore the numerous attractions of the city. Nearby, you find the Margaretheninsel which is outstandingly qualified for a small bike tour or the charming town of Szentendre with Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art life. In the night shipping to Visegrad.
Day 5: Danube Bend | Visegrad – Esztergom, ca. 25 - 60 km
The Danube bend is definitely one of most delightful and attractive parts and is called the Hungarian Wachau. Today's bike leg starts at Visegrad with its famous fortress and the ruins of the former palace. You can choose from 2 different routes: the longer one includes a side trip to the island of Szentendre and the baroque village of Vác, which has been influenced by the architects of the Austrian empress Maria Theresia. The other route leads you directly to the bishop-town of Esztergom, with its gorgeous basilica – Hungary's largest Catholic Church – overlooking the village. In the night shipping to Vienna.
Day 6: Vienna-Nussdorf / (Korneuburg may also be possible) (day of rest)
You should be sure to see the most famous places of interest like the St. Stephens Cathedral, the Hofburg, the gorgeous boulevard "Ringstraβe" with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House or the town hall that takes you back to the past. In the night shipping to Krems (Wachau).
Day 7: Wachau – Emmersdorf, ca. 35 km
Your last biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small dreamy villages, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this gentle hilly landscape enchants everybody. A powerful ruin looms above the small Baroque town of Dürnstein, while the blue tower of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau. In the small village of Emmersdorf – located just opposite Melk – you will board again. After the farewell gala dinner, you start “sailing” back to Passau.
Day 8: Departure from Passau
Every journey draws to an end. Once again you enjoy on deck the first sunbeams and the peaceful silence of the Danube Valley. Take a last sight at the Schlögener Schlinge ("Great Loop") before you arrive relaxed at Passau. Arrival: approx at 10:00 a.m., disembarkation half an hour later. We recommend to arrange connecting trips from noon onwards.