Bike and Barge: Passau-Budapest-Vienna-Passau

Accompanied by a comfortable cruise ship, you will cycle along Europe’s second largest river. the Danube. Starting at the charming Bavarian “three river city”, Passau, before making your way straight into the heart of a once glorious Imperial and Royal Monarchy.

Discover three of Europe’s most enchanting capitals: the lively Vienna, the Slovak coronation city at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava, and Budapest, the “Hungarian Queen of the Danube”!

Experience the stunning Schlögener Donauschlinge (“Great Loop”), by bike. Explore the legendary Wachau, an area known for romantic towns and mighty castles amidst lovely vineyards, and 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.

Calender 8 days

Difficulty: Leisurely

From £1080.00 P/P

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Boarding time will be from 4 p.m. Located at the confluence of Danube, Inn and Ilz, the three river city, Passau, is full of interest and sites worth a visit. In your free time you can stroll through the cobblestoned old town centre, listen to the bells of Passau’s Gothic Town Hall, or see the world’s largest Catholic Church organ in the Passau Cathedral. Enjoy your first dinner on board, at 7 pm we cast off, for an evening sail to Engelhartszell.

Your day will start in Engelhartszell (where you will find the only Trappist monastery in Austria). From here, you will head towards the “Great Loop”, one of the most beautiful and unique sections along the Danube. As you cycle you will encounter small villages and cosy must-see taverns. You’ll board tonight in Brandstatt. Then, you “sail into the night” towards Devin.

Around noon you will arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia which is lively and exciting. We recommend going up the castle for an extensive view of the city and surrounding areas or take your bike around the town to explore all the local roads and alleyways. At night you will travel to Budapest by boat.

In the early morning, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Danube’s gorgeous landscape from the Sundeck. The first glimpse of Budapest will be 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 island, Margaretheninsel, which is perfect for a small bike tour, or you can explore the charming town of Szentendre with its  Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art scene. In the night shipping to Visegrad.

The Danube bend is one of most delightful and attractive areas on the river and is called the Hungarian Wachau. Today’s bike leg starts at Visegrad, where you will find a 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. The other route leads you directly to Esztergom,a town with an incredible basilica. Hungary’s largest Catholic Church the bacilica overlooks the  river and the village. In the night shipping to Vienna.

Discover the best of Vienna’s sights during your recovery day. You can take a city tour by bike or bus (optional), during which you will experience Vienna’s most famous examples of architecture, such as;  the imperial Hofburg, St. Stephens Cathedral, the gorgeous Ring boulevard and the State Opera House, the Burgtheater and town hall and, of course, the colorful “Hundertwasserhaus”. Relax in one of Vienna’s famous cafes. You can bring your evening to an end impressively at a classical concert (optional), hoested in one of Vienna’s most famous palaces. In the night shipping to Rossatz or Dürnstein (Wachau).

Your final day on the bike will offer a special highlight!The impressive castle ruins looms over the small Baroque town of Durnstein, while the blue spire of the monastery church is a landmark of the breath-taking Wachau Valley. Amidst the dreamy towns, apricot trees, vineyards and castles, this landscape is sure to enchant everybody who visits … you will be riding on cloud nine! You will board againIn the small village of Pöchlarn. After the farewell gala dinner, you start “sailing” back to Passau.

Enjoy the early morning sunshine, as you cruise back up the Danube, and wind your way to Passau. You will disembark at approx. 10.00 a.m. therefore connecting travel should be booked for no earlier than 11.30 a.m.

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Route overview

Nearly all flat, as you cycle along the Danube valley on metalled towpaths and minor roads.

Route Map (For guidance only):

Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most our the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.

Total distance cycled: 219 km


The comfortable MS Prinzessin Katharina provides the right ambience to make you feel at ease. On board the premium ship you can expect classic elegance, a tasteful interior and a friendly crew. Enjoy the special atmosphere and let yourself be spoilt by the good cuisine. On two passenger decks you will find a panoramic restaurant, a comfortable salon, two bars and an inviting foyer, a book corner, a small shop and a hairdresser’s salon. On the spacious, partly covered sun deck there are enough deck chairs available.

All 71 cabins are outside cabins and comfortably and tastefully furnished featuring en-suite facilities with shower/WC, hair dryer, air-conditioning, TV, on-board-radio, telephone and a small refrigerator.

Upper deck: 29 two-bed cabins, 1 triple cabin und 2 single cabins;
all cabins have approx. 11 m2 with french balcony (= floor-to-ceiling windows which can be opened). 2-bed cabins with a sofa bed and a pullman bed (stowed during the day for more comfort). In the triple cabin a 3rd bed is folded down from the wall (max. 80 kg).

Main deck: 38 two-bed cabins, 1 single cabin (all cabins have approx.
11 m2) with two sofa beds standing in a right angle and a picture window (not to open).

What’s included

The Bike & Barge: Passau-Budapest-Passau cycling holiday includes the daily transfer of luggage to the next hotel and local support if required. On some arrival dates the cycling tours are Guided where the minimum number of cyclists would be 10.

Included Services (Subject to confirmation)

  • 7 nights’ accommodation on on MS Prinzessin Katharina
  • Standard Bike Hire
  • Full board including tea & coffee
  • Captains greeting and welcome cocktail
  • Daily cabin cleaning, towels & bed linen
  • Gala dinner with farewell cocktail
  • Farewell crew show
  • Daily live music
  • Daily Information meeting
  • Detailed route notes & maps (1 per cabin)

Not Included

  • Flights to/from the start and finish
  • Evening meals (unless stated)
  • Local daily taxes (Payable at the hotel)
  • Helmets
  • Water Bottles
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bike Insurance (unless stated)
  • Welcome Meetings (unless stated)
  • Transfers (unless included)
  • E-Bike Hire Available as an Optional Extra
Whats included

Check Availability

We have put a calendar of events together that will provide you with some inspiration of what you can expect on your holiday, and when the best time to jet off is. Now’s your chance to travel further than you can by foot and be part of a memorable and exciting two-wheel journey with us.


Give us a call for bookings and enquires
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We are excited to announce that we are offering a 20% discount on all European Cycling Tours!


Terms and Conditions: The discount is valid for bookings made before July 31, 2023. The discount must be used for travel before November 30, 2023. The discount cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts.