A combined bike and boat tour through romantic vineyards from Koblenz to Saarburg or Saarburg to Koblenz! What could provide a more pleasant break than a trip to the Saar and Moselle, two rivers which wind through enchanting German countryside, where castles on the hills guard the route and you can visit market squares surrounded by timbered houses? Is it any wonder that Moselle wine has built up such a good name? The journey through the Moselle valley between Koblenz and Trier traverses some of the most beautiful countryside of Germany. You will meet winegrowers and bottlers on the way, but also cyclists from all around the world.
Day 1: Koblenz: Arrival and Embarkation
The MS Patria awaits you in Koblenz where the crew will welcome you on board from 4pm. Your first night will be spent in this fascinating and historic city, 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 2: Koblenz - Cochem, ~29 km/17 miles
Your tour starts this morning as the MS Patria sails to Alken where, following the distribution of bicycles, you will start pedalling via Moselkern to Cochem, your destination for the day. Cochem is a lovely little town that features historical half-timbered houses, a picturesque old town and Reichsburg Castle.
Day 3: Cochem - Zell on the Mosel, ~39 km/24 miles
After breakfast you will cycle to Beilstein, one of the best preserved historical villages along the length of the Moselle. Towering above the village, which you will have the opportunity to explore, are the ruins of Castle Metternich. After leaving Beilsten you will pass Europe’s steepest vineyard - with slopes between 50 and 55 degrees - at Bremmer Calmont. Today’s tour ends in the wine village of Zell.
Day 4: Zell on the Mosel - Bernkastel-Kues, ~43 km/26 miles
Today you will cycle from Zell to the romantic village of Traben-Trarbach, located on the left bank of the Moselle and famous for its Jugendstil (art nouveau) architectural style. From there you pass through the wine city of Kröv - famous for producing the popular Kröver wine - to Bernkastel-Kues, your destination for the night. The grand half-timbered houses that surround Bernkastel-Kues’s market place date back to the Middle Ages and are a photographer’s delight. You will reach the ship in Kues after a tour through town. In the evening you will have the chance to visit a local winegrowers place and enjoy a wine tasting with the famous Moselle wines (excursion, optional, bookable on board).
Day 5: Bernkastel-Kues - Mehring, ~47 km/29 miles
Today’s cycle tour is all about the history of wine growing along the Moselle. After breakfast you will cycle to Piesport, the oldest winegrowing community along the Moselle where, if you are interested, you can take part in an optional excursion (bookable on board) of a guided tour to historic Roman cellars and vineyards. Later in the morning you will cycle to Neumagen-Dhron, widely recognized as the oldest wine growing city in Germany. After the lunch break the tour continues to Mehring, another village famous for its fine white wine, where your floating hotel the MS Patria will be waiting for you.
Day 6: Mehring - Trier, ~29 km/18 miles
You will cycle via Pfalzel to Trier, where the ship is waiting for you. In the afternoon you can explore the city in a special kind of way. Book a city walk with a “traditional Roman”. Trier is undoubtedly the historic highlight of the tour. A walk through the 16 BC-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 7: Trier - Saarburg, ~38 km/24 miles
You have two choices today: you can either cycle from Trier to Saarburg along the banks of the Saar River or you can elect to take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery from your barge the MS Patria. Saarburg, also known as “Little Venice”, features 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. If you elect to cycle from Saarburg to Mettlach you can visit the “Villeroy & Boch” factory before returning to Saarburg.
Day 8: Saarburg
After breakfast disembarkation and end of tour.
Your boat - MS PATRIA
On the Moselle and Saar, the 68 meters long MS Patria, which can accommodate a maximum of 68 guests, is your sailing home. The ship is modernized for boat bike tours and has 34 cabins. There are only twin cabins (~7m², 2 single beds next to each other) with window (the windows on the upper deck can be opened, but for safety reasons those on the lower deck are fixed), shower + toilet, individually regulated air conditioning in all cabins on the lower deck, as well in the restaurant and salon. 15 cabins on the lower deck and 19 cabins on the upper deck (supplement). This authentic ship has a nice salon with bar and large windows in front of the top deck and a separate restaurant on the lower deck. On the partially covered sun deck there are sitting places (tables + chairs) for all guests and a cycle shed. The ship sails under Dutch flag and management and had its sailing area in the Netherlands for many years. As from 2011 its sailing area is in Germany and it is a very popular ship for boat & bike tours.
7 nights aboard the MS Patria
6x packed lunches when cycling
7x dinner (three course dinner)
bed linen and towels (change of towels every day on request)
daily cabin cleaning
welcome drink and information meeting on the first night
English speaking cruise guide
daily briefing of cycling
some short city tours
detailed maps and route descriptions
passenger and port charges
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival on Saturday
season I (499 €/person in double, lower deck)
11.04. and 17.10.2020
season II (+130 €/person in double and 150 €/person in single)
18.04. and 10.10.2020
season III (+250 €/person in double and 310 €/person in single)
25.04., 02.05. and 03.10.2020
season IV (+350 €/person in double and 460 €/person in single)
departure from Koblenz
11.04., 25.04., 23.05., 06.06., 20.06., 18.07., 01.08., 15.08., 12.09., 26.09. and 10.10.2020
departure from Saarburg
18.04., 02.05., 30.05., 13.06., 27.06., 25.07., 08.08., 22.08., 19.09., 03.10. and 17.10.2020
route (1)-(2): ~225 km/140 miles
mostly flat and on cycle tracks, tow paths, or smaller back roads with little traffic
how to get there
by car: motorway to Koblenz or Trier (then on to Saarburg)
by train: station Koblenz or Saarburg
by plane: airport Cologne, Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Hahn
in Koblenz: in public car park from 125 €/week or free out of town
in Saarburg: on unguarded parking near the ship for ~25 €/week (cannot be reserved)
back to Koblenz or Saarburg by van for 75 €/person (customer bikes for 15 €/bike, reservation needed, to pay locally, minimum 4 persons, on request), or by train for ~24 €/person
in season I and II the rental bike is included.
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