Gentle cycling along majestic rivers
Learn about Roman history
Taste fine Riesling wines
Premium barge with max. 31 passengers
During this cycling holiday you will follow the rivers Rhine and Moselle from Amsterdam to Cochem. The history of the region along the banks of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers dates back to the Roman Era, some 2000 or so years ago. You will see and feel the rich history of these majestic rivers, from Roman times to the Industrial Revolution, and from WWII to German reunification.
In the Netherlands you will cycle through flat, peaceful, farming countryside with the famous windmills along the way. Later on, in Germany, you follow the Rhine upstream, through cities like Ruhrort and Düsseldorf. Next stop is Cologne, once one of the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Cologne’s landmark is, of course, its monumental Dom cathedral, situated right next to the city’s central station and railway bridge across the Rhine. Then you bike through a more romantic section of the Rhine valley, with strongholds, mansions and the first vineyards appearing on the hills. You will visit Koblenz, a lively and interesting city, where the Rhine and the Mosel converge. Your last day of cycling is along the Moselle river. You cycle through this magical region with its culturally rich towns and cities, soak up the sights of untouched nature and endless vineyards.
One thing is clear: you’ll never be short of exciting things to do and see as you journey along the Rhine and Moselle.
The ship – Your sailing hotel
In between cycling excursions, you cruise along with the ship, which travels to a new destination every day. You dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board. You’ll receive a packed lunch every day, and you can usually choose between a longer or shorter bike ride. It’s also possible to spend a day on board if you like. There are rental bikes on board, but you can also bring your own if you mention it when booking.
Accompanied by a competent, professional and multilingual tour leader, you and the group will visit interesting sights and places on the daily cycling tours. During the bike tour, they will explain the local history and culture behind the things you encounter along the way.
Tip for a two-week journey:
It is possible to combine two beautiful tours to create a particularly diverse 15-day boat and bike holiday. The week after this tour the ship will continue through the beautiful Moselle river valley into France. Partly in Germany, partly in Luxembourg and partly in France, along endless vineyards and the enchanting old cities like Bernkastel, Trier, Saarburg and Metz. You can find more information here
Day 1: Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Embarkation in Amsterdam is at 2 pm. Please be sure to arrive on time! Following a welcome meeting with the crew, the barge will depart immediately. Dinner is served while sailing on the Amsterdam – Rhine Canal. Tonight, the ship brings us to dock at Wijk bij Duurstede; one of the oldest settlements in the lowlands.
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem (35 km/21 mi. or 44 km/27 mi.) | Arnhem – Rees
Enjoy breakfast while sailing. Today your cycling tour will start in Wageningen. You follow a route over the high Veluwe nature reserve. You cycle through heathland and forest. The Netherlands is known for being flat but here you will find some slight natural height difference in the landscape (by Dutch standards). This was formed in the last Ice Age. In this period the “Hoge Veluwe” area was right on the edge of the ice. In the afternoon we ride to Arnhem where we meet the barge. During dinner, the ship will sail upstream into Germany. Destination for the night is Rees.
Day 3: Rees – Wesel | Wesel – Duisburg (40 km/24 mi.) | Duisburg – Düsseldorf
The barge departs early this morning and over breakfast we sail to Wesel, where we disembark. Today we focus on the Ruhr area where Germany, and possibly Europe’s, largest industries are located. Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen and Dortmund are intertwined together through a maze of highways, railways and waterways. This region was once very prosperous and therefore a target in 1923, when French and Belgian troops tried to occupy it to enforce Prussia’s WWI reparation payments. From 1944-45 the Ruhr was also a top target for the Allies. After so much conflict and industry it’s hard to imagine that you can cycle here, but you can! The German government put a lot of effort into redeveloping the area after the closure of many factories. It may not always be scenic, but it’s an impressive and evolving post-industrial landscape not to be missed when visiting the Rhine. However, as we don’t want to cycle too long past factories, the ship picks us up at Duisburg and takes us on to Düsseldorf. We dine while sailing. In the evening there’s time to visit the Altstadt, where you can try the famous local dark beer, Altbier. You’ll be amazed what an international city Düsseldorf is, with foreigners comprising almost a fifth of the population.
Day 4: Düsseldorf – Zons – Cologne (28 km/17 mi. or 54 km/33 mi.)
The bike tour starts from Düsseldorf. There is also the option to start biking a bit later in the morning from Zons. We leave the Ruhr behind as we cycle towards Cologne. Today we follow the Rhine closely in order to arrive in Cologne early enough for some afternoon exploring. Founded by the Romans, Cologne is the oldest of Germany’s larger cities. In 50 AD it was already granted city status as a gift from the Roman empress Agrippina. Later, Cologne became one of the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Its landmark is, of course, the Dom cathedral, located right next to the central station and railway bridge crossing the Rhine. Construction on the cathedral began in 1248 and was only completed in 1880! The city was almost completely destroyed in Allied bombings of 1944-1945. The city hall however, dating from 1330, has been beautifully restored. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants of Cologne.
Day 5: Cologne – Bonn (38 km/23 mi.)
Today we follow the river again by bike in order to reach Bonn in time to explore West Germany’s capital from 1945 until 1990. Berlin was re-established as capital after Germany’s reunification, but Bonn continues to house six governmental departments. Like Cologne, Bonn was founded by the Romans, around the year 10 BC, as it was a good site to bridge the Rhine. Worth visiting are the old City Hall, the Münster Basilica, and the house where Beethoven was born. After dinner you can join a city walk through Bonn.
Day 6: Bonn – Remagen | Remagen – Koblenz (44 km/27 mi.)
During breakfast we sail to Remagen. Your cycling tour starts here, but first there’s time to explore this town’s rich historical past. Nowadays it’s best known for its once-famous Ludendorff Bridge, the only functional Rhine bridge captured by Americans in Operation Lumberjack in March 1945. After Remagen, a more romantic section of the Rhine valley begins with castle keeps, mansions and the first vineyards at the foothills of central Germany. We pass the beloved bathing resort of Bad Breisig and also Burg Rheineck. This stronghold, set in stunning scenery, dates back to 1100. We visit Andernach, once a Roman settlement. It’s still a wonderful town with many historical sites. Shortly after Andernach we arrive in Koblenz. Its name comes from the Latin confluentes, meaning the merging of two rivers (the Rhine and Moselle). The statue of Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia at the intersection of the two rivers is an impressive landmark. Koblenz is a city cozily rebuilt after the damages of the Second World War.
Day 7: Koblenz – Alken | Alken – Moselkern – Cochem (40 km/25 mi.)
We start the day by sailing to Alken where you’ll set out by bike to Moselkern. The village of Moselkern is famous for its castle Burg Eltz. This stronghold is one of the most impressive medieval buildings of Western Europe. It’s not easy to reach though, you need to hike the last section to reach the castle. After visiting Burg Eltz, you continue the bike tour to Cochem, one of the Moselle region’s most frequently visited wine towns. Cochem is a cozy traditional town full of wine cellars and half-timbered houses.
Day 8: Cochem
Today marks the end of your tour. After enjoying a hearty breakfast you’ll say your last goodbyes, and can disembark anytime up until 9.30 a.m.
The rental bikes on our ships are unisex bicycles with a low bar and a comfortable upright sitting position. These are stable and dependable bikes, good for miles in the saddle. Decide which kind of bike you want to rent and simply fill in your preference with your reservation. We’ll make sure you get the right bike for you. On most of our tours, the bike rental cost is not included in the tour’s price.
Every Boat Bike Tour rental bike is well equipped. The bikes consist of a lightweight aluminum frame and have highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds, an adjustable gel seat, normal flat pedals (no clips), an easy-to-use lock attached to the frame, and special puncture-resistant tires. All told, this is a light, stable and reliable bike, very suitable for touring long distances pleasantly.
Our e-bikes also have at least seven speeds and handbrakes. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame, and sport anti-puncture tires. Note that some of the ships have their own bikes on board. They may look a bit different, but qualitatively they are equal to Boat Bike Tours’s e-bikes.
The use of bicycle helmets is not required in the Netherlands, but for safety’s sake they are suggested. If you wish to rent one, you can do so during the booking process. If you book a premium tour and rent a bike or e-bike, then the helmet and a “limit of liability for damage or loss” for your bike or e-bike is included in the rental price.
Other rental items
Other items such as children’s bikes, tandems, family tandems (child & adult), tag-along, trailers to carry toddlers and child seats are available on request.
Taking your own bike or e-bike?
The fee for parking your own bicycle is €10 per week. For an e-bike the fee is €25 to cover parking and charging the battery. For safety reasons it is not always possible to charge your e-bike batteries in your cabin. The crew will tell you where you can charge the battery on board the ship. Neither the crew nor Boat Bike tours is responsible in any way for any damage, loss or theft of a guest’s own bike or e-bike or its accessories. Note: not all the ships are suitable or have enough room for extra bikes, so make sure you check with us well ahead of travel.
Our bicycles have a lightweight aluminum frame and are furnished with highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds and a gel seat whose height can be adjusted. Attached to the frame is an easy-to-use lock and the wheels carry puncture-resistant tires.
Our e-bikes also have highly-responsive handbrakes and a minimum of seven speeds. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame and special anti-puncture tires.
It is possible to take your own bike or e-bike with you, as long as it doesn’t have mirrors or other elements that stick out. There’s only limited space available on board for guests’ bikes. You can reserve a place for your bike for a small fee. Boat Bike tours is not responsible for damage to your bike or for theft.
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