Day 1: Arrival to Passau
Embarkation by 4:00pm in Passau; departure is at 5:00pm. Enjoy a final view of the beautiful city of Passau as you glide serenely into the sunset, past dark green forests before entering the lock at the Jochenstein power plant on the border between Germany and Austria.
Day 2: Schlögen Danube Bend "Great Loop" | Engelhartszell – Aschach (26 miles/42 km)
Your first day’s tour begins with a ride through the classic scenery of the "Great Loop" Donauschlinge, one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube. Along the way, you will encounter tiny villages and cozy cider taverns. In Austria’s only Trappist monastery at Engelhartszell you can taste their delicious liquors and cheese. The famous "Schlogener View" provides a wonderful panorama of the surrounding Austrian countryside. The boat welcomes all cyclists back on board in the charming market town of Aschach.
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava (9-27 miles/15-43 km)
A narrow cycle path runs along the Iron Curtain from the castle ruins in Devin to the splendid palace of Schloss Hof, which boasts one of the most magnificent baroque gardens in Europe. After a stretch of untouched countryside, you arrive in the vibrant city of Bratislava. Our miniature train tour of the Slovakian capital in which Hungarian kings were once crowned (optional) begins with a glorious view from the fortress perched on a hill overlooking the city and ends with a walk through the beautifully restored historic city center.
Day 4: Budapest | Excursion to Szentendre (17-34 miles/27-54 km, or day of rest)
Savor the entrance to Budapest and the stunning views of the city's most famous buildings. Discover the city that straddles the Danube on a guided tour (optional) or take a detour to the delightful little town of Szentendre with its many artists and galleries. Get a taste of the fiery Hungarian temperament at a Hungarian folklore show with traditional music and folk dance accompanied by wine and local food (optional).
Day 5: Baja – Mohacs (23 miles/37 km)
From the quiet Baroque town of Baja, famous for its fish soup, you’ll cycle along the flood protection dykes in the Gemenc floodplain, through sleepy river landscapes, and past fields of sunflowers. At the end of today’s stage, you take the ferry to the little town of Mohacs, Hungary’s southernmost town on the Danube and famously the site of two battles with the Turks.
Day 6: Belgrade (day of rest)
Explore the fun-loving Serbian capital at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube by bike or bus, take a journey in time from the past to the present and learn about the rise and fall of Yugoslavia (optional). In the evening, Belgrade is bathed in a sea of light. Visit a colorful folklore show with traditional dances from all parts of the country, followed by typical regional specialties in the well-known Bohemian district of Skadarlija with lively folk music from a Serbian band (optional).
Day 7: Cataract Canyons / Iron Gates National Park (day of rest)
Experience the stunning fjord-like landscape at close quarters from the ship’s deck. The river cuts through the Romanian Carpathian mountains and the mighty foothills of the Balkan mountain range. A spectacular landscape with steep gorges, dark forests with historic monuments and impregnable fortresses on the shores that are reflected in the blue waters of the river: this miracle of nature will take your breath away!
Day 8: Novi Sad – Ilok (30 miles/48 km)
The imposing Petrovaradin fortress perches high above the provincial capital of the Vojvodina. After cycling upstream along a flat cycle path you take a ferry to reach the gentle foothills of the Fruska Gora, with its orchards, vineyards, and idyllic farming villages. Everything in the medieval town of Ilok is about wine. In the evening you will have the opportunity to sample some famous Croatian wines at a local wine cellar (optional).
Day 9: Batina – Mohacs (26 miles/42 km)
In the border triangle, you cycle through the never-ending "Backa." Small, idyllic villages and endless canola fields accompany you from Croatia to Serbia and Hungary. Farmers stop their work to greet you, and now and then you will meet a carriage. You will experience untouched nature in the Nemzeti National Park, and after the ferry ride to Mohacs, there is enough time for a visit at the White Stork Museum or the Memorial of the Battle of Mohacs.
Day 10: Kalocsa – Solt (31 miles/50 km)
Kalocsa is the “Paprika Capital” of Hungary and the character of the town is strongly influenced by colorful houses with hand-painted, bright floral patterns and the cathedral with its towers that can be seen even from a distance as they rise into the sky from the flat Hungarian plain. Visiting the Paprika Museum you’ll learn a lot about Hungary’s favorite spice. Continue your journey on the well-built cycle path along the flood protection dyke through the vast expanse of the Puszta. You will cycle through fields and orchards that stretch as far as the eye can see until you reach Solt, the birthplace of the famous conductor Sir George Solti. Vecsey Castle and the library with some 34,000 books are especially worth seeing.
Day 11: Danube Bend – Esztergom (27 miles/43 km)
The Danube is framed by steep wooded hills as it flows through the picturesque, hilly landscape of the "Hungarian Wachau." Set in the middle of the Danube, the delightful island of Szentendre radiates real Puszta romance. As you continue your journey on idyllic cycle paths through picturesque villages you’ll be able to experience the Hungarian zest for life at first hand. The dome of the imposing basilica in Esztergom can be seen from far. Hungary’s largest church, with its Tuscan-style high altar and a side chapel with red marble walls is especially worth seeing.
Day 12: Vienna (Bike excursion to Klosterneuburg, Danube Island, or Kahlenberg vineyards)
After so many action-packed days of cycling, you deserve some relaxation. Enjoy the breath-taking view of the idyllic floodplain forest of the Donauauen National Park and the impressive skyline as you sail to Vienna. Go for a bike ride on the Danube Island – Vienna’s favorite recreational area, cycle to the nearby Klosterneuburg Abbey, or wander through the idyllic vineyards of Kahlenberg (with magnificent views over the city and the Danube). The day ends traditionally with a concert of classical waltz and operetta music at a famous Viennese Palais (optional).
Day 13: Vienna (day of rest)
Discover Vienna: from the saddle on a guided bike tour or on your own with the HOP ON HOP OFF bus (optional). Ride through the historic city center at a leisurely pace and see the sights up close. The magnificent Ringstraße boulevard will remind you of times long ago, and inviting coffee houses will tempt you with delicious Viennese cakes and pastries. Afterward, there’s enough time to stroll through the quaint lanes or visit the Naschmarkt. Let your day in Vienna end at a rustic wine tavern.
Day 14: Wachau | Cruise Krems – Melk (23 miles/37 km)
This final stage of your cycling tour can be described as magical! The gentle hilly countryside of the Wachau valley with its picturesque villages, historic castles, and palaces surrounded by apricot trees and terraced vineyards, is one of the loveliest stretches. In Weißenkirchen the cycle path is lined with cozy vintner’s taverns and you should definitely have a break in this area. (Optional wine tasting)!
Day 15: Passau
Enjoy the first rays of sunlight and the early-morning tranquillity of the Danube valley one last time. Catch a final view of the Danube Bend at Schlögen – before you reach Passau, your heart bursting with memories and impressions. Disembarkation at approximately 10:00am. We recommend not to make any arrangements for onward connections departing before 11:00am.