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Bavarian Danube tour in Germany

'Altmühl valley and the start of the navigable Danube"

September 12 - 20 / 2025

Abreisedatum: 12 september 2025
Tägliche route abstand 35 to 55 km / Level: Easy

Höhepunkte

Bike, Barge and Cruise along the famous Blue Danube. You will explore Germany's best-known province Bavaria while biking the classical cycle routes ‘Altmühl, Regnitz & Donau radweg’, and get to sample traditional German cuisine by stopping at local bakeries and dining out one evening. There are small picturesque villages along the way, as well as the splendid natural scenery of the Altmühl valley and Danube River. Learn more about this province, shaped by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and influenced by Austrian architectural styles. Cruise along the Main-Danube canal and sail the Danube River to its earliest navigable point. Be amazed by the town of Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the lively university city of Nürnberg. Guided tour of the well-preserved mediaeval city of Regensburg included.

Bavarian Danube tour in Germany | 'Altmühl valley and the start of the navigable Danube
Abreisehafen: Passau Bestimmung: Bamberg Reisezeit: 9 tage Länder: Deutschland Tägliche route abstand : 35 to 55 km / Level: Easy
Bike, Barge and Cruise along the famous Blue Danube. Explore Germany's best-known province Bavaria while biking the classical cycle routes ‘Altmühl radweg’ & Donau radweg'
€ 3.160,- p.p.
Reserviert von einer Gruppe

Tagesprogramm

Bavarian Danube tour in Germany

Day 1: Passau – Overnight dock

Afternoon check in, afterwards Merlijn will set sail. We’ll present you with a welcome drink and introduce the crew. We will also provide information on the tour, the ship, and hold a safety briefing. After departing from Passau, where the Inn, Ilz and Danube meet and merge, your bike and barge cruise will really begin. While you settle in the lounge or on the outside terrace with a drink, Captain will steer Merlijn through the first lock, and you can sit back and let the Blue Danube amaze you! A meal will be served during the cruise, and in the evening there will be time for an after-dinner stroll ashore.

 

Day 2: Overnight dock – Deggendorf - Straubing. Bike tour: 35-40 km

After breakfast and a bike introduction, your cycle tour to Deggendorf will start. The tour will lead you along the popular classic ‘Donau Radweg’ (Danube cycle route) via Niederalteich, home to one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Bavaria to Deggendorf also known as the gateway to the Bavarian Forest. Where Merlijn awaits you for a beautiful afternoon cruise along the most scenic stretch of the ‘blue’ Danube. We’ll cruise along Bogen, located at the foot of the steep Bogen mountain. Next up is Pfelling, a small village, but one with nautical significance, as it registers the water level in this shallow section of the Danube. Dinner will be served during the cruise, afterwards we’ll arrive in Straubing and stay overnight.

 

Day 3: Straubing – Regensburg. Bike tour: 30-35 km or extend to 50-55 km

This morning you can explore the city a bit more. Straubing is a ducal city, has Celtic and Roman roots, and is known for its unmistakeable green spired tower in the city centre, its picturesque town square, the baroque town houses, and the Graubünden Museum, which is worth a visit. Or you get on the paddles directly after breakfast and cycle an extra loop!

We’ll meet up again and start the cycle tour along the magnificent Danube. Afternoon you’ll board Merlijn, your home for the tour, and cruise to Regensburg.

 

Day 4: Regensburg. Bike tour: 20-25 km

Merlijn stays in port today, giving you the opportunity to enjoy Regensburg to the fullest. It is a fascinatingly well-preserved mediaeval town. Highlights include the cathedral dating back to the 8th century, the collegiate church and the stone imperial bridge. You have many options; cycling, culture, relaxing, all possible. We will organise a guided bike tour with an interesting pit stop at the ‘Walhalla’ near Donaustauf, which King Ludwig I had built as a temple to honour notable Germans. We also arrange a local guide to show you the city of Regensburg.

 

Day 5: Regensburg – Kelheim – Riedenburg. Bike tour: 45-50 km or extend to 55-60 km

This morning, you leave the bustling German town by bike to cycle through ‘the Winzer vineyards’. On the way, you can visit Bad Abbach, popular for its sulphur and mud baths. Before arriving at the city of Kelheim where the Navigable Danube ends and the Rhine–Main–Danube canal starts, the Danube bike route connects to the Altmühl bike route, which we will follow further.

 

After a visit to Kelheim, you’ll cross the bridge over the lock of Kelheim, where the next section is dammed and looks like a lake. After the lake, you will mainly follow the towpath along the canal. As we draw closer to Essing, its unique wooden bridge will come into view. Measuring 193 metres in length, this technical wonder and work of art is the longest wooden bridge in Europe. The Merlijn will await you at a dock. If you haven't clocked up enough miles, you can continue cycling on, or cruise to today’s destination Riedenburg, where we stay overnight.

In this stunning medieval town, you might want to visit the St. John Baptist Church or the Church of Our Lady, which may look like a proper Baroque church today, but is a medieval one at heart, dating back to the 12th century.

 

Day 6: Riedenburg – Roth. Bike tour: 50-60 km

Today’s bike tour will lead you along the Main-Donau canal. The bike rides will mostly be on gravel cycle paths, as you will see many others along this canal. Passing by the village of Beilngries, after a short break, you carry on through the Altmühl valley to Plankstetten, where the iconic Benedictine monastery on the edge of the forest, founded in 1129, dominates the surroundings.

After a coffee stop at a traditional German bakery, you will continue cycling to your last cycle destination Roth, where you’ll board the Merlijn.

Some parts of these days bike tours will lead along the abandoned old Ludwig-Donau-Main Canal, which at one time linked the Rhine with the Danube at Kelheim. The canal was named after King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and built between 1836 and 1846. Construction of the roughly parallel but much larger Rhine–Main–Danube Canal that we know today was started in 1921, but wasn’t completed until 1992.

 

Day 7: Roth – Nürnberg – overnight dock. Bike tour: 30-35 km

The tour for today goes along Stadeln and Fürth and is not too long, leaving you enough time to visit the historical centre of Nürnberg. Learn more about this historical, but also lively German university city. Don’t forget to try a ‘Currywurst mit Brötchen’: a type of fine German pork sausage typically steamed and seasoned with curry ketchup! After your visit, you cycle on to the dock where Merlijn awaits you. Afternoon we cruise, passing one of the highest locks of the Main-Donau canal.

 

Day 8: Overnight dock – Bamberg. Bike tour: 50-55 km

Today’s tour will lead you through the fields of the ‘Regnitz valley’, which, from south to north, connects the cities of Nürnberg, Fürth, Erlangen and Forchheim, with its half-timber houses and its old guard house. The roads are well paved as it is an official ‘Radweg’ (cycle route). Enjoy the wonderful natural surroundings on one of Germany’s most beautiful bike route!

Your last cycling day ends in Bamberg, a very charming, historic bishops’ town, and home to Villa Concordia, the historic lock 100, water castle, baroque house on the bridge, and the former fishing settlement of Klein Venedig (Little Venice) - all emphasizing the close connection between town and river.

Merlijn will be docked at a fair distance from the city centre, after your visit you’ll ride your bike to the ship. A farewell dinner will be served onboard and we’ll stay overnight in port.

 

Day 9: Bamberg.

After breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye and continue your European trip or leave for the airport.

 

Would you like to stay on board and travel longer on the Merlijn? This is an excellent trip to combine with the successive Vienna - Passau Bike & Barge cruise> This combination means your tour will run from Vienna to Bamberg.

  • Please note that Passau is a very busy cruise port. We may not dock in Passau itself but may have to divert to the first available berth outside Passau.

 

Included in your tour:

  • 8 nights onboard Merlijn
  • Individual climate control and private bathroom with shower, sink and toilet in all cabins
  • Supply of bedding, towels, facial tissues, hand soap, shampoo, sewing kit, vanity kit, bathrobe & slippers
  • Full service of staff, daily cleaning of the cabins, manned bar (no self-service)
  • Porterage of luggage upon arrival and departure
  • Daily loading and unloading of your bicycle to and from the ship
  • Use of lightweight state-of-the-art bicycle
  • Use of a waterproof bike bag, universal sized helmet, towel and a personal water bottle
  • English speaking-tour guide (experienced guide who knows the route like the back of their hand)
  • Brochures of the area available on board
  • Harbour, lock and canal fees

 

Included culinary care:

  • Welcome drink with bubbles
  • All day unlimited coffee, tea, hot chocolate and potable ice water (self-service)
  • Extensive breakfast buffet daily with at least; 2 warm dishes, freshly baked croissants or similar pastries, various types of bread, toaster, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit and various beverages.
  • Packed lunch prepared by the staff in a special lunch bag with at least a lavish sandwich, snack and drink.
  • 7 three-course dinners
  • Dinners are based on ‘plate service’, meals are served in the dining area.
  • Meals are perceived by our guests as “luxurious” or even “gourmet style”.

 

Included beverages during bar opening hours:

  • Several sodas served from a small bottle
  • Wide variety of wines (also non-alcoholic wine)
  • Beer on tap and various beers from the bottle (also non-alcoholic beer)

 

Included excursions:

  • Ferry costs on the bicycle route
  • Guided city tour in Regensburg
  • Entrance and audio tour at Walhalla

 

Not included in your tour:

  • 1 dinner
  • Excursions, entrance fees and guided tours other than mentioned
  • Beverages other than those mentioned (such as spirits and cocktails)
  • City maps, bike maps, etc. (we have a lot available however we can’t guarantee every destination)
  • Inbound and outbound journeys, such as flights, trains, bus or other type of transfers
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities (cash only)
  • Electronic payments of your onboard expenses (cash only)

 

For your comfort, we rent out electric bikes at € 30,- each per day, reservations in advance are advisable.

 

The Cancellation policy also applies to pre-booked and reserved use of e-bike or any other extra requested services.

The general terms and conditions of Merlijn de magie van water B.V. apply to all bookings, offers and agreements. Please find them on our website under ‘Terms & Conditions’.

Merlijn complies the General Data Protection Regulation to protect your privacy. Please find them on our website under ‘Privacy statement’.

We reserve the right to modify schedule and/or program. If (part of) the route is not navigable due to weather conditions and/or other nautical reasons and/or is closed off due to circumstances and/or for safety reasons, the operator and/or the captain has the right to change the schedule. This includes changing the location of departure and/or arrival and temporarily suspending departure. Nautical and/or meteorological reasons are understood to mean, among others, weather conditions, the tide, obstruction of waterways/shipping lanes, and the condition of the ship. Closed off due to circumstances and/or safety reasons are understood to mean, among others, terrorism, diseases, natural disasters. Changes in schedule and/or program do not give the customer the right on free cancellation.

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Amsterdam

April 01 - 07 / 2023
The entire trip was amazing! Everything was first class: crew, barge, cabin, bike, bike guide, food, service, attention to detail, communication. This was my first barge trip and I will be back!