Back to overview

Rhine & Neckar, Germany’s best kept secrets. 2-river tour

Cycle along the amazing, nature-filled Neckar River!

September 29 - October 07 / 2025

Departure date: 29 september 2025
Average biking distance per day 25 to 55 KM / Level: Easy


Bike, Barge and cruise the mighty Rhine and charming Neckar river. Surrounded by mountains, vineyards and castles you will cycle your way thru Germany’s best kept secrets. Visit the romantic cities of Mainz, Worms, Heidelberg, Heilbronn and more. Included excursion to a vineyards with wine-tasting and a guided city tour.

Our guides scale this tour higher than the well-known and similar trips along the Moselle River. The Neckar River is less known but according to reports; more beautiful, more attractive cycling routes, more nature, more castles and less touristy.

Rhine & Neckar, Germany’s best kept secrets. 2-river tour | Cycle along the amazing, nature-filled Neckar River!
Departure port: Mainz Destination: Ludwigsburg Travel time: 9 days Countries: Germany Average biking distance per day: 25 to 55 KM / Level: Easy
Surrounded by mountains, vineyards and castles you will cycle your way through Germany’s best kept secrets. Excursion to the vineyards of Nierstein and wine-tasting included
€ 2.910,- p.p.
No more cabins available

Day-to-day itinerary

Rhine & Neckar Premium 2-river tour

Day 1: Mainz

Check in: 3:30 PM – 4 PM. We will offer a welcome drink and introduce the crew. We also inform you about the tour, the ship and give you a safety briefing. Mainz is known for its spacious squares, lovingly restored half-timbered houses and magnificent Baroque churches that lend the old town a “gemütliches” (charming) character. You can explore it during an after-dinner stroll, because we will stay here overnight.


Day 2: Mainz – Nierstein. Bike tour 25-30 KM

After Breakfast and a bike introduction, we first pay another visit to the city of Mainz. Your first bike tour will start from here and leads you along the Rhine river, enjoy the beautiful and always changing views from the saddle of your bike! In Nierstein you will board the Merlijn to drop your bikes, changes clothes and enjoy an including wine-tasting.


Day 3: Nierstein – Worms. Bike tour: 50-55 KM

After breakfast the bike tour to Worms starts and takes you away from the Rhine, along the vineyards and sometimes a little rolling paths. Beautiful nature will be your reward! Worms is famous for its Cathedral and Marten Luther. In the afternoon you will have time to explore this interesting city. After dinner you may want to have a look at the famous Nibelungen tower, which is located directly at the Rhine river, close to the Merlijn.


Day 4: Worms – Ladenburg. Bike tour: 40-45 KM

After another delicious breakfast onboard your bike tour will start. Partly Rhine, partly Neckar river today, the difference is noticeable. Merlijn will await you in the town of Ladenburg. After dinner your guide will show you this lovely little town, it is an example of a German town that you will see many more along the Neckar.


Day 5: Ladenburg - Heidelberg. Bike tour: 15 KM – or extend to 40-45 KM

This day we intended for everyone to really get their money's worth! The Merlijn will sail to Heidelberg, a fantastically beautiful city where the culture lover can indulge, but also the shopping fanatic can get his fill. Of course there will also be a cycle tour offered, short or long.


Day 6: Heidelberg - Eberbach. Bike tour: 30-35 KM

Today you will bike through the southern part of the Odenwald. From Heidelberg to Eberbach you will pass Hirschhorn, one of the pearls on the Neckar river. Hirschhorn has a charming castle, a Carmelite Monastery and an interesting Market Church.


Day 7: Eberbach - Heilbronn. Bike tour: 50 KM – or short 20 KM

After cycling along the Neckar river for a while, you  will make a short loop to the castle of Guttenberg. This castle is to be considered as one of the most beautiful castles in the Neckar valley. The tour ends in Bad Wimpfen where the Merlijn awaits you, enjoy an afternoon cruise onboard while the Captains navigates towards Heilbronn. Choosing the short tour, you cruise with Merlijn all morning and cycle the last section to Heilbronn.


Day 8: Heilbronn – Marbach - Ludwigsburg. Bike tour: 50-55 KM

Your last sailing breakfast onboard Merlijn. We make a short stop so you can start your bike tour along the Neckar river and you will bike along Benningen, where you can see Roman history in the Castle Vicus. Further you can see Marbach, a charming city on the Neckar river where the famous writer Schiller was born. Afternoon we will board the Merlijn and sail to our destination Ludwigsburg. After farewell dinner onboard you will have the chance to stroll through the city.


Day 9: Ludwigsburg

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

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


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.

Back to overview
No more cabins available

30 october 2019

Merzig to Cochem 'Moselle & Saar 2-river tour in Germany"

The entire trip was memorable , all 6 days of it , right from the moment we boarded till we disembarked everything was perfect, absolutely no complaints. The Barge Merlijn, the owners, Coen and Christina and their entire team were par excellence ! Our guide , Lia was fantastic, with great sense of Humour and was prompt in taking care of any bike related issues . The food was exquisite, the most delectable vegetarian food we ate lovingly prepared by Christina. The bike paths thru the Vineyards and the varied landscapes were perfect along the river Saar and Mosel. It was in reality doing a leisurely tour on a bike. The hike up the mountain to view the Saar Loop was awesome. Thanks once again Coen and Christina and not to forget the team. - Thanks and all the very best- Ravi