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Danube – Bike & Boat Passau to Budapest (Return)

Tour: BBDB8
Bike & Boat Holiday

Experience four countries, four vibrant historic cities and Europe’s best-loved river valley on a relaxing cruise down the Danube dotted with excellent opportunities for some superb stretches of scenic cycling. From Passau to Vienna, Bratislava to Budapest there are world-famous castles, monasteries, vineyards and picture-perfect villages waiting to be explored at your own pace by bike. Or you can simply sit back on board the comfortable MS Prinzessin Katharina or luxury vessel with swimming pool MS Manon and enjoy the stunning views and perhaps sign up for an excursion or two (payable locally). A wonderful treat of a tour to enjoy with family or friends including those who might just prefer to dip a toe in the water when it comes to exploring on two wheels. 2023 Prices now available Read More


Austria, Europe

Start Day

Fri, Sat

Board Basis

Full Board

Prices from



8 Days, 7 Nights


Apr - Oct

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

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Home > Austria > Danube – Bike & Boat Passau to Budapest (Return)


Combining a cruise with cycling stretches is a truly classic way to discover the treasures of the Danube including Passau, the City of Three Rivers; musical Vienna; Slovakia’s Bratislava and unbeatable Budapest. Pedal out from your floating hotel as you stop off for easy day rides packed full of new discoveries, from the castles and vineyards of the über-impressive Wachau to the massive basilica at Esztergom and beautiful baroque villages nestling in the wooded Hungarian hillsides.

All cycling is optional, allowing you to experience this iconic river valley up close, or simply sit back and watch the show from the comfortable deck of MS Prinzessin Katharina or luxury vessel with swimming pool MS Manon.

Tour Code:
Bike & Boat, Cycling
Bike & Boat Holiday
Austria, Europe
8 Days, 7 Nights
Board Basis:
Full Board
Apr - Oct


Please note:

Due to navigation conditions, the exact details of itineraries are confirmed daily at the morning briefing meetings. All cycling itineraries are optional. All overnights are on board your floating hotel, MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina and some overnights may include transit to the next destination.

Day 1 All aboard!

They say that the best way to see historic Passau, the city of Three Rivers and confluence of the Donau (Danube), Inn and Ilz is from the water. Before you embark for your cruise however, take time to explore the bishop’s fortress perched high on the crest between two rivers or the delightful old time and Baroque beauty of Sankt Stephansdom. Boarding time for your cruise and cycle adventure is around 4pm, setting sail for Englehartszell at around 7pm whilst you enjoy a welcome cocktail and first dinner on board.

Day 2 Unwind around the ‘Schlögener Schlinge’

Start the day quietly perhaps in Engelhartszell with a visit to Austria’s only Trappist Monastery, famed for its heady, health-promoting cordials and liqueurs. The famous Schlögen loop will have you in a spin of sorts next. One of the most beautiful and original river sections, it’s where the Danube meets a granite rock bed and does a 180 degree turn in one mighty meander. The route to Brandstatt where you rejoin the ship is dotted with charming little villages and welcoming ‘Keller’, typical taverns just right to stop a while and watch the world cruise by. Once back on board, the ship sets sail for an overnight passage to Devin.

Miles: 32 Kms: 46

Day 3 Bike around Bratislava

Arrive in Devin – home to mighty medieval castle ramparts and a legendary Maiden Tower, an impressive cliff-top edge of the confluence of the Danube and Morava Rivers and undoubtedly the place for panoramic views.  Cycle out to the Imperial Palace of Hof with its world-renowned Baroque terraced gardens before crossing borders to pedal along the old iron curtain into the impressive Slovakian city of Bratislava where there is an opportunity to tour the city on an optional mini-train/walking tour excursion (payable locally) if you wish. Overnight, you sail on to Budapest.

Miles: 33 Kms: 54

Day 4 A tale of two cities - Budapest

Spend the morning up on the sundeck of the ship, wondering at the views on the final few kilometres of Hungarian countryside on the approach to Budapest. As arrivals in cities by river go, this has to be one of the best, with many of the impressive sights lined up along the river bank. The embankments of both Pest and Buda are incredible and it’s hardly surprising that the view of the Buda Castle district and Danube embankments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the afternoon, there’s a chance to join a tour of the city by coach (optional – payable locally) or take yourself off on two wheels to explore Margaretheninsel or the attractive little town of Szentendre with its almost Mediterranean feel, home of many Hungarian artists and rich in folk traditions. Overnight, the MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina sails on to the Hungarian town of Visegrád.

Miles: 30 Kms: 48

Day 5 Round the bend again - The ‘Hungarian Wachau’

Just north of Budapest, the wooded hills of Pilis, Visegrád and Börzsöny make for beautiful backdrop at a sharp bend in the Danube which is often referred to as the ‘Hungarian Wachau’. Saddle up in Visegrád to visit the town’s famous fortress and ruins of its former palace before choosing from two different cycle tour routes. For the shortest option, head directly to Esztergom with its über-impressive basilica, the largest Catholic church in Hungary, or maybe take the detour en route to visit Szentendre and the Baroque village of Vác influenced by the architects of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia. Overnight, the MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina sails back into Austria to Vienna.

Miles: 15-37 Kms: 25-60

Day 6 All of a whirl – Time out in Vienna

You might choose to take up the chance to attend a Waltz and Operetta concert (optional, payable locally) during your stay in Vienna, but whatever you choose to do, this is a city so full of amazing cultural offerings that you’re sure to be all of a whirl. Must-sees include the big wheel and St Stephen’s Cathedral as well as the Hofburg, but the coffee houses are seriously tempting and the exquisite cakes displayed in the windows even more so! Take a guided city tour by bike or bus (both optional, payable locally) to see the impressive ‘Ringstrasse’ including the historic Burgtheater, State Opera House and town hall. Overnight, the MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina sails on to Rossatz or Dürnstein in the Wachau.

Day 7 The unique Wachau Valley

Perhaps this Danube cruise and cycle leaves the best until last? Nothing compares with the enchanting landscapes of the Wachau Valley: its apricot orchards and vineyards, picturesque hillside villages and monasteries, captivating castles and impressive ruins. Cycling out from Rossatz / Dürnstein, Dürnstein is a must – the little Baroque village is famed for the blue tower of the monastery church its ruined castle where Richard the Lionheart was held hostage whilst returning from the Crusades. The Wachau Valley has a chequered and complex history and UNESCO World Heritage Site status: it is a place for wonder and reflection. Don’t miss the mighty monastery at Melk and get a real taste of the place at one of the many vineyard taverns around Weissenkirchen. Finally, your floating hotel awaits you at Pöchlarn – and a farewell dinner and cocktail as you start sailing back to Passau.

Miles: 26-32 Kms: 42-52

Day 8 One last look…

Sit back and relax into a final morning with the Danube as you enjoy its famous mighty meander, the ‘Schlögener Schlinge’ for the last time. The MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina arrives back in Passau around 11am in readiness for onward travel from around noon… but perhaps you are still enchanted by the magical Danube and can’t resist staying in City of Three Rivers just a little while longer?

Extra nights can be booked to allow more time to explore Passau at your leisure.





On board programme of activities included in the price are:

Captain’s greeting and Welcome Cocktail
Farewell Dinner – Dinner with Farewell Cocktail
Daily live music
Daily information meeting
Services of a tour guide on board

Price includes bicycles (discount given if not required) and port fees.

Optional excursions (bookable on board) are:

City tour: Bratislava
City tour: Budapest
City tour: Vienna
Guided city tour by bike, Vienna
Waltz & Operetta Concert, Vienna
Wine tasting, Weissenkirchen

Dates & Prices

Download Prices

For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


Accommodation for 7 nights in a cabin of the selected type, all with ensuite facilities (includes daily cleaning and change of towels & bed linen as necessary)

Meals including buffet/continental breakfast, packed lunch (light lunch on board if not cycling), afternoon coffee and 3 course dinner

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment (single pannier and handlebar bag, pump, basic tools, spare inner tube & puncture repair equipment)

Insurance for theft

GPS tracks available on request

Information pack and route book provided on arrival; also a daily information briefing from the on board tour guide (the tour guide does not cycle with the group)

Other services, items and local experiences:

  • Captain’s greeting and welcome cocktail
  • Farewell dinner and drink on last night
  • On board musician (Prinzessin Katharina only)
  • All port and passenger fees applicable

The detailed itinerary may be affected by navigational issues such as floods or low water. These will be decided by the boat’s captain and, on occasion, may include transfers by bus if necessary

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Costs of getting to and from the tour area and transport to and from the dock in Passau and other cities, city maps, ferry fees, tips and drinks on board.

Excursions and entrance fees during the tour

Accommodation Options

On board EITHER cruise ship  MS Manon or MS Prinzessin Katharina in a standard, outside-facing 2 bed cabin with private facilities and air-conditioning on the main deck. We are pleased to discuss details on request.

MS Manon

The barge has 75 cabins and can accommodate up to 150 passengers.

Cabin Upgrades:

  • Middle deck cabin
  • Upper deck cabin

Boat Plan & Details 

MS Prinzessin Katharina

The barge has 71 cabins/suites and can accommodate up to 140 passengers.

Cabin Upgrades:

  • Upper deck cabin

Boat Plan & Details 

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.


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