Cochem on the Mosel River with hillside vineyards, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Frans Berkelaar

Cobblestone streets await in Bruges, Belgium. Photo via Flickr:Elroy Serrao

Bruges to Merzig

Belgium, Germany, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

A bike and boat tour in Holland, Belgium, and Germany along the Schelde, Rhine, Mosel, and Saar Rivers!

We love bike and boat adventures and are always searching for new ones! We know you will enjoy this brand new epic bike and boat tour in 2017 through Belgium, Holland, and Germany with a unique 16-day itinerary.

We could also name this tour "Tour of Three Countries and Four Rivers" as it follows the Schelde, Rhine, Mosel, and Saar Rivers through three countries showcasing why biking and boating is a wonderful way to explore!

First you will bike through the flat, peaceful, farming countryside of Belgium and Holland. Later in Germany, the route follows the Rhine River upstream, highlighting the city of Cologne with her majestic cathedral and Koblenz, where the Rhine and Mosel converge. You follow the Mosel River, through endless vineyards, and lastly the Saar to your final destination.

Epic indeed!

Highlights include but are not limited to:

  • River landscapes with endless vineyards
  • History, culture, wine, and food
  • Typical villages and cities of each country and region
  • Cologne, Koblenz, Cochem, Bernkastel, Trier, Merzig, and more
  • Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen
  • Guided tour Castle Eltz
  • Guided city tour of Trier and wine tasting

We have many other bike and boat tours in Germany. Be sure to check them out!

Where You’ll Stay

You will stay on board the comfort plus vessel, the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • 16 days / 15 nights accommodations
  • All meals (breakfast, packed lunch or lunch (on board), and 3-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea throughout the day (at night the machine is turned off)
  • Water
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • 8-speed touring bike with pannier and helmet
  • Tourist Information and guided cycling tours
  • Daily cycling route discussion
  • Tourist-tax and Ferry fares
  • Admission tickets for the Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen
  • Guided tour Castle Eltz
  • Guided city tour of Trier and wine tasting

What’s Not Included

  • All beverages other than those mentioned including alcoholic (accept at breakfast where juice is offered)
  • Tips
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length16 days
From2200 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Saturday, September 9  until Saturday, September 23, 2017

Skill Level

This is an easy guided bike and boat tour that follows the rivers on predominantly flat terrain.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Bruges - Ghent, 15 mi.  (24 km)
Day 2: Ghent - Dendermonde - Antwerp, 29 mi. (46 km)
Day 3: Antwerp - Dordrecht, 31 mi.  (50 km)
Day 4: Dordrecht - Wijk bij Duurstede, 34 - 37 mi. (54 - 59 km)
Day 5: Wijk bij Duurstede – Arnhem, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Arnhem – Ruhrort, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 8: Düsseldorf – Cologne - Königswinter, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 9: Königswinter – Koblenz, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 10: Koblenz – Cochem, 17 mi. (27 km)
Day 11: Cochem - Beilstein - Zell, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 12: Zell -Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 13: Bernkastel -Mehring, 21 mi. (34 km) - sailing to Trier
Day 14: Trier - Saarburg over Luxembourg, 14-28 mi (22 - 45 km)
Day 15: Saarburg - Merzig, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 16: Merzig

*All distances are approximate. Itinerary changes may occur as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: Bruges - Ghent, 15 mi.  (24 km)
Upon arrival and check-in on board, you will enjoy a short ride of about 15 miles to become accustomed to your bike. Any necessary adjustments can be made. Back on board, the bike and boat adventure begins as you navigate to Ghent. The lovely illuminated streets of the town center are perfect for a stroll and the architectural  and historical richness has been well preserved. During the middle ages, Ghent was the 2nd largest European city! (Paris was the first!)

Day 2: Ghent - Dendermonde - Antwerp, 29 mi. (46 km)
Following breakfast,  the cycling itinerary leads first to Dendermonde. You will enjoy a stop for a coffee or tea in the beautiful Flemish Grote Market Square. Final destination today is Antwerp, Belgium’s second city, biggest port, and home to Pieter Paul Rubens. In the mid-16th century, it was one of Europe’s most important cities and still retains an intriguing medieval heart with cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress, and a truly impressive cathedral. 

Day 3: Antwerp - Dordrecht, 31 mi. (50 km)
An early sailing showcases the harbors of Antwerp. The cycling begins from the former island of Tholen to Willemstad, dating from the 17th century.  The day involves rural biking along the Oesterdam through farmland of potatoes and sugar beets. Back on board, the boat will navigate to Dordrecht for the overnight.

Day 4: Dordrecht - Wijk bij Duurstede, 34 - 37 mi. (54 - 59 km)
Today’s destination is Wijk bij Duurstede, one of the oldest settlements in the Low Lands. Cycling begins from Dordrecht with first stop being the famous windmills of Kinderdijk, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The biking continues along small rivers to the silver town of Schoonhoven, from which, once back on board, the boat will navigate to Wijk bij Duurstede.

Day 5: Wijk bij Duurstede – Arnhem, 31 mi. (50 km)
A river landscape will be your backdrop this day as you cycle along Nederrijn River, the name of the Dutch section of the Rhine River. You will also cycle through the National Park de Hoge Veluwe with its scenic sand dunes. There might be opportunity to visit the Kroller Muller Museum, which boasts of the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world with 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. Furthermore, you will also find masterpieces by modern masters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Piet Mondriaan. The day's destination is Arnhem.

Day 6: Arnhem – Ruhrort, 28 mi. (45 km)
Cycling pass Tolkamer (where the Dutch imposed tolls on incoming ships), you will arrive in Kalkar, Germany. This beautiful town is also known for the failure of the German Nuclear Energy program in the 70's. A completed nuclear plant has never been put into production due to a massive protest and has been recently re-opened as an attraction park!  The cycling will end in Emmerich, and once back on board, the boat will navigate to Ruhrort, a German town just north of the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr.

Day 7: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf, 31 mi. (50 km)
The highlight today is the region of Ruhr where Germany’s and probably Europe’s largest industries were located.  Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen and Dortmund are glued together through a maze of highways, railways, and waterways. Once a very prosperous region, it was a target in both WW I and WW II. The factories are now closed and the German government has invested in the redevelopment of the area. The Ruhr region has thrived in its structural transformation from coal to culture.

Day 8: Düsseldorf – Cologne - Königswinter, 28 mi. (45 km)
Pedaling in the direction of Cologne,  you leave the Ruhr region behind, staying close to the Rhine, with arrival in Cologne in plenty of time to explore. Cologne is the oldest of the bigger German cities founded by the Romans. It received its city rights in 50 AD as a gift from the Roman empress Agrippa. Later Cologne became one of the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire.  The Cologne Cathedral, whose construction was begun in 1248, and not finished until 1880,  is a highlight as well as the railway bridge over the Rhine. The city was almost completely destroyed in 1944-45. The city hall however, dating from 1330, has been beautifully restored. A treat tonight will be a sailing-dinner to Königswinter.

Day 9: Königswinter – Koblenz, 28 mi. (45 km)
A morning sailing will take you to Rees and the day's cycling begins, first to Remagen with its rich historical past and then through a more romantic section of the Rhine Valley  with strongholds, mansions and the first vineyards of the German hills. You pass the famous resort Bad Breisig and also Bad Rhineeck. This beautiful stronghold, dating from 1100, is set in a beautiful landscape. 7 km later, you will find the Quo Vadis moored in Andernach, once a Roman settlement. It is still a wonderful town with many historical sites. From Andernach, on board once again, the boat will navigate to Koblenz. Its name comes from the Latin, Confluentes, meaning the merging of two rivers [Rhine and Moselle]. The statue of Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia on the merging point is impressive landmark. Koblenz is a old city rebuilt after second World War damages.

Day 10: Koblenz – Cochem, 17 mi. (27 km)
Biking begins in Winningen to Moselkern. This village is famous for its Burg Eltz, one of the most impressive medieval buildings of Western Europe. Afterward, the route continues to Cochem one of the most frequently visited wine towns of the Moselle. Cochem is a cozy, characteristic town with wine cellars and half-timbered houses.

Day 11: Cochem - Beilstein - Zell, 23 mi. (37 km)
You will enjoy the quaint and narrow alleyways and alcoves in Beilstein, subsequently ending your cycling day in the wine village of Zell on the Moselle, famous for its vineyard, Zeller Schwarze Katz.

Day 12: Zell -Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues, 25 mi. (40 km)
The biking this day leads first to romantic Traben-Trarbach, city of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil), and then continues to Bernkastel Kues. Grand half-timbered houses surround the medieval market place. (Optional:  Birthplace of Nicholas of Cusa in Kues!)

Day 13: Bernkastel -Mehring, 21 mi. (34 km) - sailing to Trier
By now, you have experienced first hand how, for centuries, wine growing has shaped the cultural landscape of the Moselle and the way of life of the people who live in this wonderful region. Today you will visit  the oldest wine growing village in Germany,  Neumagen-Drohn. Here is a fascinating fact: archeologists discovered the gravestone of a Roman wine trader dating back to 220 AD! Back in the saddle, the biking continues to Mehring where the Quo Vadis awaits. As you enjoy your evening meal, the boat will navigate to Trier whose Roman roots are very apparent in its architecture, such as the  impressive Porta Nigra, the Konstantin Basilica and the Amphitheater.

Day 14: Trier - Saarburg, 14-28 mi (22 - 45 km)
Before you head off this morning, you will enjoy a guided tour in Trier before cycling to Saarburg. Saarburg is proud of it's 1000 years of history; a medieval past and energetic present. It is nestled amidst vineyards and forests within the great Germany-France-Luxembourg triangle. There is an optional route that will lead into Luxembourg.

Day 15: Saarburg - Merzig, 25 mi. (40 km)
Sadly, your epic journey is almost over! You will come away from this adventure with a unique perspective having biked in three countries! Upon arrival in Mettlach, you can visit the Villeroy & Boch Outlet Center, famous for porcelain, glass, crystal, cutlery, gift articles and accessories and a Christmas shop that is open all the year round. Another highlight will be a walk to the Cloef viewpoint of the famous Saar loop. Your day will end in Merzig.

Day 16: Merzig
Your adventure comes to an end!

If you’re looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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Bruges to Merzig Boats + Barges

Quo Vadis Photo

Quo Vadis Belgium Comfort Plus Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, put into service in April 2006, is comfortably furnished and so cozy you will feel right at home. It is equipped with 12 spacious cabins with private bath, two single beds that can be pushed together, and air conditioning (windows cannot be opened). Each cabin has a safe for valuables. The ship offers a gorgeous open salon with corner seats, a restaurant, a small bar, and a sundeck with umbrellas. With a guitar and piano right on board, you can enjoy regular live music during downtime.

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