Schloss Drachenburg on the Siebengebirge ("Seven Hills") by Königswinter, Germany. View of the Rhine River. Photo via Flickr:Arno Hoyer

The famous Old Rathaus in Bamberg, Germany. Photo via Flickr:magnetismus
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Cologne to Bamberg

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

An exciting bike and boat tour along the Rhine and Main River

This is an active vacation by bike and boat in Germany along the banks of the Rhine and Main River. Your adventure begins in Cologne, Germany's oldest city, overseen by the towering Cologne Gothic Cathedral and ends in Bamberg, whose entire Alstadt is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

You will spend time in fabled cities and villages such as Koblenz, Frankfurt, and Würzburg, meander medieval alleyways and cobblestone streets surrounded by antiquity, yet infused with a youthful and energetic spirit.

History flows as deep and powerful as the rivers' currents. Cycling alongside these rivers on the well developed network of bike paths, provides for a unique perspective of the country and the people. You pedal a relaxed, scenic and traffic free route from one historic town to the next through a dramatic and varied landscape of cliffs, creeping vineyards, forests, orchards, lovely meadows, and medieval hill top castles.

Highlights include:

  • Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen
  • Medieval Cathedrals and architecture
  • Frankfurt
  • Würzburg
  • World famous wine and beer
  • Stress free cycling
  • German cuisine!

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

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Comfort Plus boat, the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • 10 nights accommodations on board the Quo Vadis, a comfort plus vessel
  • All breakfasts, packed lunches or lunch on board and 3-course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
  • Cold water always available and served with meals
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • 8-speed hybrid tour bike with pannier and helmet
  • Tour information and guided cycling tours
  • Daily cycling route discussion
  • Tourist-tax and ferry fares
  • Admission tickets for the Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen, Brewery tour and beer tasting in Miltenberg and a guided tour at the Residence Wurzburg

What’s Not Included

  • All beverages other than those mentioned
  • Tips for crew and guide
Length11– days
From1570 Rates
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Tour Dates

September 14, 2016

Skill Level

This is an easy guided bike and boat tour along the Rhine and Main Rivers

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Cologne to Bamberg Map

Day 1: Arrival in Cologne. Short boat ride to Königswinter, 5 - 10 mi. (3 -6 km)
Day 2: Königswinter – Remagen - Koblenz, 28 mi. (45km)
Day 3: Koblenz – Oberwesel - Bingen/Rüdesheim, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 4: Bingen/Rüdesheim – Mainz - Frankfurt, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Frankfurt – Ofenbach - Aschafenburg, 28 mi  (45 km)
Day 6: Aschafenburg – Miltenburg, 25 mi  (40 km)
Day 7: Miltenburg – Wertheim - Gemünden, 31 mi (50 km)
Day 8: Gemünden – Würzburg - Markbreit, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 9: Markbreit – Wipfeld/Schwarzach - Schweinfurt, 34 mi (54 km)
Day 10: Schweinfurt – Hassfurt - Bamberg, 22 mi  (35 km)
Day 11: Departure

Day 1: Arrival in Cologne. Short boat ride to Königswinter, 5 - 10 mi. (3 -6 km)
Individual arrival in Cologne on Wednesday, September 14. Boarding begins at 10 am. At 12 pm, you will have a welcome meeting and introduction to the crew, the vessel, and the program to follow. During lunch, the Quo Vadis will motor to Königswinter, home to the fantastical castle, Schloss Drachenburg. Once moored, there will be opportunity for a short bike ride to become accustomed to the bicycles.

Day 2: Königswinter – Remagen - Koblenz, 28 mi. (45km)
The day begins with a breakfast cruise to Remagen, famous for the Ludendorff Bridge, whose remnants remain today on the west bank of the Rhine. Despite the Nazi's attempt to destroy the bridge during WWII,  it was captured intact by 9th Armored Division soldiers on March 7, 1945, enabling thousands of  American troops to pour over to the eastern side of the Rhine in Operation Lumberjack. There will be opportunity to visit the Peace Museum, located in the bridgehead, dedicated to the history of the bridge and the event. The cycling itinerary begins here in this historical village through a more romantic, medieval section of the Rhine valley with castles and fortresses clinging to the hilltops and vineyards creeping up the slopes. The route leads through the spa resorts of Bad Breisig and also Bad Rhineeck. The itinerary includes a stop in Andernach, once a Roman settlement and then, arrival in Koblenz, where the Rhine & the Mosel Rivers meet. The city itself constists of the Aldstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (new city). The Aldstadt is the shape of a triangle, with 2 sides consisting of the Rhine & Mosel rivers, and the third side is covered by endless hills topped with fortresses.

Day 3Koblenz – Oberwesel - Bingen/Rüdesheim, 26 mi. (42 km)
The barge sets off early this day. The highlight of the morning is to sail along the Loreley, the magnificent rock on the right bank of the Rhine River. The cycling begins in Oberwesel and leads along the Rhine river, passing charming villages such as Bacharach and Rüdesheim, known for its famous shopping street the Drosselgasse. Bingen is opposite of Rüdesheim on the left bank of the Rhine.

Day 4: Bingen/Rüdesheim – Mainz - Frankfurt, 22 mi. (35 km)
Biking further along the Rhine river towards Mainz, the capital of Rhine-Palatinate. Smooth and perfectly flat bike lanes, apart from any distracting traffic, allowing you to ride in peace, In Mainz, you can stroll the old city of Mainz, through the  Old Town and  inner city. Big, broad plazas, lovingly restored half-timbered houses and magnificent Baroque churches give the Old Town its charming character. In the afternoon, you board the Quo Vadis, and head to Frankfurt,  a thriving metropolis with modern buildings, museums, and a lively shopping center.

Day 5: Frankfurt – Ofenbach - Aschafenburg, 28 mi  (45 km)
During breakfast, the Quo Vadis motors to Offenbach where the bike tour will begin. The cycling will lead to Bürgel, Mühlheim and then to Hanau, the town where the famous Grimm brothers were born. Via Steinheim, with its charming historic center, Kleinauheim, Hainstadt and Klein-Krotzenheim, always along the Main River, and finally to the small and romantic city Seligenstadt with its meandering alleys, half-timber houses and the basilica. After crossing the river  on a small ferry, the cycling continues to Dettingen and Kleinostheim, to the day's destination, Aschaffenburg, with its museums, churches and of course the famous castle! 

Day 6Aschafenburg – Miltenburg, 25 mi  (40 km)
Following the river (sometimes on the right bank and then again, on the left bank) the cycling leads through lovely small towns and villages, such as Obernberg, and further on, Klingenberg and Groszheubach, both famous for their fine red wines. The day ends in Miltenberg. This is a charming village because of its meandering streets and alleys, old restored half-timber houses and the historic market square, Alter Markt, located in the most beautiful part of Miltenberg, a wide open space, with a slight slope to the hillside.  Be sure to go for a refreshment in the oldest pub of Germany, Gasthaus Zum Riesen. In the evening, there will be time to enjoy a bit of beer tasting.

Day 7Miltenburg – Wertheim - Gemünden, 31 mi (50 km)
While you enjoy a sailing breakfast, the Quo Vadis motors from Miltenberg to Wertheim at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. Known for its glassworks, Franconian wine, and friendly people, it also possesses an historic center and mountain ruins. The route continues to  Gemünden, passing the half-timber castle Homburg, through a varying landscape of climbing vineyards and forested mountain slopes, dotted with historic monuments, like the Triefenstein monastery. The day ends in Gemünden am Main, at the confluence of three rivers: Sinn, Saale and Main.

Day 8: Gemünden – Würzburg - Markbreit, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today the bike tour will lead you further along the Main River, passing Karlstadt with its historic center, Zellingen, and Erlabrunn. Afterwards you will reach Würzburg, the Baroque town on the Main River. Be sure to explore this beautiful city, hike the road that mounts gradually as you will go on and climb the fortress that offers a magnificent view on the historic center of Würzburg with its many towers. After your visit of Würzburg you will embark the Quo Vadis and sail to the charming village of Marktbreit. During the cruise, enjoy the views of passing vineyards and hills full of vines and charming wine villages like Sommerhausen, Eibelstadt and Ochsenfurt.

Day 9: Markbreit – Wipfeld/Schwarzach - Schweinfurt, 34 mi (54 km)
The boating begins in the morning, passing Kitzingen, famous for its leaning tower of which the story goes that’s its leaning because the builders, who - because of water shortage - mixing the mortar with wine instead of water, tasted a bit too much of the wine themselves.The day's bike tour will start at Wipfeld, close to Schwarzach, passing villages that are all very well known to wine connoisseurs like Sommerach, Nordheim and Volkach. Here you will admire a cultural highlight: the pilgrimage church ‘Maria im Weingarten’ and the famous ‘Madonna im Rosenkranz’ by Tilmann Riemenschneider. The boat will dock in the city of Schweinfurt, with its old town full of cosy little spots, the town hall, the tower, market place, museums and galleries and amongst them all the artificial ‘Schweine’ (pigs).

Day 10: Schweinfurt – Hassfurt - Bamberg, 22 mi  (35 km)
The day begins with a sailing breakfast, after which, disembarkation will  be in Hassfurt, famous for the late gothic Ritter chapel and the late gothic church at the market square with its valuable paintings (John the Baptist and Maria with child) by Tilmann Riemenschneider. From here we bike to the town of Eltmann and further on the Main river, passing the famous pilgrimage church Maria Limbach. We reach Bamberg, a very charming, historic bishops town with Villa Concordia, the historic lock 100, the water castle, the baroque house on the bridge and the former fishing settling Small Venice all emphasizing the tight connection between town and river.

Day 11: Departure
The program officially ends after breakfast. Perhaps you will choose to extend your stay Bamberg!

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.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Customer Feedback

  • Jeffrey C. 2 weeks ago

    The itinerary times/distances covered was not necessarily followed because of where the barge could dock and time allowed to get through the locks. Minor problem. People should have been given more instruction/introduction for the ebikes. Guide was excellent except he was not always knowledgeable about the route. His first time in that area. Otherwise, my wife and I loved the trip. Extremely difficult if not impossible to name a most memorable part of the trip!

  • Carol M. 2 weeks ago

    The guide, Cornel, was great, despite the fact that this was his first time guiding this route.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

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Cologne to Bamberg 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.