Half-timbered houses in Miltenberg, Germany. Flickr:Carsten Frenzl

Bike path in Koblenz, Germany. Flickr:Jodage
4.9/5 (7 reviews)

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 (old town) 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. As you pedal a relaxed, scenic and traffic-free route from one historic town to the next, you will enjoy a dramatic and varied landscape of cliffs, creeping vineyards, forests, orchards, lovely meadows, and medieval hilltop 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!

  • Twin cabin: $ 3639 £ 1781 $ 3,119 1995 $ 3731 kr 22308 $ 2,207 Twin cabin/single-use: on request

    extra options

    Electric bike (Vitality Eco 3/FL 400 Wh Shimano Nexus 7 -speed): pending

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    A non-refundable admin fee of 20 Euros per person is included in the deposit amount.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    We suggest flying into and out of Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).

    Local Travel

    From the regional train station, located on the lower level of the Frankfurt International Airport, you can access an Intercity Train (IC) to Cologne. Train travel time varies according to type of train. Direct Intercity Express trains can travel to Cologne in approximately one hour. Return to Frankfurt Airport from Bamberg is approximately a three hour train ride.


    Please check local conditions before you departure. A good website to research average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other general weather information is weatherbase.com


    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Deluxe class boat, the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • 10 nights accommodations onboard the Quo Vadis, a Deluxe class vessel
  • All breakfasts, packed lunches or lunch on board and 3-course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
  • Coldwater always available and served with meals
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • 8-speed hybrid touring bike (VSF brand with T-50 Shimano components) with gel saddle, lock, pannier and helmet
  • Two cycling guides
  • 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
  • †Wifi
  • †Important to note, due to steel construction of the ship, cruising locations, and other factors, Wifi signal speed and strength may not be what you are accustomed to and may not meet your expectations. If you are dependent on a constant, strong, fast, and reliable signal at all times, please consider a personal hot spot. See our FAQ page.
  • What’s Not Included

    TourBike + Boat
    Length11 days
    From1995 Rates
    Tour Reviews

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    Tour Dates


    August 3, 2021

    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 - Aschaffenburg, 28 mi  (45 km)
    Day 6: Aschaffenburg – Miltenberg, 25 mi  (40 km)
    Day 7: Miltenberg – 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

    All distances are approximate and subject to change due to changing weather conditions, lock repairs, or other unforeseen circumstances. The captain reserves the right to always put safety first and can make changes, even at the last minute, if he feels it is necessary.

    Day 1: Arrival in Cologne. Short boat ride to Königswinter, 5 - 10 mi. (3 - 6 km)
    Individual arrival in Cologne. 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 consists of the Alstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (new city). The Alstadt 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 6Aschaffenburg – Miltenberg, 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 a 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. Afterward, 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 cozy 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 in 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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    Tour Reviews

    • Peter D. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      Our barge the Quo Vardis was nothing short of beautiful with great accommodation, great food great staff, great food and as clean as a whistle. The scenery along the Rhine valley is as you would expect. Castles, vineyards and picture perfect towns and villagers. We highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting a casual cycle through stunning country side.

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Joanne B. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      Great Bike & Barge with the QuoVadis. Food was excellent, friendly people, lots of exercise. We will do this again, maybe a seven day instead of ten :)

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Jacqueline E. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      It would be hard to decide on the most memorable part of the trip as there were so many. The barge Quo Vadis was exceptional in every way. Clean, bright and comfortable and so obviously cared for by the owners Captain Rendert Jan and his wife Ina. They had a great chef, Franco, whose meals were so good I even ate things I normally wouldn't. Our guide Peter led us with enthusiasm and humour and we enjoyed lovely scenery and many historical sites along the route from Cologne to Bamberg. The cycling was mostly on good bike paths away from traffic and where we did have to ride for short periods on the road, the drivers were considerate. We are looking forward to our next trip, hopefully again on the Quo Vadis.

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Jacqueline E. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      We just returned from a wonderful tour on the Quo Vadis from Cologne to Bamberg. The Quo Vadis is a beautiful little ship and the Captain Rendert Jan and his wife Ina are fabulous hosts. Our chef Franco provided amazing meals every day and our biking guide Peter led us through the lovely countryside with humour and care. This is our fourth barge and bike and we are already looking forward to our next one, hopefully on Quo Vadis.

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Grace F. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Overall, the trip was good. There was, however, a disconnect among what our trip itinerary described and what the guide and the captain thought in terms of mileages and what entrance fees were included. The guide used the corner system. That means that the entire group has to ride together and do the same mileages each day. The trip description notes that each participant will receive maps and be able to ride on their own. We did not receive maps and therefore it made it impossible to ride on our own.

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Jeffrey C. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      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!

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Carol M. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      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, Netherlands, Germany Deluxe Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, a refurbished cargo barge, was put into service in April 2006 as a bike and boat vessel.