This bike and barge tour in Germany highlights the cities and landscapes in the March of Brandenburg. Brandenburg, the north-east German state surrounding the capital Berlin, is an enchanting destination with many towns of character. Once the heartland of Prussia, today it still exudes the royal grandeur of Prussian towns and their agricultural villages. The region's prettiest historical towns, all set amid delightful river and lake scenery, are waiting to be discovered. Age-old settings, ancient walls and majestic moated castles and palaces lead you to the very heart of Brandenburg's past. Aboard the very popular Merlijn, you will wind your way along the Havel River to one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, Potsdam and on to Werder, Ketzin and others. Leaving Brandenburg, you will enter another German state, Saxony - Anhalt along the cycle path called the "Tour Brandenburg" into Gethin, "The Pearl along the Canal." There is so much history and culture to be explored with the perfect ending in Magdeburg.
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Day 1: Arrival in Magdeburg
Day 2: Magdeburg - Burg
Day 3: Burg - Genthin - Brandenburg
Day 4: Brandenburg - Werder - Potsdam
Day 5: Potsdam, roundtour
Day 6: Potsdam - Berlin Spandau
Day 7: Departure.
*Daily distances range from 22 to 31 miles (35 to 50 km) approximately. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
DAY 1: Arrival in Magdeburg
Check-in and welcome meeting. Following dinner is a walk through the city of Magdeburg.
DAY 2: Magdeburg - Burg
The city of Magdeburg is well known because of its important historical heritage as the royal palace of the Emperor Otto the 1st, the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire crowned in 962. Enjoy this city in our modern time and visit all the different attractions: the Magdeburg Cathedral, the first cathedral designed and built in the Gothic architectural style on German ground and one of the largest churches in Germany, the Old Market and the Golden Rider Statue, a bronze copy of the first self-supporting statue of a rider north of the Alps, which can be found right in the heart of the city center. It was created in the year 1240 and presumably portrays the Emperor Otto I. Don’t forget to visit the old City Hall, the Green Citadel, the Hundertwasserhaus and many more places of interest. After your visit, the bike tour will start to Burg. Before you leave Magdeburg itself, admire the famous Magdeburg Water Bridge, where the ships on the Elbe-Havel Canal cross the Elbe on a navigable aqueduct. In the city center of Burg there are 1055 years of history to be admired. The churches along the Romanesque Road, such as the Lower Church St. Nicolai (12th century) and the Upper Church “Unser Lieber Frauen” (13th century) will catch your eye from afar. Definitely worthwhile is a long stroll through the old historical center in this “City of Towers”. After your visit to Burg you will board the Merlijn, have dinner on board, and we will stay overnight in Burg, it is also possible Captain Henk sails a little further on already direction Genthin.
DAY 3: Burg - Genthin - Brandeburg
During breakfast the Merlijn gently floats along the Elbe-Havel Canal to Genthin. Genthin’s governing mayor calls his town “The Pearl along the Canal“, a nice, friendly, and quiet town with a small historical city center. Today you will take your bicycle through two different German federal states: Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg. Your start for today will be in Genthin. Just to the north of Genthin you will find Altenplathow, a city along the Romanesque Road. This well-known Romanesque Road is a popular touristic road which runs through all of Saxony-Anhalt. It is part of the cultural route Transromanica, which runs through Germany (the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia), Italy (the provinces of Modena, Parma and Ferrara), Austria (the state of Carinthia) and Slovenia. In 2006 the Transromanica received the “European Cultural Road” award from the Council of Europe. In Genthin-Altenplathow there is a 12th-century figural gravestone, one of the very limited number of Romanic figural tomb slabs in this district that have been well maintained. Biking to Brandenburg you will drive along the cycle path “Tour Brandenburg“, which will lead you along the western side of the Havel Lake Plateau. Here Merlijn will take the northern route from the Elbe-Havel Canal along the lower Havel Waterway and the Silocanal up to the Havel. Your bicycle tour will take you through endless forests with numerous “green” views. Tonight you will stroll already through the city of Brandenburg, the cradle of the March region, and have you dinner at your own expense in one of the restaurants in the city.
DAY 4: Brandenburg - Werder - Potsdam
First, you will discover the city of Brandenburg on the Havel River. Don't miss the St. Nicolai Church, one of the oldest witnesses of the art of brick building in the Brandenburg district, the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, the most important building of the city where the first diocese east of the Elbe was founded, the old town hall, an outstanding example of late Gothic brick architecture from the middle of the 15th century, and the beautiful local brick tower, the Steintorturm. This defense tower, which is 32.5 meters tall, is the only one of the four defense towers in Brandenburg that is open to public visitors. The impressive panorama from the roof over the entire historical city center should definitely be on anyone’s to-do list. After this visit, you will start the bike tour to Werder. Before you cross the Havel on a ferryboat, you will travel along spacious lowlands and small “märkische” villages with timber-framed buildings. Shortly after the picturesque fishing village of Ketzin, you will approach Paretz where Queen Louise enjoyed her summer resort as well in the local castle as in Paretz Park. The trip continues to Marquardt and the insular city of Werder, the city of blossoming trees, the end of today’s bike tour. Werder is surrounded by innumerable lakes and tributaries of the Havel River. Strolling around Werder will lead you to water almost everywhere.
From Werder, the next stop is Potsdam, the provincial capital of the Brandenburg province. The boat will be moored within only a short walk from the city center. Tonight you will discover the regional cuisine in one of the many restaurants of the city.
DAY 5: Potsdam, round tour
Potsdam is, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful cities of Germany. It's best-known attraction is Sanssouci Castle. In addition to this former summer residence of Friedrich the Great with its famous Sanssouci Park, there are many other interesting attractions. The historical city quarters, the Russian colony Alexandrowka, the Dutch Quarter and the former Bohemian Weaver Quarters exude the atmosphere of a city heavily influenced by Europe. Today you will have the opportunity to further explore Potsdam.
DAY 6: Potsdam - Berlin Spandau
Today we will follow the European Cycling Track over the Glienicker bridge, along the Havel River up to Spandau. Spandau is one of the twelve boroughs (Bezirk) of Berlin. It is the fifth and western most borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel. In the evening you will have plenty of time for a nice city stroll through the streets of Spandau.
DAY 7: Departure
Departure at 9 AM following breakfast.
Boats & Bikes
On the beautiful Merlijn, a Deluxe class ship.
- 6 nights of accommodation, all breakfasts and lunches, and 4 three course dinners
- Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and ice water
- Use of a 24-speed hybrid bike, including towel, bike bag, water bottle and universal sized helmet
- Fees for harbors, bridges, and locks
- Tour guide
- Daily cabin cleaning service
- Welcome drink
- Route information
- Ferry fares en route
Dates & Pricing
Magdeburg to Berlin: June 22, 2019
Price $ 2357 £ 1250 $ 2,128 € 1470 ₪ 5337 NZ$ 2509 kr 15500 $ 1,701
Single supplement: On request
Tandem or electric bike rental (rate is per day): $ 40 £ 21 $ 36 € 25 ₪ 91 NZ$ 43 kr 264 $ 29
Skill Level — Easy
Easy guided boat and bike tour with daily distances ranging from 22 to 31 miles (35 to 50 km)
Fly to Berlin, Schoenfeld International Airport (SXF).
Taxi or public transportation to the mooring of the Merlijn.
Transfer available from Magdeburg back to Berlin by bus or minibus.
Please check local conditions before arrival. The average high/low temperatures for the area in ° F in June is 70/62° and August, 73/55 °.
Day of Rest
Should you choose not to bike, you can always stay on board the boat and enjoy the beautiful scenery from the sun deck.
High quality bike helmets are available on board free to use (advanced reservation required). Please be aware that you will be part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English. Electric bikes and tandems available for €25 per day.
Country Entry Requirements
Due to the changing requirements for entry, it is imperative that you stay up to date on requirements set by the country/countries that you are visiting. Please visit our Travel Restrictions Tool page and the country/countries government webpage for this information.
Extra nights recommended in Berlin!
This tour is run by Jantien Wondergem and Henk Karelse.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.