Rudesheim's great architecture and vineyards along the Rhine River, Germany. Photo via Flickr:michael clarke stuff
Cafe in Mainz along the Rhine River, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Florian Christoph

Cologne Rail Station, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Thomas Depenbusch
3.8/5 (4 ratings)

Mainz to Cologne

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and boat the Rhine River Valley!

  • This bike and boat tour in Germany from Mainz to Cologne and reverse along the most beautiful stretch of the great Rhine River. A rich and varied history unfolded along these banks and has left its mark in culture, landscape, and the arts.

    Today the entire Upper Middle Rhine Valley is designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, meeting the criteria for such on many levels. The gorges rise steeply on both river banks, protected now by strict building and developing codes, allowing the sheer beauty of the area to remain. It is not hard to step back in time.

    This romantic river valley, with precipitous cliffs, steep vineyards, typical villages, and hilltop castles is best explored by bike and boat, land and river!


    • Loreley Rock
    • Rüdesheim near St. Goarshausen
    • Koblenz
    • Bonn
    • Unsurpassed and timeless scenery
    • Wonderful world famous wine and beer

    All of our bike and barge tours in Germany can be found here.

  •  May 26All other departures
    Twin cabin, main deck £ 861 $ 1,339 889 NOK 9038 kr 8343 $ 1,085 £ 958 $ 1,490 989 NOK 10055 kr 9281 $ 1,207
    Twin cabin, upper deck £ 958 $ 1,490 989 NOK 10055 kr 9281 $ 1,207 £ 1054 $ 1,640 1089 NOK 11072 kr 10220 $ 1,329
    Two bed suite, upper deck with French balcony £ 1054 $ 1,640 1089 NOK 11072 kr 10220 $ 1,329 £ 1151 $ 1,791 1189 NOK 12088 kr 11158 $ 1,451
    2 bed cabin for single use (limited available) £ 1248 $ 1,941 1289 NOK 13105 kr 12097 $ 1,573 £ 1393 $ 2,167 1439 NOK 14630 kr 13504 $ 1,756
    Single cabin, upper deck, two per departure £ 1296 $ 2,017 1339 NOK 13613 kr 12566 $ 1,634 £ 1393 $ 2,167 1439 NOK 14630 kr 13504 $ 1,756

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 92 $ 143 95 NOK 966 kr 892 $ 116

    please note

    Rates are based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Closest international airport is Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).

    Local Travel

    If your tour begins in Mainz and ends in Cologne, upon arrival to the Frankfurt International Airport, you can take a direct train to Mainz. The Frankfurt Airport Regional Station is located below Terminal 1. S-Bahn train services S8 and S9 link the airport with central Frankfurt at Hauptbahnhof (central) station and surroundings. From Cologne, back to Frankfurt Airport, there is an ICE (Inter City Express Train) that can arrive in as little as one hour. If your tour begins in Cologne, again, the ICE inner city express train can travel between the airport and the city in less than an hour.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival! A good website to research average high/low temperatures, average rainfall and more is

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Comfort Plus vessel, the MS Arlene

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • Welcome drink
  • All meals (breakfast, packed lunch, coffee and tea in the afternoon, three-course dinner)
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Change of bedding and towels if requested
  • Passenger and port fees
  • Daily briefing on board and explanation of cycling itinerary
  • Tour guide on board (does not cycle with group)
  • Maps and information material 1 x per cabin
  • 7 speed unisex bicycle with hand and back pedal brakes and pannier. Very limited number of bikes with freewheel hubs.

What’s Not Included

  • All beverages
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
TypeSelf Guided
Length8 days
From889 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Mainz to Cologne: June 30 and July 28, 2018
Cologne to Mainz: May 26, July 21, and August 18, 2018

Skill Level

This 8 day self-guided bike and boat tour is rated easy on paved, flat surfaces.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Mainz to Cologne Map

Mainz to Cologne

Day 1: Mainz
Day 2: Mainz - Rüdesheim, 21 mi. (33 km)
Option excursion: guided city walk around Rüdesheim. Can be reserved on board.
Day 3: Rüdesheim - St. Goar, 19 mi. (31 km)
Day 4: St. Goar - Koblenz, 24 mi. (38 km)
Cableway tickets available on board.
Day 5: Koblenz - Andernach, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 6: Andernach - Bonn, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Bonn - Cologne, 23 mi. (37 km)
Optional excursion: guided city walk of Cologne's old town and the cathedral. Can be reserved on board.
Day 8: Departure

Day 1: Mainz
Embarkation on board the MS Arlene in Mainz  5 pm. Be sure to explore the old town of Mainz with its lovely alleys and public squares!

Day 2: Mainz - Rüdesheim, 21 mi. (33 km)
Today you will experience firsthand why the Rhine River and its surroundings are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. Beautiful islands, steep slate rocks and vinyards shape the region around Rüdesheim. By bike you will pass Eltville, the Kurfürstliche Burg fortress and the famous landmark, Oestrich-Winkel, a former wine-loading crane from the 18th century. Completed in 1745, it was functioning until 1926. The day's destination is Rüdesheim, the wine making town in the Rhine gorge. Be sure to visit the  famous street, Drosselgasse and stop at a cafe for a taste of the world famous Ruedesheimer Riesling.

You can also bok a guided city city tour around Rudesheim, payable on board.

Day 3: Rüdesheim – St. Goar, 19 mi. (31 km)​
Following the  Rhine through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, you cycle pass romantic castles and ruins, including the  Reichenstein and Rheinstein fortresses. The famous Loreley rock will be passed on the way to St. Goar, your destination for today. Legend has it  that  a beautiful but melancholy siren would sit on the rock and sing as she combed her golden hair, distracting sailors while the strong currents smashed their ships to pieces against the rock. This has been called the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. From the top of the rock you will have a beautiful view of St. Goar and St. Goarshausen.

Day 4: St. Goar - Koblenz, 24 mi. (38 km) 
Boppard and the Marksburg are on the itinerary today as the route leads to Koblenz with its famous “Deutsche Eck” (German corner). Against a  backdrop of vineyards, forests, and mountain ranges, the Moselle and Rhine Rivers merge here. From the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, reached by cableway,  you can enjoy a fantastic view over the splendid landscape of the Rhine. Koblenz is one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in Germany.  Tickets for the cableway are available on board.

Day 5: Koblenz - Andernach, 19 mi. (30 km)
The cycling itinerary today will lead you past Neuwied and the Engers Castle to Andernach, the destination for today. Like Koblenz, Andernach is one of the oldest cities of Germany. Here you will find the famous geyser that shoots 50 to 60 meters and is said to be the highest in the world. In Andernach you can enjoy sights like the Round Tower or visit the wine village Leutesdorf, which can be reached by ferry.

Day 6: Andernach - Bonn, 28 mi. (45 km)​
On the way to Bonn it is worthwhile to visit the Drachenburg Castle on the Drachenfels Königswinter or Sea Life, complete with the brand new Octopus Cave. Bonn is the former capital of Germany and the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. You can visit the great composer’s birth place, top-rated museums, and stroll the lovely riverside setting and the old government quarter.

Day 7: Bonn - Cologne, 23 mi. (37 km)
Before you reach Cologne by bike, there is the possibility for a stop at the Isle of Groov situated in the vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zündorf. The "island"  is actually a peninsula and popular as a local recreation area with numerous outdoor restaurants as well as a rowing and pedal boat rental station. Final destination city and end of your tour is Cologne, overseen by the towering Cologne Gothic Cathedral. Yet amidst the antiquity, an energetic and youthful spirit shine. Life in Cologne is uncomplicated and vivacious. The breweries with their famous beer “Kölsch” will introduce you to the more relaxed side of the city.

In Cologne you have opportunity to  join a walking tour of Cologne’s Old Town and Cathedral to explore the city’s must sees. This excursion is optional and can be reserved on board. Also worthwhile are museums like the Ludwig Museum or the Chocolat Museum at the river Rhine as well as the modern parts of Cologne, which can be found at the port of the Rheinaue wetland with its crane houses. 

Day 8: Departure

Cologne to Mainz

Day 1: Cologne, embarkation at 5 pm
Day 2: Cologne - Bonn, 23 mi. (37 km), optional excursion of Cologne's Old Town and Cathedral
Day 3: Bonn - Andernach, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 4: Andernach - Koblenz, 19 mi. (30 km), tickets for cable car available on board
Day 5: Koblenz  - St. Goar, 24 mi. (38 km)
Day 6: St. Goar - Rudesheim, 19 mi. (31 km), guided city walk is available
Day 7: Rudesheim - Mainz, 21 mi. (33 km)
Day 8: Mainz

In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages with buses. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted of both situations. (Water level is force majeure). The same applies for officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges or in case of undeserved breakdown of engine or power unit and unexpected changes in itinerary or mooring locations.

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

  • Linda S. 3 months ago

    The most memorable part of the trip - this is in reference to Cologne to Mainz trip on the MS Andante Sept 16-23, was the scenery and the visits to the small towns along the way. It would have been more enjoyable if we had been able to go through some of the small towns along the way instead of just going by them as we followed the route along the river. The guide did mention some things to see along the way for some of the routes we followed. Some detours and construction was not mentioned or alternate routes given along the way. Tips for others if someone is sick on board there should perhaps be some guidelines given for keeping yourself healthy or tips for not spreading the "bug".
    The dinners were the most disappointing food on this trip. Few fresh veggies, the entres were often not well prepared nor were they tasty options (eg fish was on the menu frequently and was soggy, or prepared the same way again and again).

  • Denise M. 3 months ago

    Really enjoyed getting to know the staff on the barge. This made the biking (which I found somewhat challenging) to be a more memorable experience. As a result, I would do this type of trip again.

    Boat: MS Andante

  • Penny S. 3 months ago

    My most memorable part of cycling along the Rhine River was seeing the beautiful country side hills with castles and fortresses and stopping for coffee and delicious baked goods in villages.

    Boat: MS Andante

  • pam 1 year ago

    The tour we did was aboard the MS Andante in late September. The riding was easy, and for the most part trail was easy to follow. A few times riders had to be rescued by Garrett, our tour leader,as the route had changed. The scenery was beautiful with rolling hills, castles, vineyards, and of course the majestic Rhine. The Andante is an old ship that could really use some refurbishing. The lounge feels like you're in an old Sinatra movie, the dining room is cramped and there's no option of sitting with other passengers. The chef did a very nice job with the dinners, they were not overly elegant but were quite tasty. I can't say the same for breakfast. It alternated between boiled eggs and greasy sausage, to scrambled eggs and greasy sausage. The staff was not overly friendly, the front desk girls seemed more interested in their afternoon smoke, than greeting passengers. The cabins were accessed by treacherous stairs, but once there they were not too bad. The carpet has seen better days, and the bathroom was shower/toilet combo. Overall, if given the choice I would definitely do this cruise again, but might look into a different ship.

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Mainz to Cologne Boats + Barges

MS Arlene II Photo

MS Arlene II France, Germany Comfort Plus Class Boat The MS Arlene II, formerly the Arlene, is undergoing an upgrade and will be ready to welcome guests for the 2018 season. All cabins on the vessel are outside featuring en-suite facilities with shower and hair dryer, TV, safe, and individually controlled air-conditioning.