This bike and barge tour through Germany aboard the lovely Merlijn will begin in the beautiful town of Mainz. The Old Town, its inner city, is the pride and joy of the city scene. Broad, roomy squares, lovingly-restored half-timbered houses, and magnificent Baroque churches give the Old Town its charming, "gemütliches" character.
Featured as well is Merzig, a town filled with architectural highlights that span over eight centuries of history. Its location along the Saar River makes it ideal for nature lovers, as well.
Leisurely bike paths stretch out for miles along the riverbanks, following the courses of the three rivers, the Rhine, Moselle, and Saar offering not only beautiful panoramas but flat routes to cycle. As you pedal along through forests, meadows, and delightful little towns, look out for the castles and historical houses.
- The Lorelei rock formation
- Porta Nigra
- The city of Trier
- Wine tasting in Traben Trarbach
- The charming town of Saarburg
- Castle of Eltz
We offer many more bike & boat tours in Germany, be sure to look at our comprehensive list!
Day 1: Arrival in Mainz - Cruise to Rüdesheim
Day 2: Rüdesheim - St. Goar - Koblenz, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 3: Koblenz - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Cochem - Zell - Traben Trarbach, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues - Trier, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 6: Trier - Saarburg (15/35 km)
Day 7: Saarburg - Merzig (32 km)
Day 8: Departure
All distances are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change sometimes without prior notice. Some waterways may be subject to occasional closures due to drought, storms, floods, canal or lock repairs, or other unforeseen circumstances that make navigation unsafe or impossible. The captain reserves the right to make any changes deemed necessary.
Day 1: Arrival in Mainz - Rüdesheim
The Merlijn will be moored in the city of Mainz. Embarkation starts at 3:30 pm. The crew will welcome you onboard and while you enjoy a complimentary drink you will get information about the ship, the tours, and the bicycles. Around 5:00 PM the Merlijn motors to Rüdesheim where you will stay overnight. Before you board in Mainz, try to visit the Old Town, which is the pride and joy of the city scene. Broad, roomy squares, lovingly-restored half-timbered houses, and magnificent Baroque churches give the Old Town its charming, "gemuetliches" character.
Day 2: Rüdesheim - St. Goar - Koblenz, the Romantic Rhine, 25 mi. (40 km)
Today begins with a sailing breakfast so that you can experience the view of the statue, Loreley, from the Merlijn. In St. Goar you will start biking along the Rhine river passing charming cities such as Boppard. You will have time to visit the ancient city of Boppard, also called ‘the pearl on the river Rhine’. You might even want to take the chair-lift up to the magnificent viewpoints on the Rhine loop.
The bike trip ends in Koblenz, where the Moselle meets the Rhine river at the “German Corner”.
Day 3: Koblenz - Alken - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
Another sailing breakfast this morning while cruising upstream on the Moselle River to Alken. Here you will start the biking tour to Moselkern.
You will bike into the Elztal and visit the castle Eltz. Situated romantically on a clifftop, the castle is one of the very few that has never been destroyed during its long history. Afterward, you will bike to Cochem where the Merlijn has already docked. In Cochem, you may want to pay a visit to the famous Reichsburg or stroll through the cozy streets in this romantic city.
Day 4: Cochem - Zell - Traben Trarbach, 25 mi. (40 km)
Starting in Cochem, your first stop today will be the small village of Beilstein. This small, peaceful medieval village is worth a visit. Never having been damaged by the ravages of war it has therefore retained a truly unique atmosphere. Along the meandering Moselle River, you will bike to Zell - famous for its vineyard Zeller Schwarze Katz. Before you reach Zell you pass Sankt Aldegund. This village has a great cellar with all kinds of mustards, liquors, and wines and is definitely worth a visit! In Zell. You will board the Merlijn to sail to Traben -Trarbach, the city of the art nouveau. After dinner, you will have the opportunity for a wine tasting in a local winery.
Day 5: Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues - Mehring - Trier, 28 mi. (45 km)
Initially, the boat cruises to Bernkastel-Kues, in the heart of the beautiful Middle Mosel River valley. These twin towns are quintessential medieval German towns. Magnificent framework houses line the marketplace. By bike, you travel to the holiday resort of Mehring, passing the interesting city of Neumagen-Drohn. The Romans fell in love with this landscape more than 2000 years ago and built splendid country-villas here. The Roman poet Ausonius sang of the beautiful landscape. In Mehring, you will board the Merlijn again to cruise to Trier. Dinner this evening is on your own and you will enjoy exploring Trier.
Day 6: Trier - Saarburg, 16 mi. or 34 mi. (25 or 55 km)
On a guided city tour, you can further explore Trier. Trier was a Roman government seat and is well-known for its Porta Nigra, a gigantic city gate.
Laced with narrow alleys, framework houses, Baroque constructions, and colorful traditional fishing and sailing huts. The master architect of Berlin, Karl Friedrich Schinkel named the ensemble of romantic houses and small bridges on the Buttermarkt, “Little Venice” in the 19th century. After your visit to Trier, you will bike to Saarburg, following the charming Saar River. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner in one of the restaurants in Saarburg.
Day 7: Saarburg - Merzig, 20 mi. (32 km)
After a tour through Saarburg and a splendid view over the city and the Saar valley, you will bike about 15 km to the Saar-loop near Orscholz, the renowned river bend of the Saar. More than any other region, it symbolizes the "rendezvous in Saarland", a junction of water and land. An excellent viewpoint over the landscape and the Saar loop is at the “Cloef”. From there, it is only 10 km to today’s destination, the city of Merzig. On your way, you may want to visit the village of Villeroy & Boch, Mettlach. In Merzig, a short city tour in the afternoon gives you a chance to have a look at structures dating over eight centuries as well as visiting some museums.
Day 8: Merzig
End of tour and departure
Boats & Bikes
- Accommodation for 7 nights in a climate-controlled cabin on board the deluxe class ship
- 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, & 6 three-course dinners
- Welcome drink
- Coffee, tea, & water throughout the day (on board)
- Daily room cleaning
- 27-speed Sensa hybrid bike equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, waterproof pannier, water bottle, towel, & use of universal helmet
- Tour guide
- Wine tasting in Trarbach
- Harbor, bridges & lock fees
- Daily tour briefing
- GPS tracks available for most tours
- *Wifi (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 a personal hot spot.
What’s Not Included
- 2 dinners
- Entrance fees & excursions other than those mentioned as included
- City maps
- Bike maps
- Bicycle protection
- Trip Insurance
Dates & Pricing
October 7, 2023
Twin/Double $ 2777 £ 1529 $ 2,529 € 1740 ₪ 6336 NZ$ 2948 NOK 18519 kr 19377 $ 1,863 Twin for Single-Use, On Request € 3132
Electric bike rental (payable onboard): $ 287 £ 158 $ 262 € 180 ₪ 655 NZ$ 305 NOK 1916 kr 2005 $ 193
Laundry service available. Price varies.
Skill Level — Easy
This is an easy, guided bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 25 and 40 km. The route is mostly flat on asphalted roads or bike paths.
Fly to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) or Luxembourg International Airport (LUX)
Frankfurt Airport is well connected by public transportation. Frankfurt Airport Train Station, located next to Terminal 1, offers connections to popular German cities via Deutsche Bahn, the national railway company of Germany. There are local S-bahn lines (lines S8 and S9) that take travelers into central Frankfurt in about 10-15 minutes and to other cities in Germany. Train travel from the airport to the central train station (Römisches Theater) in Mainz takes about 20 minutes. Trains depart every half hour. From the main station, the pier is only about 3 km away. We recommend taking a taxi to the docking location. At the end of your tour in Merzig, train travel back to Frankfurt airport is about 3 - 4 hours. Luxembourg Airport (LUX) would be closer to Merzig with travel time about 1 1/2 hour. The German rail site, bahn.de, is good resource when researching train travel in Germany.
Please check local conditions before your arrival. For those tours starting in October, this time of year is known as "Golden October" for good reason. If the weather cooperates, you will enjoy the colors of autumn. Cooler temperatures mean lovely brisk riding and fewer tourists as well! Do check local conditions prior to arrival. In most of Germany, the climate is moderately continental, with cold winters and warm summers.
Day of Rest
You can always remain on board on any day instead of cycling to provide yourself a day of rest.
Electric bikes are available onboard and can be rented on a per diem basis. Advanced reservation is required
Important to know
It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with the country or countries you plan to visit. This includes and is not limited to passport validity, visa requirements and acquisition, blank passport pages required for your destination (s), etc.
US citizens: A good website to research the requirements of the Schengen Agreement and entry into other countries is travel.state.gov.
Non-EU and EU residents: Please research the requirements of your country of residence for international travel and your destination country or countries.
*Important note: Please check on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) status as once implemented, this 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.
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.
This tour is run by Coen van der Vlies.
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.