Marketplace in Trier, Germany along the Mosel River. Photo via Flickr:Dennis Jarvis

View of Bernkastel Kues along the Mosel. Photo via Flickr:johan wieland
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Mosel and Saar

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Cycling through the legacy of the Roman Empire

  • Cycle back in time and visit the Roman villa’s and public baths along the Mosel and Saar Rivers. On this bike and barge tour in Germany, highlights abound. In Trier, visit the Porta Nigra or "Black Gate ". This ancient gateway is one of the most well known monuments from the Roman era.

    On day three you go literally beyond the border on a short detour to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The tour also leads through ​one of Germany's best wine-growing areas. Get acquainted with the excellent but uncomplicated wines from the Saar and the so called ‘Spitzenweinen’ along the Mosel like the ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’. The main ingredient for these wines is the Riesling, a white grape variety which dates back to the 15th century and is crowned as the ‘Queen of grapes'.

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  • 2019

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1018 $ 1,746 1275 NOK 12219 kr 11279 $ 1,466 £ 1106 $ 1,896 1385 NOK 13273 kr 12252 $ 1,593
    Family style cabin for twin use £ 1018 $ 1,746 1275 NOK 12219 kr 11279 $ 1,466 £ 1106 $ 1,896 1385 NOK 13273 kr 12252 $ 1,593
    Friends or family style for triple use £ 994 $ 1,704 1245 NOK 11931 kr 11013 $ 1,432 £ 1078 $ 1,848 1350 NOK 12938 kr 11942 $ 1,553
    Cabin in front of barge for single use £ 1426 $ 2,444 1785 NOK 17106 kr 15790 $ 2,053 £ 1553 $ 2,663 1945 NOK 18640 kr 17206 $ 2,237

    extra options

    2019

    Helmet included with tour price
    Electric bike rental: £ 64 $ 110 80 NOK 767 kr 708 $ 92

    please note

    Childeren's bikes, child seat, trailer bike, and bike trailer all available for rental. Should the fuel price increase more than 5% (reference date April 2018), then we need to ask a supplement. (Even for reservations that already have been made and confirmed.)

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    There are two large international airports in the regions of Cochem & Mettlach. Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) is located approximately 98 km from Mettlach and 158 km from Cochem. Another option is Luxembourg Airport (LUX) at 55 km from Mettlach and 133 km from Cochem.

    Local Travel

    There is a regional train station on Level 1 of the Frankfurt International Airport from which there are train connections to both Mettlach and Cochem.
    For tours beginning in Mettlach, there are direct trains that run every hour to Mettlach (Saar) with travel time approximately 2.5 hours. From the train station, depending on exact mooring location, it is either a 10 minute walk or a 10 minute taxi journey to the mooring locationFor tours beginning in Cochem, there are direct trains every hour with travel time approximately 2 hours. At end of tour, from the barge in Cochem, you can take a taxi (5 minutes) to the station from which trains to Frankfurt Airport (FRA) leave twice per hour with travel time of 2 hours.
    In From Mettlach, you can take a train to Frankfurt Airport. Travel time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.A good website to research train travel options is www.bahn.com/en/ If you flying to Luxembourg (LAX), please ask us and we can help you research your travel options.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before arrival. Average high/low temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit for the area are: July, 73/55°, August, 75/56°, September, 65/49°, and October, 55/43°.


Tour Dates

2019


Departure on Sundays
From Cochem:

Standard season: August 25 and October 6, 2019
High season: September 8 and September 22, 2019
From Mettlach:
Standard season: October 13, 2019
High season: September 1, September 15, and September 29, 2019

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Comfort class vessel, the Zwaan

What’s Included

  • 7 nights acccommodation
  • Bed linens and towels
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Packed lunches
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Minimum 3 city walks with tour guide
  • Route information
  • 24 gear hybrid bike rental
  • Road book, 1 x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route
  • Free WiFi (limited and available in lounge and on deck)
  • 2019: GPS tracks on request

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1275 Rates
Client Reviews

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Skill Level

This is an easy guided bike and boat tour

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Mosel and Saar Map

From Mettlach to Cochem

Day 1: Embarkation in Mettlach between 2 and 3 pm, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 2: Saarschleife - Saarbrug, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 3: Saarburg - near Trier, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 4: Nearby Trier, sailing to Schweig - Bernkastel Kues, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 5: Bernkastel Kues, Moselle - Maare cycling trail, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 6: Bernkastel-Kues - Zell, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 7: Zell - Cochem, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Cochem disembarkation before 10 am

Day 1: Embarkation in Mettlach between 2 and 3 pm, 9 mi. (15 km)
Your tour starts in the beautiful Saarland town of Mettlach, home of Villeroy & Boch and with a lot of shops and terraces. Do note that you can drop your luggage off at noon but cabins will not be ready for check in. At 4 PM, the Zwaan will undergo a short navigation along the Saar River  to a beautiful mooring-place near the Saarschleife (Saar loop).

Day 2: Saarschleife - Saarbrug, 22 mi. (35 km)
From Mettlach, the route leads north along the Saar. Around the little village of Saarhölzbach  the Saarland is left behind and the Rheinland Pfalz is entered. The history of this little village goes back to the year 802 and the government of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, King of Franks, King of Italy and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Destination today is Saarburg from where it is about 15 km. to the Mosel. Don’t forget to go for a walk through the old town center with the famous waterfalls and visit the old city castle. 

Day 3: Saarburg - near Trier, 22 mi. (35 km)
Today you switch rivers in the historical city of Konz,  leaving the Saar behind and then following the Mosel towards Luxembourg. It was around the year 365 A.D. that the river inspired the Roman teacher Magnus Ausonius to write his hymn Mosella:

‘Greetings, river, framed by perfumed vineyard-covered hills, Framed by grass; river of greenest shores. Your strong waters carry ships, flowing in easy waves. Along the stream, and a glittering lake your depths emulate.’

Along the old Saarschleife, to to the Igeler Säule, you cycle and then to  and Wasserbillig in Luxembourg.  In the afternoon you’ll turn eastwards to Trier where you’ll stay for around 3 hours. This city is known for its Roman legacies like the Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine the Great and an amphitheatre. After visiting there is one hour cycling to the mooring-place of the barge.

In 2019, there weill be a longer and shorter option for this day. 35 or 45 km. 

Day 4: Mooring location outside Trier - Bernkastel Kues, 31 mi. (50 km)
Today's route showcases Roman influence that is still present today in ancient villas, public baths, and other relics of ancient civilizations. The ancient remnants dot the slopes along the winding river. Destination today is the medieval town of Bernkastel Keus with its romantic narrow streets, remarkable half timbered houses, and picturesque nooks and crannies.

Day 5: Bernkastel Kues, Moselle - Maare cycling trail, 34 mi. (55 km)
In the morning you are transferred by bus to Daun, to the start of the Moselle-Maare cycling trail, possibly the most famous cycling trail of the central Moselle. The track is built on an old railway line. There is no simpler way to cycle to the Moselle valley than on the former railway line through the Volcanic Eifel! The road runs through the landscape of volcanoes and crater lakes, along magnificent viaducts and past old railway stations and  continues to roll on the Moselle bike path to Bernkastel-Kastel Kues.

Day 6: Bernkastel-Kues - Zell, 25 mi. (40 km)
The Mosel continues through a green and fascinating landscape with vineyards and forests and beautiful towns and villages like the so called ‘Winzerdorf’ Wolf.  Further on, around the next curve,  you’ll be surprised by the beautiful double city in Jugendstil, Traben Trarbach. The ship waits for you in the city of the black cat, Zell. The story goes that when some wine merchants from Aachen had to choose which wine barrel they wanted to buy,  a black cat jumped upon one of the barrels to defend it. Of course this made it clear for them which barrel they should buy. 

Day 7: Zell - Cochem, 28 mi. (45 km)
The day starts with sailing to the beautiful village of Beilstein. Today you will visit the most beautiful castle along the Mosel River: Burg Eltz. You will cycle to a bicycle parking lot on the foothill and from there continue hiking (1 hour, not too steep) to Burg Eltz. Here there is an opportunity to visit the original medieval interior of the castle and climb the tower. After the visit, the cycling continues along the Mosel to Cochem, the final destination of this cycling week. Cochem is famous for its wines and dominated by the old Reichsburg.

 Day 8: Cochem, disembarkation before 10 am​

From Cochem to Mettlach

Day 1: Embarkation in Cochem between 2 and 3 pm. 
Day 2: Cochem - Zell, 27.5 mi. (44 km)
Day 3: Zell - Bernkastel - Kues, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Bernkastel-Kues, Moselle - Maare cycling trail, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 5: Bernkastel-Kues - nearby Trier, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Trier -Saarschleife - Saarburg, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 7: Saarburg - Mettlach, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 8: Mettlach, disembarkation before 10 am

Day 1: Embarkation in Cochem between 2 and 3 pm.
Your tour starts in the beautiful city Cochem with a lot of shops and terraces. Cochem is famous for its wines and dominated by the old Reichsburg. Do note that you can drop your luggage off at noon but cabins will not be ready for check in.

Day 2: Cochem - Zell, 27.5 mi. (44 km)
Through five remarkable bends you’ll meander along the river to the famous vineyards of Calmont. The steepest slopes have a gradient of 65%, which makes it quite difficult for the farmers to tend their vineyards. The lunch stop will be at the beautiful village of Beilstein. End point today is the city of the black cat, Zell. The story goes that when a few wine merchants from Aachen had to choose which wine barrel they should buy a black cat jumped upon one of the barrels to defend it. Of course this made it clear for them which barrel they should buy.

Day 3: Zell - Bernkastel - Kues, 25 mi. (40 km)
The Mosel makes its way through a green and fascinating landscape with vineyards and forests. Just after leaving Zell you will bike to the “Marienburg” where you will be awarded by a splendid view over the Mosel Meander. Along the way you’ll find some beautiful towns and villages like the beautiful double city in Jugendstil, Traben Trarbach and the so called ‘Winzerdorf’ Wolf. The final destination is Bernkastel-Kues, a medieval town with romantic narrow streets, remarkable half-timbered houses and picturesque nooks and crannies

Day 4: Bernkastel Kues, Moselle - Maare cycling trail, 34 mi. (55 km)
In the morning the transfer bus takes you to Daun, to the start of the Moselle-Maare cycling trail, possibly the most famous cycling trail of the central Moselle. The track is built on an old railway line. There is no simpler way to cycle to the Moselle valley than on the former railway line through the Volcanic Eifel! The road runs through the landscape of volcanoes and crater lakes, along magnificent viaducts and past old railway stations and continues to roll on the Moselle bike path to Bernkastel-Kues.

Day 5: Bernkastel Kues - nearby Trier, 31 mi. (50 km)
During today’s tour you switch rivers in the historical city of Konz, where you leave the Saar behind and follow the Mosel. Along the old Saarschleife, you cycle to the Igeler Säule and Wasserbillig in Luxemburg. In the afternoon you’ll turn eastwards to Trier where you’ll stay for around 3 hours. This city is known for its Roman legacies like the Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine the Great and an amphitheatre. After visiting there is one hour cycling to the mooring-place of the barge.

Day 6: Trier -Saarschleife - Saarburg, 22 mi. (35 km)
After breakfast you bike to the Saar-Canyon. Here there will be opportunity to hike to an outlook on top of the canyon for a magnificent panorama over the faraway surroundings. The hike is not steep and takes 1 hour uphill and half an hour downhill. At lunchtime you will arrive in the town of Mettlach for lunch and can visit the town with its outlet-shops. Of course, the biggest attraction of the town, the Villeroy & Boch porcelain museum, will not be overlooked, including a cup of coffee in the beautiful Museum-Café. You will end in the very scenic town of Saarburg with its huge waterfall in the middle of town.

In 2019, there will be opportunity for a longer option of 45 km.

Day 7: Saarburg - Mettlach, 22 mi. (35 km)
From Saarburg you cycle south along the Saar. Around the little village of Saarhölzbach you leave Rheinland Pfalz behind and enter the Saarland. The history of this little village goes back to the year 802 and the government of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, king of Franks, king of Italy and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Today we will have lunch in Mettlach, a little town along the Saar River where we will  visit the famous Villeroy & Boch porcelain museum. Today’s highlight is the beautiful Saarschleife (Saar loop). You will have the opportunity to hike to a panorama-point where you can have a great view over the whole region. The highlight of today is the beautiful Saarschleife. Endpoint of today is Mettlach. 

Day 8: End of tour
Disembarkation at 10 am 

*All distances are approximate. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstance, including but not limited to weather, last minute mooring changes, and restructuring of locks or bridges. 

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Customer Feedback

  • Bob T. 2 months ago

    The opportunity to experience rural Germany close up was awesome and made even better with the efforts of our guide and crew.

    Boat: Zwaan

  • George P. 2 months ago

    The scenery was gorgeous, there were quaint little towns around every bend of the Saar and Mosel rivers. Our bike guide was excellent and very knowledgeable about the areas we were at. The food was plentiful and dinners were way above average. Great tour!

    Boat: Zwaan

  • Peter N. 10 months ago

    Mosel/Saar B&B, It was a great trip, the barge was excellent, our staff especially the cook (meals) were wonderful and the scenery along the rivers was magnificent. I would highly recommend this trip especially with the barge and crew that took excellent care of our group.

    Boat: Zwaan

  • Linda F. 2 years ago

    I felt that the guide could have put more effort into letting us know what we were seeing. When we came upon a historic site such as a church, castle or such his standard comment was, "here is a church, you can go in and look at it if you want". We sat in front of the Porta Negra in Trier and were told it was a Roman ruin. Nothing more. My e-bike malfunctioned and I had to ride a regular bike the next day. I had ordered an e-bike because I have a health condition and was quite embarrassed that I held the rest of the group up while I walked the regular bike up small hills.

  • Peter N. 2 years ago

    Great Trip, Great Barge, and Great Staff. This is a very scenic trip along the Mosel and Saar. The vineyards make the view even better. The staff was very helpful and friendly and helped make the trip even better. I highly recommend this trip to everyone.

    Boat: Zwaan

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Mosel and Saar Boats + Barges

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat Once a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.

PWPC