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'.

    Other highlights include Saarschleife von Merzig, and the vineyards of Calmont.

    Click to see our full list of bike and boat tours in Germany

  • 2017 Prices

    2 bed cabin: £ 1133 $ 1,762 1170 NOK 11895 kr 10980 $ 1,427

    2 bed cabin for single use: £ 1588 $ 2,470 1640 NOK 16673 kr 15391 $ 2,001

    Triple cabin: £ 1109 $ 1,725 1145 NOK 11641 kr 10745 $ 1,397

    2018 Prices

    2 bed cabin: £ 1147 $ 1,785 1185 NOK 12048 kr 11121 $ 1,446

    2 bed cabin for single use: £ 1617 $ 2,515 1670 NOK 16978 kr 15672 $ 2,037

    Triple cabin: £ 1118 $ 1,740 1155 NOK 11743 kr 10839 $ 1,409

    extra options

    2017

    Helmet rental (must be reserved at time of booking): £ 10 $ 15 10 NOK 102 kr 94 $ 12  

    Entrance fees to museums: £ 15 $ 23 15 NOK 153 kr 141 $ 18  

    Special dietary requests: £ 48 $ 75 50 NOK 508 kr 469 $ 61

    E bike rental: £ 63 $ 98 65 NOK 661 kr 610 $ 79

    2018

    Helmet rental (must be reserved at time of booking): £ 10 $ 15 10 NOK 102 kr 94 $ 12  

    Entrance fees to museums: £ 15 $ 23 15 NOK 153 kr 141 $ 18  

    Special dietary requests: £ 48 $ 75 50 NOK 508 kr 469 $ 61

    E bike rental: £ 77 $ 120 80 NOK 813 kr 751 $ 98

    please note

    Childeren's bikes, child seat, trailer bike, and bike trailer all available for rental.

    Rates are based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    The closest larger international airport for this tour is Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) at 98 km from Merzig and 158 km from Cochem. Another option is Luxembourg Airport (LUX) at 55 km from Merzig 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 Merzig and Cochem.
    For tours beginning in Merzig, the train leaves approximately every hour and travel time is about 2.5 hours.For tours beginning in Cochem, there are 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 Metz, 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

2017 Dates:

Departure on Sundays
From Cochem:
 September 17, October 1, and October 15, 2017
From Merzig: September 24, October 8, October 22, 2017

2018 Dates:

Departure on Sundays
From Cochem:
 August 19, September 2, September 16, September 30, and October 14, 2018
From Merzig:  August 26, September 9, September 23, October 7, and October 21, 2018

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Comfort class vessel, the Zwaan

What’s Included

  • All nights on board including bedding and two towels
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Packed lunches
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Route information
  • 24 gear hybrid bike rental
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1170 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 Merzig to Cochem

Day 1: Embarkation in Merzig at 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 Merzig at 3 pm, 9 mi. (15 km)
You can bring your luggage on board from noon onwards though your cabins will not be ready until official embarkation time. The mooring place of the barge in Merzig is along the Saar at the level of Merzig (SAAR) train station, Leinpfad, Merzig, Germany (at the other side of the park, 500 m. from the train station).Your tour starts in the beautiful Saarland town of Merzig. In this small town, there is so much to discover, from the Garden of Senses to the wolf park of Werner Freund. At 4 pm, you will enjoy a short cycling route and town walk after dinner.

Day 2: Saarschleife - Saarbrug, 22 mi. (35 km)
From Merzig, 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. 

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 the cycle 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-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 Merzig

Day 1: Embarkation in Cochem at 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 - Merzig, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 8: Merzig, disembarkation before 10 am

Day 1: Embarkation in Cochem at 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

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.

Day 7: Saarburg - Merzig, 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 Merzig, a small city in Saarland at about 10 km from the border with France.

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

  • Linda F. 9 months 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. 11 months 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