Cologne, Germany is located on both side of the Rhine River. Photo via Flickr:Anja Pietsch
Schloss Oberhausen in Oberhausen, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Hydrocore Photography

Inside Cologne's famous Cathedral. Photo via Flickr:Pedro Szekely

Wolfsburg to Cologne

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and barge tour through the heart of Germany

  • This bike and boat tour in Germany begins in Wolfsburg. From there you'll cycle through Münster, Düsseldorf, and other famous German cities with rich historical legacies, allowing you to truly experience Germany. Nature is highlighted, as well, as you cycle the shores of Steinhuder Lake, the surrounding nature park, and the Weserbergland, through a variety of landscapes consisting of extensive moorlands and woods. The Weserbergland is the setting for the magical tales of the Brothers Grimm.

    If Roman history is your thing, a historical highlight for you will be the included tour of the battlefield at Kalkrieser Berg (mountain) where the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (Varusschlacht) took place. While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that between 15,000-20,000 Roman soldiers were killed.

    This bike and barge tour in Germany aboard the lovely Merlijn will not disappoint you.

    Highlights:

    • Wolfsburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne
    • Weserbergland and Steinhuder Lake
    • Baroque gardens ‘Herrenhäuser Gardens
    • Midland Canal
    • Regional history
    • Impressive River Weser Lock
    • Battlefield of the Teutoburg Forest

    Want to see more bike and barge tours in Germany?

  •  Twin cabin: £ 1324 $ 2,669 1545 NOK 14678 kr 13548 $ 1,761 Single supplement on request.

    extra options

    Electric bike rental (price per day): £ 26 $ 52 30 NOK 285 kr 263 $ 34

    please note

    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 a couple of options for your arrival to and departure from Germany. Perhaps you may want to fly into one airport and out of another. The largest international airport to your tour start in Wolfsburg is Berlin.
    The largest international airport to your tour finish in Cologne is Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).
    There are smaller international airports convenient to your itinerary such as Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Hannover.

    Local Travel

    For onward travel from your arrival airport and to your departure airport will depend on your specific travel plans. Berlin has two large international airports, Berlin Tegel International airport (TXL) and Berlin­ Schoenefeld (SXF). Both airports are well connected by public transportation so that you can travel onward to Wolfsburg. Train travel time from Berlin to Wolfsburg is approx. 2 hours. From Cologne to Frankfurt airport at the end of your tour, you can travel direct in just under one hour. A good website to research train travel in Germany is Deutsche Bahn. Remember that we will send your mooring locations and detailed travel information about one month before your tour date.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. A good website for weather information including average high/low temperatures and average rainfall is weatherbase.com.

    Documents

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) 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.


Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations on board the Deluxe class vessel, the Merlijn

What’s Included

  • On board accommodations for 7 nights
  • 7 breakfast buffets, 6 lunches, and 6 three-course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and ice water
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle rental including towel, bike bag, water bottle, and universal sized helmet
  • Fees for harbors, bridges, and locks
  • Entrance fee to the VW Autostadt, and the Herrenhäuser Gardens
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Welcome drink
  • Route information and maps
  • Ferry fares en route
  • Tour guide

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1545 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

July 11, 2020

Skill Level

This is an easy, guided bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 35 and 55 km.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Wolfsburg to Cologne Map

Day 1: Arrival in Wolfsburg - Midland Canal
Day 2: Midland Canal - Braunschweig - Hannover
Day 3: Hannover - Minden
Day 4: Minden - Rheine - Münster
Day 5: Münster - Datteln - Oberhausen 
Day 6: Oberhausen - Düsseldorf 
Day 7: Düsseldorf – Zons - Cologne 
Day 8: Cologne 

*Daily cycling distances range between 35 and 55 km. All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice,  due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

Day 1: Arrival in Wolfsburg
Check in at 2 PM and then you will go directly to visit the VW Autostadt.  After your visit, you will sail further on the Midland Canal, while you enjoy a welcome drink, learn about the ship, the tour, and more. Dinner will be served while sailing as well.

Day 2: Midland Canal - Braunschweig - Hannover
Today you will start sailing early and travel further along the Midland Canal. Your bike tour will be starting in Braunschweig, arriving at approximately 9 am.  First, you will have the opportunity to visit this very charming and interesting Hanseatic city. Late in the morning, you begin cycling to Peine, situated on the Midland Canal. Here you will board the Merlijn and together sail approx. 4 hours, again enjoying dinner while you sail to Hannover.

Day 3: Hannover - Minden
Your bike tour starts at Hannover, where you first will have the chance to see the famous baroque gardens ‘Herrenhäuser Gardens, the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen’. After this visit, the bike tour starts and takes you along the Natural Preserve Steinhuder Lake. Your bike tour ends in Kohlenfeld, where the Merlijn will await and then navigate to Minden. Today you will experience one of the highlights of this trip, the Wasserstraßenkreuz (Aquatic Interchange), where the Midland Canal crosses the Weser River via a 13-meter high aqueduct. You will pass through the impressive River Weser Lock where the Merlijn will be lowered 13 meters to the Weser River. Your overnight stay will be in Minden.  ETA will be 8 PM.

Day 4: Minden - Rheine - Münster
Again we start with a sailing breakfast while you enjoy the view on the beautiful surroundings of the Weserbergland. Your bike tour will be from Bad Essen to Bramsche, passing the Teutoburger Wald (Teutoburg Forest) a range of low, forested mountains in the German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. You will also pass the Kalkrieser Berg (mountain) where the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (Varusschlacht) took place. It is described as the Varian disaster by Roman historians, it took place in 9 AD when an alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius of the Cherusci ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. You are invited to visit this former battlefield and learn more about the great history. Entrance fee is included in your trip. In Bramsche the Merlijn will await you, and from here to Münster we will sail together. Münster is a city of science, city of sculptures, city of the Peace of Westphalia. It is also a  city of bicycles! This Hanseatic city -  is a living metropolis with many faces. You will surely enjoy your night in the town, in the Altstadt.

Day 5: Münster - Datteln - Oberhausen 
You start sailing from Münster early in the morning and your bike tour starts shortly after Senden and ends in Datteln. This region has one of the highest German concentrations of castles, palaces, and fortifications, Lüdinghausen having three by itself. First you will pass Vischering (1271). You can visit here and also stroll on the sandstone wall and have a look into the courtyard. 

Day 6: Oberhausen - Düsseldorf 
Your bike tour starts in Oberhausen and ends in Düsseldorf. Your cycling tour leads you through the so-called ‘Ruhr-Gebiet’ a very important German industrial area. Most of the cycling will be in the forest though, where you can have a look at the ‘Stinkesberg’ a historical mountain in this area. In Düsseldorf you will have time to explore this great city, the Altstadt is worth a visit. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner in one of the many restaurants here in Düsseldorf.

Day 7: Düsseldorf – Zons - Cologne 
While you enjoy your breakfast, the Merlijn sails to Zons. From here you will cycle along the Rhine river to Cologne. In the afternoon you can visit Cologne, where the cathedral spires tower (The Dom) over Germany's oldest city and its innumerable cultural and historical treasures, world-famous museums and active art scene. People meet here for a Kölsch (a local beer). Life in Cologne is uncomplicated and vivacious. You will experience this great city even more in the Altstadt while enjoying a Kölsch as well! Last dinner and overnight stay in Cologne. 

Day 8: Cologne 
After breakfast time to say goodbye.

Looking for more?  View all of our featured bike and barge tours, or view our full list of bike trips.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Wolfsburg to Cologne Boats + Barges

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat The Merlijn has 12 luxurious cabins with two comfortable airbeds that can be pushed together or separated, a desk, a wardrobe closet, a hairdryer, and a safe. The lounge is comfortably furnished in a modern style with a restaurant area and lounge near the bar. You can enjoy fresh air, water, and nature in all weather on the sun deck. The entire ship is climate controlled and you can adjust the temperature in your own cabin.

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