Through the old austrian empire
The Habsburg Empire along the Danube, from Passau via Vienna to Budapest by bike & boat: The journey leads through 4 countries and the core of the old Habsburg Empire from Passau / Engelhartszell via Vienna to Budapest and finally back to Engelhartszell / Passau. On carefully selected cycle routes, this delightful region opens up to you much more than if you were just going on a cruise. Wonderful natural and river landscapes await you, spectacular views, magnificent architecture, coffee house culture and a lot of history in the famous Danube cities of Vienna, Budapest, Esztergom, Melk and Dürnstein.
A successful concept at terranova for over 15 years: Your room will travel with you on this tour! We have combined the river cruise on a luxurious ship and bike touring to create a delightful bike cruise for you. It is wonderful to return to the comfortable cabin on board the ship after an eventful day of cycling! In the evening the way to the on-board restaurant is not far, where you can relax and enjoy your dinner while the river landscape of the Danube leisurely passes by in front of the windows.
You cycle through the Wachau and the enchanting landscape of the Danube Bend, taste Grüner Veltliner and walk in the footsteps of the Nibelungs. You can feel everywhere that the splendor of the old empire is still very much alive!
- 5 guided bike tours along the Danube & beyond the river banks
- glamorous places on the river: Vienna, Budapest, Esztergom, Bratislava, Klosterneuburg, Dürnstein and Melk
- picturesque landscapes: the Wachau, the Danube floodplains and the Danube Bend in Hungary
- Accommodations on the Stella, state of the art cruise ship
- Stress-free battery-assisted cycling with a support vehicle
- Day 1: Engelhartszell
- Day 2: Vienna | 21 mi. (34 km)
- Day 3: Vienna - Klosterneuburg | 20,5 mi. (33 km)
- Day 4: Esztergom - Visegrad - Budapest 20 mi. (32 km)
- Day 5: Budapest City Day
- Day 6: Bratislava 15,5 mi. (25 km)
- Day 7: Wachau - Melk 16 mi. (26 km)
- Day 8: Departure or extension in Passau or Munich
*All distances are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change, at times 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: EMBARK IN ANGELHARTSZELL NEAR PASSAU
Individual arrival in Passau or Engelhartszell. At around 3:00 p.m., A-ROSA offers a free bus shuttle from the main train station in Passau to the landing stage in Engelhartszell, Austria (27 km / 30-40 min travel time). At 4:30 p.m. our tour guide welcomes you on board the A-ROSA Bella.
You must be on board the ship in Engelhartszell by 4:00 p.m. at the latest, as the ship departs punctually at 5:00 p.m. and travels downstream towards Vienna. For larger groups (> 10 guests), a terranova tour guide will usually stay with you on board. Only 14 km after departure, the ship reaches its first scenic highlight: the Schlögener Schlinge. Here the Danube makes its way through the Bohemian massif in several meanders. At the loop, the river turns in a narrow bend curved to the left by 180 °, followed by another 180 ° bend!
DAY 2: THROUGH THE DANUBE - BIKE: 34 km
In the morning the ship glides past the wooded slopes of the Vienna Woods and reaches Vienna around noon. After lunch on board, the bikes are ready for you on the bank. Today's bike stage begins right at the jetty. Over the Reichsbrücke you reach the elongated Danube Island, which is popular with the Viennese as a leisure and bathing area. The floodplain landscape of Lobau lies on the northern side of the Danube. In the Donau-Auen National Park numerous water birds and other threatened animal and plant species are protected, which are threatened by the straightening of the Danube and its expansion into a large waterway. Our cycle path leads us across the Danube Island through the Viennese paradise of entertainment, the Prater. From here you come back to the ship on the banks of the Danube. If you like, you can spend the evening in downtown Vienna. The ship stays in Vienna overnight. Your guide will show you the best way to get into town.
DAY 3: VIENNA FOREST & KLOSTERGLANZ - BIKE: 33 km
Even today you can start cycling in the morning directly from the landing stage. Up the river, you pass Vienna towards the steeply sloping slopes of the Vienna Woods, which the Viennese have always called “nose”. The “Nasenweg”, which leads up to the Leopoldsberg, begins at a wine tavern village. On foot we climb the paved hiking trail (3 km uphill; possibility of taking a ride in the accompanying bus if you don't want to hike), which leads us to a fantastic view high above the Danube with a wonderful view of Vienna. Here the fate of Vienna was decided during the 2nd siege by the Turks!
The bikes are ready again at the top and an enjoyable descent takes you effortlessly to Klosterneuburg. Klosterneuburg Abbey was a center of art and culture in the High Middle Ages. Charles VI had Klosterneuburg rebuilt in the baroque style and turned it into a stone symbol for the connection between the kingdom of God and the empire, an Austrian escorial. From Klosterneuburg we get back to our ship in Vienna - almost free of traffic. In the evening the A-ROSA Bella leaves Vienna and travels downstream towards Hungary.
DAY 4: "ETZELS BURG" AND HUNGARY'S DANUBE KNEE - BIKE: 32 km
While you fortify yourself at a tempting breakfast buffet, the ship docks in Esztergom. A look ashore leaves us amazed: The Esztergoms castle hill rises above us with the mighty basilica, the largest sacred building in Hungary. It was once the coronation site of the Hungarian rulers. Esztergom is one of the oldest settlements in the country and is mentioned in the Nibelungenlied as the castle of the legendary Hun king Etzel. We visit the facility and you will learn why this place occupies an important place in Hungarian history. Then a short transfer to Visegrad Castle on the Danube Bend. The Danube Bend is one of the most picturesque regions on the banks of the Danube. The ancient Visegrad Castle is located above the bend in the river. Above you can enjoy the intoxicating view of the narrow breakthrough of the river and, after visiting the fortress, start with a descent back to the banks of the Danube.
After a short section on a busy road, a small ferry takes us to the elongated island in the Danube Bend. Rural idyll awaits us here. Our route leads more than 20 km south across the island of Szentendrei-sziget. Our way leads us to Szentendre, only a few kilometers before Budapest. The cheerful baroque town on the right bank of the river was an artist colony and is characterized by many churches and its location on the banks of the Danube. It is only approx. 20 km from here to our dock in Budapest. A bus will pick you up here to take you to the ship.
DAY 5: HER MAJESTY BUDAPEST
Almost a whole day in Budapest (without bike) at leisure! The writer Péter Esterházy called Budapest “the lady with the Danube between her breasts”. This lady shines again as perhaps the most beautiful metropolis on the Danube. The river majestically divides the city into the two parts Buda and Pest, which are connected by splendid bridges. The highlights of the Pest district are the monumental parliament building and “Heroes' Square”. Not far from the river shipping port is the famous market hall from 1897, a basilica-like building based on a steel structure. In Buda, the castle district has a unique flair.
Public transport in Budapest is well developed and the city is served by metro, tram, trolley and bus. You can explore the city center on your own or book a comprehensive 3.5-hour city tour on board via A-ROSA: You will see the Millennium Monument on the spacious Heldenplatz, the magnificent opera, the former stock exchange and the gigantic parliament building. A tour through the castle district takes you past the Matthias Church to the Fishermen's Bastion. You continue to Gellért Hill and visit the 220-meter-long citadel, at the southern tip of which the Statue of Liberty rises (all A-ROSA excursions that can be booked on site are presented on board).
The BELLA casts off at around 4 p.m. to travel upstream again towards Germany.
DAY 6: FROM BRATISLAVA TO THE DONAUPFORTE - BIKE: 25 km
In the morning our ship docks in Bratislava. the capital of Slovakia. From the outside, the cityscape is still a bit brittle socialist, but the old town has been nicely renovated and, like Vienna and Budapest, exudes the old splendor of the Habsburg Empire. Pressburg was the name of the city until Czechoslovakia was founded. In 1993, when it separated from the Czech Republic, Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia.
The cycling stage begins at the ruins of Devín Castle a few kilometers west of the city. From there you can reach the huge baroque palace Schloss Hof in Austria and cross the Danube at Hainburg via a huge tension bridge. The cycle route ends here at the Hainburger Pforte, a narrow part of the Danube between Austria and Slovakia. Bus transfer back to Bratislava, where the ship will leave again in the afternoon.
DAY 7: THROUGH THE WACHAU TO MELK - RAD: 26 km
While you have breakfast, the ship glides through the wonderful landscape of the Wachau. The A-ROSA Bella docks in Krems in the morning (approx. 8:15 am) for our group of cyclists and we first drive to Dürnstein, probably the most famous of all wine-growing locations in the Wachau. Dürnstein is picturesquely situated on the Danube, surrounded by vineyards and at the foot of an old castle. It has been a romantic ruin since the Thirty Years War and is a reminder that King Richard the Lionheart was a prominent prisoner there.
The further cycle route to Weißenkirchen soon leads past Dürnstein through terraced vineyards with small winegrowers' houses. As soon as we have reached a picturesque row of houses with wine taverns, we are close to the wine-growing village of Weißenkirchen with its impressive Gothic fortified church from the 14th century.
You will pass other picturesque wine-growing towns such as St. Michael, Spitz and Willendorf. The almost 30,000 year old statuette “Venus von Willendorf” was found in Willendorf in 1908! It is Austria's most famous find from the Stone Age and is now exhibited in the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The bike tour ends in the early afternoon near Melk, opposite the imposing monastery complex. The baroque Benedictine monastery marks the beginning of the Wachau in a picturesque way and offers a unique interplay of landscape and culture. You will be back on board around noon and your ship will continue upstream towards Engelhartszell.
DAY 8: DISEMBARK IN ENGELHARTSZELL / DEPARTURE OR EXTENSION IN PASSAU
The ship docks in Engelhartszell between 7:00 and 8:00 and you have reached the starting point of the journey again. Your trip ends after breakfast. Disembarkation and transfer to the train station in Passau around 9:00 a.m. (27 km / 30-40 min travel time).
Of course, it is advisable to extend another night (or two) in Passau or Munich in order to experience this lively and fascinating bavarian cities even more extensively.
We reserve the right to make changes to the timetable and program!
Due to high and low tide, maintenance work and waiting times at locks and bridges, there may be changes to the timetable at short notice. In rare cases of high or low tide or force majeure, parts of the route may have to be covered by bus or train and, in individual cases, hotel accommodation may be necessary.
EBIKE TRIP - ROUTE ASSESSMENT: The total distance by e-bike is about 150 km. The bike routes mostly run on cycle paths with little traffic or small side roads (a few unpaved stretches; short sections on motorways). The paths along the Danube have only a few and slight inclines (only on the 6th day there is an approx. 200 m long ascent that has to be pushed). On the 3rd day we offer a hike on the Leopoldsberg. This paved footpath leads 3 km steadily uphill. Alternatively, you can go up with the escort bus.