Along the Rhine from Germany to France and Switzerland.
This Bike & Boat Tour leads through three countries on the Rhine: Germany, Switzerland and France. Located in the heart of Europe, the trinational destination nestles against the Rhine. The Rhine, one of the largest rivers in Europe, not only symbolizes the successful cross-border cooperation, but also connects the regions that make up the Middle Rhine Valley and the Upper Rhine Valley: The German wine regions Rheingau, Rheinhessen & Südpfalz, famous for their wines. The French Alsace, the smallest region of France, which seduces with world-famous churches and castles, French cuisine and cozy half-timbered towns. The Black Forest to the south, the highest German low mountain range, where cuckoo clocks, Black Forest cake and Bollen hats are at home. The Basel region, which is attractive in Switzerland, with the metropolis of the same name, ancient Roman settlements and impressive nature.
This journey follows the mighty course of the river from Cologne upstream to Koblenz and on through the UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley over the rapids of the Binger Loch to great cultural treasures on the left and right bank of the Rhine to Mainz. In Alsace, great Gothic art awaits you in Colmar and the Strasbourg Cathedral, and in Basel you experience another, wilder side of the river. The daily tours with the E-BIKE lead along vines slopes and through picturesque wine villages, to castles, palaces and monasteries. The charm of France, the warmth of Switzerland and the romance of Germany with the comfortable cruise ship and EBIKE - there is no more comfortable and beautiful way to experience the cultural and natural landscapes of the Rhine!
- 5 guided bike tours through picturesque landscapes: World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley with the Loreley, Alsace at the foot of the Vosges, the Breisgau and the Swiss foothills of the Alps
- Travel in the comfortable cruise ship, the A-ROSA AQUA
- Guided city tours and great culture in Cologne, Colmar, Strasbourg & Basel
- Accommodations on the Stella, state of the art cruise ship
- Stress-free battery-assisted cycling with a support vehicle
Day 1: Cologne
Day 2: Middle Rhine Valley | Approx.29 mi. (47 km)
Day 3: Strassburg - Alsace | Approx. 15,5 mi. (25 km)
Day 4: Upper Rhine Valley | Approx. 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Basel | Approx. 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Alsace | Approx. 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 7: Koblenz - Moselle | Approx. 12,5 mi. (20 km)
Day 8: Departure or extension in Cologne
*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: INDIVIDUAL ARRIVAL TO COLOGNE
Your bike cruise begins in the cathedral city of Cologne. Your tour guides will be waiting for you at 1.30 p.m. at Cologne Central Station for a guided tour of the cathedral (start at 2.00 p.m.) and will collect your luggage there. Cologne's history goes back to Roman times, but it wasn't until the Middle Ages that Cologne became a cosmopolitan city. Numerous Romanesque churches and the cathedral are evidence of this. In 1248 the foundation stone of the cathedral was laid, which was not only to be the official church of the Archbishop of Cologne, but also became one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Europe due to the relics of the Three Kings. Due to a lack of money, the construction stalled and the building of the cathedral could only be completed in 1880 by the Prussian king! During a special cathedral tour, you and our cathedral guide will also enter areas that are only accessible on a guided tour. Therefore, the cathedral tour is also interesting for you if you have already visited Cologne Cathedral privately. Be amazed not only at the huge walls and dimensions of the cathedral, the furnishings are also precious and unique. You can admire the detailed carving of the choir stalls, the mastery of Stefan Lochner on the altar of the Cologne city patron or the artful mosaics from the 19th century. Have you heard of the devil bet? Let us explain to you what this legend is all about. After the cathedral tour, a short transfer takes you to the ship and you can move into your cabin in peace. In the afternoon at 5 p.m. it is time to cast off and the ship sets course for Mainz. Dinner and 1st night on board.
DAY 2: RHINE ROMANICS AND WORLD HERITAGE MIDDLE RHINE VALLEY | Approx. 29 miles / 47 km
Not far from the jetty, your bikes are ready to ride through the wide and traffic-free Rheinaue. The Rhine here has the unheard-of width of several kilometers. With a view of the Bingen mouse tower and the huge Niederwald monument, you finally reach the Rhenish Slate Mountains, where the stream forces itself into a narrow bed and is still a challenge for shipping with its rapids today. Like a pearl necklace, one piece of jewelery is now lined up next to the next. Bacharach has the most beautiful Gothic cityscape in the Rhineland with cozy alleys, cobblestone streets, a market square and vineyards. It is only a few kilometers to the half-timbered idyll of Oberwesel. Kaub Castle lies in the middle of the river. Here Blücher's army crossed the Rhine on New Year's Eve 1813/14 to pursue Napoleon's army. In the afternoon you will reach your ship again in the medieval episcopal city and electoral residence of Mainz. 2. Dinner and overnight on board.
DAY 3: STRASSBURGER MUNSTER | Approx. 15,5 miles / 25 km
Enjoy the morning on board while your ship sails towards Strasbourg. After lunch on board, the city tour of Strasbourg awaits. The “Petite France” quarter is particularly picturesque with its densely packed half-timbered houses. In the small town towered over by the minster, time seems to have stood still. Every now and then the low rows of half-timbered houses are interspersed with stone buildings of the former nobility, the number of which increases on the way to the cathedral. Then you are standing in front of the west facade of the minster and your eyes do not know where to wander, so overwhelming is the sight of this filigree building, which is considered the embodiment of Gothic par excellence. Inside, it is the angel's pillar and the high-reaching astronomical clock that cast a spell over the visitor. After a walk through the pretty half-timbered streets and a visit to the imposing minster, you leave Strasbourg on a secret path. Lush pastures slope over a small canal, along the banks of which our path leads. You can easily reach the edge of the Vosges. Great sacred architecture from the Romanesque period lies at the edge of the road, which we don't drive past carelessly. Lush flower bushes that are placed in front of the small crooked windows compete in their splendor with the warm tones of the house facades. The cycle route leads along an idyllic canal to Avolsheim. There you will visit the Dompeter pilgrimage church. From there the transfer back to the ship takes place. 3. Overnight and dinner on board.
Today you have the option of enjoying an individual dinner on land in a typical Strasbourg gourmet restaurant in the old town of Petite France, as the ship is moored overnight. Your guides will be happy to recommend typical Alsatian restaurants. An evening stroll will give you a first impression of the dense atmosphere of Strasbourg's old town. Reservation is made by your guide at the start of the cruise. The additional dinner is not included in the tour price. You can find out the current menu price from your tour guide. The dinner on board will not be credited.
DAY 4: UPPER RHINE VALLEY | Approx. 25 miles / 40 km
You can get on the wheels directly from the ship. You cycle on quiet paths along orchards and quiet canals through floodplains of the Rhine and through one of the largest tobacco growing areas in Germany. Again and again your gaze wanders over the heights of the Black Forest. The nature reserve along the Rhine floodplains is one of the last flood plains in Central Europe and a habitat for numerous animal and plant species, some of which are threatened with extinction. For part of the stage you follow the traffic-free Rhine dam before you reach the famous Romanesque abbey of Münsterschwarzach on small side roads. The cycling day ends with a guided tour of the monastery church and you will be taken back to Kehl in a short bus ride, where the ship will be waiting for you to continue your journey. 4. Overnight and dinner on board.
DAY 5: BASEL AND ROMAN THEATER AUGUSTA RAURICA | Approx. 25 miles / 40 km
Your ship is in Basel in the morning. Only a few minutes drive from the ship you cycle on the largely traffic-free bank promenade to the Middle Rhine Bridge. There you will be met by your city guide for a walk through the old town of Basel. After the city tour, you will take a transfer to the Swiss Jura in the late morning. Lunch awaits you at Schafmatt with a view of the foothills of the Alps. Strengthened, it is now by bike along light green pastures through a well-tended cultural landscape in a sweeping descent down into the Rhine Valley. You will arrive in Augst in the afternoon. The Roman city of Augusta Raurica once stood here. The ruins of the theater and forum are particularly impressive, the settlement is considered the best preserved Roman evidence north of the Alps. In Augst you switch to the German side of the Rhine and cycle back to Basel on the right side of the Rhine. Shortly before entering the city, you will cross the border one more time and will come back to the AQUA on the Rhine promenade in Basel. Dinner and 5th night on board.
DAY 6: COLMAR AND THE ISENHEIMER ALTAR | Approx. 19 miles / 30 km
The fortress of Breisach with the minster will attract your attention in the morning. The city lies impressively on a volcanic ridge that extends towards the Rhine. The Zähringer built the mighty castle at the end of the 12th century, which is one of the most fiercely contested fortresses in Europe. After breakfast you cycle to Alsace in France. In Neu Breisach you will experience the enormous dimensions of a fortress by the French master builder Vauban. With the Vosges in view, you cycle again on mostly traffic-free paths to Colmar, which, with its narrow streets and cozy half-timbered houses, creates the beautiful feeling of an ideal world. On secret paths you will experience beautiful half-timbered houses with pretty wood carvings. Look forward to the facade of the Pfister house, whose stair tower and bay window are strewn with filigree carvings with wall paintings and colored medallions! In time for lunch, the bus will bring you back to the ship in Breisach. Enjoy the afternoon on board while the ship sails towards Koblenz. Dinner and 6th night.
DAY 7: LORELEY, MOSELLE & DEUTSCHES ECK | Approx. 12,5 miles / 20 km
Today you will experience the passage of the Loreley from on board. In the afternoon, your last cycling stage takes you along the Moselle to the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine at the German corner in Koblenz. The monumental equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I was erected here in 1897. During a tour, you will learn more about the symbol of the patriotic Rhine romanticism ’from your guide. Even years after the Federal Horticultural Show, Koblenz is in full bloom. With a colorful bouquet of colors, shapes and ideas, the garden show changed the face of the city forever. The romantic palace garden was awakened from its deep slumber in the course of the redesign. In the evening we are waiting for you on board for a final dinner. 7th night.
DAY 8: DEPARTURE FROM COLOGNE
After breakfast the trip ends in Cologne. Transfer to the main train station and individual departure.
We recommend an extra night in Cologne. Visit one of the numerous museums or stroll along the Rhine promenade.
Our recommendation: a visit to the Wallraff-Richartz Museum. The affiliated Fondation Corboud shows the most extensive collection of paintings from French and international Impressionism and Late Impressionism in Germany. Works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir are among the more than 170 paintings that were given to the City of Cologne as a "permanent loan" in March 2001 and were transferred to the Wallraff-Richartz Museum.
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 and on foot is approx. 126 Miles (202 km). The bike routes mostly run on cycle paths with little traffic or on small side streets.