Heart of Europe Bike & Barge: Cochem to Metz

Travel through the pages of a storybook as you bike and barge through one of the most picturesque landscapes in Europe.

  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 24
  • Biking
  • Easy
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Heart of Europe Bike & Barge: Cochem to Metz

The Moselle Valley is world-renowned for its enchanting castles, timber-framed villages, lush vineyards, pretty market squares and Roman monuments. It’s also revered for its easy bike paths, which allow you to explore this scenic region in depth and up close. Cross the borders of three countries on a journey that gives you ample opportunity to experience local life – and the region’s famous local wines. Only on a bike-and-barge tour can you explore this fairytale region at a pace that lets you take it all in.

Cultural Highlights

  • Feast your eyes on picture-postcard views as you cycle past quiet villages, lush vineyards, small lakes, wooded mountains, and wide meadows
  • Explore a volcanic landscape and discover its history at a local museum
  • Taste the Moselle Valley’s famous wines
  • Delve into 2,000 years of history on a guided tour of Trier, once a Roman stronghold
  • Learn an ancient art at a bell foundry and museum
  • Experience local life over lunch in a family home
  • Cross the borders of Germany, Luxembourg and France
  • Relax and enjoy a glass of wine aboard our private barge

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain throughout the trip. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who need assistance.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Daily Ride: 2 – 4 hours on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Luxembourg City
Jun 67°  Jul 71°  Aug 71°  Sep 64°  Oct 54°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Luxembourg City
Jun 3.1  Jul 2.7  Aug 2.7  Sep 2.5  Oct 2.7

 

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  • 7 nights aboard a private deluxe canal barge
  • 16 meals – 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • Transfers
  • 19 meals – 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Guided walking tours of Koblenz and Luxembourg
  • Entrance into Cochem Castle
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Berlin – 3 nights for only $545 • Post-trip: Munich – 3 nights for only $445

Both Vacation Options Include

  • 1 glass of wine with all dinners aboard the barge
  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • 6 days of cycling with FULL VAN SUPPORT during the cruise portion of your trip
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $1345 | Land Only Single Supplement: $1195

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart the U.S. and fly overnight to Frankfurt

Depart the U.S. for Frankfurt, Germany. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Arrive in Frankfurt and transfer to Koblenz

Upon arrival at the Frankfurt airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area: VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so that your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. The representative helps you transfer via taxi or minibus (approximately 90 minutes) to your hotel in Koblenz. If you cannot find the VBT representative, or have been delayed in customs or because of lost luggage, please go to the airport Meeting Point and wait there for a few minutes. If nobody arrives, you may wish to telephone the transportation company, Garske Touristik, at 0261 92 24 727.

Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the front desk if you arrive before that time. At 4:00 pm, our local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for a 1.5-hour walking tour around the historic old town of Koblenz. It will be about a 15-minute walk before we begin the tour, so we recommend you leave the hotel with everything you'll need to have dinner on your own in the Old Town once our tour has ended.

Hotel: Hotel Brenner

DAY 3: Cochem / Embark barge / Warm-up ride

VBT No-Air Package guests: You are responsible for making your own way to Cochem to meet our barge, the Iris. Please arrive between 1:30 and 2:00 pm. Please note that you cannot embark before this time, as the barge is being prepared for you. If you are late, you must contact the barge as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements, because we will sail shortly after this time.

The barge will be moored in Cochem at Uferstrasse, on the right bank just downstream from the bridge. Contact telephone number is +49 151 57 81 33 06 or +31 620 245 095.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: At 9:00 am, meet a VBT representative in the hotel lobby for your transfer by coach (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes) to the city of Cochem. Please ensure that all luggage you will not need is loaded onto the luggage minibus. This will go directly to the barge, and your bags will await your arrival in your cabin.

On arrival, meet one of our VBT Trip Leaders, who will help acquaint you with this characteristic Moselle town of wooded hills, medieval buildings and a picturesque center with beautiful, timber-framed houses. Hike or shuttle to Reichsburg Castle with your local guide for spectacular views of the Moselle Valley and its vineyards. The fairy-tale castle includes seven rooms of fine furniture and objects from different periods and styles.

After your visit, walk back into town, where you may shop and eat lunch on your own before boarding the barge at 2:00 pm. Meet the crew and your second VBT Trip Leader, then settle in before a bike-safety session and a short warm-up ride on quiet bike paths along the Moselle. Return to the Iris afterward and gather for a welcome dinner on board. The barge moors in Beilstein tonight.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 6 miles (10 km)

DAY 4: Bike to Zell / Traben-Trarbach / Cruise to Bernkastel-Kues

Today, follow the Moselle upstream and bike to Zell and Traben-Trarbach on an easy cycling path. Zell is beautifully situated on the Moselle, where the river meanders in many bends through the hills. Zell is one of the largest wine-producing communities on the river. One of the best wines made here, Zeller Schwartze Katz (Black Cat), is produced with grapes from 16 different locations. A sculpture on the market-square fountain shows a snarling cat on top of a wine barrel.

Another interesting stop today is the village of Traben-Trarbach, an architectural jewel of Jugendstil surrounded by woods and extensive vineyards. Traben-Trarbach was at one time the world's second-largest wine-trading center. At the turn of the 20th century, the city's wine merchants built a number of fine Art Nouveau buildings, many of which are carefully preserved and continue to operate as wineries. An entire range of Belle Époque splendor adorns Traben-Trarbach, making the city a favorite destination for lovers of the baroque and classical styles.

Board the barge in Traben-Trarbach, and then cruise along the river into Bernkastel-Kues. Bernkastel and Kues, united in 1905, were once two small cities divided by the Moselle. The pride of this small city is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses and decorated fountains, some dating to the 17th century.

Dinner is on board tonight. Afterward, the captain speaks about navigation and our planned route.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 17 or 30 miles (27 or 48 km)

DAY 5: Shuttle and cycle to Daun / The “maars” / Bernkastel-Kues

This morning, we shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) through the Eifel Valley to the city of Daun. From there, we take an exhilarating bike ride along a former railway track that is now a cycling path. The ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges and by small lakes formed from volcano craters, known as maars. We'll pedal past castles, vineyards and green forests before cycling through quiet villages.

On the way, you can stop in Strohn for a visit to a small volcano museum. The region is scattered with “young” volcanoes about 12,000 years old. The typical maars found here are actually volcano cones collapsed inside the earth. In Strohn, stop to share a simple home-cooked lunch with a local family.

Later, continue cycling to Bernkastel, where you can relax before dinner on board.

After dinner, we stroll to the fascinating cellar of Josef Zimmermann via an elegant district of fine Jugendstill villas, many of which display winegut, or winery signs. The simple, fourth-generation Zimmermann operation contains a century-old cellar, wine barrels and an inviting tasting hall, where we taste four different wines.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 25.5 or 37 miles (41 or 59 km)

DAY 6: Cycle to Piesport / Trittenheim / Trier

After breakfast, we cycle toward Trier, the oldest town in Germany, passing Piesport and Trittenheim along the way. Both of these winemaking villages lie on scenic hairpin turns on the Moselle. See a reconstructed Roman winepress house in Piesport. We stop for lunch in Neumagen, where there are signs of ancient Rome.

A slogan for Trier, a lively tourist and university town, claims that it is possible to see “2,000 years of history in 2,000 paces.” The Romans established their local capital here. In the Middle Ages, Frankish kings and the archbishops of Trier reigned. A local guide conducts a walking tour of the city center, where we learn about the Porta Nigra (“Black Gate”), a city landmark and the largest city gate of the ancient world. Then, visit the amphitheater, the medieval Main Market and Church of Our Lady (where you can see the throne of Constantine the Great), the rococo Electoral Palace, the Imperial Baths and extensive subterranean service passages. Trier's monuments have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tonight, the barge moors in Trier, where we have the opportunity to try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B
Daily Options: 21 or 33 miles (34 or 53 km)

DAY 7: Cycle to Saarburg

Today, we cycle on the Moselle's easy bike path from Trier to Konz, at the confluence of the Moselle and Saar rivers. Then, continue into the Saarland along the more intimate Saar River. Wooded mountains, wide meadows, farmsteads and villages alternate in harmony here. Later this afternoon, we reach Saarburg, a medieval jewel at the foot of a castle that towers above the river. The town center boasts a roaring 65-foot-high waterfall.

Enjoy a picnic lunch, then walk to the nearby bell foundry and museum, Mabilon, which produced bells until 2002. From there, choose between a scenic ride along the Saar River or time on your own in Saarburg.

This evening is free, so you may dine on your own in a romantic restaurant on the Leuk River. Savor the hearty food and viez, or apple wine, typical of this region. The barge moors in Saarburg.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 9 or 14 miles (14 or 22 km)

DAY 8: Wasserbilling / Grevenmacher / Nennig / Remich

This morning we cycle along the banks of the Saar River to Konz. In Konz, find the Moselle River, the natural border between Luxembourg and Germany, and continue pedaling on its easy biking path. Soon we arrive in Wasserbillig, and cross the border into Luxembourg.

We rejoin the barge for lunch near Grevenmacher. This afternoon, you can opt to continue riding or cruise into Remich.

If you cycle, you'll follow the Route du Vin, famous for its vineyards and outstanding wines, including Riesling and Cremant. Approaching Remich, take a short detour to Nennig and admire Europe's largest Roman mosaic (remarkably, 90% of it is original and perfectly restored). Dinner tonight is on our barge, moored in Remich.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 18 or 33 miles (29 or 53 km)

DAY 9: Picnic at Rodemack, France

On a very quiet bike path, we cycle along the Moselle River. Then, turn inland and follow a pleasant rolling route through small villages to Rodemack, known as Little Carcassonne Lorraine and ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. This charming village offers marvels of construction and fortifications erected over centuries. Impressive ramparts and walls encircle the village, with a labyrinth of back streets and cobbled alleys to explore, as well as an impressive fortress.

After a picnic lunch, we'll have free time to wander through the village.

An optional ride takes you back to Koenigsmacker, where we reboard our barge and enjoy dinner prepared by our chef tonight.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 14, 19 or 26 miles (22, 31 or 42 km)

DAY 10: Metz / Luxembourg / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, your tour ends. It is important that you leave the barge no later than 9:00 am so that the crew can prepare for their next guests.

VBT Air Package guests: After a final breakfast on our barge, bid farewell to the crew and VBT Trip Leaders and say hello to our local Metz guide. Then, take a pleasant walk with our guide into the charming city, a quaint tapestry of bridges and romantic corners. Pass the elegant 18th-century city theater and the Palais de la Prefecture in the Place de la Comedie. Soon we see the imposing Cathedral of St. Etienne, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals of France, built around 1250. Admire the fine stained-glass windows, including a modern one by Marc Chagall.

Our stroll through the city continues to the Saturday morning local market, and to the lively Place St. Louis and Place Saint-Jacques, where there'll be time to shop or explore. Lunch is on your own.

After your visit, board a private motorcoach to transfer to Luxembourg City. There will be a short 15-minute stop at the Luxembourg American Cemetery en route. Your hotel in Luxembourg is a stroll away from the main square and the Old City.

Check into Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg and use the rest of your day to discover Luxembourg City, then have dinner on your own. The city boasts more Michelin stars per square mile than any other city in the world and has a lively atmosphere in its many cafés, pubs and pizzerias. The biggest ethnic community here is from Portugal, adding a Latin flair.

Hotel: Hotel Le Royal
Meals: B

DAY 11: Luxembourg City

This morning your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at 10:00 am and lead an orientation walk to help familiarize you with the city. Luxembourg City overlooks the Petrusse and Alzette valleys and sits high on a rocky outcropping. It offers a combination of cobblestone-arched narrow streets and small, elegant palaces such as the Palais Grand-Ducal and the Chambre des Deputes. The beautiful Chemin de la Corniche is said to be Europe's most beautiful terrace, with a pleasant promenade that passes restored ancient homes. The Casemates du Bock, a defensive labyrinth excavated in 1745 in the rocks beneath the city, is partly open to visitors. Other remarkable places include the Place de la Constitution and the cozy Place du Marche, still used for weekly flower and vegetable markets.

Hotel: Hotel Le Royal
Meals: B

DAY 12: Depart for Home or begin your optional extension in Munich

After breakfast*, meet in the hotel lobby and transfer to the Luxembourg City airport for your flight back to the U.S.**

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Hotel Le Royal

This luxury property, one of the Leading Hotels of the World, is centrally located in Luxembourg City, has a beautiful garden and is only a few steps from the Old Town and shops. All rooms are spacious, elegant and fully air conditioned. The hotel is part of Luxembourg's "Hot City," a citywide network of free wireless Internet.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Laimer Hof

Hotel Laimer Hof, a New Renaissance Villa from the end of the 19th century, is located in a quiet residential area just a few minutes walk from the Nymphenburg Palace and gardens. It is owned and managed by Alexandra and Sebastian Rosch, who also live in the property, and has a very homey feel.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Brenner

Located in the Koblenz city center, this family-run property welcomes you with warm hospitality. Rooms are comfortably sized, and most overlook a small, well-maintained garden where you may eat breakfast. Hotel Brenner is stylishly decorated with hand-painted flowers on the ceilings and walls, and antique furnishings.
Free WiFi Included

Barge Iris

A luxurious and spacious two-deck, 24-passenger barge with a homelike atmosphere, the Iris was put into service in April 2005. Its 12 comfortable cabins have private bathrooms with showers, and the barge has climate control throughout. Common areas include a dining area and lounge with a bar, and a sun deck at the bow. Smoking is permitted outside on the sun deck only. The barge moors each night. Drinks of all types are available for purchase at the bar on board the Iris. It is not customary for guests to bring their own wine and liquor onboard; your understanding is appreciated. Onboard meal menus are set, though the chef is happy to accommodate vegetarians and those on restricted diets for health reasons.

Art 'Otel Berlin Mitte

Art 'Otel Berlin Mitte is a boutique hotel, combining traditional building décor and modern design and architecture. You just might think this fine hotel—in the heart of Berlin’s Fischerinsel district on the Spree River—is an Art Gallery, with artworks from Georg Baselitz, one of Germany’s most famous contemporary artists. The outstanding hall is covered with a glass roof and joins the modern wing of the hotel with its 17th century wing. Behind the hotel, the Spree River flows quietly, far from traffic and hustle. Riverside, you’ll find cafés and restaurants. Art ’Otel’s boat, moored nearby, transforms into a restaurant for hotel guests in summertime.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

Moselle Bike & Barge Tour Traveler Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Ratings Summary

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    28 out of 28 travelers would recommend this tour to a friend.

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  • Fabulous Active Vacation-Exercise During History Class!

    I can't say enough good things about this vacation. Having traveled through the great museums in Europe, this trip offered something different;a chance to explore the culture of smaller European villages while exercising/cycling through bucolic settings along the Mosel River.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 22, 2014
    Posted by: Buckeye
    From: Gainesville, FL, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Best trip ever!!

    My wife and I took this trip last year. It was a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it and VBT. In fact, out next trip is coming up in a week.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 30, 2014
    Posted by: MV50
    From: Denver, CO
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • This trip was beautiful and edifying

    Sorry to hear VBT may be dropping this trip. I've been on six VBT bike trips and this ranks among my top experiences. Have you ever ridden on a bike path that follows an old train route including several tunnels? The views of vineyards, quaint villages and the river are spectacular. We learned about the history of this part of the world, and about Roman ruins, and how church bells are made. We had lunch at the home of a German cattle rancher who raises organic beef. We met a winemaker who produces those wonderful Mosel rieslings. We shouldered through the crowds of shoppers at the indoor central market in Metz, France. And we marveled at the collection of painted windows -- some done by Jewish artists -- at the cathedral there. Did you know there is an American WW2 cemetery in Luxembourg and that Gen. George S. Patton is buried there along with more than 5,000 American soldiers many of whom were killed during the Battle of the Bulge? The cemetery is considered American soil and the superintendent, a Luxembourger, is employed by the U.S. federal government.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Response from VBT
    VBT Product Team - October 17, 2013

    The VBT Product Team just wanted to clarify that VBT is not canceling this trip for 2014. The only Bike and Barge vacation that will be discontinued is "Netherlands Bike & Barge", which will be replaced by the new "Holland in Springtime Bike & Barge​" vacation. Thank You.

    Posted on: October 12, 2013
    Posted by: Balsambluff
    From: Newport Beach, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • The best bike trip we have ever taken

    Our group of 9 couples, mostly friends from college and all around 70, have been on nearly a dozen bike trips together, with VBT and other companies. This bike and barge trip was beyond a doubt the best we have ever been on. The route was perfect and the boat, Sailing Home, couldn't be better. Most important, the people involved were unbelievable. The captain, cook, and their assistants made us feel like a welcome family from the start, and the food was terrific. Our guides, Kristin and Axel, were the best we have ever had, bar none! Friendly, knowledgeable, humorous, and dedicated to our comfort, enjoyment, and safety - we couldn't have asked for more!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 10, 2013
    Posted by: EFM2013
    From: Moraga, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
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  • Wonderful way to travel.Already looking at 2014.Guides were knowlegable,passionate,accommodating

    Guides made a trip special.They were knowledgable about Mosel ,its villages,and people.They were passionate about everything and made trip so much fun everyday.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 14, 2013
    Posted by: Jackie
    From: Durham,NC
    Age: 18 to 24
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Great Biking

    I have been on 23 bike trips, and this was one of the best. The barge was clean & comfortable, and the food was great. The biking was easy as described and on very good bike paths Most wer along the river with great scenery. Some were old rail lines complete with tunnels and very moderate grades. The ending of the bike trip in Luxembourg City was superb, and the pre trip in Berlin was excellent

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 28, 2013
    Posted by: gabagg
    From: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great way to knock off 3 countries!

    As someone who works in the wine industry, getting the chance to bike down the Moselle and stare up at the amazing terraced vineyards was incredible. The trip had a good mix of riding, plus if you felt like it, you could spend the afternoon lounging on the barge as it made its way up river. The rooms on the barge were pretty tiny, but you're just in the rooms to sleep, so no worries. The trip leaders Kristin and Arnot were fantastic and really got to know everyone on board. The only downside was the last day in Luxembourg. Felt like I could've spent 1 less day there and still gotten to see the city. Overall, an excellent trip (my first!) and I'm already looking for new ones next summer.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2013
    Posted by: Tyler
    From: Denver, CO, USA
    Age: 25 to 34
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Biking, Barge and Wines - What could be better?

    I've never seen so many vineyards in one area. The scenery was delightful, the terrain was mellow enough for my replacement knee and the trip leaders and crew on the Sailing Home were a delight. We loved not having to pack and unpack. The cabins are not large but there is more than enough room to stow all your clothing and then stuff the suitcase under the bed. Marcos, our chef went shopping every day for fresh produce and other supplies and cooked great meals. Highly recommend this trip. My only discomfort was when the weather turned unusually hot and the public areas were not air conditioned. The climate control in the cabins worked like a charm.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 11, 2013
    Posted by: Andy
    From: Lewes, DE, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Very good time

    Our first VBT trip was everything we hoped for. Beautiful scenery, wonderful bikes, excellent trip leaders. Everything was so well managed that all we had to do was show up and enjoy. For the first few days, we were trying to keep up with the more experienced riders but then found ourselves just enjoying the ride, stopping to take pictures and experiencing the culture of Germany and France. Great food on the barge as well.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 11, 2013
    Posted by: Joannkv
    From: Westminster, CO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • EXCELLENT!

    Great way to see sites, be active, enjoy local foods and meet wonderful people.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 02, 2012
    Posted by: Peter
    From: Quincy, MA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This trip was excellent

    This was our first trip with VBT and we are already planning a second trip. The Bike and Barge trip was a great way to really experience our surroundings on land and water. Well thought out bike routes, great trip leaders, comfortable cabins, good food plus fantastic weather. Our fellow travellers were a teriffic group. Lots of great memories. Thanks VBT. Don & Patty

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 21, 2012
    Posted by: DJR36
    From: TORONTO
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Heart of Europe tour a wonderful surprise

    After three prior VBT tours - Amsterdam-Bruges, Andalusia, Spain and Prague-Vienna - all of which were spectacular, I envisaged the Heart of Europe as a placid, maybe a bit dull, time to loaf a little, ride a little and generally bask in VBT's legendary service in a prosperous, conservative, predictable Moselle Valley. Boy, was I wrong (about the Moselle, not VBT) ! From Koblentz through Bernkastle-Kues. Saarburg, Trier and Rodemach to Metz and Luxembourg City, we saw vineyards climbing impossibly steep hillsides without limit; medieval half-timbered villages and castles with festivals, concerts, city walls, cathedrals and town squares; Roman columns, viaducts and monuments; not to mention a "volcanobombe," a huge solar electricity farm, 3 national borders in 30 minutes, and bulletholes from WW II. Each day opened our eyes to the unexpected delights of this incredible region. Wonderful flat bike routes, thoughtful personable guides and a comfortable barge to relax on at day's end. The pre- and post-trips to Berlin and Munich were also eye-openers, not to be missed. The Heart of Europe tour reaffirmed our belief in VBT's excellence in its choices of locations, routes, hotels, and especially its guides and other personnel. We are already planning next year's trip with them.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 19, 2012
    Posted by: PeterJudy
    From: Wolfeboro, NH, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • It is hard to pick the "best" element among the biking, barge, trip leaders, food... All was great.

    The bike and barge is a great way to see Germany. Our fellow travelers were super. The rides were like a rolling promotional post card. Barge staff were very likable and friendly. Food was great. I really liked getting back from a ride, cleaning up and sitting on the deck with a cold beer. The Munich Oktoberfest was amazing!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 16, 2012
    Posted by: VLTG
    From: Indianapolis, IN
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • What a great experience!

    There are times in your life that you look back on with much enthusiasm and warm thoughts, and this trip down the Mosel river is one of those. I had never been in this region and so enjoyed biking through the beautiful Riesling grapes vineyard. The grapes were all around us, growing throughout the miles and miles of the terrain we rode through. We saw small enchanting towns with half timber houses, bike paths with local people of all ages and sizes riding by, and beautiful luscious green slopes of vineyards dating back to the Roman times. We learned history of the area and were able to visit structures from 2,000 years ago. Now, many weeks after our trip, I was biking by myself here in the U.S., but my mind traveled back to biking through the terraced grapevines and down to the Mosel. Our barge crew was so friendly, we had a 5 star chef on board preparing meals for us, our trip leaders so helpful and eager to please, and the folks we rode with became a close knit family within a week. It was truly hard to say good-bye to them. I was just telling friends about this tour company yesterday and want to show them my pictures and the VBT tour book that arrived in the mail today. I hope to do another bike trip with VBT. I hope to travel again through VBT, establish new friendships, explore another area of the world, and enrich my body and soul with an amazing bicycle experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 09, 2012
    Posted by: Ingrid
    From: Maine
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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    View Reviewer's Photos:

  • Wonderful cycling; history and romance all around you; the joy of barge travel

    We are repeat VBT travelers and were happy to see the consistent quality in the cycling experience, touring information and very comfortable surroundings. The barge, Sailing Home, was easy to like. While the rooms were small, they were clean, comfortable, quiet and completely acceptable. In a word...cozy. The pleasure of only having to unpack once basically; of seeing Germany, France and Luxembourg float by; experiencing the elevator ride on water that is involved when you enter and leave a lock; the wonderful food and hospitality and warm and friendly service...all very nice. The Mosel River valley combines history with viticulture and romance against an incredibly scenic background. We loved it. Don and Wendy Connecticut

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 04, 2012
    Posted by: Don48
    From: Connecticut
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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    View Reviewer's Photos:

  • Biking is the only way to go.

    This was my first bike tour and i was a little nervous about biking that far but after the first day i was hooked loved the trip and staff.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 22, 2012
    Posted by: Smitty
    From: Central NH
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • GOURMET FOOD, FINE, FANTASTIC, SCENIC AND SAFE CYCLING. WONDERFUL GUIDES, GREAT GUESTS. A TASTE OF EUROPE

    WAKE UP WITH A SMILE! EAT HEALTHY BREAKFAST WHILE WETTING YOUR APPETITE AS THE BARGE EXECUTIVE CHEF DESCRIBES YOUR CHOICES FOR DINNER. REVIEW YOUR DAY'S EASY TO FOLLOW BIKE ROUTE AND OFF YOU GO! THE VINEYARDS CRAWL DOWN THE STEEP HILLS TO GENTLY TOUCH THE BIKE PATH, AND A QUICK TOUCH OF YOUR BIKE BELL GREATS THE PASSING CYCLISTS. NO COMPETITION WITH CARS HERE! BREATHE CLEAN FRESH AIR AS THE BEAUTY OF THE MOSELLE AND SAAR RIVER UNFOLD BEFORE YOU. JUST WHEN YOU NEED IT THE VBT VAN APPEARS WITH A SMILING TRIP LEADER REFRESHING YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT WITH WATER, FRESH FRUIT AND THOSE TASTY LITTLE EUROPEAN SNACK BARS. DECIDE TO GO THE FULL DISTANCE AND JUST WHEN YOU ARE A BIT HOT OR TIRED, ALONG COMES THE OTHER GUIDE WITH ENCOURAGEMENT, SPEEDING YOU ALONG IF YOU LIKE, CONVERSING IF YOU PREFER THAT OR JUST RIDING ALONG WITH A SMILE. RETURN TO YOUR 'SAILING HOME' TO FIND FRESH JUICE, CLEAN QUARTERS, FLOWERS ON THE TABLE, THE UNBELIEVABLE SCENTS OF THE GOURMET DINNER TO COME, AND YOUR NEWLY FOUND VBT FRIENDS SHARING THEIR DAY OR JUST ENJOYING THE VISTA'S FROM THE BARGE OR READING THEIR KINDEL BOOK AS THEY SIP A FINE GERMAN MOSELLE WINE. OH-- AND DID WE MENTION THE WITTY GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE LESSON, THE PROFESSIONAL YET FRIENDLY BARGE CAPTAIN AND CREW? CAP THIS ALL OFF WITH A CHANCE TO VISIT THE UNIQUE FRENCH CITY OF METZ AND TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN A FOUR STAR FINE HOTEL IN LUXEMBERG-A CITY RICH WITH FESTIVALS, FINE DINING, CULTURE AND MUSEUMS. A TRIP TO SHARE AND DREAM ABOUT FOREVER!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 18, 2012
    Posted by: mouse
    From: southern california
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This tour has outstanding features,

    This tour has a great combination of biking, sightseeing,barging, educational tours,wine tasting, The tour guides and the barge staff were all excellent. The food was was very good. The hotels at the start and the end or the tour were very good.I have done several bike tours and overall this is one of the best.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 08, 2012
    Posted by: Gordy
    From: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Biking in the Moselle valley is beautiful, especially when you can stay on a barge as you travel.

    This trip was very enjoyable. Staying on a river barge is great. You unpack once, and the barge environment gives one a chance to mix more easily with the other bikers. As usual, VBT did a great job. We started with the pretrip to Berlin which was great. Then, biking in the Moselle River valley was beautiful. We like the use of route notes which gives you a chance to bike at your own pace, and the three distance options are great. The equipment was very high quality, and the van (with treats) to help you along the way is great. Also, seeing Metz and Luxembourg City after biking was really enjoyable. We also did the posttrip to Strassbourg, France, which was a treat. Biking with VBT is the best.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 19, 2012
    Posted by: Dennis37
    From: Madison, WI, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour is a personal experience.

    From the Sailing Home Crew to the trip leaders, the entire trip was led by professionals who knew their responsibilities and how to present the areas visited with a personal touch. The personal touch came from knowledge of the vineyards, villages, castles, local food, ruins, language, customs, the Moselle River, the river locks and how to make the barge like a second home. The tour was an exceptional experience!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Hiker
    From: Silverthorne, CO, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • heart of europe

    By far the very best trip so far. The barge was such fun , you really got to know the crew. Food was great & the beer well, you really had great beer. The guides were so much fun. Great, great great trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: suzie
    From: Surprise, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great Trip!

    Tthis was our first VBT trip and we loved it. The scenery was spectacular. Beautiful vinyards sloping up from the river, quaint friendly towns,. Our guides were wonderful, always fun and helpful. And the food was "out of this world"--the chef even gave us a cooking lesson.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Robin8005
    From: Denver, CO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • My first, but not my last

    I'm not a biker or a boat/water enthusiast, and had previously only done hiking tours. It was just so lovely to float slowly down a beautiful river that I have booked Holland/Belgium for this year and France for next year. The biking is easy, great exercise and very well organized. The food, crew and tours were excellent. Tied for best part of the trip was the comraderie that resulted from a small group staying together in a smaller space, socializing at meals, on the deck or around the barge. I am excited to do more and have friends lined up to go with me, including some I met on the barge.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: PatriciaE
    From: Denver, CO
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A Marvelous Tour In All Respects!

    This Bike-Barge tour down the Moselle River through Germany, France and ending in Luxembourg was simply outstanding in every respect! We traveled with 3 other family members & their spouses and all agreed it was marvelously beyond any of our expectations. The pre-trip planning and information left nothing to chance, the team leaders who cycled with us were knowledgeable & fun, we were surrounded by breathtaking scenery & fascinating history and the barge staff provided outstanding meals & service! Everything went smoothly - a professionally hosted experience!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Chick
    From: Rye, NH, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • We really enjoyed this tour!

    My wife and I organized a group of our friends and filled the entire barge. It was an opportunity to be with folks we had not seen for several years as well as current friends. The tour was all we had hoped for and more. The food on board (how do they do it in such a small kitchen?), the leaders and the barge crew were all excellent. I was amazed at the extensive bike paths in Germany - - all paved, well marked and easy riding along the Mosel River. Our group included avid bikers and others who seldom biked. Everyone set their own pace, picked a short or long route each day and enjoyed the ride, the scenery and the people we met. We topped-off the tour with the post-trip to Munich during Oktoberfest. It was a great experience! Incidently, the average age of the people in our group was around 65 to 70 years.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Jack
    From: Tucson, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The perfect way to see the Moselle

    We had wanted to see the Moselle for a long time, and when we saw this trip, it was the obvious choice among several options. The scenery is spectacular, the ride is easy, and one sees so much more when traveling by bike than any other way. The tour leader was knowledgeable and well-prepared. She was a bit of a mother-hen who showed some anxiety when we deviated a bit from the published itinerary to see beautiful little villages and other sights that were not on the exact route. But our diversions, as well as just stopping along the way for ice cream or to just sit and watch the river go by really added to the quality of the experience. We bicycle a lot, are in good shape, and always knew that we could easily catch up and pass everyone if we need to. The itinerary was great, and the pre-trip in Berlin and post-trip in Strassbourg were well worth it. The inclusion of Luxembourg City was a highlight to a place that we would otherwise never have seen. The food was excellent, and the small size of the group meant no lines or delays. The idea of a floating "hotel" that goes where we do meant no packing and saved hours every day that could be spent seeing the sights. The barge crew was excellent and the rooms were comfortable. It was a great trip, and I would do it again.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: lovestotravel
    From: Logan, UT
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • We loved this trip!

    This was a great trip. Traveling through a few countries was special. We love the barge. So intimate, easy and special.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Verna
    From: VA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Never mind putting me in to the lottery!!!

    What a perfect way to take a bike trip! Comfortable cabin on board where you only unpack once. Wonderful bikes and leaders immersed in the history and culture of their country. A special time was spending an evening with a local family in Tholen. My favorite memory was when I expressed concern about the day's route and the guide said: "don't worry, I will Mother Goose you today". I still laugh when I think of it. Another time, I fell off my bike and complained to the guide that he didn't even see me, to which he replied, "I will watch you next time". It was all so relaxing and we fell in love with the country that meant so much to our leaders.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Lee1931
    From: Freedom, NH
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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