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Danube Bike & River Cruise: Budapest to Nuremberg

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This Danube bike and boat tour has it all: scenic cycling routes, city tours, and the convenience of a deluxe river cruise.

Guided Bike & Boat

  • Group Size: 24
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

11-day Bike Vacation + Air Package

$5,295

8-day Bike Vacation Only

$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Danube Bike & River Cruise: Budapest to Nuremberg

A bike and boat tour on the Danube doesn’t get any better than this! In just a week, you’ll explore four different countries—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany—as well as a world-class cultural capital, Vienna. Cycle the renowned Danube Bike Path, admiring vistas of storybook villages and castles, lush vineyards, and carpeted hills unfurling along the river banks. Pause to explore medieval cities and the spectacular Melk Abbey, and enjoy a private wine tasting. And at the end of the day, return to a deluxe Emerald Waterways river ship, where attentive service, fine dining, and a welcoming ambiance invite you to relax after an invigorating day. There’s no better or more convenient way to experience the heart of Europe!

What to Expect

On Shore: This tour offers easy riverside terrain, with a few climbs to reach riverside towns. Riding is primarily on bike paths of both pavement and packed gravel, with some road riding through both urban and rural areas. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who would like assistance. Onboard Ship: Our group of up to 24 VBT guests will be part of a larger group on board our 182-passenger river cruise ship. Every day will include your choice of exclusive VBT activities as well as opportunities to join other activities that are offered by the ship. VBT activities may overlap with those offered by the ship. While in port our ship may be docked adjacent to other ships. This means we may walk through other ships while boarding or disembarking, and some views may be obstructed while in port.

  • Group Size: 24
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Unpack once, then bike and boat along the Danube in four countries and three cultural capitals—all on one trip
  • Follow the car-free and scenic Danube and EuroVelo 6 bike paths in this bicycle-friendly region
  • Ogle the most scenic stretches of the river: the Danube Bend, the Wachau Valley, and Schlögener Schlinge
  • Choose to be as active or relaxed as you wish from our menu of cycling routes and walking tours
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the renowned Benedictine Abbey in Melk
  • Savor a private tasting of local wines
  • Indulge in the comfort and convenience of all-inclusive river cruising—VBT style

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May67º/49º

Jun72º/55º

Jul77º/59º

Aug77º/59º

Sep69º/53º

Oct57º/43º

Average
Precipitation:

May2.4 in

Jun2.9 in

Jul2.5 in

Aug2.3 in

Sep1.8 in

Oct1.6 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Budapest and one night in Prague in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
1-day Budapest Transportation Pass and 1-day Prague Transportation Pass Check
7 nights aboard a deluxe river ship Check Check
21 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

See More >

Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Thu, May 13 to Sun, May 23 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Hungary. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Budapest 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 in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic) to your centrally located Budapest hotel. If your VBT representative is not immediately in sight, please wait, as the VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. He or she should arrive within 30 minutes.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk. The rest of the day is free to relax or begin your exploration of the city with your included Budapest Transportation Pass. VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Budapest.

Accommodation: Mamaison Andrassy Hotel
Alternate Accommodation: Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center

At 9:30 a.m., meet your private VBT walking tour guide in the hotel lobby. Please be checked out of your room and dressed ready to walk. Join up with your local guide for a walking tour through the city’s highlights. Enjoy your first lunch on board, after arriving at the dock in Budapest at approximately 1:00 p.m. to board your Emerald Waterways ship.

Should you arrive late, please plan to go directly to the ship, which is in port overnight and until mid-day on the following day. Please note that you cannot embark before 12:30 p.m., as the ship is being prepared for you.

The ship will be docked at Batthyany Pier, on the Buda side of the river, directly across from the Parliament building. As the exact location of the ship may change, please call the ship on your arrival in Budapest for directions.

Cruise start dates of: May 15, May 29, August 7, September 6, and October 18:
MS Emerald Destiny, tele. +49 (0)152 5671 3873, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: May 22, July 31, and September 25:
MS Emerald Dawn, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1436, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: June 9:
MS Emerald Sky, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1933, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: June 17:
MS Emerald Sun, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1432, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: September 17:
MS Emerald Star, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1937, [email protected]

Your cabin may not be ready for you until 3:00 p.m. However, you are welcome to relax in the ship’s common areas, or explore more of Budapest.

Later, meet your trip leaders and fellow travelers on board for an introduction to the week, followed by a safety and bike-fitting session. After a very short motor coach transfer, get acquainted with your bike and with riding on bike paths and in bike lanes on a warm-up ride on the famous Margaret Island. A welcome dinner in the ship’s Reflections Restaurant and traditional Hungarian folklore performances are in store this evening.

Please note regarding WiFi on board the ship: Due to the nature of the ship movements, Internet access is not always available. If stable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the ship. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Please note regarding “Discover More” tours: Emerald Waterways offers two optional tours during your cruise, at an additional cost. Your VBT trip leaders will be able to answer questions about scheduling and can connect you with Emerald staff on board to make reservations. We recommend that you book as soon as practical once on board, as the tours are capacity restricted.

Viennese Evening Concert
When: Day 4 (Vienna), 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Includes: Coach transfer, concert ticket, and glass of sparkling wine
Price: EUR 74.00 per person

Tour to Salzburg
When: Day 6 (Linz), 8:00 a.m. – 5:40 p.m.
Includes: Coach transfer, local guide
Note: Passengers doing this tour will not be able to participate in the VBT ride or the Passau walking tour.
Price: EUR 62.00 per person

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range:12 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Margaret Island Warm-Up:12 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: A short motor coach ride will take you to Margaret Island, where you begin your warm-up ride, away from urban traffic. Your ride follows paved, dedicated bike lanes alongside vehicular traffic on both banks of the Danube, with spectacular views of the city. Your warm-up ride ends at the ship. As you ride, get acquainted with your bicycle, route notes, Ride with GPS, and the locals. Check your brakes and play with shifting your full range of gears.

Shuttle to the Baroque city of Vac to begin today’s ride on the famous EuroVelo 6, or EV6, which traverses 10 countries and 2,270 miles (3,653 km) from the Atlantic Ocean in France to the Black Sea at Constanta. The EV6 makes a bike and boat on the Danube of this caliber possible, as it includes the Danube Bike Path, the most popular cycling vacation destination in Europe.

You’ll trace the famous Danube Bike Path along the left bank of the river and admire views of the Danube Bend, where the river curves around forested hills dotted with picturesque villages. It is considered one of the most scenic stretches of the river. Pause for a picnic lunch, then ferry to Szob, where you are welcome to shuttle or cycle along country roads to Visegrad, the former medieval capital of Hungary.

Admire views of ancient ramparts, castles, and the river, as well as time at leisure to explore. Afterwards you are invited to participate in a Knights’ Tournament organized by the Saint George Knightly Order. During the performance, you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with medieval weapons, while the more adventurous among you may try to shoot with arrows, throw stars, or a kelevéz (a Hungarian lance). You’re sure to enjoy this historic reenactment in the old fortress.

On your return to the ship, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and dinner. With its regional specialties, tonight’s meal completes the day’s Hungarian theme!

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 45 km (28 miles)
Morning
Vac to Szob Ferry: 31 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
Szob Ferry to Visegrad:14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: Ride on paved bike paths along the Danube bike path to Szob. After picnic lunch, an optional ride continues on country roads with some traffic to Visegrad. VBT offers a support vehicle shuttle from the ferry.

Awake this morning in Bratislava, the riverside capital of Slovakia and the only capital to border two other nations. After breakfast, disembark for an orientation walking tour with your trip leader. You’ll find an unusual mix of 20th-century Communist-era architecture, Baroque palaces, medieval spires, and the narrowest house in Europe—all overlooked from a hillside by the rectangular white castle and watchtowers of Bratislava Castle.

Mid-morning, you pedal out of town, crossing the Danube by way of the “UFO” bridge, and traverse the forests and meadows of Danube-Auen National Park, one of the largest remaining floodplains of the Danube. Arrive in Hainburg, a small town on the Austrian bank, where Joseph Haydn studied music as a young boy. After a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, arrive at Schloss Hof, the “hunting lodge” of Prince Eugene of Savoy. A guided visit introduces the lodge and the estate. You’re invited to roam the splendid gardens and castle.

Mid-afternoon, transfer back to Slovakia and to your waiting ship. Alternatively, you can choose to cycle back along the other side of the river, though the small village of Devin, famous for its castle.

Back in Bratislava, enjoy some leisure time before dinner and the late departure for Vienna.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 – 54 km (21 – 34 miles)
Morning
Bratislava to Schloss Hof: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Schloss Hof to Bratislava: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride features a combination of bike paths and town streets. While both Slovakia and Austria feature bike paths, we would like to make you aware that the paths in Slovakia are slightly less well-maintained. The afternoon option is partly along a busy country road.

Your ship is in Vienna from very early this morning until very late tonight, so you will have a convenient base from which to explore Austria’s glorious capital.

Vienna is renowned as one of Europe’s most cycle-friendly cities, so you can make use of its abundant bike paths and bike lanes. This morning, you might opt for an out-and-back ride along the Danube to the village of Klosterneuburg, known for its imposing monastery.

After lunch on board, your bike ride leads to the edge of the city and along the Donauinsel, or Danube Island, a 13-mile (21km) strip where scenic vistas and quiet riding add to your Vienna discoveries.

Or explore Vienna on your own, pursuing your own whims and interests in the city of Strauss, Beethoven, and Mahler. The gracious boulevards of Vienna are awash in culture and elegance. Head to the Ringstrasse, the circular avenue that replaced the city’s demolished medieval wall, to marvel at the breathtaking architecture from the gleaming Imperial Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the famed Vienna State Opera. And be sure to take a break in one of the city’s famed coffee houses to experience Viennese café culture firsthand.

This evening, you are invited to join an optional Viennese Evening Concert excursion, featuring the music of Strauss and Mozart. This private event is available only to those on our ship, and transportation is included in the price. Booking details will be provided with your final documents.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 – 46 km (12 – 28 miles)
Morning
Vienna to Klosterneuburg and return: 26 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Vienna and Danube Island: 20 km (12 miles)

What to Expect: The morning offers a “Cyclist’s Extra” option: an out-and-back ride along the Danube to the village of Klosterneuburg, primarily on bike paths. The afternoon ride is a relaxing and easy loop ride through the edge of the city and on Danube Island, a car-free recreational paradise.

Your ship is moored in Dürnstein, Austria, when you awake. The town is a center of Wachau wine production. Admire its stunning powder-blue bell tower soaring above red roofs. A cliffside castle, which once held Richard the Lionheart captive, watches over the scenic town, and you may choose to take the short hike up for the views after breakfast.

Later this morning, cycle through what is perhaps the most beautiful stretch of the Danube, the Wachau Valley, Austria’s celebrated wine-growing region. The “Wachau Cultural Landscape” was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. As for its physical landscape, it is blessed with lush vineyards and hillside orchards set among castle ruins, churches, and abbeys. Few places match the Wachau for its striking beauty and rich viniculture. Ride through the scenic hamlets of Spitz and Wiessenkirchen, nestled between the Danube and its rising banks.

On arrival in Melk, celebrate the ride over a lunch of Austrian specialties. Afterward, you can continue cycling along the river on a loop ride, or go for a short walk.

After rejoining the ship in Melk, you’ll board a short shuttle to the city’s spectacular Benedictine Abbey, perched on a scenic bluff. Here, a local guide introduces you to one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries. Enjoy a tour of its magnificent rooms and gardens, followed by a private wine tasting.

Upon returning to the ship, you’ll have time to relax before dinner on board. This evening, the ship charts a course for Brandstatt and Passau.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33 – 51 km (21 – 32 miles)
Morning
Dürnstein to Melk: 33 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Optional loop outside Melk: 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Begin biking from Dürnstein, again following the Danube Bike Path. You can extend your ride after lunch in Melk. Both options are mostly on paved bike paths with some short ascents. In some sections, the bike path is directly adjacent to the roadway.

Your bicycle is waiting for you in Brandstatt, where you disembark after an early breakfast to start your ride. This morning’s route to Schlögen passes through a beautiful forest. Follow the Danube bike path on a leisurely ride before entering Austria’s famous Schlögener Schlinge, where the river winds through steep, forested mountains in a series of sharp and scenic bends.

A short shuttle then takes you to Passau, the scenic “City of Three Rivers” at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz. Here, you’ll join an informative walking tour with a local guide, followed by free time to explore.

Afterward, you may cycle or shuttle to Vilshofen, north of town. Reboard the ship here and set sail for Regensburg. Enjoy a Captain’s Gala Dinner and evening activities on board.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 55 km (19 – 35 miles)
Morning
Brandstatt to Schlögen with a Shuttle to Passau: 30 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
Passau to Vilshofen: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Bike along the left bank, on a section of the Danube Bike Path that is mainly flat and entirely paved. The optional afternoon ride follows the same bike path, which is mainly paved, with a shorter packed gravel section.

As you’ll see when you awake, Regensburg is an imposing town of red-roof houses at the convergence of the Danube and Regen rivers. Its 12th-century stone bridge features 16 arches spanning the Danube and reaching into the Old Town. Join a local guide for a walking tour, gaining insight into the town’s medieval history.

Then, from Regensburg, cycle along the scenic Danube banks. Following the Danube Bike Path, your scenic ride continues to be easy and mostly car-free.

Rejoin the ship in Kelheim, a small Bavarian town with medieval city gates and whimsical renaissance façades. Lunch is on board, as the ship sails for Nuremberg.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 39 km (16 – 24 miles)
Morning
Regensburg to Kapfelberg with Shuttle to Kelheim: 26 km (16 miles)
Regensburg to Kelheim: 39 km (24 miles)

What to Expect: Todays ride options are on the famous EuroVelo 6 bike path. The Danube is your constant companion on this scenic and easy ride upstream to Kelheim. The short option ends at Kapfelberg, with a shuttle on to Kelheim to meet the ship. The long option is a ship-to-ship ride. Today is the only day with significant sections of packed gravel (about 60%). Almost the entire ride is on vehicle-free bike paths.

After breakfast, disembark your ship and conclude your Danube odyssey with a transfer to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.

Disembark after breakfast and travel by coach to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, arriving in the early afternoon. Travel time is about four hours including a mandatory driver’s break of 30 minutes.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk. The rest of the day is free to relax or begin your exploration of the city with your included 1-day Prague Transportation Pass.

At the hotel, your VBT representative Barbra Zukalová will be available to provide tips to help you get around, point you to restaurants and sites that suit your interests, and help you purchase tickets for some of Prague’s many high-quality classical music venues. You may also book a walking tour of the city (at an additional cost of approximately €22-28 per person). Barbra’s schedule varies and is dependent on group members’ arrivals. Her actual schedule will be relayed to you upon your arrival at the hotel. If you wish, you may reach Barbra in advance by email at [email protected] to make guided tour reservations in Prague. In addition, VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Prague.

Accommodation: Mamaison Riverside Hotel, Prague
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Prague airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

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.

Please note**: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Sat, May 15 to Sat, May 22 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your own way to Budapest, Hungary, to meet your trip leaders and fellow guests at 9:30 a.m. at the Mamaison Andrassy Hotel (note that for sailings on May 29, June 9, September 6, September 25, and October 18, you will meet instead at the Danubius Hotel Astoria). Please be dressed ready to walk.

Should you arrive late, please plan to go directly to the ship, which is in port overnight and until mid-day on the following day. Please note that you cannot embark before 12:30 p.m., as the ship is being prepared for you.

The ship will be docked at Batthyany Pier, on the Buda side of the river, directly across from the Parliament building. As the exact location of the ship may change, please call the ship on your arrival in Budapest for directions.

Cruise start dates of: May 15, May 29, August 7, September 6, and October 18:
MS Emerald Destiny, tele. +49 (0)152 5671 3873, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: May 22, July 31, and September 25:
MS Emerald Dawn, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1436, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: June 9:
MS Emerald Sky, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1933, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: June 17:
MS Emerald Sun, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1432, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: September 17:
MS Emerald Star, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1937, [email protected]

Your cabin may not be ready for you until 3:00 p.m. However, you are welcome to relax in the ship’s common areas, or explore more of Budapest.

Later, meet your trip leaders and fellow travelers on board for an introduction to the week, followed by a safety and bike-fitting session. After a very short motor coach transfer, get acquainted with your bike and with riding on bike paths and in bike lanes on a warm-up ride on the famous Margaret Island. A welcome dinner in the ship’s Reflections Restaurant and traditional Hungarian folklore performances are in store this evening.

Please note regarding WiFi on board the ship: Due to the nature of the ship movements, Internet access is not always available. If stable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the ship. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Please note regarding “Discover More” tours: Emerald Waterways offers two optional tours during your cruise, at an additional cost. Your VBT trip leaders will be able to answer questions about scheduling and can connect you with Emerald staff on board to make reservations. We recommend that you book as soon as practical once on board, as the tours are capacity restricted.

Viennese Evening Concert
When: Day 4 (Vienna), 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Includes: Coach transfer, concert ticket, and glass of sparkling wine
Price: EUR 74.00 per person

Tour to Salzburg
When: Day 6 (Linz), 8:00 a.m. – 5:40 p.m.
Includes: Coach transfer, local guide
Note: Passengers doing this tour will not be able to participate in the VBT ride or the Passau walking tour.
Price: EUR 62.00 per person

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range:12 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Margaret Island Warm-Up:12 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: A short motor coach ride will take you to Margaret Island, where you begin your warm-up ride, away from urban traffic. Your ride follows paved, dedicated bike lanes alongside vehicular traffic on both banks of the Danube, with spectacular views of the city. Your warm-up ride ends at the ship. As you ride, get acquainted with your bicycle, route notes, Ride with GPS, and the locals. Check your brakes and play with shifting your full range of gears.

Shuttle to the Baroque city of Vac to begin today’s ride on the famous EuroVelo 6, or EV6, which traverses 10 countries and 2,270 miles (3,653 km) from the Atlantic Ocean in France to the Black Sea at Constanta. The EV6 makes a bike and boat on the Danube of this caliber possible, as it includes the Danube Bike Path, the most popular cycling vacation destination in Europe.

You’ll trace the famous Danube Bike Path along the left bank of the river and admire views of the Danube Bend, where the river curves around forested hills dotted with picturesque villages. It is considered one of the most scenic stretches of the river. Pause for a picnic lunch, then ferry to Szob, where you are welcome to shuttle or cycle along country roads to Visegrad, the former medieval capital of Hungary.

Admire views of ancient ramparts, castles, and the river, as well as time at leisure to explore. Afterwards you are invited to participate in a Knights’ Tournament organized by the Saint George Knightly Order. During the performance, you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with medieval weapons, while the more adventurous among you may try to shoot with arrows, throw stars, or a kelevéz (a Hungarian lance). You’re sure to enjoy this historic reenactment in the old fortress.

On your return to the ship, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and dinner. With its regional specialties, tonight’s meal completes the day’s Hungarian theme!

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 45 km (28 miles)
Morning
Vac to Szob Ferry: 31 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
Szob Ferry to Visegrad:14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: Ride on paved bike paths along the Danube bike path to Szob. After picnic lunch, an optional ride continues on country roads with some traffic to Visegrad. VBT offers a support vehicle shuttle from the ferry.

Awake this morning in Bratislava, the riverside capital of Slovakia and the only capital to border two other nations. After breakfast, disembark for an orientation walking tour with your trip leader. You’ll find an unusual mix of 20th-century Communist-era architecture, Baroque palaces, medieval spires, and the narrowest house in Europe—all overlooked from a hillside by the rectangular white castle and watchtowers of Bratislava Castle.

Mid-morning, you pedal out of town, crossing the Danube by way of the “UFO” bridge, and traverse the forests and meadows of Danube-Auen National Park, one of the largest remaining floodplains of the Danube. Arrive in Hainburg, a small town on the Austrian bank, where Joseph Haydn studied music as a young boy. After a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, arrive at Schloss Hof, the “hunting lodge” of Prince Eugene of Savoy. A guided visit introduces the lodge and the estate. You’re invited to roam the splendid gardens and castle.

Mid-afternoon, transfer back to Slovakia and to your waiting ship. Alternatively, you can choose to cycle back along the other side of the river, though the small village of Devin, famous for its castle.

Back in Bratislava, enjoy some leisure time before dinner and the late departure for Vienna.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 – 54 km (21 – 34 miles)
Morning
Bratislava to Schloss Hof: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Schloss Hof to Bratislava: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride features a combination of bike paths and town streets. While both Slovakia and Austria feature bike paths, we would like to make you aware that the paths in Slovakia are slightly less well-maintained. The afternoon option is partly along a busy country road.

Your ship is in Vienna from very early this morning until very late tonight, so you will have a convenient base from which to explore Austria’s glorious capital.

Vienna is renowned as one of Europe’s most cycle-friendly cities, so you can make use of its abundant bike paths and bike lanes. This morning, you might opt for an out-and-back ride along the Danube to the village of Klosterneuburg, known for its imposing monastery.

After lunch on board, your bike ride leads to the edge of the city and along the Donauinsel, or Danube Island, a 13-mile (21km) strip where scenic vistas and quiet riding add to your Vienna discoveries.

Or explore Vienna on your own, pursuing your own whims and interests in the city of Strauss, Beethoven, and Mahler. The gracious boulevards of Vienna are awash in culture and elegance. Head to the Ringstrasse, the circular avenue that replaced the city’s demolished medieval wall, to marvel at the breathtaking architecture from the gleaming Imperial Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the famed Vienna State Opera. And be sure to take a break in one of the city’s famed coffee houses to experience Viennese café culture firsthand.

This evening, you are invited to join an optional Viennese Evening Concert excursion, featuring the music of Strauss and Mozart. This private event is available only to those on our ship, and transportation is included in the price. Booking details will be provided with your final documents.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 – 46 km (12 – 28 miles)
Morning
Vienna to Klosterneuburg and return: 26 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Vienna and Danube Island: 20 km (12 miles)

What to Expect: The morning offers a “Cyclist’s Extra” option: an out-and-back ride along the Danube to the village of Klosterneuburg, primarily on bike paths. The afternoon ride is a relaxing and easy loop ride through the edge of the city and on Danube Island, a car-free recreational paradise.

Your ship is moored in Dürnstein, Austria, when you awake. The town is a center of Wachau wine production. Admire its stunning powder-blue bell tower soaring above red roofs. A cliffside castle, which once held Richard the Lionheart captive, watches over the scenic town, and you may choose to take the short hike up for the views after breakfast.

Later this morning, cycle through what is perhaps the most beautiful stretch of the Danube, the Wachau Valley, Austria’s celebrated wine-growing region. The “Wachau Cultural Landscape” was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. As for its physical landscape, it is blessed with lush vineyards and hillside orchards set among castle ruins, churches, and abbeys. Few places match the Wachau for its striking beauty and rich viniculture. Ride through the scenic hamlets of Spitz and Wiessenkirchen, nestled between the Danube and its rising banks.

On arrival in Melk, celebrate the ride over a lunch of Austrian specialties. Afterward, you can continue cycling along the river on a loop ride, or go for a short walk.

After rejoining the ship in Melk, you’ll board a short shuttle to the city’s spectacular Benedictine Abbey, perched on a scenic bluff. Here, a local guide introduces you to one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries. Enjoy a tour of its magnificent rooms and gardens, followed by a private wine tasting.

Upon returning to the ship, you’ll have time to relax before dinner on board. This evening, the ship charts a course for Brandstatt and Passau.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33 – 51 km (21 – 32 miles)
Morning
Dürnstein to Melk: 33 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Optional loop outside Melk: 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Begin biking from Dürnstein, again following the Danube Bike Path. You can extend your ride after lunch in Melk. Both options are mostly on paved bike paths with some short ascents. In some sections, the bike path is directly adjacent to the roadway.

Your bicycle is waiting for you in Brandstatt, where you disembark after an early breakfast to start your ride. This morning’s route to Schlögen passes through a beautiful forest. Follow the Danube bike path on a leisurely ride before entering Austria’s famous Schlögener Schlinge, where the river winds through steep, forested mountains in a series of sharp and scenic bends.

A short shuttle then takes you to Passau, the scenic “City of Three Rivers” at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz. Here, you’ll join an informative walking tour with a local guide, followed by free time to explore.

Afterward, you may cycle or shuttle to Vilshofen, north of town. Reboard the ship here and set sail for Regensburg. Enjoy a Captain’s Gala Dinner and evening activities on board.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 55 km (19 – 35 miles)
Morning
Brandstatt to Schlögen with a Shuttle to Passau: 30 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
Passau to Vilshofen: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Bike along the left bank, on a section of the Danube Bike Path that is mainly flat and entirely paved. The optional afternoon ride follows the same bike path, which is mainly paved, with a shorter packed gravel section.

As you’ll see when you awake, Regensburg is an imposing town of red-roof houses at the convergence of the Danube and Regen rivers. Its 12th-century stone bridge features 16 arches spanning the Danube and reaching into the Old Town. Join a local guide for a walking tour, gaining insight into the town’s medieval history.

Then, from Regensburg, cycle along the scenic Danube banks. Following the Danube Bike Path, your scenic ride continues to be easy and mostly car-free.

Rejoin the ship in Kelheim, a small Bavarian town with medieval city gates and whimsical renaissance façades. Lunch is on board, as the ship sails for Nuremberg.

Accommodation: MS Emerald Star/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 39 km (16 – 24 miles)
Morning
Regensburg to Kapfelberg with Shuttle to Kelheim: 26 km (16 miles)
Regensburg to Kelheim: 39 km (24 miles)

What to Expect: Todays ride options are on the famous EuroVelo 6 bike path. The Danube is your constant companion on this scenic and easy ride upstream to Kelheim. The short option ends at Kapfelberg, with a shuttle on to Kelheim to meet the ship. The long option is a ship-to-ship ride. Today is the only day with significant sections of packed gravel (about 60%). Almost the entire ride is on vehicle-free bike paths.

After breakfast, disembark your ship and conclude your Danube odyssey with a transfer to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.

Your trip ends at the docks in Nuremberg, Germany, on the morning of disembarkation. The ship is scheduled to arrive in port at 6:00 a.m. You may transfer from here on your own by taxi to the train station, a distance of five miles (8 km), which should take about 15 minutes by taxi, or to the Nuremberg airport, a distance of 9.3 miles (15 km), which should take about 25 minutes by taxi. The ship’s staff will be happy to arrange a taxi for you. It’s recommended that you allow for the possible late arrival of the ship when planning departing flights or train travel.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020 2021

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Budapest

1 Nights From $95 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 1 night at the Mamaison Andrássy Hotel or the K+K Hotel Opera
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3-day Budapest Transportation Pass
  • Airport transfers
  • City Information

Depart home for Hungary. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Budapest 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 in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic) to your centrally located Budapest hotel. If your VBT representative is not immediately in sight, please wait, as the VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. He or she should arrive within 30 minutes.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk. The rest of the day is free to relax or begin your exploration of the city with your included 2-day Budapest Transportation Pass. VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Budapest.

Hotel: Mamaison Andrássy Hotel
Alternate Hotel: K+K Hotel Opera

Today, continue to explore Budapest on your own during your independent trip extension. This cosmopolitan city offers very different experiences on each bank of the Danube, and a wealth of historic and cultural treasures. Upon arrival at your hotel, you will have received a complimentary two-day public transportation pass, sure to make exploring easy. Outside your hotel on the Pest side of the river, uncover the history, art, and archaeology of Hungary at the National Museum. Visit the magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral, named for the first king of Hungary, whose right hand is said to be in the reliquary. Take in the grand Heroes’ Square. Or browse the many stalls and food offerings of Market Hall, the city’s largest indoor market. Across the river on the Buda side, you might explore the vibrant Castle District, a UNESCO World Heritage site perched some 550 feet above the Danube. In the Old Town, you can view the Gothic Buda Castle and explore narrow medieval streets and squares, browsing shops and sampling Hungarian specialties at cafés. Head over to Fisherman’s Bastion for sweeping, panoramic views of the ornate Parliament Building, the iconic Chain Bridge, and the rest of the city. The only city in the world with thermal springs within town, Budapest boasts about a dozen spas, gathering places for locals to “take the waters” and catch up on family gossip. Your hotel can help you find the one that suits you.

Hotel: Mamaison Andrássy Hotel
Alternate Hotel: K+K Hotel Opera
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020 2021

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Budapest

1 Nights From $95 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 1 night at the Mamaison Andrássy Hotel or Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3-day Budapest Transportation Pass
  • Airport transfers
  • City Information

Depart home for Hungary. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Budapest 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 in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic) to your centrally located Budapest hotel. If your VBT representative is not immediately in sight, please wait, as the VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. He or she should arrive within 30 minutes.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk. The rest of the day is free to relax or begin your exploration of the city with your included Budapest Transportation Pass. VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Budapest.

Accommodation: Mamaison Andrassy Hotel
Alternate hotel: Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center

Today, continue to explore Budapest on your own during your independent trip extension. This cosmopolitan city offers very different experiences on each bank of the Danube, and a wealth of historic and cultural treasures. Upon arrival at your hotel, you will have received a complimentary public transportation pass, sure to make exploring easy.

Outside your hotel, on the Pest side of the river, uncover the history, art, and archaeology of Hungary at the National Museum. Visit the magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral, named for the first king of Hungary, whose right hand is said to be in the reliquary. Take in the grand Heroes’ Square. Or browse the many stalls and food offerings of Market Hall, the city’s largest indoor market.

Across the river, on the Buda side, you might explore the vibrant Castle District, a UNESCO World Heritage site perched some 550 feet (168 meters) above the Danube. In the Old Town, you can view the Gothic Buda Castle and explore narrow medieval streets and squares, browsing shops and sampling Hungarian specialties at cafés. Head over to Fisherman’s Bastion for sweeping, panoramic views of the ornate Parliament Building, the iconic Chain Bridge, and the rest of the city. The only city in the world with thermal springs within town, Budapest boasts about a dozen spas, gathering places for locals to “take the waters” and catch up on family gossip. Your hotel can help you find the one that suits you.

Accommodation: Mamaison Andrassy Hotel
Alternate hotel: Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020 2021

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Prague

2 Nights From $195 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Mamaison Riverside Hotel Prague
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3-day Prague Transportation Pass
  • Airport and ship transfers
  • City Information

Explore Prague’s unsurpassed culture and history. You may wish to visit Prague Castle, perched above the Vltava River across the Charles Bridge. Originally constructed during the ninth century, the castle has been expanded over its nearly 1,200 years from a wooden fortress surrounded by earthen bulwarks into an imposing citadel. Today, it anchors an entire district spread over 18 acres and is the largest ancient castle in the world, stretching some 1,870 feet long and 420 feet wide. Among its fascinating mix of architectural styles, the classical Baroque façade dates to the 18th-century reign of Maria Theresa. It’s easy to spend a day among this fortress-like village of royal buildings and courtyards. Browse the art galleries at the Convent of St. George and at the Lobkowicz Palace and peer inside the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral.

Hotel: Mamaison Riverside Hotel Prague
Meals: Breakfast

Perhaps you will visit the Jewish Quarter of Josefov, named after the Emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions there. Located in the Old Town, or Staré Mesto, the Jewish Quarter includes the remains of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto. Since many Jewish people died during World War II or were forced by the Communist regime to leave the country, the current Jewish community in Prague numbers only 5,000 to 6,000 people.

First recorded as early as 1091, the Old Town is the oldest of Prague’s quarters. Its center, the Old Town Square, is dominated by the Gothic-style Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, with its distinctive twin gables, and the Town Hall. You might also wish to explore the “New” Town, founded in the 14th century.

Hotel: Mamaison Riverside Hotel Prague
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Prague airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are waiting in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time.

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.

Please note**: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. 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.

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020 2021

2021 Post-Trip Extension - Prague

2 Nights From $195 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Mamaison Riverside Hotel Prague
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3-day Prague Transportation Pass
  • Airport and ship transfers
  • City Information

Explore Prague’s unsurpassed culture and history. You may wish to visit Prague Castle, perched above the Vltava River across the Charles Bridge. Originally constructed during the ninth century, the castle has been expanded over its nearly 1,200 years from a wooden fortress surrounded by earthen bulwarks into an imposing citadel. Today, it anchors an entire district spread over 18 acres (7.3 hectares) and is the largest ancient castle in the world, stretching some 1,870 feet (573 meters) long and 420 feet (128 meters) wide. Among its fascinating mix of architectural styles, the classical Baroque façade dates to the 18th-century reign of Maria Theresa. It’s easy to spend a day among this fortress-like village’s royal buildings and courtyards. Browse the art galleries at the Convent of St. George and at the Lobkowicz Palace, and peer inside the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral.

Accommodation: Mamaison Riverside Hotel, Prague
Included Meals: Breakfast

Perhaps you will visit the Jewish Quarter of Josefov, named after the Emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions there. Located in the Old Town, or Staré Mesto, the Jewish Quarter includes the remains of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto. Since many Jewish people died during World War II or were forced by the Communist regime to leave the country, the current Jewish community in Prague numbers only 5,000 to 6,000 people.

First recorded as early as 1091, the Old Town is the oldest of Prague’s quarters. Its center, the Old Town Square, is dominated by the Gothic-style Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, with its distinctive twin gables, and the Town Hall. You might also wish to explore the “New” Town, founded in the 14th century.

Accommodation: Mamaison Riverside Hotel, Prague
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Prague airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are waiting in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time.

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.

Please note**: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $2,095

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Single Supplement: From $1,945

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Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $2,445

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

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8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $2,295

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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