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France, Luxembourg & Germany Bike & Boat: Mosel River Valley, Aboard the Princesse Royal

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Explore three fascinating countries on one Bike & Boat vacation along the Mosel River from Metz to Cochem. It’s a rewarding way to bike Europe!

Guided Bike & Boat

  • Daily Mileage: 8 - 40|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 30
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

$5,595

8-day Bike Vacation Only

$4,245

Per person, double occupancy

France, Luxembourg & Germany Bike & Boat: Mosel River Valley, Aboard the Princesse Royal

Explore a fascinating crossroads of history—Luxembourg, France, and Germany —on a Bike & Boat vacation along the Mosel River, from Metz to Cochem. It’s your most rewarding way to bike Europe!

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who would like assistance.

  • Daily Mileage: 8 - 40|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 30
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Experience three countries—Luxembourg, France, and Germany—up close, by bike
  • View quaint villages, lush vineyards and forests, and fairytale castles as you roll along a scenic river
  • Discover the art of bell forging
  • Explore the ancient Roman and medieval treasures of Trier
  • Enjoy a private wine tasting in a century-old cellar
  • Embark on an exhilarating ride through tunnels, over bridges, and past small lakes in the Eifel Valley
  • Savor lunch in a cozy café, idyllically located in an old barn
  • Relax on your barge and sip Germany’s finest Rieslings and beers

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Jun67º/51º

Jul71º/55º

Aug71º/55º

Sep64º/50º

Oct54º/43º

Average
Precipitation:

Jun2.6 in

Jul2.7 in

Aug2.7 in

Sep2.5 in

Oct2.7 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 Luxembourg City and one night in Koblenz in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
7 nights aboard a private deluxe canal barge Check Check
16 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 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)

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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, Jul 15 to Sun, Jul 25 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

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

Upon arrival at the Luxembourg City 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 minibus (approximately 20 minutes) to your hotel in Luxembourg City.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the front desk. The rest of the day is free for you to discover this fascinating capital of one of Europe’s smallest countries. Explore 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. You’ll also bask in the beauty of the city’s two major squares: the regal Place de la Constitution and the cozy Place du Marche, still used for weekly flower and vegetable markets.

Tonight, dine on your own. The city boasts more Michelin stars per square mile than any other and has a lively atmosphere in its many cafés, pubs, and pizzerias. The biggest ethnic community here is from Portugal, adding a Latin flair to the city’s nightlife and menus.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Royal, Luxembourg City

Please be ready and waiting in the hotel lobby at 9:00 a.m. for your transfer by coach (approximately one hour) to the French city of Metz, nestled at the confluence of the Mosel and Seille rivers. En route, there will be a short 15-minute stop at the Luxembourg American Cemetery so you can honor those who fell here during World War II. Upon arrival in Metz, meet your local city guide and enjoy a pleasant walk into the charming city center, 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. Visit the imposing Cathedral of St. Etienne, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals of France, built around 1250. Here, admire the fine stained-glass windows, including a modern work by Marc Chagall.

Then, walk to the Saturday morning local market, to the lively Place St. Louis, and to Place Saint-Jacques, where there’ll be time to shop or explore. After lunch on your own, rejoin your local city guide and walk to your barge’s mooring point.

After meeting the crew and your VBT trip leaders, settle in before participating in a bike safety session while cruising to Richemont. Here, you disembark for a bike-fitting and a short warm-up ride. Reunite with the barge at its new mooring point and have time to change before gathering for a welcome drink, the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to the most rewarding way to bike Europe! Enjoy dinner on board. Tonight, the barge moors in the quiet countryside, just outside the city of Thionville.

Please note regarding WiFi onboard the barge: Due to the nature of the barge 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 also recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the boat. 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.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Richemont to Thionville Warm-up: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect:The warm-up ride from Richemont locks to the Bar “La Marina” is easy. Ride along the Mosel River through the French countryside and rejoin your barge. For a few more miles, continue from “La Marina” to Thionville and return along the river.

After breakfast, cycle along the Mosel River on a quiet bike path. Then turn inland and cycle along a pleasant rolling route through small villages. Pause to explore Rodemack, known as “Little Carcassonne Lorraine” and ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. In this charming hamlet, admire marvels of construction that span the ages, including fortifications erected over many centuries. Impressive ramparts and walls encircle the village, and cobbled alleys lead to a labyrinth of back streets and an impressive fortress.

After a picnic lunch at the fountain, there’ll be free time to explore on your own.

You may ride or cruise this afternoon. Dinner tonight is on the barge. Afterward, the captain speaks about navigation and our planned route. The barge moors in Remich, Luxembourg.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 – 53 km (20 – 32 miles)
Morning – Afternoon
Thionville to Remich with two Shuttles: 34 km (20 miles)
OR
Thionville to Remich with one Shuttle: 42 km (26 miles)
OR
Thionville to Remich: 53 km (32 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy easy biking along the scenic Mosel River from Thionville to the Bar Le Bar Bac near Cattenom. Cycle from here to Rodemack, or join the shuttle if you wish to avoid the long hill into the village. After lunch, continue cycling through French farmlands, on a mix of quiet country roads and bike lanes and along the Mosel through very pretty wetlands and villages, crossing the international border into Germany and meeting the barge in Remich, Luxembourg. The support vehicle will be available to assist you, or you can ride the entire day.

Pedal this morning to Nennig and its local museum, where you can admire Europe’s largest Roman mosaic; remarkably, 90% of it is original and perfectly restored. Continue riding along the Mosel on an easy bike path. The river forms a natural border between Germany and Luxembourg. On the German side, you will follow the renowned Route du Vin, famous for its outstanding Riesling and Cremant. Sweeping views of vineyards’ sloping hillsides accompany your ride.

Meet the barge in Nittel for a cruising lunch to Wasserbillig, Luxembourg. From here, you may cruise or continue cycling. If you choose our longer option, you ride past Konz, a small city at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers, then continue into the Saarland along the more intimate Saar River. Wooded mountains, wide meadows, farmsteads, and villages mark your progress as you ride. Later this afternoon, arrive in Saarburg, a medieval riverside jewel at the foot of a castle. The town center boasts a roaring 65-foot (19.8-meter) waterfall. Spend the rest of the day exploring this lovely town, or continue cycling a loop south of Saarburg along the Saar River.

The barge moors in Saarburg this evening with dinner included onboard.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 56 km (13 – 35 miles)
Morning
Remich to Nittel: 21 km (13 miles)
Afternoon
Wasserbillig to Saarburg: 20 km (13 miles)
OR
Saarburg Loop: 35 km (22 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s easy ride along the Mosel’s right bank passes lovely vineyards. You meet the barge in Nittel and enjoy lunch as you cruise to Wasserbillig, Luxembourg. Then ride on the Luxembourg side of the Mosel to its confluence with the Saar River. Continue cycling up the Saar to medieval Saarburg. Your barge will be moored beneath the castle ruins. Today’s easy riverside route passes fruit orchards and vineyards and includes some fun bridge crossings.

Directions to enjoy free time in Saarburg:
Visit the central square and waterfall: From your barge, walk up the small ramp, down the road, and under the bridge. From here, an uphill street leads past typical houses and into the square. After admiring the waterfall, perhaps stop in one of the cafés or restaurants.

Visit the castle from the central square: Cross the bridge over the waterfall and turn right toward “Galerie am Wasserfall.” Take a left and follow the street to the castle, passing a church on your left. The castle keep offers a great view.

Visit the castle directly from the barge: This shorter but steeper walk starts at the stairs behind the white building. Look for the sign that reads “Schörgenhummer.” At the top of the stairs, you can join the path to the castle.

This morning, walk to the nearby former bell foundry and museum, Mabilon, which produced bells until 2002. After your tour, cycle along the Saar River to the confluence of the Mosel River, then continue riding to Trier, where you meet the barge. After lunch on board, you are free to explore this historic and fascinating town.

The people of Trier might tell you that it is possible to see “2,000 years of history in 2,000 paces” in their city. The Romans established their local capital here. In the Middle Ages, Frankish kings and the archbishops of Trier reigned. Here you can learn about the Porta Nigra (“Black Gate”), the city’s landmark and the largest city gate of the ancient world; the amphitheater; the medieval Market Square; the High Cathedral of St. Peter, Germany’s oldest Cathedral; and Constantine’s Throne Hall. Then there’s the rococo Electoral Palace and the ruins of the Imperial Baths with their extensive subterranean passages. It is an astounding repository of history and leaves little doubt why all of Trier’s monuments have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight, your barge moors here, so you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 29 km (17 miles)
Morning
Saarburg to Trier: 29 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Today you follow the Saar River downstream through a nature preserve along the banks of this once free-flowing and wild river. Follow a flat bike path all the way into Trier to meet the barge. The ride is easy with a few bumps over tree roots. Please watch for these and gently lift off your seat to soften the impact.

This morning, you cruise out of Trier during breakfast. Arriving in Schweich, you have the option to continue cruising to Neumagen or to start your day cycling toward Bernkastel-Kues. Your route winds along scenic hairpin turns along the Mosel, passing the wine-making villages of Trittenheim and Piesport. In Piesport, see a reconstructed Roman winepress and other evidence of a rich Roman past. Stop for lunch on your own in Neumagen, where you witness more signs of ancient Rome. From here, shuttle to Bernkastel-Kues, or continue biking among vineyards and orchards, watching for swans and other birds.

Meet the barge in Bernkastel-Kues, then rest or explore before dinner on board. Bernkastel and Kues, united in 1905, were once two small cities divided by the Mosel. The pride of today’s dual city is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses and decorative sculpted fountains, some dating to the 17th century.

After dinner, stroll to the fascinating wine cellar of Josef Zimmermann via an elegant district of fine Art Nouveau villas, many of which display signs proclaiming their status as a weingut, or winery estate. The simple, fourth-generation Zimmermann operation boasts a century-old cellar full of wine barrels and an inviting tasting hall. Your welcoming host will guide you through a tasting of four different wines during your visit.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 29 – 56 km (18 – 35 miles)
Morning
Schweich to Neumagen: 29 km (18 miles)
Afternoon
Neumagen to Bernkastel-Kues: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Cruise or cycle this morning to Neumagen. From here, ride through the Middle Mosel, a stunning tapestry of breathtaking scenery, lush vineyards, and quaint wine villages. Today’s ride is mainly on flat bike paths, with a few short hills. The route follows an old Roman road and passes replicas of Roman sculptures. You will find many good lunch spots along the way in some of the Mosel’s famous wine villages. At ride’s end, you arrive in Bernkastel-Kues.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) through the scenic Eifel Valley to the town of Daun, a spa town fed by mineral springs. Return to your bicycle here and enjoy an exhilarating spin, climbing a slight incline at first and then coasting downhill along a former railway converted into a cycling path. This exciting ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and past small lakes formed from volcanic craters known as maars. Pass stately castles, lush vineyards, green forests, and quiet villages that invite you to pause and explore.

Along the way, stop in Gillenfeld to enjoy a simple lunch hosted by Sigrid and Leo Lenerz. At their simple cozy café, idyllically located in an old barn, they specialize in regional products from local producers. Later, ride back to Bernkastel, where you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 64 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Daun to Gillenfeld: 16 km (10 miles)
Afternoon
Gillenfeld to Laufeld: 12 km (8 miles)
Laufeld to Wittlich: 15 km (9 miles)
Wittlich to Bernkastel-Kues: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Bike an invigorating rails-to-trails route known locally as the MMR, a mainly flat or downhill bike path with a few gradual climbs at the beginning. Meet up at a cozy café in Gillenfeld for lunch. Take our support vehicle after lunch if you wish to avoid hills, then continue on the MMR bike path coasting through illuminated tunnels and a viaduct before a thrilling, gradual descent into Wittlich town. From Wittlich you may shuttle back to the barge or ride flat and easy bike paths along a small river through gorgeous forest and farmlands to the Mosel River, where your barge awaits.

Today, cruise out of Bernkastel and follow the Mosel downstream. After breakfast, arrive in Traben-Trarbach, an architectural jewel of the German Art Nouveau movement known as Jugendstil. The surrounding woodlands and extensive vineyards add to its irresistible charm. Traben-Trarbach was once the world’s second-largest wine-trading center. At the height of its prosperity 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. There’ll be time to admire a wide range of Belle Époque splendor during your visit; you’ll quickly see why the city is a favorite destination for lovers of baroque and classical architecture, too.

After, follow the river’s bike path to Zell. Beautifully situated on the Mosel, where the river twists and turns through the hills, Zell is one of the largest wine-producing communities on the river. The beloved wine Zeller Schwarze Katze (Black Cat) is produced here with grapes from 16 different locations. Be sure to notice the sculpture on the market-square fountain depicting a snarling cat atop a wine barrel. Continue to Bullay, another big name in wine. You can linger here a while and pause to enjoy lunch along the way. There are many picnic areas along the path. Rejoin the barge in Beilstein and cruise to Cochem later this afternoon, giving you ample time to relax and freshen up for a festive farewell dinner on board.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 48 km (16 – 30 miles)
Morning
Traben-Trarbach to Bullay: 26 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Bullay to Beilstein: 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect: Start riding from the Art Nouveau town of Traben-Trarbach, following the hairpins of the Mosel as it flows through the steepest vineyards in Europe. The scenery is breathtaking, and many interesting sights can be explored along the way. Board the barge in Bullay and cruise to Beilstein. If you instead cycle from Bullay, you ride a quiet road with a bit of traffic before returning to a river-hugging bike path past the steepest vineyards in Bremm and through campgrounds, passing families of swans and charming villages. Once you see the castle ruins, you have arrived in Beilstein, where you meet the barge and cruise on to Cochem.

After breakfast, say farewell to the crew and one VBT trip leader, then walk into Cochem with the other. This characteristic Mosel town is beloved for its steep vineyards, wooded hills, medieval buildings, and a picturesque center with beautiful timber-framed houses. Hike or shuttle with a local guide to Reichsburg Castle, where you enjoy a tour and spectacular views of the Mosel Valley and its vineyards. The fairy-tale castle includes seven rooms of fine furniture and objects from different periods and styles.

After your visit, you may shop and eat lunch on your own before saying goodbye to your VBT trip leader. Then, shuttle to Koblenz and settle in to your centrally located hotel. At 4:00 p.m., meet your local guide in the hotel lobby for a 1.5-hour walking tour around the historic Old Town. It’s a 15-minute walk to the starting point of the tour, so we recommend you leave the hotel with everything you’ll need to have dinner on your own in the Old Town at tour’s end.

Accommodation: Hotel Brenner, Koblenz
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast,* meet in the hotel lobby and transfer to the Frankfurt airport for your flight back home.** Please be sure that you are waiting at the designated transfer time and location.

*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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Sat, Jul 17 to Sat, Jul 24 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your way to Metz to meet your barge. Please arrive between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. 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 alternate arrangements because we sail shortly after this time.

The barge will be moored in the canal between the Pont du Canal and the locks of Metz, near the rue de Paris and the rue George Aimé. Contact telephone number is +49 151 57 81 33 06 or +31 620 245 095.

After meeting the crew and your VBT trip leaders, settle in before participating in a bike safety session while cruising to Richemont. Here, you disembark for a bike-fitting and a short warm-up ride. Reunite with the barge at its new mooring point and have time to change before gathering for a welcome drink and dinner on board. Tonight, the barge moors in the quiet countryside, just outside the city of Thionville.

Please note regarding WiFi on board the barge: Due to the nature of the barge 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 also recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the boat. 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.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Richemont to Thionville Warm-up: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: The warm-up ride from Richemont locks to the Bar “La Marina” is easy. Ride along the Mosel River through the French countryside and rejoin your barge. For a few more miles, continue from “La Marina” to Thionville and return along the river.

After breakfast, cycle along the Mosel River on a quiet bike path. Then turn inland and cycle along a pleasant rolling route through small villages. Pause to explore Rodemack, known as “Little Carcassonne Lorraine” and ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. In this charming hamlet, admire marvels of construction that span the ages, including fortifications erected over many centuries. Impressive ramparts and walls encircle the village, and cobbled alleys lead to a labyrinth of back streets and an impressive fortress.

After a picnic lunch at the fountain, there’ll be free time to explore on your own.

You may ride or cruise this afternoon. Dinner tonight is on the barge. Afterward, the captain speaks about navigation and our planned route. The barge moors in Remich, Luxembourg.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 – 53 km (20 – 32 miles)
Morning – Afternoon
Thionville to Remich with two Shuttles: 34 km (20 miles)
OR
Thionville to Remich with one Shuttle: 42 km (26 miles)
OR
Thionville to Remich: 53 km (32 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy easy biking along the scenic Mosel River from Thionville to the Bar Le Bar Bac near Cattenom. Cycle from here to Rodemack, or join the shuttle if you wish to avoid the long hill into the village. After lunch, continue cycling through French farmlands, on a mix of quiet country roads and bike lanes and along the Mosel through very pretty wetlands and villages, crossing the international border into Germany and meeting the barge in Remich, Luxembourg. The support vehicle will be available to assist you, or you can ride the entire day.

Pedal this morning to Nennig and its local museum, where you can admire Europe’s largest Roman mosaic; remarkably, 90% of it is original and perfectly restored. Continue riding along the Mosel on an easy bike path. The river forms a natural border between Germany and Luxembourg. On the German side, you will follow the renowned Route du Vin, famous for its outstanding Riesling and Cremant. Sweeping views of vineyards’ sloping hillsides accompany your ride.

Meet the barge in Nittel for a cruising lunch to Wasserbillig, Luxembourg. From here, you may cruise or continue cycling. If you choose our longer option, you ride past Konz, a small city at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers, then continue into the Saarland along the more intimate Saar River. Wooded mountains, wide meadows, farmsteads, and villages mark your progress as you ride. Later this afternoon, arrive in Saarburg, a medieval riverside jewel at the foot of a castle. The town center boasts a roaring 65-foot (19.8-meter) waterfall. Spend the rest of the day exploring this lovely town, or continue cycling a loop south of Saarburg along the Saar River.

The barge moors in Saarburg this evening with dinner included onboard.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 56 km (13 – 35 miles)
Morning
Remich to Nittel: 21 km (13 miles)
Afternoon
Wasserbillig to Saarburg: 20 km (13 miles)
OR
Saarburg Loop: 35 km (22 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s easy ride along the Mosel’s right bank passes lovely vineyards. You meet the barge in Nittel and enjoy lunch as you cruise to Wasserbillig, Luxembourg. Then ride on the Luxembourg side of the Mosel to the confluence of the Saar River. Continue cycling up the Saar to medieval Saarburg. Your barge will be moored beneath the castle ruins. Today’s easy riverside route passes fruit orchards and vineyards and includes some fun bridge crossings.

Directions to enjoy free time in Saarburg:
Visit the central square and waterfall: From your barge, walk up the small ramp, down the road, and under the bridge. From here, an uphill street leads past typical houses and into the square. After admiring the waterfall, perhaps stop in one of the cafés or restaurants.

Visit the castle from the central square: Cross the bridge over the waterfall and turn right toward “Galerie am Wasserfall.” Take a left and follow the street to the castle, passing a church on your left. The castle keep offers a great view.

Visit the castle directly from the barge: This shorter but steeper walk starts at the stairs behind the white building. Look for the sign that reads “Schörgenhummer.” At the top of the stairs, you can join the path to the castle.

This morning, walk to the nearby former bell foundry and museum, Mabilon, which produced bells until 2002. After your tour, cycle along the Saar River to the confluence of the Mosel River, then continue riding to Trier, where you meet the barge. After lunch on board, you are free to explore this historic and fascinating town.

The people of Trier might tell you that it is possible to see “2,000 years of history in 2,000 paces” in their city. The Romans established their local capital here. In the Middle Ages, Frankish kings and the archbishops of Trier reigned. Here you can learn about the Porta Nigra (“Black Gate”), the city’s landmark and the largest city gate of the ancient world; the amphitheater; the medieval Market Square; the High Cathedral of St. Peter, Germany’s oldest Cathedral; and Constantine’s Throne Hall. Then, there’s the rococo Electoral Palace and the ruins of the Imperial Baths with their extensive subterranean passages. It is an astounding repository of history and leaves little doubt why all of Trier’s monuments have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight, your barge moors here, so you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 29 km (17 miles)
Morning
Saarburg to Trier: 29 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Today you follow the Saar River downstream through a nature preserve along the banks of this once free-flowing and wild river. Follow a flat bike path all the way into Trier to meet the barge. The ride is easy with a few bumps over tree roots. Please watch for these and gently lift off your seat to soften the impact.

This morning you cruise out of Trier during breakfast. Arriving in Schweich, you have the option to continue cruising to Neumagen or to start your day cycling toward Bernkastel-Kues. Your route winds along scenic hairpin turns along the Mosel, passing the wine-making villages of Trittenheim and Piesport. In Piesport, see a reconstructed Roman winepress and other evidence of a rich Roman past. Stop for lunch on your own in Neumagen, where you witness more signs of ancient Rome. From here, shuttle to Bernkastel-Kues, or continue biking among vineyards and orchards, watching for swans and other birds.

Meet the barge in Bernkastel-Kues, then rest or explore before dinner on board. Bernkastel and Kues, united in 1905, were once two small cities divided by the Mosel. The pride of today’s dual city is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses and decorative sculpted fountains, some dating to the 17th century.

After dinner, stroll to the fascinating wine cellar of Josef Zimmermann via an elegant district of fine Art Nouveau villas, many of which display signs proclaiming their status as a weingut, or winery estate. The simple, fourth-generation Zimmermann operation boasts a century-old cellar full of wine barrels and an inviting tasting hall. Your welcoming host will guide you through a tasting of four different wines during your visit.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 29 – 56 km (18 – 35 miles)
Morning
Schweich to Neumagen: 29 km (18 miles)

Afternoon
Neumagen to Bernkastel-Kues: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Cruise or cycle this morning to Neumagen. From here, ride through the Middle Mosel, a stunning tapestry of breathtaking scenery, lush vineyards, and quaint wine villages. Today’s ride is mainly on flat bike paths, with a few short hills. The route follows an old Roman road and passes replicas of Roman sculptures. You will find many good lunch spots along the way in some of the Mosel’s famous wine villages. At ride’s end, you arrive in Bernkastel-Kues.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) through the scenic Eifel Valley to the town of Daun, a spa town fed by mineral springs. Return to your bicycle here and enjoy an exhilarating spin, climbing a slight incline at first and then coasting downhill along a former railway converted into a cycling path. This exciting ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and past small lakes formed from volcanic craters known as maars. Pass stately castles, lush vineyards, green forests, and quiet villages that invite you to pause and explore.

Along the way, stop in Gillenfeld to enjoy a simple lunch hosted by Sigrid and Leo Lenerz. At their simple cozy café, idyllically located in an old barn, they specialize in regional products from local producers. Later, ride back to Bernkastel, where you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 64 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Daun to Gillenfeld: 16 km (10 miles)
Afternoon
Gillenfeld to Laufeld: 12 km (8 miles)
Laufeld to Wittlich: 15 km (9 miles)
Wittlich to Bernkastel-Kues: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Bike an invigorating rails-to-trails route known locally as the MMR, a mainly flat or downhill bike path with a few gradual climbs at the beginning. Meet up at a cozy café in Gillenfeld for lunch. Take our support vehicle after lunch if you wish to avoid hills, then continue on the MMR bike path coasting through illuminated tunnels and a viaduct before a thrilling, gradual descent into Wittlich town. From Wittlich you may shuttle back to the barge or ride flat and easy bike paths along a small river through gorgeous forest and farmlands to the Mosel River, where your barge awaits.

Today, cruise out of Bernkastel and follow the Mosel downstream. After breakfast, arrive in Traben-Trarbach, an architectural jewel of the German Art Nouveau movement known as Jugendstil. The surrounding woodlands and extensive vineyards add to its irresistible charm. Traben-Trarbach was once the world’s second-largest wine-trading center. At the height of the city’s prosperity at the turn of the 20th century, local wine merchants built a number of fine Art Nouveau buildings, many of which are carefully preserved and continue to operate as wineries. There’ll be time to admire a wide range of Belle Époque splendor during your visit; you’ll quickly see why the city is a favorite destination for lovers of baroque and classical architecture, too.

After, follow the river’s bike path to Zell. Beautifully situated on the Mosel, where the river twists and turns through the hills, Zell is one of the largest wine-producing communities on the river. The beloved wine Zeller Schwarze Katze (Black Cat) is produced here with grapes from 16 different locations. Be sure to notice the sculpture on the market-square fountain depicting a snarling cat atop a wine barrel. Continue to Bullay, another big name in wine. You can linger here a while and pause to enjoy lunch along the way. There are many picnic areas along the path. Rejoin the barge in Beilstein, and cruise to Cochem later this afternoon, giving you ample time to relax and freshen up for a festive farewell dinner on board.

Accommodation: Barge Princesse Royal
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 48 km (16 – 30 miles)
Morning
Traben-Trarbach to Bullay: 26 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Bullay to Beilstein: 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect: Start riding from the Art Nouveau town of Traben-Trarbach, following the hairpins of the Mosel as it flows through the steepest vineyards in Europe. The scenery is breathtaking, and many interesting sights can be explored along the way. Board the barge in Bullay and cruise to Beilstein. If you instead cycle from Bullay, you ride a quiet road with a bit of traffic before returning to a river-hugging bike path past the steepest vineyards in Bremm and through campgrounds, passing families of swans and charming villages. Once you see the castle ruins, you have arrived in Beilstein, where you meet the barge and cruise on to Cochem.

After breakfast, your tour ends. It is important that you leave the barge no later than 9:00 a.m. so our crew can prepare for their next guests.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Munich

3 Nights From $445 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 3 nights at Hotel Laimer Hof
  • Airfare between Luxembourg City and Munich
  • Walking tour of Munich
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

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

Upon arrival in Munich, 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 (approximately 50 minutes) to your centrally located hotel in Munich. Please verify with him or her the time of your return transfer to the airport at the end of your Munich extension. Our transfers are arranged by Taxi Guide München, telephone: +49 175 481 2848 outside Germany or 0175 481 2848 within Germany. If you do not see your driver, please wait a few minutes by the “Erdinger Sportsbar,” which is directly in front of the exit into the arrivals hall after you’ve left the customs security area.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the front desk. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Perhaps you’ll walk to the nearby Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Munich.

At 3:00 p.m., a local guide will meet you at the hotel for a walking tour. He or she will show you how to buy tram tickets for your ride into Munich’s center and the city’s main square, the Marienplatz. Then, enjoy an informative walk through the historic streets thronged with street musicians and artists and past magnificent buildings. You’ll no doubt want to return to visit many of them in more detail during the next two days. Your guide will point out restaurants where you can enjoy dinner this evening.

Accomodation: Hotel Laimer Hof, Munich

You have a full day of independent exploration ahead of you today. A logical starting point is the city’s central square, the Marienplatz. Here, you can view St. Mary’s column and many historic buildings, including the New and Old Town Halls. If you’re here at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., or 5:00 p.m., you’ll hear the carillon in the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) clang into action. Close by you’ll find the city’s oldest church, the Peterskirche, notable for its grisly relics of St Munditia, patron saint of single women, and for the view from its tower (up several hundred steps but worth the climb on a clear day!). The Marienplatz is also ideal for people-watching, with its many restaurants, cafés, and shops.

Munich also has many fascinating museums to discover, including the Deutsches Museum with its masterpieces of science and technology; the Bavarian National Museum, one of Europe’s most important museums of decorative arts; and the BMW Automotive Museum. Nearby, you can take in Olympic Park, site of the 1972 Olympic Games. Walk through the lovely park, visit the modern stadium, and take in great views from the Olympic Tower.

Accomodation: Hotel Laimer Hof, Munich
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today, you might venture out of the city on a day trip. There are a number of options that you can reserve through your Munich hotel. For a poignant and moving experience, visit the site of Germany’s first concentration camp at the Dachau Concentration Camp and memorial on the northern edge of the city. Another significant nearby World War II site is Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s mountain retreat built at 6,148 feet (1,873.9 meters) atop Mt. Kehlstein. Here, you can see the southern headquarters of the Nazi party—as well as some of Germany’s most mesmerizing views of the Alps. Another mountaintop attraction is “Mad Ludwig’s” storybook Neuschwanstein Castle. You can see the castle—as well as a nearby lake, the equally beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle, and the waterfall gorge—on a day trip to the enchanting Old World town of Fussen, set in the foothills of the Alps.

Or stay in Munich and bask in the city’s more tranquil side. Munich is renowned for its many parks and gardens. Perhaps you’ll visit the city’s largest natural park, the English Garden. Here, you can admire its bucolic settings, indulge in one of its beer gardens, or join the locals for a swim in the river that runs through the park.

Accomodation: Hotel Laimer Hof, Munich
Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning, transfer from your Munich hotel to the airport for your flight to Luxembourg City.

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.

Upon arrival in Luxembourg City, you will be transferred to the Hotel Le Royal and have time to explore and have lunch on your own. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Luxembourg City. Your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., but you may store your luggage at the front desk. The rest of the day is free for you to discover this fascinating capital of one of Europe’s smallest countries. Explore 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. You’ll also bask in the beauty of the city’s two major squares: the regal Place de la Constitution and the cozy Place du Marche, still used for weekly flower and vegetable markets.

VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day. Tonight, dine on your own. The city boasts more Michelin stars per square mile than any other and has a lively atmosphere in its many cafés, pubs, and pizzerias. The biggest ethnic community here is from Portugal, adding a Latin flair to the city’s nightlife and menus.

Accomodation: Hotel Le Royal, Luxembourg City
Included Meals:Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Post-Trip Extension - Berlin

3 Nights From $545 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 3 nights at Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
  • Train between Berlin and Frankfurt
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality desk
  • Airport and train station transfers

This morning, transfer to Frankfurt’s railway station and board the high-speed Intercity Express (ICE) to Berlin (approximately 4 hours 15 minutes). We recommend you buy a picnic lunch for your journey.

Upon arrival at Berlin Ostbahnhof (the Berlin East railway station), a VBT representative meets you and helps you transfer (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes) to your centrally located hotel. Our transfer company is European Limousine, telephone: +49 351 49 03 640 or +49 163 340 88 11 outside Germany, or 0351 49 03 640 or 0163 340 88 11 within the country.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Berlin. The rest of the day is yours to explore independently. Meals are on your own.

Later in the day, VBT’s local representative is available at the hotel to answer your questions and recommend more activities for the rest of your stay. Your trip leaders will have already provided you with a “Transfer Reminder.” Keep this handy so you’ll know when your airport taxi will pick you up on the last day of your extension.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast

You have a full day to discover this cosmopolitan capital of arts and culture. VBT recommends a 2½-hour walking tour, which you may book with your VBT representative upon arrival in Berlin (it may not be booked in advance of travel). Highlights of the tour include Museum Island (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Reichstag (Parliament House), the Holocaust Memorial Area, New Potsdam Square, and the Topography of Terror, where you’ll see a piece of the Berlin Wall that once divided the city. Your tour ends at the legendary Checkpoint Charlie, the former crossing point between East and West Berlin. The cost of the tour is approximately €30 per person (2-person minimum required) and includes the services of our local English-speaking guide.

Or discover these landmarks on your own. You might also marvel at the magnificent Berlin Cathedral, delight in the wildlife at the Berlin Zoological Garden, or visit the Jewish Museum—one of the largest in Europe. To witness the city from the River Spree, take a riverboat cruise, which departs twice daily from a dock near the hotel.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Berlin. To see more of the city efficiently, you may wish to take one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours, offered by several companies. Your VBT representative will give you more information.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast,* transfer to the airport for your flight home.** Please be sure that you are waiting at the designated transfer time and in the lobby of the hotel.

*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.

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 $2,045

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8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

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