My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

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raybo
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Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 6:40pm

My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby raybo » 4 Oct 2017, 5:34pm

In June, 2017, after riding from Amsterdam to Passau, Germany, I boarded a river cruise ship with my wife and two friends for a one week, round trip bicycling cruise on the Danube. It was the first time I've spent more than an overnight on a boat and my first "cruise ship experience."

In addition to the all the cruise ship amenities (all meals, small but comfortable room, cruise director), we rode bikes every day. The ship stopped in Brataslava, Budapest, and Vienna, as well.

All in all, it was a great way to transition from solo bike touring through the Alps to traveling with my wife. I don't know about you, but I have found this transition to be challenging at times.

I have written a detailed review about my experience for anyone interested. And, of course, would be happy to answer any questions.
Visit my on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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feefee8
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 1:35pm
Location: Fort William

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby feefee8 » 6 Oct 2017, 7:39pm

Thanks Raybo, interesting read.

mercalia
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby mercalia » 6 Oct 2017, 8:37pm

yes interesting, another possibility. Dont like the forced tipping though as I never tip - they are paid to do a job and got paid, I dont want to inflate the profits of the organisers by their deflating the wages of their employees....

KEELIEDW
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Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 2:01pm

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby KEELIEDW » 16 Oct 2017, 12:12pm

Thanks for this review, we did an almost identical trip also on the Normandie a couple of years ago.
We also have that familiar bike-holiday conundrum, I'm a keen tourer and my wife prefers gentle rides with plenty of sightseeing. The Danube trip was a good compromise which we both enjoyed, in fact we've booked to go again, with friends this time, in 2018.
Your comments echo our experience. Cabins were comfortable. The hot water supply to the en-suite showers was very impressive, it coped with the sudden influx of most the passengers showering at the end of the afternoon after a day's cycling.
Food was very good, the breakfast was excellent, and packaging was issued for us to make a packed lunch (that's British for a "sack" lunch!).
Pre-booked special diets were provided for without any hassle.
Basically the only on-board extras on this inclusive trip were the bar-bills (settled on the last day - did we really drink all that :? ).
Average age was at least middle-age, probably not an ideal trip for twenty-somethings.
It was good not having to think about food and accommodation, we enjoyed the fascinating towns and villages, Baroque churches, wayside cafes and bars, vineyards, and always the Danube itself.

robert32asp
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Joined: 20 Apr 2017, 8:51pm

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby robert32asp » 24 Oct 2017, 10:02pm

raybo wrote:In June, 2017, after riding from Amsterdam to Passau, Germany, I boarded a river cruise ship with my wife and two friends for a one week, round trip bicycling cruise on the Danube. It was the first time I've spent more than an overnight on a boat and my first "cruise ship experience."

......All in all, it was a great way to transition from solo bike touring through the Alps to traveling with my wife. I don't know about you, but I have found this transition to be challenging at times.

I have written a detailed review about my experience for anyone interested. And, of course, would be happy to answer any questions.


Thank you. I looked at your journal and the link.

Last year I did a Camino de Santiago bike ride and after met my wife and another couple in Venice for a Cruise. This year I did a British Sea to Sea and met my wife and another couple in Oxford for a train trip around the UK (Oxford, York, Scotland, Lakes District, Wales, London).

I am thinking about biking down the Danube from the Black Forrest to maybe Vienna or a little farther and then meeting my wife for a cruise farther down the Danube (although depending on the time of year, I wonder about heading back up for either the Oktoberfest or the Stuttgart Beer festival after the cruise is done).

I have taken rental car and ferry boats from just north of Vienna to a little bit south of Vienna. But that was before I got into touring on bikes.

How would you rate the Danube bike trails. Well marked? Relatively safe from traffic. Wide enough (as opposed to some of the tow path trails that two bikes going in opposite directions on party has to pull off the trail to let the other pass?)? Opportunities for lodging and/or food/drink breaks every 15 to 20 km, so you can be flexible if the weather turns bad?

Thanks.

giorgiogu
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Joined: 4 Jun 2017, 10:57pm

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby giorgiogu » 25 Oct 2017, 8:31am

Thanks for sharing :)

raybo
Posts: 233
Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 6:40pm

Re: My review of a one week boat-bike tour on the Danube River

Postby raybo » 25 Oct 2017, 10:55pm

robert32asp wrote:How would you rate the Danube bike trails. Well marked? Relatively safe from traffic. Wide enough (as opposed to some of the tow path trails that two bikes going in opposite directions on party has to pull off the trail to let the other pass?)? Opportunities for lodging and/or food/drink breaks every 15 to 20 km, so you can be flexible if the weather turns bad?


Let me start by saying that I rode various portions of the Danube Bike Trail but no more than about 15 miles at any one stretch.

I have no way to measure this but I would say that the Danube Bike trail is the most obvious trail I've ever ridden on. Basically, it is a wide asphalt road that runs right next to the river. While there are signs, simply taking the turn that stays next to the river is always the right decision. It would be hard to get lost on this trail. In big cities, it might get a bit harder as there are so many alternative routes. There were times when we were had to ride on a trafficked road, though these seemed safe enough to both me and my wife.

It would be useful to have some kind of guide, on-line or paper, so that you know when you have to move to the other side of the river and where the ferry stops are. It is important to know where the next ferry crossing is as it might be many miles away.

We were on a boat that would let us off an one place and either be there when we returned (loop route) or move to where our ride ended and pick us up there. I didn't pay much attention to the accommodations. We often passed restaurants and small towns. I assume there was lodging in some or all of those towns but didn't look for it and can't say for sure. But, there is a great deal of biking traffic along this route and I find it hard to believe there aren't places to stay all along the route. I can't comment on how common accommodations might be of if there are any 15 miles stretches without campsites or places to rent.

I can say that there seemed to be some long stretches, especially in the former communist countries, were there wasn't much in the way of buildings, but that is a memory from watching the river float by.

Again, a quick search on-line or finding the trail book would likely answer these questions more fully than I can.

I hope that helps.
Visit my on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com