Passau – Budapest – Passau: bike & boat with MS Prinzessin Katharina
4 Countries Tour – The Highlights: Passau - Budapest - Passau
Accompanied by a cruise ship you cycle along Europe's second largest river Danube from the charming Bavarian “three river city” of Passau straight into the heart of the once glorious Imperial and Royal Monarchy. Enjoy three of the most enchanting European capitals: the lively Vienna, the Slovak coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and Budapest, the "Hungarian Danube Queen"! By bicycle you discover the stunning natural spectacle of the Schlögener Donauschlinge ("Great Loop"), the legendary Wachau with romantic towns and mighty castles amidst lovely vineyards, the untouched alluvial forests of the Danube National Park, as well as the picturesque Hungarian Danube bend where the important cupola of the basilica in Esztergom salutes from the distance. The highlights of the tour: Passau, the City of 3 rivers, the Schloegen Danube Loop, the Hungarian Danube Bend, the World Heritage Site Wachau, the metropoles of Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna.
MS Prinzessin Katharina
The comfortable MS Prinzessin Katharina provides the right ambience to make you feel at ease. On board the premium ship you can expect classic elegance, a tasteful interior and a friendly crew. Enjoy the special atmosphere and let yourself be spoilt by the good cuisine. On two passenger decks you will find a panoramic restaurant, a comfortable salon, two bars and an inviting foyer, a book corner, a small shop and a massage parlour. On the spacious, partly covered sun deck there are enough deck chairs available. All 71 cabins are outside cabins and comfortably and tastefully furnished featuring en-suite facilities with shower/WC, hair dryer, air-conditioning, TV, on-board-radio, telephone and a small refrigerator. There are 29 two-bed cabins, 1 triple cabin und 2 single cabins on the upper deck. All cabins have approx. 11 m2 with french balcony (= floor-to-ceiling windows which can be opened). 2-bed cabins with a sofa bed and a pullman bed (stowed during the day for more comfort). In the triple cabin a 3rd bed is folded down from the wall (max. 80 kg). On the main deck you find 38 two-bed cabins, 1 single cabin (all cabins have approx.11 m2)with two sofa beds standing in a right angleand a picture window (not to open).
1. day Passau Arrival, Boat trip to Engelhartszell
Arrival in the "Three River City". Passau attracts many with the world's greatest church organ at the Stephansdom and its charming Old Town. Embarkation will be around 4:00 pm, departure around 7 pm. Enjoy your first dinner on board and an evening sail to Engelhartszell.
2. day Engelhartszell - Brandstatt, bike tour approx. 35/46 km, Boat trip to Bratislava
The day starts in Engelhartszell (the only Trappist monastery in Austria), where we head towards the "Great Loop" - one of the most beautiful and original sectors of the Danube. Your cycling will encounter small villages and cosy must-see taverns. You'll board again in Brandstatt. Then, you "sail into the night" towards Bratislava.
3. day Bratislava (day of rest)
Arrival at Bratislava in the morning. The cycle tour takes you to the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof. After crossing the green line, you cycle along the former “Iron Curtain” towards the coronation city of Bratislava at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Tip: discover the hidden alleys of Bratislava, places and all the sights of this ambitious metropolis during a tour by mini train and by foot. In the night shipping to Budapest.
4. day Budapest (day of rest) or round trip Szentendre, ca. 40 km
In the early morning, you enjoy the panoramic view of the Danube's gorgeous landscape on the sundeck. The gateway to Budapest is overwhelming, as many of the famous tourist features are situated directly next to the river bank. In the afternoon you can explore the numerous attractions of the city. Nearby, you find the Margaretheninsel which is outstandingly qualified for a small bike tour or the charming town of Szentendre with Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art life. In the night shipping to Visegrad.
5. day Visegrad – Esztergom, ca. 27 - 60 km
The Danube bend is definitely one of most delightful and attractive parts and is called the Hungarian Wachau. Today's bike leg starts at Visegrad with its famous fortress and the ruins of the former palace. You can choose from 2 different routes: the longer one includes a side trip to the island of Szentendre and the baroque village of Vác, which has been influenced by the architects of the Austrian empress Maria Theresia. The other route for sportive bikers leads you directly to the bishop-town of Esztergom, with its gorgeous basilica – Hungary's largest Catholic Church – overlooking the village. In the night shipping to Vienna.
6. day Wien-Nussdorf / possibly Korneuburg (day of rest)
You should be sure to see the most famous places of interest like the St. Stephens Cathedral, the Hofburg, the gorgeous boulevard "Ringstraβe" with the Burgtheater, the State Opera House or the town hall that takes you back to the past. In the night shipping to Rossatz or Dürnstein (Wachau).
7. day Wachau – Melk – Pöchlarn, approx. 40-49 km / boat trip to Passau
Your last biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small dreamy villages, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this gentle hilly landscape enchants everybody. A powerful ruin looms above the small Baroque town of Dürnstein, while the blue tower of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau. In the small village of Pöchlarn you will board again. After the farewell gala dinner, you start “sailing” back to Passau.
8. day Passau Departure
Every journey draws to an end. Once again you enjoy on deck the first sunbeams and the peaceful silence of the Danube Valley. Take a last sight at the Schlögener Schlinge ("Great Loop") before you arrive relaxed at Passau. Arrival: approx. at 11 am, disembarkation half an hour later.
In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages by buses. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted of both situations. The same applies for officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges. Special childrens discounts and cancellation fees apply.
Due to clearing and blasting works, the Danube cycle path on the right bank of the Danube between Kolbling and Kaiserau will be completely closed until at least 19.05..
On the first cycling day you will therefore cycle to Untermühl, approx. 35 km, instead of Brandstatt.
prices & services
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Minimum number of participants
Velociped can withdraw from the tour twenty-one days before the starting date of the tour, at the latest, in case the minimum number of participants stated under the tour description is not attained. You will duly be informed without any delay in case of a withdrawal. Velociped will of course refund the paid tour price immediately. Please note our General Terms and Conditions.
Prices are per person.
10.06. – 05.08.2023
- 7 nights in outside cabins with private facilities in the booked cabin category
- Programme according itinerary from/to Passau
- All passenger fees and port fees
- Captains greeting and Welcome-Drink
- Daily cabin cleaning. Changing of towels and bed cloths as necessary.
- Full meals: 7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch for cyclists or lunch snack on board (non cyclists), 6x afternoon
coffee break, 6x 3-course-dinner and 1x farewell-dinner with farewell-drink
- On-board musician
- Daily informational meeting
- Information pack with route book (one per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Tour guide on board
Worth knowing about the tour Passau-Budapest-Passau
Below you will find specific information about the tour Passau-Budapest-Passau with MS Prinzessin Katharina. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Parking facilities in Passau
You have the opportunity to park your vehicle in a parking lot on the outskirts of Passau. You can choose between a secured, but not covered parking (75.00 EUR for the duration of the journey) or a parking garage (87.00 EUR for the duration of the journey). From the parking lot to ship and vice versa, you will be transported by shuttle bus. You will receive with your travel documents approximately four weeks before the trip a form where you can reserve the required parking.
Arrival by train
The central station of Passau is about 5 km away from the ship. Please take a Taxi from the station to the ship.
Changes of the itinerary and program
In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages by buses. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted of both situations. The same applies for officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges.
Noises on board of the MS Prinzessin Katharina
Please be aware that a cruise ship on the Danube is not only your hotel but also a machine, working with engine power also during the night. Especially crossing locks and bridges - and the preparation work - may cause noise. If you are sensitive please bring your own ear plugs.
Available rental bikes
7 gears unisex trekking bicycles with normal mount (ladies’ model) and 8 gears E-Bikes with normal mount (ladies’ model). Brand: Velo de Ville (special production for SE-Tours). Each with hand brake, coaster breaking hubs or freewheel hubs (subject to availability - please indicate as non-binding customer request when booking) and pannier bag. E-bikes are available after prior request and at limited number only.
It is possible to bring your own bike only on request - due to the lack of space on the sundeck.
Excursions on board
The excursions which are mentioned in the itinerary are bookable on board.
If you need special food (lactose free or gluten free) please let us know 14 days before arrival latest. The special food is available paying an extra fee. Please be aware that it might be possible that you have the products on your own.
Types of cabins MS Prinzessin Katharina
Upper deck: 29 two-bed cabins, 1 triple cabin und 2 single cabins with french balcony (= floor-to-ceiling windows which can be opened).
Main deck: 38 two-bed cabins, 1 single cabin with a picture window (not to open)
Main deck cabin
Upper deck cabin during the day
Upper deck cabin in the evening
Extra costs which are not included in the tour price
A fuel surcharge, which may apply due to the sharp rise in fuel prices, is not included in the cruise price and must be paid in cash on arrival on board the ship. We will inform you of the amount of the surcharge, if any, in the travel documents approx. 3-4 weeks before arrival.
7 day hotline service
In case of chain breakdown, flooding or other bad surprises that makes a continuation of your tour impossible: no problem, we also work during weekends and you can reach us 7 days a week in case of emergency.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
Corona travel information:
Before booking your trip, please inform yourself about the measures in place to contain the Corona pandemic.
An up-to-date overview of applicable measures and travel and safety advice regarding Covid-19 for all countries in the EU and Switzerland can be found here:
You can also find more information on our website at:
Corona virus and holiday planning
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
Passau in the southeast of Germany is located at the Austrian border. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau is worldwide known as "The Three Rivers City". The earliest evidence of human settlement dates back to the Neolithic. Passau was part of the Roman Empire for more than 400 years. It became an Episcopal seat in the year 739 AD. Passau was an independent prince bishopric for over 600 years. Finally in 1803 Passau was annexed into Bavaria. The setting of the Old Town, created by Italian baroque masters in the 17th century, shows soaring towers, picturesque places, enchanting promenades and romantic lanes.
St. Stephen´s Cathedral, Passau
St. Stephen's Cathedral is a baroque church built in 1688. Since 730, there have been many churches built on the site of the current cathedral. The current church, a baroque building around 100 metres long, was built from 1668 to 1693 after a fire in 1662 destroyed its predecessor, of which only the late gothic eastern side remains. The cathedral's overall plan was made by Carlo Lurago, its interior decoration by Giovanni Battista Carlone, and its frescos by Carpoforo Tencalla.
St. Stephen´s Cathedral, Passau
The Danube Valley has a very aesthetic appearance that hits its peak with the Schlögener Schlinge.
Here the power and beauty of nature is being reflected. Waters have always been of great significance to mankind. Through shipping, the Danube played and plays an important role up to this day. A less well-known utilisation of the Danube valley is winegrowing. Between 1000 and 1300 AD, in the medival warm period, wine was being grown in the cross valleys and the lower layers of Upper Austria. There used to be a small-sized vineyard with walls and staircase connections on the same level as Inzell, but on the left slope of the Danube Valley. Today it is completely overgrown by shrubbery. But in Hilkering, near Aschach, wine is currently being cultivated. The „Schlögener Schlinge“ has been appointed a „Natural Wonder of Austria“ in 2008. This rarity, called epigenetic cross valley, was being generated when the Danube carved its way through the soft layers of the Tertiary and created its meander-formed river bed, which it had to retain on the hard granitic rock. Because of the elevation of the landmass later on, the Danube carved itself nearly 300m into the ground and thereby created the dell, which almost forms a full circle in the Schlögener Schlinge.
The monumental building of the Bratislava Castle is visible from a great distance. Certainly, every visitor of Bratislava notices the pronounced silhouette. The majestic impression is enhanced by the hill it stands on, some eighty-five metres above the water level of the Danube river.
Budapest Gellért Hill
The "Monument of the Holy Martyr Bishop Gellért" recalls the rebellion of pagan Hungarians in the 11th century. According to legend, they took the violent Christianization of Gellért as the reason to lock him in a barrel and tumble the barrel down the hill into the Danube. On top of the mountain is the monument to celebrate the liberation of the city by the Red Army in 1945. Also on the summit stands the citadel, from which one has a great view over Budapest and in both directions along the Danube. The night city tour by bus also leads to this viewpoint. Highly recommended!
Budapest Market Hall
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Central Market Hall (officially called 'Központi Vásárcsarnok' in Hungarian) is the largest indoor market in Budapest. Among other things, on the ground floor you'll find a large selection of sausages, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. On the second floor, there are food stands and plenty of vendors selling handicrafts, clothing, embroidery, chessboards and other souvenirs.
The winding streets, the seven church towers, the colorful houses, the narrow streets, two dozens of museums and, not least, the contemporary Mediterranean flair make the city on the banks of the Danube one of the most visited in Hungary. Szentendre, which looks like an open air museum, has also made a name for itself as a town of artists and also offers great shopping opportunities.
The charming city on the Danube is the seat of the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Esztergom. In the castle of Esztergom built in 972, Stephan the Saint (1000-1038), the first Hungarian king and the founder of the Hungarian state, was born. The main landmark of the city is the basilica (Szent István tér), which was built in the 19th century in the classical style. It is the largest church in the country with the largest and world-wide single, painted altarpiece on linen.
Café Landtmann, Vienna
Take a seat on original Thonet chairs from the imperial age, or in one of the snug heritage-protected booths. You gaze will no doubt fall on the historical inlay work on the walls and the mirrors from the Golden 1920s. These fine jewels stand testament to the great history of the Landtmann.
Franz Landtmann created a coffeehouse institution when he opened Vienna’s largest “café locality” in the year 1873. His patrons have included Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider, Paul McCartney and Hillary Clinton.
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. In addition to valuable altars and side chapels, the impressive cathedral treasure can also be seen, including relics decorated with gold and precious stones, monstrances, liturgical texts and books as well as vestments. Numerous important people were also given their final resting place in St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Melk Abbey is one of the biggest and most beautiful European Baroque ensembles (built between 1702-1739 to designs by Jakob Prandtauer). Its splendid architecture is famous worldwide and part of UNESCO´s World Cultural Heritage. The baroque building, situated on a rock overlooking the Danube, in the Wachau region, ranks as one Austria´s most visited art-historical sites. The abbey museum in the former Imperial Rooms contains the exhibition „The Path from Yesterday to Today“ which makes use of art treasures and multi-media means to tell the monastery´s more than 900-year-long history in a modern way.
The Wachau is one of the most famous regions in Austria. More and more visitors will appreciate the landscape, the culture and the world of excellent wines. An indispensable destination in this charming river landscape on the banks of the Danube is the old Kuenringer town of Dürnstein, where tradition and beauty meet in a unique way. The landscape is characterized by natural beauty such as the terraces of the old vineyards, a favorable climate and numerous cultural monuments, which invite you to linger. Tip: Take a glass of excellent apricot jam as a "tasteful" souvenir!