Travel through four countries in the luxurious comforts of a river cruise ship
Step into charming French villages which look like they came from storybooks
Have the time of your life meeting people and exploring Europe
Explore this dramatic landscape by bike
A visual feast as you cycle across four countries and the majestic Rhine River
Saddle up, explore the sights and enjoy the company of fellow adventurers

Rhine River Cruise Bike Tour

8 days
$7,299 USD

Embark on a remarkable 8-day adventure as you traverse four countries along the Rhine River, sailing on a luxurious floating hotel from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. Revel in the opulence of your floating abode while exploring historic cities, sampling world-class Rieslings, and enjoying the scenic beauty of vineyards and forests throughout Europe. Pedal through the charming landscapes, cycling along the vineyard-covered hills and through lush forests, adding a touch of active exploration to your unforgettable journey. Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of luxury, nature, and cultural discovery along the majestic Rhine.

  • Category
    Easy-going & Leisurely
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    8 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    1 - Beginner
  • Activity Level
    1 - Easy
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    81.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    11.8 miles
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    8 days
  • Main Destination
  • Distance
    81.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    11.8 miles
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival

    On the first day of the trip, meet your Trip Leaders at 9 a.m. at Hotel Victoria in Basel, Switzerland. Please come dressed ready to ride and bring your luggage and a daypack with your passport, rain gear and anything else you may want for today's activities (your luggage will be transported to our ship).

    Welcome to the Rhine River Valley! The majestic Rhine flows from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, snaking its way through Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Both a historic trade artery and fertile agricultural region, the river's spectacular natural scenery is punctuated by myriad castles and fortifications built to protect it, making for an
    extraordinary backdrop for biking and cruising.

    After meeting in Basel, shuttle across the border to the German village of Badenweiler. Here your Trip Leaders fit your bike and give a brief talk on biking techniques and safety. Warm up with a spin amid the pines and firs of the Black Forest, admiring the famed half-timbered farmhouses along the way. As the forest opens up, take in far-reaching views of the verdant Rhine River Valley and—weather permitting—the soaring Swiss Alps. Along the way, enjoy a lunch of local fare. Descend into the valley and follow the meandering Wiese River, a tributary of the Rhine, across the border into Switzerland. Your destination this afternoon is the port in Basel, where our floating luxury hotel for the next seven nights awaits.

    Settle into your stateroom before gathering for the ship's safety briefing. Then the journey will kick off down the Rhine with an outstanding dinner together on board the ship. (Cruise overnight Basel to Breisach)

    Shuttle to Badenweiler: 45 minutes

    Biking Options
    Black Forest Route: 16 Miles* (1,100' elevation gain)
    Scenic Hills Route: 25 Miles* (2,000')
    Swiss German Route: 36 Miles (2,200')

    Emabarkation in Basel, Switzerland
    Cruise from Basel to Breisach: 10:00pm - 4:30am
    *with shuttle

    • 16.2 - 35.4 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Cycle in Alsace

    This morning arrive in Breisach, Germany, with its delightful town center and hilltop Gothic cathedral which looks out across the Vosges Mountains, the Rhine and nearby vineyards. Despite its fortifications, Breisach has been razed by war and then rebuilt numerous times. Eighty-five percent of it was destroyed by Allied forces crossing the Rhine during World War II.

    Shuttle across the border into France's Alsace region, where the Vosges mountain range shields its foothills from ocean weather patterns, creating a sunny, warm and dry microclimate—wonderfully suited to cultivating wine grapes. Hop in the saddle for a spin along the Route des Vins ("Wine Route") through undulating vineyards that produce fabulous Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Pinot Gris. Feel free to stop at one of the tempting wineries for a taste of the local lifeblood. Turn onto a peaceful bike path and pedal between the fairy-tale towns of Riquewihr and Eguisheim, recognized as two of the most beautiful villages in France. For a midday snack, stop by a café for a taste of flammkuchen (or tarte flambée), an Alsatian dish with a thin bread-dough base, traditionally topped with fromage blanc, thinly sliced onions and bacon.

    Afterward, shuttle back to the ship for a cruise along the Grand Canal of Alsace. This engineering feat diverts most of the Rhine's water into a more navigable channel that runs alongside the natural river. You have time to read a book on the Sun Deck or pamper yourself with a revitalizing massage. (Massage treatments are not included in the trip price.)

    Everyone will reconvene tonight in the ship's main dining room for a welcome reception followed by another delicious dinner together. (Overnight Strasbourg)

    Shuttle to Ostheim: 30 Minutes

    Vineyards & Villages Route: 20 Miles (1,300' elevation gain)
    Eguisheim Loop: 28 Miles (2,100')

    Shuttle to Breisach: 30 Minutes
    Cruise Breisach to Strasbourg: 3 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

    • 19.9 - 28 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  3. Day 3Strasbourg

    Today's ride showcases the tranquil countryside surrounding the World Heritage city of Strasbourg, set at the confluence of the Rhine, Rhône and Marne Rivers. Starting on the French side of the Rhine, pedal through a lovely park then cross a bridge into Germany. Continue through gently rolling farmland and past tidy orchards, with the majestic spire of Strasbourg Cathedral towering
    in the distance.

    Return to the ship for lunch before you join your leaders and a knowledgeable local guide for a walking tour of historic Strasbourg. The rest of the afternoon is yours to stroll the city's streets, peruse its shops or visit a museum or two.

    Dinner tonight is at your leisure on the ship. Later in the evening, enjoy a splendid French music performance in the ship's lounge. (Cruise overnight Strasbourg to Ludwigshafen)

    Biking Options
    Eckartsweier Loop: 22 Miles (600' elevation gain)
    Schutterwald Loop: 32 Miles (800')

    Strasbourg Guided City Walk: 1½ Hours
    Cruise Strasbourg to Ludwigshafen: 11 p.m.– 8 a.m.

    • 21.7 - 31.7 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4Welcome to Germany

    Fuel up with breakfast on the ship, then set off on an easygoing route through verdant farmland and protected wetlands. Continue on two wheels to Heidelberg, dominated by impressive castle ruins situated 300 feet above the old town center. Note how many of the
    surrounding buildings have repurposed the red limestone of the former fortress. Lunch is a treat at a German brewhouse serving amazing local food and house beer. Before returning to the ship, take time to meander the cobblestone streets or indulge in some shopping.

    Back on board, the cruise will resume along the Rhine before you retire to the ship's dining room for dinner. (Overnight in Rüdesheim)

    Biking Options
    Heidelberg Route: 17 Miles (500' elevation gain)
    Heidelberg Loop: 27 Miles (800')

    Shuttle to Ludwigshafen: 30 minutes
    Cruise Ludwigshafen to Rüdesheim: 2:30pm - 8:00pm

    • 16.8 - 26.7 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Cruise the Rhine Gorge

    Get to know the Rhine Gorge, officially named the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, on today's ride through one of the most scenic sections of the river. A World Heritage site, the gorge is famous for its unique combination of geological, historical and cultural significance. Start the ride with a short ferry ride across the Rhine, taking in views of Rüdesheim against the backdrop of vineyards and the Niederwalddenkmal, a monument that commemorates the founding of the German Empire in 1871.

    Then hop in the saddle and follow the Rhine as it meanders through the gorge, flanked by dozens of castles and fortifications, through an area that boasts the highest concentration of castles in the world. The surrounding slopes are covered with vineyards and leave just enough space for narrow villages and small towns such as Bacharach, Boppard and Saint Goar. After passing the
    storied Lorelei Rock at the narrowest and deepest section of the river, take a break from cycling at a local winery.

    If you're looking for a challenge this afternoon, tackle the climb to the Rhine Plateau for fabulous views of the valley and Rheinfels Castle, the largest castle overlooking the river. Then grab a lift in the shuttle to meet our ship in Lahnstein.

    For a mix of biking and cruising today, you can opt for a shuttle back to the ship after lunch and settle into a spot on the Sun Deck to take in the Rhine Gorge as the ship cruises from Rüdesheim to Lahnstein this afternoon.

    In Lahnstein, opt to go ashore for a tour of Burg Lahneck, a commanding 13th-century castle perched above town. This evening, relax on the ship and have dinner at your leisure. (Overnight Lahnstein)

    Biking Options
    Loreley Route: 20 Miles* (600' elevation gain)
    Castle View Route: 27 Miles* (1,500')
    Rhine Gorge Route: 53 Miles (2,500')

    Cruise Rüdesheim to Lahnstein: 12:30 - 4:30pm
    *with shuttle

    • 19.9 - 52.8 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  6. Day 6Sail to Bonn

    This morning we sail to Bonn, the former capital of West Germany and the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. We set out on an easygoing ride along the Rhine, tracing the ship's path as it continues onward to Cologne. Finish your morning ride at a local brewpub for a refueling lunch.

    This afternoon, take a guided walk through Cologne's historic and vibrant Altstadt (old town). Marvel at the mix of old and new architecture—Cologne was almost completely destroyed during World War II and herculean efforts have been made to both restore and revitalize it. Along the way you'll learn about the city's captivating past and make a stop at the famous Cologne Cathedral, a
    World Heritage site, built between 1248 and 1880 to house the reputed relics of the Three Wise Men. Following the tour, you have the opportunity to explore Cologne even further on your own.

    We gather this evening for the Captain's farewell cocktail celebration and gala dinner, as this is the last night of sailing—but your cycling adventure continues! (Cruise overnight Cologne to Utrecht)

    • 24.9 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  7. Day 7Hello Amsterdam

    Bid auf wiedersehen to Germany and hallo to Holland this morning as you cruise toward Amsterdam, a cyclist haven. The Dutch may not have invented the bicycle, but they've sure perfected cycling as a way of life! There are more than 10,500 miles of fietspaden (bicycle paths) and roads in the Netherlands, many of them traffic-free. And remember—this is all in a country the size of Maryland!

    You'll experience the Netherlands in a nutshell today, spinning along smooth, well-marked bike paths past innumerable lakes and rivers en route to the final destination, the world-class city of Amsterdam. Start your ride in Utrecht along a popular bike route following the River Vecht, dotted with magnificent country estates built by wealthy merchants from Amsterdam in the 17th century. Take a break at Muiderslot Castle, where you have an opportunity to tour the grounds before grabbing lunch at a nearby Dutch restaurant. Afterward, either shuttle or pedal the rest of the way to Amsterdam.

    With its remarkable museums like the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and van Gogh Museum, picturesque canals, vibrant cafés and fascinating shops, Amsterdam beckons for a visit. This afternoon you'll embark on a sightseeing cruise along the city's intricate waterways in a traditional canal boat.

    Tonight, toast to a memorable voyage down the Rhine and enjoy a festive farewell dinner together on board the ship. (Overnight Amsterdam)

    • 19.3 - 34.8 miles
    • AmaWaterways Ship
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  8. Day 8Departure

    After a hearty breakfast, prepare for your onward travel.

    • Breakfast