Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Chloesmom1

Biking vs. sailing through Wachau Valley

Recommended Posts

Hi, all. We're going on our first river cruise in mid-April and I'm second guessing all of the excursions we've pre-booked. 🙂 The ship is stopping one morning in Weissenkirchen to let people off so they can (e)bike to Melk where they will meet the ship a few hours later. My husband and I signed up for the biking excursion. 

 

For those of you who have biked along this portion of the Danube, do you get to enjoy the scenery or should we reconsider and stay on-board? The timing makes me think it will be a relaxed trip with plenty of time built in (we have 3 1/2 hrs). Based on the itinerary I think we'll be able to get up early and enjoy the scenery that and the following morning, but like most river cruises the rest of the sailing will be done at night.

 

I know this is a personal choice, but I'd appreciate hearing about anyone else's experiences or opinions.

Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also interested in the replies to this question.  We will be on Emerald and I don't think they have ebikes (just normal bikes) and are considering the ride from Melk to Durnstein, also 3 1/2 hours.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sailing in mid-April, the weather can be all over the place. We did this itinerary in late April, and the biking excursion ended up getting canceled because of sleet. I don't know that the scenery would have been as good from the biking trails as it was from the ship.

 

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for the bike ride!

Think positive the weather will cooperate.  On our cruise  day  it rained a bit so you would not have sat out on deck anyway.  The ride along the river gives you a different perspective and it was very enjoyable. Stops along the way to catch your breath and see something interesting.  A hot shower and a soothing beverage afterward and all was good.

Our ship had bikes, but all of the bike tours were provided through touring companies that provided their own bikes,  guides and commentary., so I would check to make sure they use the ebikes if that is your peddle power comfort zone.

Have a great time,

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, acwmom and Ritabob. I appreciate the feedback. Ritabob, our ship carries bikes with it and they are all ebikes. I've never been on one so it will be a new experience for me.

 

jmcmo, I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to consider given that the scenery is truly gorgeous - on a bike ride you are seeing only the scenery on the other side of the river and immediately around you on your side.  On the ship you obviously have much more sweeping views.

 

Either way, I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

capriccio, that is exactly why I have been wondering. Though even with only seeing one side I'm not sure I can pass up biking along the Danube. I suppose there are no bad choices here so I should stop worrying!

 

Where in the Shenadoah Valley are you? I went to school there and now live over the mountain. Hope you aren't getting too much ice right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, we are on the Emerald boat leaving Budapest 6 May and have decided to do the bike trip. Seems a lovely part of the rive to cycle and will give us a bit more exercise following eating all of the lovely food on board 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you write a review when you get back!

 

If the weather doesn't look good - you can probably cancel. I would play it by year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a 7 day Bike and Boat trip with Rad and Reisen round trip from Passau to Bratislava, Budapest, and Vienna.  We biked along the Danube almost the entire time, including the section to Melk that you describe.  Obviously I don't know what the views looked like from the boat, but the views from the bike trail were fabulous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Racr- yes, I was thinking that very same thing!

 

Theresa- I will definitely write a review. We actually received our docs in the mail today so it is starting to feel more "real". Thank you so much for all your help with our planning!

 

And Epixx, thank you so much for letting me know- I feel much more reassured. 🙂 I've always wanted to do a trip like yours which is why the excursion sounded so nice.

 

Thanks, everyone!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is sort of funny - on the Mozart we didn't have any biking excursions due to it being November.

 

I remember being on a bus when I saw one of the butlers take a bike outside and then next I knew, there were 20+ bikes outside on the bike racks at the dock. I sat there and wondered why they were taking the bikes outside and then wondered where they keep them on the ship. I meant to ask about it later and completely forgot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if a group requested to use them? Or if it was a nice day someone requested one and they anticipated others being interested?

 

There are a couple biking excursions on our cruise. The one we are on is no longer on the list of possible excursions but still on our personal schedule, so I assume there aren't even spaces  left on the wait list. The other I was looking at but didn't sign up for is full, but still has spots on the wait list. They did say to sign up early because it was limited to the number of bikes they have. When there isn't a bike excursion offered I think passengers can just take them out on their own, if I recall correctly.

 

Now we just have to hope for good weather- and water levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chloesmom1 said:

Where in the Shenadoah Valley are you? I went to school there and now live over the mountain. Hope you aren't getting too much ice right now!

We spend our summers in Shenandoah County on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.  Right now I'm in sunny and warm south Florida on the beach.  Charlottesville and its environs are beautiful.  My sister graduated from UVa many years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chloesmom1 said:

 

Now we just have to hope for good weather- and water levels.

Fingers crossed!

 

You are probably right. Maybe the excursion even filled up before I booked the cruise and then didn't show when I looked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet that is what happened. Anyone looking at the day's excursion for our sailing through the Wacchau Valley would see options for the Melk Abbey that afternoon or a second choice of Going to a castle and seeing where the Archduke is internned and meeting a member of the family, but it doesn't show any option of biking from Weissenkirchin to Melk so I'm sure there will be people surprised when the bikes get pulled out,

 

Hopefully you'll be able to go on another river cruise and get access to the bikes which are supposed to be nice. My challenge will be to try to not be too lazy and just use the e-assist the entire time! 

 

On other random off topic question: I know we'll be there during different times and weather will not be similar, but what types of outerwear did you bring? I have an LLBean jacket that works with a pretty wide range of weather. It isn't beautiful or anything, but it works and it packs away easily into a little bag If I don't need it, I figure a rain jacket is a necessity and have a decent one I got for work so it looks ok, but it still casual. It doesn't fold down, pack very small, or pack into a self-contained pocket like some do. I'm trying to keep expenses low and not buy more than I need, but I am wondering if a packable rain jacket that I could throw in a bag or even clip to whatever coat I'm wearing might be useful, especially since Spring can be rainy.

 

Any thoughts? And yeah, I obsess about stupid stuff. It's an illness, 🙂 You should see me already obsessions about a trip we may or may not take in 2 years, My husband thinks about sending me to an institution all the time but then realizes he needs me here to plan his trips and tell him what he needs to pack! So he's stuck with me ❤️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chloesmom1 said:

Hopefully you'll be able to go on another river cruise and get access to the bikes which are supposed to be nice. My challenge will be to try to not be too lazy and just use the e-assist the entire time! 

 

On other random off topic question: I know we'll be there during different times and weather will not be similar, but what types of outerwear did you bring? ❤️

I am looking at another Crystal River cruise for my 50th birthday in a year (April). The dates are not working well as they switch to tulip trips during that time and we have a work requirement for graduation. I would do the Danube trip in a heart beat again to see it during another season but I think I want to try the Rhine. Since we are probably having a blizzard this weekend (3 snow storms in a week) and the longest winter ever, this is probably how I will spend my weekend researching. Crystal's website has changed and it has been frustrating.

 

I don't think you have to worry about being lazy. I averaged about 12,000 plus steps on my full day excursions. So even if you play it easy one day with the bikes - you have full days of trips also! It will be a beautiful day. My biggest issue is going to be pictures when you bike. Make friends with someone on the trip and have them send you pics that they take from the boat.

 

I have an old Lands End rain jacket that I bought a long time ago (they no longer have). I call it my Alaska rain jacket as I bought it for that trip and it went with me on all of my Alaska trips after. It is warm and made of a rubber type material. It is also longer. I like it as I can wear sweaters/sweatshirts underneath it easily. I wore that most days. The last day, I did wear my Lands End winter jacket but it was 20 degrees and we were just walking around Christmas Markets as opposed to on a tour. It was cold that day but sunny. I would just bring your jacket you already have.

 

We traveled in the same buses so you can keep items in the bus. There were times when we had to. For example - an Art Museum in Munich did not allow us to bring our back packs so we could leave them in the bus or get a locker in the art museum. We had a lot of changing temps also and people left things in the bus but it wasn't easy to always get the bus or find the bus if you wanted something half way through the trip.

 

Crystal provides umbrellas for everyone. They have them in your room and also when you exit. Though they are the very long pointy ones.

 

I still carry an over the arm bag (from college) with me everywhere. It has seen the world. It needs to be replaced as it is no longer very water resistant anymore. That would hold my purse, camera, jacket, water bottle, in this last trip gloves and ear protection and maps. I wish I didn't have to carry it but it has served me well and I seem to travel where the temp changes a lot from morning to evening. Crystal will have maps at the front desk for every place you are going or else they will pass maps out in the bus.

 

I am getting excited for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have taken the bikes for our own use  and at least one of us (usually hubby) on all the organized bike tours on every river cruise we've taken.  Along the Moselle, Rhine and Danube,  in summer AND winter.

A lightweight rain coat from L L Bean is my go to rain gear.  It is about knee length, has a zipper that unzips from the bottom as well (so you don't split the zip when you sit down), has a hood and folds into a reasonable packet.  Most cruise companies provide umbrellas, but they are useless in the wind, poke others  and you need to hold it up using one arm so you don't have both hands free.

Have fun planning,

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ritabob. The rain jacket you describe sounds like the one I have been thinking about getting.

 

Theresa, I hope you are able to find a sailing that fits your schedule. Hopefully you'll find something over the weekend- and you won't get as much snow as they are predicting. As always, I really appreciate all of the details and information about the Mozart. I am really starting to get excited!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We sailed with Scenic on the Budapest to Nuremberg direction.  The Ebikes were an option offered pre-cruise and then again once we were onboard. Make sure you are signed up. scenic actually brought in additional bikes to meet the demand but you won't get to go if you are not signed up ahead of time. The 30Km ride was done at a decent pace and the leaders made sure to have one in front, one behind to keep people from becoming stragglers.  It is mostly flat but it is still 24 miles.  There are a few, a FEW, rest periods and there was one area with refreshments which could be purchased but had quite the queue. LADIES...the restrooms along the trip require money to get in. There will be a queue. there will NOT be a line at the Men's side of the restroom. USE the men's side with someone standing guard! The Ebike is a marvel....get one with the largest wheels, the 20 inch wheels require a lot more peddling. You will make it to the end and a drink never tasted so good

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...