View from the castle in Heidelberg, Germany. Flickr:Gunter Hentschel

Beautiful stained glass in Providenzkirche in Heidelberg, Germany. Flickr:stanze
5/5 (1 rating)

Ludwigsburg to Mainz

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

A bike and boat tour through the Romance of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers

  • This bike and boat tour in Germany aboard the Merlijn needs no introduction. There is just something about the Merlijn, aka, The Magic of the Water. Ask anyone who has stayed on board. You board in Ludwigsburg, city of palaces, and disembark in Mainz, with its lovely old town, medieval market, and half timbered houses. Along the way, you will bike through some of the most Romantic cities along the Neckar and Rhine rivers and lovely small German towns and villages.

    There is opportunity to stop and enjoy the culinary culture of the region and taste some local wines. Occasionally you come upon a road with a slight climb to a fortress that you can explore and of course enjoy the wonderful view.

    Your floating hotel, the beautiful five star Merlijn, will make you feel right at home after a day of cycling.


    • Mainz with its history, attractive town squares, impressive churches, and half timbered houses
    • Historic center of Heidelberg
    • Vineyards and Wine tasting in Nierstein
    • The picturesque village of Marbach

    All of our bike and barge tours in Germany can be found here

  • 2020:

    Price £ 1307 $ 2,634 1525 $ 2318 NOK 14488 kr 13373 $ 1,739

    extra options

    Electric or tandem bicycle rental (price is per day, payable on board): £ 26 $ 52 30 $ 46 NOK 285 kr 263 $ 34

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    We recommend that you fly to Frankfurt International Airport. Frankfurt is well connected by train to both Ludwigsburg and Mainz.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival. A good website to research regional weather conditions including high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other related weather information is Average high/low temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit in September are 68°/°50 and in degrees Celsius, 20°/10°.

    Travel Documents:

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc.

Where You’ll Stay

On board the beautiful comfort plus vessel, the Merlijn

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Welcome drink
  • 7 x breakfast buffets, packed lunches, and 6 three course dinners.
  • Unlimited water, hot chocolate, coffee, and tea on board
  • Route information
  • 24 speed bicycle including towel, bike bag, water bottle, and helmet
  • Tour guide
  • Guided city tour in Heidelberg
  • Wine tasting in Nierstein
  • Ferry fares en route

What’s Not Included

Length8 days
From1525 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates


September 12, 2020

Skill Level

This is rated as an easy to moderate, guided tour. Cycling takes place on good asphalted bike paths and country roads. Daily biking distances range from 16 to 35 miles. The routes follow the flow of the rivers and are therefore mainly flat with only a few small climbs.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Ludwigsburg to Mainz Map

Day 1: Ludwigsburg - sail to Marbach
Day 2: Ludwigsburg - Heilbronn, 16 mi. (26 km)
Day 3: Heilbronn - Bad Wimpfen - Eberbach, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Eberbach - Heidelberg, 20 mi. (32 km)
Day 5: Heidelberg - Worms, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Worms - Nierstein, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Nierstein - Mainz, 12 mi. (20 km)
Day 8: Mainz, departure

*All distances are approximate. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstance, including but not limited to weather, last minute mooring changes, and restructuring of locks or bridges. The owner/captain  of the Merlijn reserves the right of changing the schedule and/or program. If part of the the route is not navigable, the captain is entitled to change the schedule for safety reasons. Changes in schedule and program do not give you the right on free cancellation.

Day 1: Ludwigsburg
After arriving on board the Merlijn, you are welcomed with a cocktail. The afternoon is free, allowing you to explore Ludwigsburg. At 5 pm, the boat will sail to Marbach, a charming city on the Neckar River.  Sailing dinner and overnight in Marbach. After dinner there will be a chance to visit the city, where the famous writer Schiller was boor.

Day 2: Marbach - Besigheim - Heilbronn, 26 mi. (42 km)
While, you enjoy your breakfast, the Merlijn sails to Besigheim. Your bike tour starts here along the Neckar river ans leads to Benningen. Roman history is evident here in the Castle Vicus. Dinner on board and overnight stay in Heilbronn.

Day 3: Heilbronn - Eberbach, 26 or 35 mi. (42 or 56 km)
Enjoy a sailing breakfast while Capitan Henk takes you to Neckarzimmern, where your bike tour begins. You will make a short tour towards the castle of Hornberg. This castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Neckar valley. After 1259 the bishop of Speyer had his quarters here and in the 16th century it became the house of Berlichingen. The tour ends in Eberbach where the Merlijn is waiting. Enjoy dinner and overnight stay in Eberbach.

Day 4: Eberbach - Heidelberg, 20 mi. (32 km)
Today you will bike through the southern part of the Odenwald. From Eberbach you will pass Hirschhorn, one of the pearls on the Neckar river. Hirschhorn has a charming castle, a Carmelite Monastery and an interesting Market Church. In the afternoon you will be offered a city tour through Heidelberg, a charming city nestled between the Neckar river and the foothills of the Odenwald forest. After the tour you will enjoy your dinner in one of the many restaurants in Heidelberg.

Day 5: Heidelberg - Worms, 26 mi. (42 km)
The Merlijn sails during breakfast to Ladenburg, where the bike tour to Worms starts. Partly Neckar, partly Rhine river today, ending in Worms. Worms is famous for its Cathedral and Marten Luther. In the afternoon you will have time to explore this interesting city. After dinner you may want to have a look at the famous Nibelungen tower, which is located directly at the Rhine river, close to the Merlijn..

Day 6: Worms - Nierstein, 34 mi. (55 km)
After breakfast the bike tour starts and pretty soon takes you away from the Rhine, along the vineyards and sometimes a little rolling paths. Beautiful nature will be your reward! In Nierstein you will board the Merlijn to change and drop your bikes, and enjoy a wintetour through the mountains including wine tasting. We will stay overnight in Nierstein.

Day 7: Nierstein - Mainz, 16 mi. (25 km)
After breakfast your bike tour leads you along the Rhine river, the ride is not too long which gives you a good opportunity to pay a visit in the afternoon to the city of Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate. Farewell dinner and overnight stay in Mainz.

Day 8: Mainz

Be sure to check out all of our bike tours in Europe or look at our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • Vikki Z. 7 months ago

    There is a serene, calm beauty when one is slowly boating along the Neckar River in the early fall morning, with mist rising off the water and castles nestled among the trees which are beginning to turn colour. What better way to enjoy an early cup of hot tea before having breakfast and heading out for a day's ride?

    Boat: Merlijn

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Ludwigsburg to Mainz Boats + Barges

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat "The Divine Miss M" as we lovingly call the Merlijn is a diva, for sure. What can we say? Is it the luxurious cabins with most comfortable beds you have ever slept in? Is it the lovely dining area with the large windows and skylight that let the air, light, and sun pour in? Or perhaps it is the sun deck, where you can relax with newfound friends, sharing good wine and good conversation. We think you will find it is the entire divine package! Step onboard and discover for yourself!