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Bike and Barge 2018

Along the Danube River: 7 Nights Cycle and Sail (Germany-Austria-Slovakia-Hungary) plus 3 Nights in Prague (Czech Republic)


September 8 - 19 , 2018


REGISTRATION ONLINE IS DISABLED

SOLD OUT

Last update 11/26/2017

 

WAIT LIST IS ENABLED- Fill in the application and send a $500 check to reserve your spot in the waiting list. This check will NOT be cashed unless a spot for you appear and you AGREE to take that spot at that time.

                                                                                            


Cycle and sail the River Danube with your fellow Gators traveling through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on one glorious cycling holiday. By day ride the Danube’s easy going culturally rich cycle path and by night relax aboard a traditional river boat cruiser on board the Carissima.


This bike and boat tour along the Danube River is one of most popular tours in Europe and with good reason. Between the Austrian and Hungarian alluvial landscape and the Danube River Bend, natural beauty awaits as well as art, culture and history.


From the charming Bavarian "Three River City" of Passau,  straight into the heart of the once glorious Imperial and Royal Monarchy, you will bike along the famous Danube Cycle Path through four countries and visit three of the most enchanting European capitals: the lively Vienna, City of Music, the Slovak coronation city of Bratislava, and Budapest, the Hungarian "Danube Queen".


We will visit the bucolic wine-growing Wachau region; see romantic towns and castles along the river, go through the Danube National Park and see the famous picturesque Hungarian Danube Bend

 

After our week of bike and barge, we will spend 3 nights at a 4 star hotel in enchanting Prague.



The Standard Package includes: your round trip airline tickets from Florida to Prague, all ground transfers by private bus in Europe, 7 nights lodging on the comfort plus barge Carissima (middle deck cabin), all meals on board: breakfast, 3 course dinner with choice between 2 or 3 dinner entrees each evening, packed lunch or lunch on board (non-cyclists), afternoon coffee break, late night snack, daily cleaning of cabin, port fees, unisex tour bike rental, bicycle protection, GPS tracks with route, hardcopy map route (one per cabin), tour guide on board (does not cycle with group), Pre-Trip Party, Welcome Cocktail at barge, Gala Dinner at barge, Farewell Cocktail, daily music after dinner, wine tasting in Wachau, 4 ferry rides, Bratislava city tour with scenic train and city walk, Budapest city tour by bike, Budapest city tour by night by bus including Folklore show, Vienna city tour by bike, Vienna waltz and opera concert at Palace Shonbrunn, 3 nights at 4 star hotel in Prague, breakfast every day in Prague, Happy Hour in Prague, Farewell Dinner in Prague, transfer hotel to airport by private bus in Prague, barge tips (value $50/pp), bus tips, porterage tips. All this for only:


$3,200*


*Per person/double occupancy. Price shown reflects a 3% cash discount when paying with cash or check. Prices and conditions are subject to change; based on an exchange rate of 1 Euro=1.2 Dollars.


NOTE: Price for package may go down once we are able to secure airline tickets- air expected to load in mid- to late September 2017. Right now is a very conservative estimate.


Please check the registration form for details on cabin options, single occupancy, ground package, upgrade to electric bike, purchase of bike helmet, etc.

 

Air Itinerary 

We are flying with American Airlines, leaving from Palm Beach International Airport at 2:21 pm on September 8; arriving in Prague the next morning at 9:05 am (one stop in Philadelphia)

Returning on September 19 from Prague at 11:30 am arriving in Palm Beach International Airport at 9:20 pm (one stop in Philadelphia).

Last update 11/3/2017 ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE AIRLINE WITHOUT NOTICE.


1     08SEP  PBI PHL    221P  505P            

2     08SEP  PHL PRG   640P  905A  09SEP 

3     19SEP  PRG PHL 1130A  310P            

4     19SEP  PHL PBI     625P  920P           


Register online and reserve your spot now with only $500 down payable by check, or online with credit card. 


If you rather not register online, you can download and print the hardcopy Trip Application which you can then mail to the Trip Leader, along with a copy of your Passport and your deposit check.


Download/print the TRIP FLYER


You must be a current member to make a reservation. Each member of a family must complete a separate reservation. If you are not a current member, you can join or renew here.

If paying by check, make it payable to Gator Snow Ski Club and mail to your Trip Leader:


Estela Basso

1001 Jupiter Park Dr Ste 112

Jupiter FL 33458

estelavpofski@gmail.com

561-214-1603 (cell.)


Please be aware that when paying by check your registration will be marked as "pending" until our Treasurer receives and processes your payment- may take up to 3 weeks. If you register and pay with credit card, your registration is effective as soon as received –  upon confirmation of availability by the Trip Leader.


Cancellation fee for your registration is a minimum of $100 unless you are transferring to another Gator trip, not previously signed up for. See the complete rules and regulations on trips.


Payment Schedule

If you wish to pay an Installment with credit card, inform your Trip Leader and an Invoice will be created for you. Credit card payments do not qualify for the 3% cash discount
Date Amount
Deposit With Registration
 $ 500
1st Installment December 1, 2017
 $ 1000
2nd Installment

March 1, 2018
 $ 1000
3rd Installment May 15, 2018
 tbd-according to options and tender 
What is Included in this Spectacular Trip:


Pretrip Party

Airline Tickets Florida to Prague
Ground Transfers roundtrip Prague to Passau (Barge) in private motorcoach
7 nights accommodations on board a Comfort Plus class ship Carissima (Middle Deck Cabin included in Standard Package- other options available)
Full meals: breakfast, packed lunch or lunch on board (non-cyclists), dinner. Choice between two or three dinner entrees each evening

Welcome cocktail at barge
Farewell cocktail at barge
L
ate night snack
Gala Dinner at barge
Afternoon Coffee break
Daily music after dinner

Daily cleaning of cabin

Tour guide on board (does not cycle with group)
Information packet with route book (one per room)

21-speed unisex bicycle or upgrade to electric bike (extra cost)
4 Ferry Rides
GPS tracks
Bicycle protection
Port fees
Wine tasting in the Wachau region
Bratislava (evening): City Tour with scenic train and citywalk
Budapest (morning): City tour by bike
Budapest (evening): Budapest by night by bus including Folklore show
Vienna  (morning) City tour by bike
Vienna (evening) Concert at Palace Schönbrunn –Orangerie
3 nights in Prague in 4 star hotel with breaksfast
Prague 3-day hop on off bus city tour with River Cruise
Happy Hour in Prague
Farewell Dinner in Prague
Transfer hotel to airport in private motorcoach in Prague
Barge Tips (value of $50/pp), bus tips, porterage tips- all included.


Itinerary


Saturday, September 8: Departure from Florida by air. Details TBD


Sunday, September 9: Arrival in Prague (Czech Republic). Transfer by private motorcoach from Prague to Passau (approx 3.5 hrs).  Passau is located in the southeast of Germany,  at the Austrian border. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau is known as "The Three Rivers City". Boarding the Carissima begins at 4:30 pm.  At 6:00 pm the boat departs from Passau and sails to Engelhartszell.


Monday, September 10: Great Loop | Engelhartszell - Aschach, 26 mi. (42 km)
Your first day’s cycling begins with a ride through the classic scenery of the ‘Great Loop’ Donauschlinge, one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube. Along the way you will encounter tiny villages and cozy cider taverns. In Austria’s only Trappist monastery at Engelhartszell, you can taste their delicious liquors and cheese. The famous ‘Schlogener View’ provides a wonderful panorama of the surrounding Austrian countryside. The boat welcomes all cyclists back on board in the charming market town of Aschach.


Tuesday, September 11: Devin - Bratislava,  27 mi. (43 km)  
You pedal along the former “Iron Curtain”, crossing the green line and reaching the imposing Imperial Palace of Hof with its beautifully terraced gardens and idyllic manor farm. Follow the bike path through Austria’s “vegetable garden” to the coronation city of Bratislava at the slopes of the Little Carpathians and discover the hidden alleyways and sights of Bratislava on an optional city tour. WILL INCLUDE CITY TOUR


Wednesday, September 12: Budapest, roundtrip to Szentendre, 33 mi. (54 km)
The entrance to Budapest, Hungary’s capital is stunning. You can explore the beauty of Budapest by bus or a guided bike tour (optional) to discover many of the highlights of this unique city. The Danube River runs straight through it, splitting the city in two. Budapest is bustling but peaceful, a friendly metropolis and a place where old treasures blend with the modern. Long gone is its communist shadow.  You will get a first-hand experience of Hungarian culture at an option evening show with traditional music and dance.You can also choose to cycle to the charming town of Szentendre with its Mediterranean atmosphere and lively art scene. Experience Hungarian culture up close and personal at an evening show with traditional music and dance (optional). WILL INCLUDE TOUR AND FOLKLORE SHOW

Thursday, September 13: Danube Bend - Esztergom, 26 mi. (43 km)
The wooded hills of Pilis, Visegrád, and Börzsöny mirrored in the meandering Danube create a wonderful landscape that has become a nature lovers paradise. Amidst the Danube river, the idyllic isle of Szentendre exudes silent Puszta Romance. You cycle via the baroque village of Vác (influenced by the architects of Austria's empress Maria Theresa) to the bishop town of Esztergom with its gorgeous basilica-Hungary's largest Catholic Church. Night cruise to Visegrad.


Friday, September 14: Vienna Sightseeing tour by bike and evening Waltz and Opera Concert- Discover Vienna's most beautiful attractions. During the bike tour of Vienna you will experience up close the most famous examples of architecture; the imperial Hofburg, St. Stephens Cathedral, the gorgeous boulevard "RingStraβe" with the State Opera House, the Burgtheater and town hall, as well as the colorful "Hunderwasserhaus" and the Ferry wheel, which is situated directly at the Prater. Relaxation can be found at one of the numerous small coffee bars. The evening ends impressively with a Waltz and Opera Concert at the Hofburg(optional), or at a wine tavern. WILL INCLUDE BIKE TOUR AND EVENING OF WALTZ AND OPERA


Saturday, September 15: Wachau / Krems - Melk, 22 mi. (37 km)
Small dreamy towns, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins along sloping hills await you. This is pure biking bliss! In Spitz, inviting wine taverns beckon along  the bike route. In Dúrstein's narrow alleys, you will have to walk your bike. This town is famous because Richard the Lion-Hearted was imprisoned here in 1193. The ruined castle above the town can be reached by a good hike with great river views. In Weißenkirchen (possibility for a wine-tasting – optional) you will find enticing wine taverns right along the bike path. You owe it to yourself to take a break! After a ceremonial gala dinner, lots of fun and entertainment can be experienced during a crew show. WILL INCLUDE WINE TASTING


Sunday, September 16: Departure from Passau.
As you cruise back up the Danube enjoy the early morning sunshine as you wind your way to Passau, where you will arrive at approximately 9:30 AM and you’ll disembark about 30 minutes later. Due to possible unforeseen mooring delays, it is recommended that we do not make travel arrangements out of Passau until after 11:30 AM. Transfer by private motorcoach to Prague. We have a 3 day hop-on /hop-off bus ticket to start enjoying Prague's highlights. Overnight at hotel in Prague.


Monday, September 17: Prague

Explore Prague at leisure using your 3-day pass on the hop-on / hop-off bus in Prague. Happy Hour in Prague


Tuesday, September 18: Prague

Continue enjoying the charming city of Prague at your leisure. Farewell Dinner in Prague.


Wednesday, September 19: Return to Florida!

Frequently Asked Questions:


How is the expected climate/temperature?

Expected to be very pleasant for biking, cool but not cold. Check local weather prior to departure. Average high/low temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit for September are 69°/53°


What is the required skill level for the biking?

This is a relatively easy tour following the flow of the Danube. Route is mostly flat with some rolling hills, especially coming out of the Danube valley. It takes place on good, asphalt bike paths very suitable for beginners and children. If you prefer, you can upgrade to an e-bike.


What is the boat like? MS Carissima - Comfort Plus Class Boat

This boat has been recently renovated (2016 -2107) so it will be looking great.

The first thing you will experience when boarding this vessel is the inviting atmosphere on board. Cycling by day, you will experience the different cultures along the Danube, back on board, in the restaurant, you will experience a true culinary excursion through the region while enjoying fantastic views!

In the Panorama Lounge, where the bar is located, you can enjoy a glass of wine with your friends and fellow cyclists. Comfortable lounge chairs on deck will invite you to linger and savor. After all, even when actively vacationing, you have to take the time to relax.

The spa with sauna and whirlpool is wonderful after a day of cycling allows for a refreshing swim as the river passes by. The comfortable ship will make your journey unforgettable.

  • 75 Deluxe cabins, 14.5 m square (approx 156 sq feet)
  • Capacity: 150 passengers
    Length: 110 m
  • Breadth: 11.4 m
  • Draft: 1.6 m
  • Speed: 21 km/h
  • Crew: approximately 35
  • Electricity: 220 v
  • Language: German and English
  • Private bathrooms with shower, hair dryer, TV, safe, and full air-conditioning
  • Hotel style double bed which can be converted to two single beds
  • Promenade (upper deck) and middle deck cabins feature full size picture windows which can be opened
  • Main deck (lower deck), half height windows (cannot be opened)
  • Library
  • Sauna and whirlpool
  • Wifi is available for a supplement, payable on board (connection can vary)

Slide Show of the Carissima boat:


What are the different cabins like?


The Carissima has 3 levels of decks: the Main (Lower) Deck, the Middle Deck and the Upper Deck.

The only difference between the deluxe cabins is in the windows: the Middle and Upper Decks have full size windows that can be opened, while the Main (Lower) Deck has half size windows that cannot be opened.

The Standard Package includes rooming in the Middle Deck cabins, double occupancy. Please watch the slide show and you will see what the cabins look like.

 

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