Germany Bike And Barge Adventure - July 2016


  • Germany

ATLANTA SKI CLUB & SKI ALPINE XPERIENCE PRESENTA SUMMER ADVENTURE TRIP
CYCLING IN GERMANY

A BIKE AND BARGE ADVENTURE ALONG THE RHINE & NECKAR RIVERS
JULY 15-24, 2016
MALTA EXTENSION JULY 23-29, 2016

TRIP LEADER:  MARY DONALDSON   www.marydonaldson@earthlink.net
Cell:  404-680-4902    Home:  770-977-9017
SIGN UP DEADLINE:  as long as space is available

The picturesque river valleys of the Rhine and the Neckar are ideal to explore by bicycle and boat.  The Rhine valley between Koblenz and Mannheim is very romantic with the Loreley rock, its fortresses, castles, and the ruins you will pass along the river’s narrow banks.  These buildings are often constructed using the region’s unique slate.  This area, listed on Unesco’s World Heritage List, offers many varied routes, past picturesque Rudesheim, known for its wine, and through the beautiful inner cities of Mainz, Worms, and Mannheim, all filled with interesting monuments.  In Mannheim the route continues along the Neckar River, a tributary of the Rhine, to the historic university town of Heidelberg, where you can see the castle high up on the hill from miles away.  The medieval town of Bad Wimpfen with all its splendor is another little pearl of the area.  

During the tour, a visit to a local vineyard, complete with dinner and wine tasting is just one of the included activities offered by our on board tour guide.  Several optional walking tours of our destinations will also be offered during the week.  Our cycling holiday is combined with a stay on a river barge.  While we go on a great bike tour every day, the barge will be sailing to the next port of call.  Our destination is the next harbor, where you will spend the night on board, in a comfortable cabin.  Breakfast, picnic lunch, and a three course dinner are included daily.

Comfort Bikes or Electric Bikes are available for exploring.  Or, you can just relax on the barge, and meet the biking group in the next village.  Each evening our on board tour director goes over the next day’s tour program or biking route, including the “don’t miss this” information, and then turns us loose to explore on our own with maps the following day.  The cycling is mostly on paved tracks with very little gradient, making it ideal for any level cyclist.  The planned routes average 20 miles per day cycling, but you can explore further if you so desire.  Just remember that this area is loaded with vineyards, wine bars, and brew houses.

And now, for the extension something unique------the island of Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast,  is a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of St. John, French and British.  It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to 3600 B.C.E.  Today the three inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino attract divers, beachgoers, and history buffs alike.  A country of diverse cultural influences, Malta boasts a variety of museums, cathedrals, and spectacular scenery.

I hope you like the plan, and will join us on the trip!  I have tried to include enough adventure for you adrenaline junkies, some alternatives for those of you who prefer a softer adventure, and plenty of historical and cultural immersion.  So come join us on this mid-summer Adventure!  

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SIGN UP AND PAY YOUR DEPOSIT RIGHT AWAY IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US ON THIS TRIP.  OUR VENDOR IS CURRENTLY HOLDING 10 CABINS FOR OUR GROUP.  THE BARGE PROVIDER WILL ONLY HOLD THESE CABINS FOR A VERY LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME WITHOUT A CASH DEPOSIT.  ALSO, THE MOST DESIRABLE CABINS WILL GO TO THOSE WHO SIGN UP FIRST.

2016 ATLANTA SKI CLUB & SKI ALPINE XPERIENCE
SUMMER ADVENTURE TRIP

PRICE:  $3578 – INCLUDES ROUNDTRIP AIR TO/FROM ATLANTA
Based on 16 or more participants – double occupancy
BIKE RENTAL:  COMFORT BIKE - $90 WEEK
                        ELECTRIC BIKE - $215 WEEK
MALTA EXTENSION - $933 – Includes connecting flight/transfers/5 nights lodging with breakfast daily

WHAT’S INCLUDED:
Tour from Koblenz to Bad Wimpfen on board the barge
 8 days/7nights ( Saturday to Saturday)
Full Board:  7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches during bike tours, 7 three-course dinners;  daily coffee and tea until 4 pm
Use of Bed Linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
Daily short cleaning of cabin
Welcome Drink
Excursion through the vineyards, wine tasting and dinner at a local winery in Nierstein (included in full board)
On board tour guide (German and English) with daily briefings on the bike tours
The on board tour guide does not cycle but can always be reached by cell phone
Printed instructions and detailed maps for the daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin
One additional nights lodging at a hotel near the Frankfurt airport
Rountrip Air from Atlanta
All transfers between airport/barge/Frankfurt hotel

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
TRAVEL INSURANCE – Available thru TRAVELEX – Trip ID#46-00215
www.travelex-insurance.com
1-800-228-9792    1-800-867-9531
Meals except those noted above
Tips & Gratuities
Bike Helmets
Optional Excursions offered on board the Barge

CANCELLATION POLICY:
Initial Deposit is non-refundable
$1000 Cancellation Fee if cancellation occurs between 3/ 15/ 2016 -  4/11/2016
No refunds after April 11, 2016

MINIMUM GROUP SIZE AND CABIN OCCUPANCY:
The above prices are subject to a minimum group size of 16 people double occupancy.  If you sign up alone, we will make every effort to match you up with a same sex roommate.  Roommate matching is provided on a first-come, first served basis, so you are encouraged to sign up early.  If we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, please be prepared to pay the single supplement fee 30 days prior to departure.  The amount of the Single Supplement Fee is determined by the type cabin available on the barge.  

RIVER BARGE
The River Barge  is 68 meters long and can accommodate a maximum of 68 guests.  The ship is modernized for boat bike tours and has 34 cabins.  There are only twin cabins (approximately 7 meters square).  Two lower level single twin beds next to each other with opening windows on the upper deck. Each cabin includes a private shower and toilet.  The restaurant, salon, and lower level cabins are air conditioned.  An authentic ship, our barge, has a nice salon with bar and large windows in front of the top deck and a separate restaurant on the lower deck.  On the partially covered sun deck there are tables and chairs for all guests and a cycle shed.  Our Barge sails under the Dutch Flag and management, but has been sailing in Germany since 2011 doing boat & bike
tours.
MALTA EXTENSION
WHAT’S INCLUDED:
Connecting flight from Frankfurt to Malta
5 Nights Lodging  - Cavalieri Art Hotel – ocean front or equivalent
5 Breakfasts

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
Optional excursions will be organized and offered daily to visit the various historic and scenic sites on the islands

DAILY ITINERARY

7/15 Fri(1)    Depart Atlanta
        Flight Information: 
LH 445K  7/15/2016  ATL to Frankfurt  4:25pm – 7:30am 7/16

7/16 Sat(2)    Koblenz:  Arrival and embarkation
Embarkation as from 4pm; the crew will welcome you on board.
Luggage may be brought on board any time after 11:00am.
You will spend the evening and first night in Koblenz

7/17Sun(3)    Koblenz  - Boppard – Rudesheim (ca. 30km /19 miles)
The ship sails downstream the river Rhine from Koblenz to Boppard in the UNESCO heritage site Upper Middle Rhine Valley.  From there you cycle directly on the left bank along castles and through the Lorely valley to Rudesheim.  Night in Rudesheim or Bingen.

7/18Mon(4)    Rudesheim – Mainz (ca. 37 km / 23 miles)
Cycling tour from Rudesheim through the beautiful Rheingau and Eltville or on the quiet left bank to Mainz.  In Mainz you can enjoy many churches, museums and monuments.  The most important are the Dom (cathedral), the Royal Palace, the State Theatre, The Citadel and the monument of Gutenberg.

7/19Tue(5)    Mainz – Nierstein (ca.17-26 km/ 10-16miles)
The many picturesque houses along the way through Mainz make your bike tour an experience.  The tour goes via Laubenheim to Nierstein, where you will enjoy your lunch on board.  You can explore a vineyard while sitting on a tractor wagon including a wine-tasting and dinner at the local winegrowers.

7/20Wed(6)    Nierstein – Mannheim – Mannheim – Heidelberg (ca.25km/16miles)
Sail over the Rhine river via Worms to Mannheim.  Cycling tour to the Celtic city Ladenburg.  We will end this tour in Heidelberg: this old city attracts tourists from all over the world.  You can go or a walk and visit the castle on your own or you can join a guided tour through the city (optional excursion, bookable on board).

7/21Thu(7)    Heidelberg – Eberbach (ca. 38km /22.8 miles)
After a bike tour from Heidelberg via Ziegelhausen and through the Odenwald to Neckar-steinach, you will reach picturesque Eberbach, a nice old town with narrow streets.  In the evening a night watchman in traditional clothing waits for you to show you his city (optional excursion, bookable on board).

7/22Fri(8)    Eberbach – Bad Wimpfen (ca.41 km / 25 miles)
The first stop of today’s bike tour is Burg Hornsberg in Neckarzimmern.  Bad Wimpfen, the destination of this tour, looks like a dream village of the Middle Ages.

7/23Sat(9)    Bad Wimpfen
        After breakfast you will disembark:  End of Barge Tour
        Transfer to Frankfurt- Departure Time:  10:00am
        Overnight at Hotel near Frankfurt Airport Arrival Time:  1:00pm
        Hotel Name, Address, & Phone:___TBD___________________

7/24Mon(10)  Fly Home
Flight Information:LH 444 S   7/24/2016 Frankfurt to ATL  10:20am-2:25pm
 
The distances listed above are the approximate distances of the recommended bike tours.  Guests may skip cycling and stay on board as they please.

MALTA EXTENSION

7/23Sun(9) Extension Group Flys to Malta
        LH 106W  7/23  Frankfurt – Munich  1:15pm – 2:10pm
        LH 1976 W  7//23  Munich  - Malta  2:50pm – 5:00pm
        Transfer to hotel   
        Sleep:  Cavalieri Art Hotel or equivalent ocean front– St Julian,Malta
              Includes Breakfast Daily

7/24 (10)    Explore St Julian and enjoy the beach.  Visit  the famous neocropolis of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum & the temples of Tarxien
    
7/25 (11)     Excursion to Valletta, a unesco world heritage site & fortified town, the Blue Grotto, & the ancient temples of Hagar Qim & Mnajdr

7/26 (12)    Excursion to Dingli Sea Cliffs & Golden Bay  for some easy hiking, followed by a visit to Rabat and the medieval city of Mdina.

7/27 (13)       Day trip to the Island of Gozo to visit the prehistoric Ggantija Temples, see the Azure Window, & visit the historic citadel in the city of Victoria 

7/28 (14)    Fly to Frankfurt:  LH 1277 H Malta-Frankfurt 12:40pm – 3:20pm
    Overnight in Frankfurt – Airport Hotel

7/29 (15)    Fly Home:      LH 444 S   Frankfurt – Atlanta   10:20am – 2:25pm    

TRIP LEADER:  MARY DONALDSON    404-680-4902    770-977-9017
www.marydonaldson@earthlink.net         
www.atlantaskiclub.org             www.skialpinexperience.com
SIGN UP:  see SKI ALPINE XPERIENCE/ATLANTA SKI CLUB REGISTRATION FORM
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: as long as space is available
INITIAL DEPOSIT:  $500       ONE HALF BALANCE DUE BY: 10 days after sign-up  
BALANCE DUE BY: 30 days after sign-up
CANCELLATION:  Deposit is non refundable.  Cancellation less than 95 days before departure, any refund based n recoverable costs.