It was too hot to cycle the 20km to Travemünde so we were considering using the train to transport our bikes to the Travemünde ferry when we spotted a flyer for a passenger ferry that took bicycles for free along the River Trave from Lübeck to Travemünde.
It was only slightly more expensive than the train but much more enjoyable. The staff loaded our bikes onto the ship for us and we sat in the sunshine, relishing the view. The boat journey with bikes to the Travemünde ferry from Lübeck takes about an hour and three quarters, compared to twenty minutes by train. In fact you could actually cycle it in that time. Still, that day we had time to spare and little energy because of the thirty degree temperature.
We arrived in time for a splash in the waves at Travemünde beach- beautiful, busy and bursting with rent-me-for-an-extortionate-price sun loungers. (We didn’t.) The grown-ups took it in turns to sit with the loaded bikes. After a meal eaten on an outside terrace with bikes in view, we stocked up at a supermarket, loaded our cool bag with ice, balanced it on a back rack and cycled the 3km to the Finnlines ferry terminal as the sun began to set. We checked in and an hour and six games of Uno later it was 10.45pm and time to board. I had imagined the children napping in the terminal while waiting to board but they were brighter-eyed than me. Wearing hi-viz and with lights blazing we followed our convoy vehicle onto the ferry. Thirty minutes later the children were asleep in their bunks.
Read about the rest of the journey:Hull to Europoort by P&O ferry;
Europoort to Den Haag by bicycle;
Den Haag to Lübeck by train;
Lübeck to Travemünde by passenger ferry;
Travemünde to Helsinki by Finnlines ferry.