Cochem to Rhine River cruise

May 27th, 2014, 05:42 PM
  #1  
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Cochem to Rhine River cruise

We are spending 3 nights in Cochem. We would like to take a day Rhine River cruise. Does it make sense to drive to Koblenz, take a train to Rudiesheim and then cruise back to Koblenz? Is there an easier way to do this? Does anyone know about parking at the train station and location of the KD dock in relation to the train station? Thanks
soods is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 06:03 PM
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Why not just take the train to/from Koblenz?
bigtyke is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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Instead of driving to Koblenz? Already paying for car. Hoping not to buy another train ticket, but I am considering it.
soods is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 04:26 AM
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It's very inconvenient to use the cruise boats round-trip just to pick up your car.

If for example you drive to Rüdesheim, then cruise to Koblenz and back - you will be spending 10 HOURS on the boat - 4 hours north and 6 hours south because of the current.

There are two of you, right? You will actually pay more altogether if you drive... Here's why:

If you take the train from Cochem to Rüdesheim (and then from Koblenz to Cochem after your cruise) your train cost is €27 for two adults using a Rheinland-Pfalz daypass. Driving, you'll cover around 100 km and spend about €12 on gas, but you'll spend MORE for your cruise ticket, not only because it's round trip, but because a valid train ticket gets you a 20% cruise fare discount; since the standard cruise fare for two is €70, your discount is €14.

By train: €27 day pass + €56 discounted cruise = €83
By car w/ round trip cruise: €12 gas + €76 cruise = €88

But really, you do NOT need to pay even €83 to have a nice outing and a cruise.

First off, don't cruise all the way to Koblenz - the scenery deteriorates as you approach Koblenz anyway, and the best scenery is between Rüdesheim and St. Goar (1.6 hours, €15 each with a train ticket discount) or stay on a little longer to Boppard (2.3 hours, €20 each with a train ticket discount) for more good scenery. (St. Goar is the home of Rheinfels Castle, by the way - worth a visit.) There's no need to cruise further north. Because you are using a train day pass to return to Cochem, you pay nothing more for the trip from St. Goar or Boppard. Now the cost for two, including the train day pass, is either €57 or €67.

You can shorten your cruise slightly (15 min.) by taking the train NOT to Rüdesheim, but to Bingen, to start the cruise; Bingen lies right across the river from R'heim. (The boat from Rüdesheim to Bingen simply crosses the river and adds no scenery to your cruise.) Boat prices from Bingen are the same.

I would probably organize the day such that you visit a Rhine town or two - maybe Bacharach and/or Oberwesel, before taking an afternoon cruise (14:30 or 16:30) out of Bingen. The train day pass allows you to stop over at will in these towns.

Train daypass: http://www.vrminfo.de/en/tickets-and...-pfalz-ticket/

Train schedules: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
(Be sure to specify "only local transport" under "means of transport" to pull up the trains you can use with the R-P daypass.)

KD cruise schedule: http://www.k-d.com/en/kd-scheduled-c...ine-timetable/
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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You can shorten your cruise slightly (15 min.) by taking the train NOT to Rüdesheim, but to Bingen, to start the cruise; Bingen lies right across the river from R'heim. (The boat from Rüdesheim to Bingen simply crosses the river and adds no scenery to your cruise.) Boat prices from Bingen are the same.>

I would say by all means take the train or drive to Rudesheim and board there before the boat heads across the river to Bingen - simply because IME of taking these boats many times lots of bus tour groups swarm on at Rudesheim, where many K-D cruises start and the best seats - those up front outside - may be gone by the time the already rather crowded at times boat gets to Bingen.

By all means in my experience start your cruise in Rudesheim and board early - it is so so nice to nab a seat right up front on the railing in the middle of the boat - these many all be gone by the time the boat gets to Bingen.

For more info on Rhine Gorge cruises and Cochem and Mosel check out www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - each have special sections on this unique area and boats and trains.

Take advantage of the great regional pass deal that Russ mentions and leave the car in Cochem - you will save money just on petrol charges alone and parking fees and the hassle of yes finding convenient parking.
PalenQ is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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If you are doing the cruise on weekdays or in the afternoon as I suggested you are less likely to have cruise boat crowding, but Rüdesheim may be better for seating reasons if you are doing this on a Saturday or Sunday.

That said, the cruise, though it's a major headache to figure out logistically on your own, is really only a minor part of the Rhine experience. The main point of a visit to the area is walking the towns themselves - not just viewing them from the boat deck. As nice as the cruise is, checking out all the fine half-timbered buildings in Bacharach, or the old town wall and towers in Oberwesel, or snooping around Rheinfels castle is more engaging, IMO, than sharing a boat deck with fellow tourists. I would NOT want to forego a visit to the west bank towns (Bacharach, Oberwesel, St. Goar) that lie on the way to Bingen for the sole purpose of enhancing my seating position on the cruise boat (by going to Rüdesheim instead, a different train route altogether.)
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 06:03 AM
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Koblenz is in many ways a really nice larger city - try to visit it too en route back to Cochem - I've spent many days in Koblenz on business and though it rarely gets any advice to visit it I think this is because most folks do not know what a pleasant city it really is.

Take the boat to Koblenz and get off at the K-D docks and do a delightful stroll along the Rhine Ufer - Rhineside esplanade with riveting views of the imposing clifftop Ehrenbreitstein Fortress across the Rhine - you can take a pedestrian ferry over to the base of the fort then a cable car or winding tunnels in the rocks up to the top for sweeping views over the whole Rhine/Mosel area.

Just down from the K-d boat docks is the Uber famous Deutsches Eck monument to German Unity - the plianth once hoisted on it for ages an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm (I believe - anyway the old Prussian monarch that unified modern Germany in the 1800s) but the kaiser on his horse was blasted to bits during the waning days of WW2 by an American GI who blasted it to bits just for fun (told to me by the manager of Koblenz' camping platz now located where the American fired his cannon) - Deutsches Eck is very famous and popular with Germans - situated at the confluence of the 'Mother Mosel' and 'Father Rhine' is still symbolizes German Unity sans the Kasier. The Mosel and Rhine area with Deutsches Eck is called the German Corner - don't miss it!

http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-c...s/koblenz.html
From here amble into Koblenz' Altstadt (Old Town) which is centered around a large pleasant square dotted with restaurants, outdoor cafes, beer halls, etc. Then walk the half-mile or so to Koblenz' train station for trains back to Cochem or elsewhere.

Do not neglect Koblenz - it may delight you far more than seeing another ruined castle, etc. (And for shoppers there is a sweet pedestrian shopping drag with all the usual stores found in any German High Street.
PalenQ is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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Koblenz has a pleasant enough - but very small old town zone at some distance from the railway station. The rest of it is largely post-war construction concrete that looks a lot like any other German city that was simillarly vaporized in WW II. Cochem, Boppard and Rüdesheim have scenic chairlift rides too. Koblenz would be quite low on my list of musts in the Middle Rhine Valley, especially if your time is limited.
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 06:38 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all of the great info. Here's another thought I had...what about driving from Cochem to Bacharach? It takes a little over an hour. Seems shorter than all the train rides. Also don't have to stick to a train schedule. At Bacarach we can take the train to Rudesheim and get the discount on the cruise. Then we can cruise back to our car in a Bacharach and visit the town. On our way back to Cochem we will be able to visit other towns as we wish.
soods is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 07:32 AM
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You CAN by-pass the train ride from Cochem if you wish, but not quite as you've outlined...

There's no train from Bacharach to Rüdesheim.
Cruising to Bacharach is really not enough of the scenic part if you're going to do a cruise at all.

So I suggest you drive to St. Goar and park. Take the train to Bingen (€5.90 each.) Show your train ticket for your discount and cruise north to St. Goar and your car. See Rheinfels castle there if you wish. Then drive to visit Oberwesel and Bacharach, just to the south, before heading back to Cochem.
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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You didn't mention Oberwesel in your plans but I'd include it if possible - walk atop the old town wall from tower to tower:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Ochsenturm.jpg

map: http://oberwesel.welterbe-mittelrhei...dweg_karte.jpg

http://s1.germany.travel/media/conte...T_1024x768.jpg
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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http://www.bingen-ruedesheimer.de/rheinfaehren/

You could drive to Bingen and then take the hourly ferry over to Rudesheim and board there to be sure of nabbing a great seat - as explained before - then when all done at say Boppard take the train quickly back to Bingen.

I have biked from the Cochem area to the Rhine - so yes you can avoid going via Koblenz - the shortest way is to go over the hills to the Rhine and a rather scenic ride it tis!

Or drive to Marksburg Castle, much closer to Koblenz and the end of the best part of the boat trip and take the train to Rudesheim - get the train discount I guess and get off the boat at Marksburg to visit what is often called the highlight of the all Rhine castles - Marksburg - then retrieve your car and drive via Koblenz and the gorgeous Mosel Valley between Koblenz and Cochem, the road, like the train here, hugging the Mosel the whole way.

Marksburg Castle was one of the few authentically ancient castles to survive Napoleon's armies and other marauders thru the ages and is thus the only intact authentic old castle on this stretch of the Rhine, I believe. Many report it was the highlight of their Rhine Gorge tour - the best of the scenery ends around there and if going by train there is a train station there as well, as mentioned before.
PalenQ is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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"You could drive to Bingen and then take the hourly ferry over to Rudesheim and board there to be sure of nabbing a great seat - as explained before - then when all done at say Boppard take the train quickly back to Bingen."

So with this suggestion, the OP is to drive to Bingen, then get on a ferry to R'heim, then board the cruise boat and travel BACK to Bingen, then depart from Bingen?
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 10:55 AM
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Well that is if coming over the hills from Cochem they may want to park on the western bank on the Rhine, right - where should they park that has easy boat or rail links to Rudesheim, for the important reasons IME of starting there rather than your suggestion of starting in Bingen?
PalenQ is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 11:46 AM
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It was your idea, PQ, to send them to Bingen to spend 15 minutes ferrying to R'heim, marching to the KD dock, and cruising another 15 minutes back to Bingen:

"You could drive to Bingen and then take the hourly ferry over to Rudesheim..."

You figure out where they should park!

(I suspect they'll need to pick up some brass knuckles if the competitors for those prized railing-side seats in Rüdesheim are as numerous as you claim.)

My suggestion was St. Goar.
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 12:28 PM
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(I suspect they'll need to pick up some brass knuckles if the competitors for those prized railing-side seats in Rüdesheim are as numerous as you claim.)>

Have you ever taken the boats - seems not! I have taken it dozens of times and I stand by that advice, boarding in Rudesheim as good advice to get, in summer at least, the relatively few seats in the front on the railing so you can see both sides of the river. Well to me that was neat anyway.

Now the smart thing for these folks to do is as you advised take the regional pass and take a train via Koblenz to Rudesheim and train back to Cochem when done - that would be far easier - I am clueless about parking I admit - have always been on a bike or train or boat in this area - if parking is as scarce as you say in Bingen and I do believe you are correct in that.

They should simply ditch the car and make it all easier and cheaper - the cost of gas and parking figured in.

Or if bent on driving drive via Koblenz to Marksburg Castle, where there is ample parking for visitors and take the train to Rudesheim and boat back to Marksburg.

Oh well the more options and opinions the better IMO for the OP to decide - no one person has all the prescriptive plan of attack and to get different ideas is nice.
PalenQ is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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"...if parking is as scarce as you say in Bingen and I do believe you are correct in that."

I never said any such thing, for the record.

"Now the smart thing for these folks to do is as you advised take the regional pass and take a train via Koblenz to Rudesheim and train back to Cochem when done - that would be far easier..."

That was my original suggestion - but the OP suggested driving over to the Rhine from Cochem (which WILL be quicker than by train) and taking the train to begin the cruise, an idea I think should work just fine as long as he parks in St. Goar, takes the train to Bingen, and returns by boat to St. Goar. I do not see HOW it is "far easier" to use the train at all.

"They should simply ditch the car and make it all easier and cheaper - the cost of gas and parking figured in."

That's not true. It's €57 to St. Goar for gas, €11.80 for train tickets, €30 for discount cruise tickets to - €57 - the way the OP conceived it.

But your plan involves a train pass (€27) plus two ferry rides to Rüdesheim (€4 for 2) plus two discounted cruises from R'heim or Bingen to Boppard (€40.) That's €71. Always wise to add stuff up before deciding what's cheaper.

Difference of €14. I imagine they can park in St. Goar for that or for nothing.

They should decide for themselves about the car, IMO.
Russ is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Wow! Lots of options. My thought was to be free of schedules and go at our own pace as far as going to Rhine and returning, stopping wherever we thought might be interesting. I think Russ's idea of driving to St Goar, training and then cruising sounds good. I guess it depends on the cruise schedule. Unfortunately we have to go either on a Saturday or Sunday. Is either less busy than the other? As Palen Q suggests, the ride from Cochem will be faster more scenic and we don't want to waste time going out of the way on the train. Thank you both for the links and ideas. Since I don't know what I'm doing, as I've never been in Germany, I welcome all suggestions!
soods is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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"I think Russ's idea of driving to St Goar, training and then cruising sounds good. I guess it depends on the cruise schedule."

On a typical Saturday...

To catch the 10:30 boat from Bingen, catch the 9:20 train from St. Goar (arrives 9:57 at Bingen Rhein Stadt station (there are 2 Bingen stations.)

To catch the 14:30 boat from Bingen, board the 13:20 train from St. Goar (arrives 13:56.)

There are earlier and later options as well.

KD schedules: http://www.k-d.com/en/kd-scheduled-c...ine-timetable/

I would check the specific date you have in mind before making plans:

Train schedules: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

You can buy the train ticket from a machine on the platform in St. Goar (or at any station - in Cochem if that's easier.)
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