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Emergency, Please Help, Need to get to Germany

Emergency, Please Help, Need to get to Germany

Old Apr 18th, 2010, 01:29 AM
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Emergency, Please Help, Need to get to Germany

We are currently on a transatlantic cruise from US to Southampton. Will arrive in Soton on 4/25. Have car scheduled to take us to Heathrow Airport to fly to Munich. But the Fox News report this am said the volcanic ash could shut down air travel for a week to 10 days or even more - there's no knowing! So, I want backup plan.

How (what website) do I go to for a train from London (Waterloo I believe) to Munich for our hotel reservation which begins on 4/25. After that we will be OK because we can train around Germany via bahn.de for our current hotel reservations, & then catch our QM2 transatlantic cruise in Hamburg back to the US - thankfully we are not flying back!

Thanks in advance, Julie
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 01:51 AM
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Try www.eurostar.com, trains leave from London St Pancras. (It used to be Waterloo.) You can buy through tickets from London to Munich, or you can buy a ticket to Paris or Brussels, and then buy a separate ticket to Munich on www.tgv-europe.com,. Search the forums here for tips and also www.seat61.com & also http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-tickets.cfm.

I was booked to fly yesterday from UK (East Midlands) to Dublin, but I joined many others and used the trains & ferry. One man I met had got a lift from Copenhagen to Maastricht, a taxi to Calais, boat to Dover, train to London, & on to Holyhead then Dublin-Galway. At least his company will pay for it all. Still it could have been worse if his flight had gone Thursday & hit the ash...
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 02:10 AM
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Since tgv-europe.com seems to be down currently, you can also check sncf-voyages.com . The single fare for London-Munich via Paris/Stuttgart is around 210-270 EUR.

On bahn.de you can get a connection London-Brussels-Frankfurt-Würzburg-Munich with a very late arrival (2.40 AM on Apr 26). The additional change(s) vs. the most convenient connection (London-Paris-Munich) might be a downside, but the upsides would be that you don't have to change stations in Paris (Nord->Est), but change trains in Brussels in same station. And you get that connection still online at bahn.de for 179 EUR pP in 1st class (discount fare for 2nd class not available anymore).
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 02:21 AM
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And there is still the bus.
Southhampton-Munich (one change at London Victoria coach station) for appr 140 GBP o/w for TWO people. Or just the direct bus from London Victoria for appr 100 GBP for 2, if you prefer to train from Southampton to London. But you won't arrive until next day (Apr 26) at 12 noon in Munich, and you will ride all day and night.
www.nationalexpress.com
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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If the ash continues to disrupt flights, eurostar will be very busy, so if you know what you want, buy it soon or fares will probably increase & availability will be scarce. Message on eurostar.com says...
"As a result of the disruption to air travel in Europe we are doing everything we can by adding extra trains to help passengers who are experiencing problems but inevitably our trains are extremely busy.
We would ask that you only come to our stations if you hold a confirmed reservation for travel."
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 02:54 AM
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Buses have to use the ferries too, and the ferries are full, as are the scheduled buses.
Though Eurolines have extra buses they can't get them on the ferries.
You could look at the Harwich Hook of Holland route, or even Hull Rotterdam, Newcastle Ijmuiden, but they are probably also full. If they aren't then you can get a train to Munich from the Netherlands.

KLM and Lufthansa have been doing some test flights and found no ash in the engines of the planes, so things may not actually be as bad as painted. That said they still aren't allowed to fly until the authorities give the go ahead, and things will be very chaotic for quite a while, even when flight begin again.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 03:03 AM
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I was able to run a reservation for 25 Apr with Eurolines/ National Express, and it showed availability for that service to Munich. If the service was fully booked, I'd assume the online reservation system would reflect that.
The upside of the bus connection (which under other circumstances would definetely not be my 1st choice) is that for a few GBP more, OP can get refundable tickets.

But I would hope that by next week, the situation will clear up (literally). Once the weather pattern over Central Europe will change, airlines will be able to resume flights, regardless whether the volcano remains active or not.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 04:38 AM
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"Once the weather pattern over Central Europe will change, airlines will be able to resume flights, regardless whether the volcano remains active or not."

I suggest you tell this to all the meteorologists out there who are continually telling us "we don't know how long this will last"
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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The reason they don't know how long it will last is that they can't see the current weather patterns changing for several days.

And if if the winds do change it will take some time for the existing ash to come out of the atmosphere - though after the weather today I doubt if there's any ash in the air over Scotland
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 07:42 AM
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Minor disruptions by volcano activites are not that uncommon.
What makes this event quite unique is that the air traffic of almost one continent is grounded without factual proof. After the eruption started, London VAAC issued the appropriate weather warning. Nevertheless, no one has (or has been able to) measure the density or even the actual existence of ash in the those flight levels affected. It's more or a less a forecast computed by available data on wind flow, and the existing high or low pressure areas. While the forecasts for areas within close proximity of the eruption should be quite correct, no one is able to say for sure if there is really a dangerous concentration of ash if more far away areas.
The airports in Eastern Germany have opened again today midday, but only for a limited time until 2000 CEST, and only for outbound Eastbound planes.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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You need to get together with fellow passengers.

Northern European airspace is a mess. That's not true further south. A responsible ship with a lot of non-British passengers would be adding a stop on the Continent from where people could get buses or trains to a major transport hub.

If you get off at Southampton, you'll just one of tens, going on hundreds, of thousands of Britons - most better resourced and more knowledgeable about options than you - trying to get to meetings and family funerals outside Britain: cross-Channel transport (including the tunnel) is fully booked for at least the next week.

Get off at Le Havre or Cherbourg, and getting a train - or driving yourself to - Germany will be a very great deal easier. If your ship hasn't planned a Continental stop, now's the time to get it to change its mind.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 11:47 PM
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flanneruk.. how true! So logical and it certainly would solve many problems.
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 03:09 AM
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yuk! i posted on this very expensive cruiseship internET & it didnt take! short = used yuor links; $600 plus for 2 of us london to munich by train; arduous trip!

have booked the entire 3 weeks that were supposed to be in germay in london - just in case - it is refundable.

flanneruk, good suggestion. that is what we are gonig to do now. we stop in lisbon; will check lisbon to munich by train. anyone know what train site that is?

thanks again, Julie
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 03:35 AM
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You'll find Lisbon-Munich a very great deal more arduous a train journey than London-Munich (normally, only 10 hrs and requiring changes only at Brussels and Cologne). The difference is, though, that you'll be able to get that train: chances of booking the London-Brussels leg in the next two weeks are getting lower all the time - and there's no realistic alternative. If you think a 10 hr journey's tough, you obviously won't want the passenger ferry options.

www.bahn.de
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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Forget London, get a ferry from the south cost of England (Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole etc.) to France and get a train from France to Germanny. Assuming you are foot passengers you should be OK. Ferries are running as normal but are booking up fast.

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/pr...ortsmouth-caen
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 05:38 AM
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Silver lining (a bit, maybe)

Austria opened the airports today. Several flights to Munich are currently scheduled for Salzburg, a short hop by train from Munich. But: There is no guarantee that Austria can keep the skies open.

Tour operators/ charter airlines started to fly home stranded tourists from the Med and Canary Islands to Munich proper, but with special permits and under VFR rules in German airspace. No regular flights allowed into Munich, yet.

Today, a small jet stuffed with all kind of testing equipment will bring scientists from Munich into "the cloud". So that for the first time ever, "the cloud" gets inspected from the inside to detect the density of ash and whether it is still dangerous to fly. The no-fly order remains into effect until 2am Tuesday for German airspace, though.
If those probes and tests turn out okay, the flight ban on German airspace may be lifted soon. If not,..

From Lisbon you can fly to Vienna (plus 4hrs by train to Munich), or you keep your fingers crossed that the scientists find nothing spectacular up there, and there will be regularly scheduled flights from Lisbon to Munich (Lufthansa or TAP) once you get to Portugal.
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Good news - the North of England and Scotland are opening air space tomorrow am - the rest should open later.
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