Rhine Valley from Frankfurt

Old Mar 14th, 2006, 12:39 AM
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Rhine Valley from Frankfurt

Heading to Frankfurt en route to Scandinavia and wandering the quickest and easiest way to cruise down the Rhine between Kobelz & Bingen (or which ever the most scenic route may be). We hope to see a few castles etc.

Can we start the cruise near frankfurt and return to frankfurt for our flight in a day or 2 ? How would be the easiest way ?

Thanks kindly
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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There used to be some day trips by boat from Frankfurt on the Main and then a bit down the Rhein, with return to Frankfurt. But frankly, that's a lot of travelling by boat.

I would take the train from Frankfurt airport to, say, Koblenz and pick up a boat there. You don't even have to go as far as far as Bingen. Get off the boat wherever it suits you and take the train back to Koblenz. Stay overnight there. If you have the time to add a day, go up the Mosel by boat a bit, perhaps as far as Beilstein.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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PS: For trains, check www.bahn.de.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 04:03 PM
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Below is the link for the KD Cruises (which operate regular schedule similiar to a ferry). Click on River Cruises,then Scheduled cruises,the timetable. They have different winter/summer schedules, when are you going? IMO, the most scenic part is Rudesheim/Bingen up to Boppard and back.
This takes between 3-4 hours. You can get on and off the boat.

http://www.k-d.com/englisch/index.html
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Whatever you do, go DOWN the river, from Bingen in the direction of Koblenz. Due to the strong current, the trip up the river, from Koblenz to Bingen, is excruciating slow.

The most interesting part of the river is between Bacharach and St. Goar. It takes about an hour. Unless you are really into boats, that should be enough. Spend the rest of your time visiting the interesting sights on the river, Bacharach, Rheinfels castle ruins, Marksburg.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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I pretty much agree with Larryincolorado about sailing downstream. However, my first Rhine cruise went upstream from St. Goarshausen to Rudesheim. The weather was beautiful and I enjoyed every moment. I would suggest borading in Bingen or Rudesheim and going at least as far as St Goar or St. Goarshausen. I definitely wouldn't care to board the boat at Mainz because the stretch between Mainz and Rudesheim isn't that interesting.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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Check out the KD website from Bob above. There are several day trip boat companies, but KD is the biggest/best and their website is very informational.

Th Rhine between Koblenz and Mainz is absolutely amazing, you will see so many castles.

You could, for example, take a train from Frankfurt to Bingen, from there you can take a KD boat up to Koblenz (about 4 hours) and then take a train back. It would be a very nice day trip, or you could spend the night somewhere along the way (Burg Gutenfels in Kaub is a nice castle-hotel) and come back the next day.

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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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There are railways on both sides of the river so you can get to any of the riverside towns from Frankfurt, then get a boat to another town and return by train. As others have said, it's quicker going downstream, ie from Bingen towards Koblenz (Koblenz to Bingen is upstream and takes longer). As well as KD, there are several other operators, including www.bingen-ruedesheimer.com.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Can you do all these things with your luggage and then get off and pick up a car, or is it an incredible hassle?

We arrive in Frankfurt and our first night is in Beilstein. We have planned on getting a car in Mainz.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Wren: You can usually get your luggage on the boat without it being a big hassle, but that depends on how much you have and on how you are getting to and from the boat.

In your case, I'd suggest the following.

It will probably be a bit of a hassle to train to Mainz and then pick up the car there, then drive out of town. There's usually a surcharge for a railway station pick up there too. I know the surcharge is even more at the airport, but that might be easier.

OR: take the train to Bingen, then plan a) stow your bags in the station lockers, then walk down to the docks for your boat cruise; return by train to Bingen and pick up the car there. Or plan b) pick up the car first, stow the bags in the trunk, and park it somewhere; proceed by boat and return by train as above. I don't know where you'll pick up the car in Bingen - probably the rail station.

You'd have plenty or good castle-spotting between Bingen and St. Goar as mentioned above.

Now, this is all premised on your needing to do this on your first day, which usually is difficult if you're tired or jet-lagged. It wouldn't be my plan.

What I'd try to do instead is to visit the Rhine for a day after Beilstein. Spend a couple of hours on the boat, walk through Bacharach, tour Marksburg Castle in Braubach, have a meal in St. Goar or Boppard, maybe take a chairlift ride in Boppard up to the Vierseenblick lookout. If you just ride the boat, you really aren't experiencing the place.

Another alternative if you can't do it afterward: just visit the Rhine towns and castles by car on the way to Beilstein (if you've got the energy on that first day) and save your boat trip for the Mosel. There's a beautiful boat ride between Beilstein and Cochem several times per day and on some evenings too.

Have a good trip.
Russ
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Thanks, Russ. We were originally going to pick our car up in Frankfurt. We had to change our return flight plans to come back 4 days later than originally. (I am sure you know how sad we were to have to do that!!) We were able to get the car for the same price if we picked it up in Mainz. So that is how that plan evolved! Is it really that much of a hassle to pick up in Mainz?

I think we may just do the Rhine visit another day when we are not jet lagged..it might be just a little too relaxing going down the river right after a long flight!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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I guess if you pick up at the train station in Mainz it won't be too bad. Mainz proper is a tangle of spaghetti-like streets but you should be able to follow signs from the station that will keep you out of the spaghetti bowl. If you have to pick up in Mainz Mombach or some other part of town, it could be quite a bit of trouble (I remember nixing Mainz as one of my pick-up spots on a recent trip for this reason.) I'd try to nail down the exact location for sure. I always try to pick up in a smaller town when I have a choice. I also have a basic rule that I just don't drive on my first day, period. I feel I need to be really alert behind the wheel there, so I usually plan a train ride somewhere, nap on the train or just relax, then pick up the car the next day or whenever I'm ready to move on - but then my flights begin in California, and I'm just not a great driver when I'm tired.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Russ, we are picking up at the downtown office on Hattenburgstrasse. Any ideas? We would consider another pick up point if you hve recommendation.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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I checked mapquest.de for HattenbErgstrasse (w/ an "E&quot and it is indeed out in Mainz-Mombach. I don't know why rental offices set up where they do sometimes. You'll need to take a bus or taxi from the main station to get out there, as far as I can tell, unless they are arranging to pick you up at the station or something. Unfortunately, just to be as ambiguous as possible, Autoeurope (this is your contact, right?) designates any distant rental office that is not at a station or airport as the "downtown" office . I'd give a call to the actual agency that is giving you the car (Autoeurope is just the middle man but they can tell you which company and office this will be, I should think) to see what the arrangement is or just pick up somewhere else; if you aren't planning to visit mainz anyway, that seems to make better sense to me. Autoeurope does allow you to change locations after making a reservation as I recall.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Are you familiar enough with the Rhine /Mosel to know of other major towns that we could go to pick up the car? I think I mentioned we will be headed to Beilstein. I guess taking a taxi isn't that big a problem otherwise.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 03:00 AM
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Wren:

If I'm understanding your itinerary correctly, I think if you're going to pick up in Mainz, then you might as well just simplify things and pick up at Frankfurt airport - going to Mainz doesn't shave off many km's from your drive.


You can also pick up with Autoeurope in Koblenz (mentioned above) if you can do so at that auto dealership behind the train station I mentioned (I think it's Mercedes) or if you can make some other convenient arrangement with the company, like having them deliver the car to the station or picking you up. Call them and see what they say. From there it's a short drive to Beilstein.


Other than that, you CAN look into Idar-Oberstein, Hahn airport, Bad Kreuznach, or Trier, all of which are Autoeurope locations but are somewhat out of the way for your destination. Hahn or Trier (where you can pick up at the station) would be pretty easy. To get to Hahn, there are a dozen or more buses per day that leave straight from Frankfurt Airport; trains serve the other locations.

Are you planning a visit to Trier before going north? It's a great little place, by the way. If so, you might first want to just take the train from Frankfurt to Cochem, where you take a bus (20 min.) to Beilstein. Then do the same to get to Trier and get your car there AFTER your Beilstein stay. See www.bahn.de for these connections.

Hope your are able to sort this out and have an enjoyable time.

Russ



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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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I believe Bingen has an AutoEurope partner. You could train to Bingen in less than an hour from FRA, catch your bearings there and pick up your car on the first or second day.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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Hi Russ, I think we will tough it out and stick with Mainz. Because we are arriving on a Sunday, many offices are closed in small towns. We could arrive in Koblenz, but the train station car rental office is closed there too. It seems like if we just get a taxi as soon as we arrive in Mainz, it shouldn't be too much trouble. We will avoid paying the hefty tax at FRA and after train and taxi still save about $90, which I would prefer to spend on a nice dinner!
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