transportation from Amsterdam to Basel

May 23rd, 2014, 06:24 PM
  #1  
ita
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transportation from Amsterdam to Basel

we have to get from Amsterdam to Basel in November to take our river cruise. Our agent told us the train trip is about 7 hours and costs about $250. Easyjet has an airfare for about $70. I am having difficulty accessing train schedule and fares online as it is not available today. I am counting on Fodorites to give me the information about this. I didn't realize that Basel and Amsterdam are so far apart. I guess I should be looking at a map.
ita is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 06:34 PM
  #2  
 
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For that route, I would fly. Do you already have tickets into Amsterdam? It doesn't seem to be a very convenient arrival point for a cruise from Basel. Can you change that?
Sassafrass is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 07:41 PM
  #3  
 
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Your travel agent is talking nonsense! They clearly can't access German Railways cheap fares, probably because they are a Rail Europe agent which is basically French Railways (SNCF) who can't sell the complete German Rail (DB) fares range, only the most expensive full-flex prices.

So $250? No! Make that $53!

I wouldn't spoil a relaxing cruise with a stressful flight, it's simply unnecessary. Take the train, bring a bottle of wine or eat in the restaurant car, put your feet up and relax on a train ride, a unique European experience.

You can choose the direct Amsterdam-Basel City Night Line sleeper train, or daytime trains.

Option 1. By day train from 39 euros ($53):

Day trains can easily be booked at the German Railways website www.bahn.de/en as follows. Book from Amsterdam Centraal (a stroll from most hotels) to Basel Bad Bf. You will then see fares from 39 euros.

You simply print your own ticket.

Booking opens 92 days ahead, so too early to worry about November yet, but if you book 2-3 months ahead you'll nab the cheapest fares. Try some test bookings now. 3 months from today.

Note that Basel Bad Bf is one stop short of the main Basel SBB station, but it's considered an extremity of the German rail network so Amsterdam-Basel Bad Bf works, fares appear, as one end is in 'Germany' (even though it's Switzerland!), but Amsterdam-Basel SBB won't work, no fares appear, as neither end is in Germany. You simply buy a ticket using the same system for a few euros Basel Bad Bf to Basel SBB if you need to end up at Basel SBB, no big deal.


Option 2, by time-effective sleeper train from 59 euros ($80):

. The City Night Line sleeper train leaves Amsterdam Centraal at 20:31 and arrives Basel SBB 06:36. Saves a hotel bill, and a sleeper journey is also a unique European experience.

Book at www.bahn.de/en (this is a direct German-run train, so bahn.de will sell to Basel SBB no problem on this departure). You print your own ticket.

Fares from 59 euros with couchette, 104 euros with bed in a 2-bed sleeper, shower at the end of the corridor, breakfast included, or from 134 euros per person in a 2-bed deluxe sleeper with en suite shower and toilet, breakfast included.

Tip: Sounds like you might be cruising the Rhine Valley anyway, but if you run your daytime Amsterdam to Basel Bad Bf enquiry with 'add stopovers' clicked and 'Koblenz' in the 'via' box it'll route you on the railway along the scenic Rhine Valley instead of on the hour-faster 175 mph high-speed Cologne-Frankfurt line. The Rhine Valley railway is the classic route, snaking past vineyards, castles, mountains and the famous Lorelei Rock of legend. It takes about an hour longer going via the 'old' route, but far more scenic!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 08:54 PM
  #4  
ita
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We want to spend 6 days in Amsterdam and would prefer to do it earlier in the month because we think there might be more daylight. Am I wrong? We haven't booked any airfares yet. This was the only cruise time that was available.

I am having trouble with the German train website but I will work on it.
ita is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 09:03 PM
  #5  
ita
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Man, you were right, I can't access anything for November yet. It is a long journey and seems to me that a plane is more convenient and as far as I can see, less expensive. I will work on the website
ita is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 10:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Just try test bookings a few months ahead from now to see how it works.

Remember that air fares come with booking fees, baggage fees, and the added costs of getting to and from the airports.

By train, what you see is what you pay, no hidden extras, and it's convenient centre to centre. 6h30 of relaxing.

A flight is far less convenient as you have to catch a train from Amsterdam to Schiphol, then spend an hour or two there, then the flight to Basel's remote airport, then a bus or taxi the rest of the way to Basel. 4h of not relaxing, or experiencing anything interesting or worthwhile.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 09:02 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I love training through Europe, though would rather fly than take an overnight train. Overnight can be a fun adventure, especially if you get your own cabin (if you don't, your amount and quality of sleep can be highly variable, depending on the noise and activity of others, and your typical sleeping positions & body length).

I've had nothing but good experiences with Easyjet, though anytime you fly within Europe, be sure to go to the website and examine the baggage policy with a fine-tooth comb - - it seems that every carrier is different. Easyjet will charge you for checked bags, and they can be up to 20kg (though multiple bags can be pooled so one bag can go over if another bag is under). What's nice is that there is no weight limit on your one allowable carry-on: http://www.easyjet.com/en/planning/baggage
dfourh is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 10:14 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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There are many river boat companies doing that route. Are you sure you can't find an earlier date on any of them?
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 10:54 AM
  #9  
ita
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my friend is adamant on going with Uniworld.
ita is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 12:19 PM
  #10  
ita
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it is $73 U.S. with 1 bag on Easyjet and the cruise picks you up at the airport. I think that it the way to go although the train would be fun
ita is offline  

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