We booked a tour to see Bavarian Alps and Königssee lake. Our tour got combined with a Salt Mines tour without any warning. On the way there we waited for the Salt Mines tour participants to get inside Mines, for about 20 minutes. Then after over an hour driving we reached Königssee lake. We were only allowed to spend 15 (!!!) minutes there, mostly while walking through numerous souvenirs stands. The lake it self was hardly visible from that point, just a tiny part of it. To see the beautiful part we could get on the boat trip, but we did not have time for it. Well, apparently, we did have time, since upon arrival back to the Salt mines we waited for about 50 minutes sitting in the bus doing nothing. Nobody offered to refund our money (over 50 euro, I think), but our guide Marco very poetically encouraged people to tip him.
Yes, it's always amazing how on some tours there's not enough time to see the highlight of the tour but plenty of time in the souvenir shops (where the tour operators get a cut??) Which tour operator was it, so others can avoid ?
Yes, one should name names with tour recommendations, whether good or bad.
What kind of reviews did this company have on Trip Advisor? Are they in the Rick Steves book? Often, the bus tours have less than stellar reviews and they are run by huge international companies. You would probably have gotten a much better tour with a small, local tour company.
This trip would have been so easy to do on your own. The Watzmann Express bus (RVO 840) leaves hourly from in front of the Salzburg Hbf (and other places in town, like Mirabellplatz) and goes to the Berchtesgaden Hbf. If you purchase (from the driver) an RVO Tagesticket (all day pass) for 9,80€/person, you can ride the Watzmann Express round trip from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden and use other buses in Berchtesgaden, all on the same pass. Most buses in Berchtesgaden leave from the bus stop in front of the Berchtesgaden Hbf (bus 842 goes to Königssee).
If you did the trip on your own, you would have plenty of time to do the lake cruise.
Note, the last RVO bus back to Salzburg leaves Berchtesgaden Hbf at around 6 pm (1815). If you wish to leave later, the train runs until 10:09 PM. If, instead of the RVO Tagesticket, you purchase (on the bus in Salzburg) a BGL-Tagesticket Bus & Bahn ticket, for 12,-€, you can ride the train back to Salzburg (via Freilassing).
Thank you very much everyone for your replies. The name of the company was Salzburg Sightseeing tours, the bus leaving from Mirabellplatz.
I also found out later how easy and how much better it would have been to go on our own. It was impulsive, rainyweather decision and - a bad one. Just want other travellers to keep away from it.
I am happy that it worked finally out for you. you can experience the location by yourself. It is not so huge and you can reach pretty much everyplace by feet or with the ship.