first trip to UK/Europe....want to do London/Amsterdam and Paris. We are also considering a short Rhine River cruise from Rudesheim to St. Goar; and 2 night stay in Germany. But we are not sure where we would stay in Germany to take this cruise....Frankfurt?...we would be taking train from Amsterdam....any help would be appreciated.
I would take the train to St. Goar and spend the 2 nights there. Then either (1) take the boat up to Rudesheim and train back or (2) take the train to Rudesheim and take the boat back. I would do (1) since i like the longer boat trip
thank you for your info....just a couple of other questions: does the train go directly to St. Goar from Amsterdam.....and how long are the cruises for both option 1 and 2?
"does the train go directly to St. Goar from Amsterdam" No, the best route is probably Amsterdam to Köln by ICE, then Köln to Koblenz by IC or RE, then Koblenz to St. Goar (or Bingen) by RB (MRB). You can see the boat schedule at www.k-d.com/english/home.
Carol, As this is your first trip to Europe, I'd highly recommend reading the Guidebook Europe Through The Back Door as it provides a lot of good information on "how" to travel well in Europe (especially "Rail Skills). Another location you could consider for a "home base" on the Rhine is the small town of Bacharach. It's a wonderful and historic small town, and I found it much nicer than St. Goar (IMHO of course). There are some nice Hotels and restaurants, and the KD boat dock is just a short walk across the street. From there you could take the cruise (perhaps on the Paddlewheeler Goethe) from Bacharach to St. Goar, tour Rheinfells Castle, have lunch and then return by train to Bacharach). Hopefully I've remembered the correct travel order that Lee usually recommends in terms of the direction to travel by boat (the travel time via boat is longer from St. Goar TO Bacharach). If you decide on that option, the train I'd use departs Amsterdam Centraal at 08:04, arriving Bacharach at 13:30 (time 5H:26M, one change at Köln, saver fares currently at €59 PP). Lee can provide further information on the fares and whether it would be more cost effective to pre-order tickets. This trip would be the easiest for you, as some of the other trains on that route have as many as four changes. If you're buying tickets at Amsterdam Centraal, note that they ONLY accept "Chip & PIN" credit cards (given your location, that shouldn't be a problem for you). Happy travels!
"We are also considering a short Rhine River cruise from Rudesheim to St. Goar; and 2 night stay in Germany. But we are not sure where we would stay in Germany to take this cruise....Frankfurt?" Your are wise to start the cruise not in Bacharach but south of there - either in Rüdesheim as you've planned, or in Bingen, which is basically just across the river. If you start in Bacharach, you'll miss out on some good scenery. Then cruise north to St. Goar, and you'll have seen the best part. Since this is best done without your luggage, your best plan is to catch a train from A'dam to St. Goar - drop your bags at your hotel there - then if you want to cruise that afternoon, catch another train south to Bingen when you're ready. (Bingen makes a little more sense since Rüdesheim is on the opposite river bank from St. Goar.) Boats leave Bingen at 14:30 and 16:30 (high season schedule beginning Apr. 27) and arrive in St. Goar 1 hr., 25 min. later. (If you cruise in the opposite direction, from St. Goar to Bingen, it takes 2 hrs, 40 min. to see the same scenery.) Bacharach has some fine old half-timbered buildings - nicer than the ones in St. Goar - but St. Goar is my preferred spot to stay in. The scenery there, w/ 3 castles visible from town, is the best in the valley. You can also use the ferry at any time of day to visit St. Goarshausen, another village just opposite St. Goar. I would recommend a visit to Bacharach the next day by train (10 min.) and also to Braubach's Marksburg Castle.
thank you to everyone.....your information was very helpful
We have taken the boat from Wiesbaden to St Goar and had no problem with our luggage (one suitcase each). We also used a hotel in St Goarshausen- immediately acroos the river from St Goar- connected by a frequent small ferry- so we had access to both. St goarshausen is quieter than St Goar