I will be traveling with a 9 and 6 year old and must get from Munich to Venice for a cruise. When can I make train reservations and what do you suggest? They are seasoned travelers but I want to make this easy, as I am the grandma. Thank you
There are direct EuroCity trains departing at 07:38 and 11:38. Booking ASAP (up to 92 days allowed) on bahn.de (the German Rail site) can get you a 2nd class discount fare as low as 59E and a 1st class discount fare as low as 69E. In either case the children ride free if you book their tickets as part of a package under your name.
Choose Muenchen hbf as your departure station and Venezia Santa Lucia as your arrival station.
There are actually 5 Eurocity trains per day (every two hours) from Munich to Italy that go directly to Verona.
Only EC87, which leaves Munich at 11:38 goes all the way to Venice.
EC81, which leaves Munich at 7:38, stops at Verona on it's way to Bologna, and you must take another train from Verona to Venice. For the fastest connection, which uses another EC from Verona to Venice, the discounted Savings fare only covers Munich to Verona. You must purchase the ticket from Verona to Venice separately.
There is another Eurocity, EC85, which leaves Munich at 9:38 and also goes on to Bologna via Verona. The fastest connection uses an Italian ES train from there, and the entire trip can be ticketed with a Savings Fare.
There are two more Eurocity trains, EC89, at 13:38 and EC83, at 15:38, that go only as far as Verona.
The fastest connection with EC83 is also an Italian ES train and that entire trip can be ticketed with a Savings Fare.
For EC89, the fastest connection uses a regional train and that ticket cannot be combined on a Savings Fare. However, by excluding regional trains on the Modes of Transport, you can make the connection include an ES from Verona to Venice and be eligible for a Saving Fare.
There are also connections using night trains.
The EC81 looks good to me. I like this trip during the day, as you'll be going through some absolutely beautiful scenery.
It's only 75 miles from Verona to Venice, and you can pickup inexpensive tickets at the Verona train station when you arrive. Reservations are not taken on the regional trains, and they go frequently into Venice.
Given the fact that you're travelling with younger children, I'd suggest taking the 11:38 train mentioned by Lee. That will get you to Venice by about supper time, so if that works for the cruise schedule it's the easiest option.
That trip travels through the Brenner Pass, a trip I always enjoy. The train will stop for a short time at the border to change engines before continuing into Italy.
Here are some photos on EC 87 from Munich to Venice (departs Munich 11:31 AM), last September. We were on the left side of the train; beautiful scenery through Alto Adige, but I wish I could have had the view on the right side through Innsbruck.
The 07:38 train does go directly to Venice on Saturdays and Sundays. When checking the timetables I arbitrarily picked a Sunday and mistakenly assumed the schedule was the same every day.
And I arbitrarily picked a weekday.
Interesting, the weekend EC has the number EC1289, instead of EC87.
On weekends there are also two direct ECs back from Venice to Munich at 13:35 and 15:50. The second EC in only on weekends.