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Cologne to Basal river ferry? Cruise?

I did scan the most recent previous posts on this topic. I didn’t want someone to say I didn’t review. Unfortunately, it didn’t really apply to me. I don’t need a full route. I’m landing in Frankfurt, making my way down to Switzerland to do the trains. So I’m trying to find some unique ways of making my way down south. I’ve done the cruise north in the past by St. Goar to Bingen. I really enjoyed it.

If there aren’t any suggestions then I will travel through the Black Forest to Lucerne. I’m thinking:

1. Frankfurt
2. Baden Baden
3. Freiburg???

Then off to Switzerland?

Please if anyone has any suggestions or corrections to my route please share your thoughts. I’d greatly appreciate your feedback. I’m even willing to edit from Frankfurt.

Danke
Nova

Posted by
6628 posts

I’m trying to find some unique ways of making my way down south.... I will travel through the Black Forest to Lucerne. I’m
thinking:

  1. Frankfurt
  2. Baden Baden
  3. Freiburg???

Then off to Switzerland?

Hi, Nova! Happy to help.

Your current idea looks like the straightest, most direct shot possible between FRA airport and Luzern. It's a train trip of only about 4 hours! Let's use a specific departure time from FRA airport...

7:51 - An ICE train takes you from FRA airport straight to Basel (10:47) via Mannheim Baden-Baden, Freiburg, and other towns. You can see part of this train trip on the map below. This part from Mannheim to Basel is called the "Rhine Valley Railway."

https://de-academic.com/pictures/dewiki/75/Karte_Rheintalbahn.png

After you get off in Basel, you board a second train (11:03) that takes you to Luzern (12:05.)

You asked for "unique" ways of getting there, but this does not qualify as unique. And it keeps your travel mostly at lower elevations within the river valley - it does NOT go through the Black Forest.

So... have a look at that map again and find OFFENBURG. The small red arrow from Offenburg indicates a different train line that takes you into the higher elevations of the central Black Forest area and to towns like Gengenbach, Haslach, Triberg, and Villingen. See this train line, the Black Forest Railway, on the map below:

https://bollehood.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Schwarzwaldbahn1.jpg

This area would make for a good place to spend some time in the Black Forest before moving on to Luzern.

How much time do you have between FRA and Luzern? When will your trip take place?

Posted by
7270 posts

Month of year (big factor)

It's not your fault, but the word "cruise" is applied both to K-D type dayboats, and to old-folks (like me) sleep-aboard one-week and more on the river. It sounds like your Scenic Middle Rhine trip was upstream, so you don't care about slightly slower progress. I would guess that there's not that much to see, compared to St. Goar to or from Bingen.

Any reason you didn't fly to Basel or Zurich? There is a bit to see just between Zurich and Basel: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/switzerland/stein-am-rein-and-schaffhausen-switzerland
Posters here have both liked and not-liked Baden Baden. I haven't been there. I did like the BF, but it can be very busy in the summer, requiring advance hotel booking. Do you know that Freiburg does not participate in the free public transport tickets of the BF hotels in general?