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From Mainz- Day trip down Rhine

Hi. We are staying in Mainz a few days in Oct a the end of our trip. I've been reading posts about Rhine River Cruises and it seems my husband and I should train to Bingen in morning to catch a cruise from KD boat port down to Boppard. Then we'd like to train back to Bacharach to spend time wine tasting and having lunch before returning to Mainz by train. A few questions:
1) Do I need to reserve cruise tickets ahead of time? We know our day and it's a Fri In mid-Oct (so off season) or some are saying we just need to show our train pass to get on for free.
2) Is train station easy to find in Boppard?
3) Do I need to reserve train passes ahead of time for Mainz to Bingen, Boppard to Bacharach, Bacharach to Mainz or just get day of at station.
Thanks

Posted by
20461 posts

1) They are big boats and in October they will be unlikely to sell out. Unheard of really, but I suppose it could happen.
2) Deutsche Bahn schedule says a 15 minute walk from the dock to the train station, so it must be about a half mile or so. Not sure of the exact dock location, but people there will be happy to give directions.
3) For the two of you, you could travel on a Rheinland-Pfalz ticket for 29 EUR and ride any regional train after 9 am weekdays, or anytime on weekends. That would preclude making the 9:30 boat from Bingen on a week day, but you could buy local tickets for the first leg in the morning. You buy out of kiosks or buyat a window for a 2 euro service fee. You also get a discount from KD if you show your R-P ticket.

There is KD boat leaving from Mainz at 9:45, but would not get you to Boppard until 13:50.

Posted by
6802 posts

1.) No need to reserve. There is no pass which allows you to get on K-D cruise boats for free, AFAIK. THERE IS free passage available on some of the FERRY boats with the R-P ticket day pass, however - perhaps you've confused ferries with cruise boats? Many people do.

St. Goar ferry: http://www.schiffbilder.de/1024/personen-fahrzeugfaehre-loreley-vi-zwischen-18381.jpg

2.) It's less than 15 minutes. See map and use zoom feature on the waterfront to locate the Koeln-Duesseldorfer boat ramp and "DB" (station.)

http://www.rundumboppard.net/index_htm_files/4388.jpg

3.) The R-P day pass will indeed cover all your trains - if you depart Mainz after 9 am. If you leave earlier buy two price-level 5 E6.90 RNN tickets to Bingen from a ticket machine. Buy the R-P ticket Sam mentions at the same time for the trip back to Mainz from Boppard - it saves you a few Euros off the normal fare.

Your 9:30 cruise to Boppard means arriving at about noon (10:30 cruise - 13:00 arrival.) I wouldn't rush back to Bacharach for lunch, as Boppard is a great town with a large number of good places to eat several wineries, some interesting sights, a chairlift ride to an amazing lookout point, and a nice riverfront promenade.

Boppard's river promenade
Gedeonseck terrace, a short walk from top of Chairlift
Boppard's market square
Weinhaus Roemerburg - popular restaurant with walls from ancient Roman settlement here
Severus Stuben - in a narrow old-town alley
Boppard's half-timbered "tea house"

Suggest you visit Bacharach (or Oberwesel, or Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar) after some time in Boppard, on the return trip to Mainz.

Posted by
2484 posts

It isn't far to the train station. It would be easier to have a map printed out, but if you don't, people will give you directions - they did for us.

Posted by
16894 posts

The K-D Line offered free travel to German Rail Pass and Eurail Pass holders for many years, through an agreement they made with Deutsche Bahn. But that has now changed to a 20% discount, available regardless of whether you are using a counted travel day on a flexi style of rail pass. I don't see any mention of a boat discount with the Rhineland-Pfalz day ticket, but would ask when you buy the ticket, just in case.

Posted by
2484 posts

20% discount is given with R-P ticket. I believe it is given with any train ticket.

Posted by
19170 posts

Here is a map of Boppard. To get up to the station, you basically walk uphill and to the right. Depending on where you start (the K-D dock is about where the map says "Schiffsanlage") go up hill until you get to Oberstrasse or Herrstrasse. From Oberstrasse, go right until you get to Herrstrasse, then go up one more block to Koblenzer Strasse. The station should be a little farther on the uphill side of Koblenzer Strasse.

BTW, let me compliment you on saying, "down the Rhein". Most people think of it as up the Rhein, because it is up on the map, but the Rhein flows downriver to the NW. This is important because travel down on the map is uphill, against the strong current, and takes longer.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you all for the input a few weeks ago. How do I buy the train tickets ahead of time?? Do I use a travel website or the train website directly. Also, I'm being advised to buy a Bayern ticket from Munich to Nuremberg to/from Bamberg/Rothenberg/Wurzberg. Where do I buy that ticket if I want to buy ahead of time as well? I understand I may have missed the big discount not booking 91 days in advance.

Posted by
6802 posts

"I'm being advised to buy a Bayern ticket from Munich to Nuremberg to/from Bamberg/Rothenberg/Wurzberg."

Not very clear exactly what journeys you plan to take or when - you're traveling to these 4 different cities - on 4 separate days?? Are you making day trips from Nuremberg to the towns afterward - or staying over in those towns?

Lee has already outlined a ticketing strategy for you - on THIS TRAINS vs. DRIVING THREAD whereby you can...

...use the Bayern Ticket (a day pass) to Nuremberg
...the VGN Tagesticket Plus (another day pass,) either one-way or round-trip on the same day, for Nuremberg-Bamberg or Nuremberg-Rothenburg.

For Nuremberg-Wuerzburg you can use the Bayern Ticket again. Use the links I provided in this post to read about the ticket details.

You do not pre-purchase any of these tickets - Buy all from a ticket machine at the station. If you pre-purchase now for October there's no changing your mind - they aren't refundable - so just buy them there as you go, and then, if you need to, you can adjust your plans day by day. Cost is the same now as it is in October.

For Mainz-Bingen by train and the return to Mainz w/ a stop in Bacharach, use a Rheinland-Pfalz ticket (day pass) bought from a ticket machine in mainz.

So are you traveling also by train from Rothenburg to Mainz? You probably want to pre-purchase a DB saver fare ticket for the date in question for this longer trip. Lee gave you a link previously but here it is:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en - be sure to read the ticketing details (transfers, refund policy, etc.)

Start: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Destination: Mainz Hbf

You may have other long distance trips in mind - I do not know - but as far as I can tell this one ticket is the only one you might need to pre-purchase on line.

Posted by
16 posts

We want to train Munich to Salzburg on a Sun in late Oct. Do I need to buy train tickets for 2 ahead of time? We can only go that day or maybe Sat before if Sunday is not a good day to travel to Salzburg.

We plan to take trains in Oct:
Munich to Nuremberg Mon .
Nuremberg to Bamberg and back Tues (Day trip)
Nuremberg to Rothenberg to Wurzberg Wed (Day trip)
Wurzberg to Mainz Thurs
Mainz to Bingen and cruise to Boppard, then train back through Bacharach then Mainz Fri
Mainz to FRE Sat.

I have not booked any trains. Based on this itinerary, do I need to pre-book any trains to save time and sanity? (now that you have an idea of our plan?) Thank you for your time.

Posted by
6802 posts

"We want to train Munich to Salzburg on a Sun in late Oct. Do I need to buy train tickets for 2 ahead of time? We can only go that day or maybe Sat before if Sunday is not a good day to travel to Salzburg."

No pre-purchase needed. Use the Bayern Ticket, travel at any hour on Sunday or Saturday.

"We plan to take trains in Oct:
Munich to Nuremberg Mon ."

Use the Bayern ticket or the Regio-ticket Nuremberg on regional trains (2 hrs, E28/2, lv. after 9 am.) No pre-purchase needed. OR... pre-purchase a train-specific saver fare ticket for two on long-distance, high-speed trains at whatever price is available from DB for your date. (This is the same advice Lee gave you back on 6/12.)

"Nuremberg to Bamberg and back Tues (Day trip)"

VGN Tagesticket Plus, no pre-purchase, travel at any hour, see my post on this thread and Lee's from 6/12.

"Nuremberg to Rothenberg to Wurzberg Wed (Day trip)"

Bayern Ticket day pass, lv. after 9 am, no pre-purchase, see our previous posts on the Bayern Ticket.

"Wurzberg to Mainz Thurs"

You may want to pre-purchase a saver fare this one - around 2 hours on the fast trains, maybe E40-E60 for two if you buy now - but penalties apply for any changes of plans. OR use the Quer durchs Land ticket day pass, E52, and travel on the regional trains only after 9 am. , no pre-purchase needed.

"Mainz to Bingen and cruise to Boppard, then train back through Bacharach then Mainz Fri"

Rheinland-Pfalz ticket day pass, E29/2, lv. Mainz after 9 am, no pre-purchase needed

"Mainz to FRE Sat."

RMV ticket from ticket machines at the station - just like all the other tickets you're buying on the spot. Ride local/regional trains only, E8.25 each I believe, no pre-purchase, travel any hour.

"I have not booked any trains. Based on this itinerary, do I need to pre-book any trains to save time and sanity? (now that you have an idea of our plan?) Thank you for your time."

No. Only if you want the Munich-Nuremberg trip or the Wuerzburg-Mainz saver fare ticket for the high speed trains. But I wouldn't buy it myself. You only save 30 minutes or so on the latter and 60 on the former - and you have schedule flexibility with the QDL ticket day pass and the Bayern Ticket or Regioticket Nuremberg day pass on the regional trains - no penalties for a change of plans. Just leave yourselves some time at the station to buy the tickets there. There's a learning curve with the machines but they're all accessible in English I believe.

I think your time in Wuerzburg (be sure to spell that right when you search train schedules) may be too short with a stopover in Rothenburg (spell that right too, with "ob der Tauber" added, for proper scheduling.) Nuremberg seems compromised too. But of course that depends on your sightseeing plans.

When you search the DB site for schedules on any of the "day pass" days you have to specify "only local transport" under "other changes" in order to get eligible trains. If you don't you'll get schedules for ineligible trains - the long-distance IC, ICE, and EC trains for example. Fines for riding those with the wrong tickets are substantial.

Posted by
16 posts

With all this planning, why hasn't anyone suggested my husband and I get a twin German Rail Pass for making all these train trips above. There is a sale right now and it looks like we would save a ton by just getting a rail pass for 7 days in 1 month. We actually need trains for 8 or 9 days, but we can just buy tickets at station for days we are traveling to/from airport, right? Are there any negatives to getting this pass that you know of? Thanks.

Posted by
6802 posts

"With all this planning, why hasn't anyone suggested my husband and I get a twin German Rail Pass for making all these train trips above..."

In your posts, you've asked only about individual journeys. Your last list of journeys (8/2/2016) listed only 6 days of travel. Except for the VGN ticket for your day trip to Bamberg (which costs €18.70/2) I provided the approximate costs for those journeys at that time. Add €18.70 to the other costs I gave you, and you'll have a total of around €170 or less - right?

"...There is a sale right now and it looks like we would save a ton by just getting a rail pass for 7 days in 1 month..."

The German rail pass promo offers a 7-day consecutive twin-pass for €330, right? (That's a pass for 7 days in a row - not for 7 days in a month.) So it was not in my best judgment to suggest that you spend twice as much for those six days of travel.

"Are there any negatives to getting this pass that you know of?"

You mean besides the much higher price?

  • When you buy a rail pass, you buy the full 7 (or whatever number) days. You cannot refund 1 or 2 days of the pass. You can only refund the entire pass (at a charge of 15%.) But with the ticket strategies I gave you, there's no need for any refunds at all. You buy as you go and change your plans at will without penalty.

  • With a rail pass, you must pay extra for inner-city transportation. With the Bayern Ticket and the VGN ticket, you can hop on a tram, bus, or subway in Nuremberg or Munich.

  • With a rail pass, there's a bit more bureaucracy involved... You must pull out and present your passport to train personnel when the pass is checked. You must get the pass authorized upon arrival in Germany by a DB official. You must enter the travel dates accurately in ink without error and without corrections prior to boarding the first train of the day. If you lose the pass, you lose all 7 days worth. Also, only certain GRPs can be printed out at home - otherwise you must concern yourself with the chance it gets lost or delayed in the mail.

(Of course, there is some measure of convenience in the rail pass as well - you don't need to use ticket machines every day.)

If you now have 2-3 additional days in mind, we will need the specifics - from where to where, what days, etc. - to give you the best advice.

"we can just buy tickets at station for days we are traveling to/from airport, right?"

(You already mentioned the trip to FRA airport. You fly into MUC, right? The trip from MUC airport to Munich costs around €20/2 adults, FYI.)

Posted by
20461 posts

I think the only one who would recommend a German Rail Pass for your itinerary, would be a travel agent with an eye on the commission.
Here is a short you tube video on how to buy a Bayern ticket (or other Laender tickets) from a ticket machine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K8ntCMIHjk
Similar for VGN tickets. Saves you 2 EUR over buying at the ticket window.
There are other you tube demos on buying point-to-point tickets. Just google "how to buy deutsche bahn tickets from machine, youtube".

Posted by
19170 posts

You must enter the travel dates accurately in ink without error

This statement deserves some further elaboration. In Europe, numbers are written differently than in our country. A one is not a single stroke but two, kind of like a seven with a droopy top bar. A seven, to distinguish it from a one, has a cross bar in the middle of the vertical stroke. It's important to follow the European model. I once heard of someone who filled in the field on the 7th day of the month. It was an American seven, with the top bar not strictly horizontal and without the cross bar. The conductor claimed it was a one, and that they had used the pass six days earlier. They had to "correctly" fill in a new field, thus losing a day of the pass.