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Germany Itinerary Efficiency Check - Please

Hello
Hope everyone is doing awesome.

We are heading to Germany for 10 days (including travel days) after (a TransAtlantic cruise, a 3 day land based to Bath UK. then Ireland/Scotland cruise.

We disembark in Southampton UK
Intentions: Trip to Germany based on Ludwig

Here is where we need an efficiency check...

Get off the cruise, train to LHR (this will take 3 hours or so, causing a later than desired landing time)
Fly LHR to Munich (because I dont know any other quick way to get to Munich or Fussen area)
Get into Munich pretty late 6:15 pm (at the earliest if we think we can make the flight at LHR) on up to 10:15 pm (if we take a flight we know we will definitely have a longer hand out time at the airport). Dependent on what flight we take.
Then train again to hotel. This will make for a very long travel day.

Spend the night in Munich at Holiday Inn Munich City Center (because its on the train stop)
Day 2: go to Nymphenburg in the am
Day 2 afternoon & pm: Go back to hotel, pick up luggage & hop on train to Fussen to check into hotel.

We would want to be at Lake Weissensee kiosk, Füssen May 28 at 7:00 PM - for a Alphorn blowing concert (Day 2 sounds exhausting even as I type this)
Day 3: Bus from Fussen Going to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles as well as Museum. and bus back to Fussen Hotel. Husband was at the Neuschwanstein castle 40 plus years ago and wants to see it again.
Day 4: Hang out in Fussen, hike & visit the town
Day 5: Hop on train up to Rhine River Area (this seems like a long ride)

OR
train Southampton to LHR, fly LHR into Munich, (still getting in very late) train same night to Fussen
Day 2 & Day 3: Complete interests in Fussen
Day 4: Train from Fussen to Munich, check into hotel, go to Nymphenburg in the afternoon.
Day 5: Train from Munich to Rhine area

Is there any other way, because we don't know what we don't know. Or are either of these preferrable one over the other?

Need efficiency check on Rhine River plan as well, if you don't mind, but will post separate.

As always, thank you all in advance for your expertise!

Posted by
5149 posts

Regarding Fussen-
Have you checked the N'stein website regarding renovations going on? If this is still in progress, it may affect your experience. Also, is the St Mary's Bridge currently open? Just a few issues to research.
We were there precovid, and I found the N'stein tour to be uninspiring and only 30 minutes, with significant time spent standing in lines, even with timed tickets. The HohenschwanguaPalace tour was interesting and worthwhile, but a challenge to coordinate both times efficiently.
However, the grounds are beautiful, and the Zugspitze is nearby.
Have a great trip.

Posted by
7568 posts

I have not been to Neu'stein, mainly because it is denigrated on this newsboard as too recent construction and too crowded and touristy. Burg Eltz and a few really old Middle Rhine castles are revered here. I like the Wartburg for authenticity.

Your trip has a brutal pace for me, what I (unfairly) call a Rick Steves Death March. It seems to imply that one tiny part of Bavaria is the most important thing in Germany. While your organizer is 100% entitled to his opinion, I do not agree. Have YOU ever set foot in Germany?

I am generally opposed to combining the UK and the continent. Where are you flying home from?

Posted by
6715 posts

The best way from Southampton to Heathrow is to not route through London.

Instead train to Woking for the rail/air bus (you can buy a through fare);
or probably the fastest route- train to Basingstoke then the 730/731 bus to Heathrow £4 each, pay on board)

or National Express bus direct at 0945 arrive 1200 and 1145 arrive 1400 and broadly every 2 hours.

There is also an hourly direct train from Southampton to Gatwick Airport, south of London (journey time 2 hours)- there may be suitable flights from there.

I always caution people about NOT cutting disembarkation times/onward travel too tight. For all sorts of reasons cruise ships (weather, medical emergencies at sea, pilotage etc) can and do run late or even sometimes to a different port. I have been a full working day (close on 10 hours) late before now. It is more sensible to have too much time rather than stressing out because you cut things too tight.

Posted by
2483 posts

Your disembarkation should not be a problem since you are just going around the British Isles so it is unlikely that the ship will be late plus there should be not customs problems.

The travel fron Fussen to the Rhine area takes 6-7 hours. We did it. It’s really no problem. I see that there are some good fares right now.

Posted by
6798 posts

Intentions: Trip to Germany based on Ludwig

Somewhat unusual for this guy to be front and center on a Germany Itinerary. But if he truly is your main interest, I am surprised that both your itinerary options have you leaving Bavaria so soon. What about Linderhof? And what about Herrenchiemsee? A stay in Munich and Füssen will probably put you closer to these destinations than you will ever be for the rest of your lives.

Have you considered heading to the opera to really put yourselves in a Ludwig II / Wagnerian state of consciousness? Berlin might be your place this year...

https://deutscheoperberlin.de/en_EN/home-ring

It's super easy to travel Munich > Berlin these days. 4 hours by direct train. Have lunch in Munich, board the train, have dinner in Berlin.

Posted by
6715 posts

Your disembarkation should not be a problem since you are just going around the British Isles so it is unlikely that the ship will be late

It doesn't matter where the ship is sailing. Incidents can occur at any time, anywhere. Cruise ships have been delayed a day before now coming back from Cherbourg to Southampton and Portsmouth on one of the D Day anniversaries when an unseasonal storm blew up. A strong reality check, not false re-assurances is needed.

Posted by
16 posts

@ Pat – great tip to check renovations. Two of the rooms have been finished. The rest is ongoing. There is a part of the hiking path that has been closed. However, the bridge is currently open. Thanks to your mention, I discovered where on this link to stay up to date on what is happening. https://www.hohenschwangau.de/en

@ Tim – I have never been to Germany. Based on our preferred travel style, which is to cruise over land-based trips, we are more than comfortable getting a taste of a place. If we like a country enough, we can always return. Germany was also on the roster for our trip, later again this year, for the Christmas markets along with Portugal & Spain. However, New Zealand & Australia has won out for year end.
We are flying home from Frankfurt. Got a killer deal on business class flights from FRA – LAX.

@ isn31c – this is fabulous info. Just what I needed to know, to fill in the gap of what other options are there that we just don’t know are available.
We agree, we typically enjoy the lounges in the airports vs running to the tarmac. More time is better for our style.

@ stephen – thankfully we’ve only got stuck once and it wasn’t the ship, it was customs crawling at a snail’s pace during disembarkation.

@Russ – We know the 1st time we visit, we aren’t going to want to cover all the country has to offer, so we pick a theme. It keeps us fun & focused. Thank you so much for the other thoughts on learning about Ludwig. We will note those possibilities. This is why we always ask on this forum. We always learn that we don’t know, what we don’t know.

geovagriffith – this looks like our kind of place. Seems easy enough to get to from Munich. Thanks for sharing.

With all the trains we will be taking, I will study the other posts on which train card/savings to get, if any.
Any opinion on preference of going to Munich or Fussen first, with intention toward Ruedesheim for the Rhine part of the trip?

Posted by
6798 posts

With all the trains we will be taking, I will study the other posts on
which train card/savings to get, if any. Any opinion on preference of
going to Munich or Fussen first, with intention toward Ruedesheim for
the Rhine part of the trip?

  • I suggest avoiding the temptation to adopt some other traveler's ticketing strategy - or to heed the advice given to some other traveler doing some other set of journeys. Ticketing involves just way too many variables for that to work in your favor. Once you nail down all your train journeys, you can post them with dates, travel times, etc. and get good advice here.

  • Traveling Munich > Rüdesheim... Long trips like this one will surely involve ICE or other long-distance trains. You can't travel such long distances in reasonable time frames using day passes or the Deutschlandticket, both of which restrict travel to regional trains only.

Your trip can be accomplished in less than 5 hours. You want a journey with as few changes of train as possible in order to avoid delays and other issues.

Also, because your sightseeing time in Bavaria is short enough already, I advise including some daytime sightseeing there before you board your first train on this long trip. Leaving in the afternoon and arriving after dinner time is a sound strategy, I think, for longer trips. Your current departure date for the Rhine trip looks to be 5/31; I checked this date to look for good journeys from Munich Hbf to Rüdesheim(Rhein) and found these departures - with just one change of train at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf:

14:47
15:51

Saver fare tickets are relatively inexpensive but non-refundable, so make sure you can commit to the travel conditions before purchasing.

Also... make sure of course that R'heim is where you wish to end up. If you will be in the area for a few days, you might want to choose a different travel base town. I often recommend Boppard, which has a more central location for most Rhine/Mosel outings as well as riverfront hotels and dining - and also provides free train transportation during your stay.