My wife & I are looking to do a day cruise on the Rhine with KD River Cruises, traveling from Rudesheim towards Koblenz and back to Rudesheim on the same day. Do you pay for one ticket in each direction or does a one day ticket allow for travel in both directions? In the on-line KD brochure it appears there are several stops along the river where you could change direction. Are you allowed to pick which stop to change directions and return to Rudesheim?
The best cruise segment is the one which offers the most boats per day. Check the k-d 2022 schedule and you'll see 4 boats per day for Rüdesheim > St. Goar / St. Goarshausen. In normal non-covid years there have always been 5 boats - https://www.k-d.com/fileadmin/KD_Fahrplaene/KD_Fahrplan_intern_2022_web.pdf (Maybe 2023 will be back to normal. Have to wait and see when the new schedule appears.)
So you will be finished with this cruise in 1.5 hours. In 2023, it's possible that there will be 2-3 boats that continue past St. Goar to Boppard directly. This adds close to an hour of nice scenery to your cruise time if you just stay on the boat. With the current 2022 schedule however, you must change boats to continue north, with a pause in between.
Page down to the bottom to see standard cruise fares. R'heim > St. Goar = €23 one way, €25 r/t. To Boppard it's
€33 / 38. Read discount information there too.
I do not recommend cruising round trip. It is cheap but the trip back to R'heim will take 2x the travel time because of the strong river current, plus you are just repeating the scenery.
It is probably best to plan on a one-way cruise with some sightseeing in St. Goar or Boppard. From either town, you can use the train to visit other towns like Bacharach and Oberwesel. If you get off the boat on the opposite riverbank instead in St. Goarshausen, you can take a direct train back to R'heim, or a direct train to Braubach for a tour of Marksburg Castle, the very best Rhine -castle-visit; direct trains from Braubach get you back to R'heim afterward.
To amplify Russ' knowledgeable comments, note that the return trip you describe is also, upstream, so it's slightly slower. The train, even a local train making every stop, is vastly faster than the boat. I agree that there is no reason to have the same river view a second time the same day.
Koblenz has some scenery and attractions, but all the best boat scenery is Boppard and south.
Thank you for the information. Our total trip will taking us through Germany, Austria & Switzerland over 24 days, in which 3 nights will be spent with family in Potsdam, Germany at the beginning of our trip and 3 nights with family in Lutzelfluh, Switzerland at the end of the trip. In reading the K-D brochure and online Q&A, it appears you cannot take luggage onto the boat for a day cruise on the river. If true, we thought the only way would be to spend two nights in Rudesheim, cruise on the river part way and return to our origination spot, leaving our luggage at the hotel. Do you know if the luggage policy would allow us to take luggage on the boat?
I have taken luggage on the boat twice, altho it has been many, many years. In any event, don’t use the boat as transportation. Consider it a daily activity. Take it one way from Ruedesheim/Bingen to St.Goar/Boppard ( my choice ) and use the train otherwise.
Yes, you can take luggage on the ship. Everyone stores it below deck by the WC. Just be ready with it when you get near the dock.
The ride from Rüdesheim to St. Goar is usually enough and you get to see dozens of castles. Take the train from here to where ever you are going next.
I don't have the answer to your question as we took cruises in 2013 and 2015, however I want to share the info below.
My husband and I have taken five cruises on the Rhein with KD line. Twice we traveled to Koblenz from St. Goar and took a train back. We should have taken the boat round trip as it is a long walk to the train station. We walked around Koblenz for awhile before going to the train station. Koblenz has some pretty architecture and parks. We have also taken the train from St. Goar to Rudesheim for a day and took the boat back again. Another time we took a cruise St. Goar to Bingen and back as I wanted to visit the Hildegaard von Bingen museum in Bingen. I had done a lot of research on her. My husband, who knew little about her, enjoyed the museum as much as I did. We also took a day trip from St. Goar to Bacharach and return one day. We enjoyed all the trips. We traveled in October.
I know there are parts of the river which are more scenic than others. But we like being on a boat. We've met interesting people to chat with along the way. So if you want a trip to Koblenz and back go for it. If you want just the parts of the Rhein with the most castles and scenery follow the advice of other posters. I agree with them about the scenic parts.
Have a great time planning and happy travels.
I haven't done this in several years, but when I went to the DB site to book tickets from Boppard, St. Goar, St. Goarshausen or Koblenz, to Rudesheim (Rhein), they all showed trips with a train and then a bus. So I have to retract my suggestion that the train return is really fast and convenient. (I know the OP is considering a one way trip, I'm just surprised at my search result.) Maybe Russ can shed some light on this. I looked at Feb 14 at Noon.
The rail result was simple and fast for return to Bingen, which is where WE got on the KD boat.
You CAN take luggage on the boat. But how would that help you? To make your stay shorter? That's possible perhaps. You haven't mentioned any other intentions for the area. It sounds like maybe you are visiting the area just to take the Rhine Cruise. There are many good things (like Marksburg) to do in the area, and several nights would not be too many for some of us, but if 2 nights is one or two nights too many, and you only wished to cruise for a couple of hours and then move on to somewhere else, you should let us know what your plans are immediately before and after the Rhein, as there are ways to do just that.
Thank you Russ for your response,
We will be in Germany, Austria & Switzerland from 7/17/23 until 8/11/23. We are visiting family in Potsdam, Germany for four days and family in Lutzelfluh, Switzerland for three days at the beginning and end of our trip, respectively. In between we want to do a day trip on the Rhine, visit Salzburg, Munich, Hallstatt, Gruyere, Lauterbrunnen and Lucerne. We're trying to be flexible in our time & itinerary and are not sure we can dedicate more than two nights on the Rhine. Perhaps when we get there we will decide to extend our stay and would appreciate any suggestions for one or two additional days.
"...a day trip on the Rhine, visit Salzburg, Munich, Hallstatt, Gruyere, Lauterbrunnen and Lucerne."
Subtracting the 3 nights in Potsdam (flying into Berlin?) and the 4 nights in Lützelflüh (flying out of Zurich?) leaves you roughly 18 days to accomplish all that stuff in the middle as well as your airport ins and outs. It sounds possible, but your sequencing and your goals for the non-Rhine places aren't clear, so it's tough to say whether there's time for more than a day on the Rhine. To be honest, the Rhine seems like an outlier, a time-eating, 2-night detour as currently planned, all for a brief cruise. If you are fitting the Rhine nights in between Potsdam and Berlin as it seems you might be doing, there are in fact a lot of very fine things to see and do which are right in between those cities. Erfurt, Bamberg, and Nuremberg are all regular stops on the Berlin > Munich train route; one or more of these places could yield a much more streamlined itinerary - and would add regional variety to your Germany experience just as the Rhine would.