I have viewed the web sites of "K-d" and "Ruedesheim Bingen" companies. If I am reading this correctly it appears that there is no possibility of a trip from Ruedesheim to St. Goar during the first three weeks of March. Does anyone have experience with Rhine River travel at this time of year? Thank you
It's too cold for cruising in early March and there's almost no demand for regular cruises at that time, so K-D and others do not offer a guaranteed travel schedule.
That said, K-D is willing to take your € and put you on a boat if there are enough slightly daffy people who sign up in advance for a cruise (enough for them to make the trip financially worth their time, that is.)
Check out this abbreviated winter schedule - they'll send one boat from Rüdesheim north at 10 am through the most scenic section (to St. Goar) if the numbers make sense to them.
But I would instead plan to do the river by train. Trains run from well before dawn until around midnight; there are 10 local trains every morning before 11 am that make their way from Bingen north to Koblenz along the west bank of the river, stopping in all the towns along the way, and it's easy to hop off in these towns and back on the next train (much easier than hopping with the skimpy boat schedule even in peak season.) Trains on the east bank provide equally good opportunities for viewing the river and hopping on and off, so you could travel north along one bank and south along the other.
Where are you starting from? The inexpensive Rheinland-Pfalz daypass will get you from most nearby cities to the Rhine Valley and around the area by train.
Thanks for the train idea. We are based in Ruedesheim.
From Rüdesheim, you can catch a direct train north along the east bank of the river to Braubach (about 45 minutes on the train) for a tour of Marksburg Castle. Marksburg is open all year long. Then catch another northbound train to Koblenz (about 11 min.) where you change trains. You can then travel southbound along the west bank to towns like Boppard, St. Goar. Oberwesel and Bacharach, depending on your interests. Cross the river by ferry in St. Goar (St. Goar ferry runs all day long and is free with the R-P ticket mentioned above) and catch a train south to Rüdesheim. OR: continue south along the west bank to Bingen and use the ferry to cross back over to Rüdesheim (ferry price is not included in the R-P ticket.)
The R-P ticket mentioned above is good at any hour on Sat or Sun and on weekdays after 9 am; trains leave Rüdesheim for Braubach at 9:07 on weekdays.
This isn't particularly helpful, but I do see excursion boats on the Rhine pretty much year round, although less frequent during the colder months. I don't know which companies run all year or where they stop (if anywhere), but you can probably find more information in Rüdesheim.
If you're basing out of Rüdesheim, check out nearby Eberbach Abbey. And check out some of the live music the restaurants in Rüdesheim usually offer, although the town isn't too lively usually in March.
I completely agree with all posters. That said, the view from the boat is better than the view from the train or a car. So if things work out for boat, and you are dressed warmly, I wouldn't pass it up.
The key decision to make is whether you want to hit multiple towns on foot, or settle for the view. As long as you visit one castle, the decision is up to you.
Oh, and if you're worried about the weather... the boats I see running in the colder months have enclosed viewing areas.
I did the ship from Rüdesheim to St. Goar once during a cold, rainy day. We got on and went to the back of the boat and turned ou chairs around so that we could look out of the huge window that goes across the entire stern. The view was great, even though it was raining. Lots of German senior citizens were on the ship and when we went past the Lorely and the song came on over the speakers, they all burst into song, singing along with it. What a treat!
Speaking of the Lorely, this is probably one of the biggest let downs for many people. First of all, it just looks like one more green hill/cliff, and if you didn't know it was higher, you would go right past it. There is a small spit of land that goes out and along the Rhine and at the end is a small brass statue of a river nymph. If you blink, you will miss her.