Western Germany river cruises

Going to Kaiserslautern / Ramstein AFB, and would like to include a river cruise and other one day/mult day trips with rental car including aero museum- any suggestions?

Posted by Gary Mc
Salt Lake City
717 posts

I was stationed at nearby Landstuhl, though many years ago, and enjoyed traveling from that area. I can not help with the cruises. KD lines on the Rhine are one of the best known: http://www.kdrhine.com/ The Rhine and Mosel Rivers were our favorite day trips. On the Mosel, we liked the drive from Trier (extensive Roman ruins) to Koblenz. Bernkastel-Kues was a good stop. Burg Eltz is a famous castle along the route. The Rhine from Koblenz to Bingen is very scenic. My favorite stop was St. Goar with the Rheinfels Castle Ruins. Bacharach is beautiful village. Marksburg Castle is another famous stop. We also liked to drive west to Verdun for a multi course French meal at le Cog Hardi. It was years ago but I see that it still gets rave reviews. Most of southern Germany is open for the equivalent of a long weekend trip. I would start with the Michelin Green Guide, which is designed for car travel. A couple maps at the front will layout principal sites and suggested driving routes. Use Viamichelin.com to calculate distances and driving times.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

"including aero museum" Just wondering which one you mean. The Auto and Technik museum in Sinsheim? The museum right by Frankfurt International Airport? Both are within a daytrip's drive from Kaiserslautern.

Posted by Neil
Keystone, Colorado, USA
44 posts

Thank you for that info. We are going in one week and staying with my step daughter in Landstuhl (USAF) for about a week and then a Tannenbaum bus trip to Zermatt for Thanksgiving. Those are very good suggestions for Landstahl and it is the Tecknik museum we were wondering about. Any other suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated. Any references or suggestions for WW I and WWW II history for that specific area? Much thanks Neil

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

Verdun isn't too far from Landstuhl, but you won't find any WWI stuff in Germany (correct me if I'm wrong, but none of the war occurred on German soil), except for the war memorials practically every town has. For WWII history in Germany, it's more a matter of what's missing than what's there. Kaiserslautern would be a good example. The pre-war city was virtually obliterated. The Thingstätte in Heidelberg is one of the few intact remnants of the Third Reich in the area, that I know of. I'm aware of a Nazi-era military resort that's still standing in the Eifel mountains, but I've never visited and I couldn't say if it's open for visitors.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Neil, I'm assuming you're interested in a river cruise that only takes a few hours? I can't recall when the U.S. Thanksgiving is, but if November I'm not sure the usual KD Cruises will be operating then? One possibility would have been to park in Bacharach and then travel to St. Goar. Take the train back to pick up the car. One significant WW-II site in that general area is the famous Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen (north of Koblenz on the Rhine), which Eisenhower said "was worth it's weight in gold". It was captured by the U.S. 9th Armoured Division (and others). There's a small "Peace Museum" there in the towers, and while fairly small, it's well done. What type of "aero museum" did you have in mind? Happy travels!

Posted by Judy
Adelaide, SA, Australia
802 posts

We recently visited the Aero Technik Museum in Speyer. Not sure how far this from Kaiserslautern. It was an amazing place. Well worth a visit.
Just checked the distance. It's 79.7km about a one hour drive.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

Speyer is probably less than 90 minute drive from Kaiserslautern. Hmm, I didn't realize there was an Aero museum there as well as Sinsheim. Ken is correct, KD does not operate after early October. I do see excursion boats offered by other companies, but I don't know anything about them except for Viking. But these are multi-day cruises, which doesn't seem to be what you had in mind.

Posted by Neil
Keystone, Colorado, USA
44 posts

All great suggestions for that area and I have learned a lot from them - one suggestion lead to tracesofwar.com which is amazing - every town and what is there. Thingstatte, Verdum, Maginot Line, Remagen Bridge, Aero Technik - would go to all of them if I lived there, but not doing the rush travel. So any suggestions for itinerary. Getting into Landstul Nov 13 and leaving for Zermatt on Nov 21. Will rent car and would like to spend a few nights elsewhere while touring, but not drive too too far since busing to Zermatt. I like the Trier - Koblenz (Remagen Bridge)suggestion with Rhine day cruise. I would prefer military sites where there is still something there - like Maginot Line - also the nice stuff for my wife. Check out this USO tour last weekend (thanks for that suggestions)- missed that: Wewelsburg Castle (Himmler's SS Castle) and the Cult and Terror Center of the SS I can post the full itinerary on a separate post. Neil

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2702 posts

Hi, If you do go Koblenz and have a few hours, I would recommend this museum for WW II "stuff."... the Wehrtechnisches Museum, Mayenerstraße 85-87. if you want to see a huge array of ordinance, post-WW II also. On WW I sites: since you've got that rental car, (a definite advantage here), going west from Metz to Verdun, all within Lorraine, you can see the battle site villages with their outlying war cemeteries, esp those west of Metz. You can tell by the color of the crosses.