I have looked at the KD schedules for summer 2013. Do they run more than one boat per day? I want to overnight in Bacharach and ride the boat to St. Goar then Braubachand then back to Bacharach. Is this possible? KW
Here's the official web page; there are several boats per day. For instance, you could leave Bacharach at 10:15 and arrive in Braubach at 12:20 (or, if you mean to stop at St Goar, arrive there at 10:55 then continue on to Braubach at 11:55, arriving at 13:20). Then, leave Braubach at 15:05 and arrive at Bacharach at 18:30. Plan on an hour in St Goar; the only earlier boat leaving Braubach leaves at 12:05, but you can't arrive IN Braubach any earlier than 12:20. That's 8h15m of boats, though. I love longer rides on the river than most on the Helpline (like 3h30m), but that's waaaay too long for me! (I wondered where 'Braubachand' was LOL!)
You can combine boats with the trains, though. Be sure that the boat and the train you want are on the same side of the river! ***If anyone can figure out how to enlarge the (partial) poster of the landing stages - so you can tell which side of the river the landing stages are on! - please let me know!
You need more than an hour in St. Goar if you hope to visit Rheinfels Castle. Spending 3.5 hours cruising BACK to Bacharach from Braubach through the same territory you just cruised through seems a misuse of travel time to me. I suggest you get on the cruise boat in Bacharach at 10:15 and stay on. You'll be in Braubach at 12:20, then take the castle tour. THEN - catch a southbound train to St. Goarshausen at 14:07 or 15:07 - the ride takes 20 minutes and 4.55€ - then ferry over to St. Goar at around 14:30 or 15:30 to see the town and the castle at your leisure. When you're ready to go back to Bacharach, the train ride takes 10 minutes and 3.50€. If you travel one way by boat between Bacharach and Boppard, it costs 7€ less than round-trip, so the additional cost of the trains (about 8€) is nearly wiped out and you have a much more doable schedule. OH - forgot the ferry cost - it's about 1.50€ and it runs all day long.
Russ's information is good. You don't need to go both ways (and upstream is slower than downstream) if your time is limited. The train will get you there in a fraction of the time. Another thought, there are other boat companies on the Rhine. KD's are the biggest and nicest of the choices, but you don't HAVE TO make your schedule fit theirs.
Thanks everyone for the excellent advice. I think we will follow Russ' suggestion and take the boat from Bacharach to Boppard and then take the train back. Does sound like a much better use of our limited time. Another question - we will be returning to Stuttgart from Bacharach and would like to stop in Heidelburg on the return trip. Do we have to buy two train tickets - one from Bacharach to Heidelburg and another from Heidelburg to Stuttgart? Or will a single ticket allow us to stop off in Heidelburg? Kathy
If you are traveling on a weekend, the Schoenes Wochende ticket allows you to hop on/off regional trains at will for the entire day. There's a similar pass for weekdays, but they're limited to one Land (state), such as Bavaria. I can never remember where state lines are in Germany so I can't tell you if one would work. It might be good to ask this as a separate question. Lee is the train expert. He'll pipe in and tell you everything you need to know.
Thanks, Brad - I gave a half-*ssed answer (due to a sudden distraction), then hit 'Post'. My bad. I made a point of checking back to see if anyone had fleshed-out my intended answer. Luckily, yes :-) Kathy, look for a PM soon with some answers to your questions ;-)