Leaving Your Trip in COCHEM

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on leaving your trip.  Topics include...

  1. Where you leave your trip (see immediately below).
  2. The closest airports.
  3. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  4. Suggestions on how to time your ongoing travel, whether you are having us arrange it, or doing it yourself.
  5. Service information regarding train travel from your trip end location.
  6. Suggested post-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  7. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel from the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Leave Your Trip?

Your trip disbands on Saturday afternoon at 4p in Cochem, a small town on the Moselle River, a short train ride from the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine at Koblenz.

Many riders cycle to Bullay, a bit short of Cochem, and take a 10-minute train ride into Cochem.  Cochem is the destination for the day’s “long route” cycle ride.

If you wish to arrange your own ongoing travel (in other words, you do not want to set up any ongoing travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints regarding ongoing travel are offered at the bottom of this page.  Otherwise...



2. The CLOSEST AIRPORTS

Frankfurt Airport is closest in terms of travel time from Cochem.  Trains run hourly, via Koblenz, to the terminals.

Ryanair’s “Frankfurt Hahn” airport is geographically even closer, and is served by a direct bus from the Bullay station.  So, if you are travelling within Europe, a late Saturday departure (after 7:30p) from Hahn is compatible with the ride.
Information on reaching Hahn airport from Cochem, including the actual schedule of the buses, can be found on the airport web site:
http://www.hahn-airport.de/default.aspx?menu=by_bus&cc=en

Other airports close by include Dusseldorf, Köln (interior European flights only), and Luxembourg.  Airports in Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris are just a few hours away, and can be reached at reasonable cost.  See “Service Information,” below, for details.

If you must catch an early flight on Sunday morning, it is possible to travel part or all of the way to your departure airport on Saturday night.    Cochem is an agreeable town for the night, however, if you have the choice of a more leisurely Sunday departure.



3. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 7, 2017

Our “Access Packages” include a night in Cochem, and train tickets to one of the closest intercontinental airports:  Frankfurt or Luxemburg (the two cities are equally close, but trains don't run direct to the Luxemburg airport, so a flight from Luxembourg adds the nuisance and inconvenience of a shuttle bus from the city center rail station).  Our London “Access Package” includes a train to London via Brussels.

Hotels on the Moselle and the Rhine are notoriously crowded in summer.  If ours are full when you request one, an alternate arrangement will be proposed, but it may be less attractive.  For any who can spare the time, we recommend a Sunday boat trip up the Rhine.  See “Suggested Post-Trip Visits,” below, for detail of a package that we have put together.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  112€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability of this package is not guaranteed, as summer Saturday hotel space on the rivers is hard to come by.  Book early to be sure of space.

Included:

  • A hotel night in Cochem, based on shared occupancy.  Typically, at least some of your past weeks’ travelling companions will also be staying over.
  • Breakfast, if you have time / get up for it.
  • Sunday train tickets to Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt downtown, or to Luxembourg. 
    Tickets to Luxembourg are “open:”  seat reservations are not required, and are pointless for Sunday morning travel (trains will be empty).  Tickets to Frankfurt and Frankfurt Airport are train-specific, and must be used on the train for which they are issued.  Changeable / open tickets are available at additional cost (see below). 
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • All taxes, luggage charges, booking charges, “credit card usage” charges, fuel surcharges...
    ...all those charges the airlines add at the last minute.

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price. 
For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Single room in Cochem:   +27€.
  • 1st class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +16€ to Frankfurt or Luxembourg.
  • Sunday tickets to other points.  All prices include reservations where required.
    Tickets are train-specific, and are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (see below for extra cost flexible tickets).
    - London:  +107€ if you are also purchasing tickets from London at the start of your trip, +147€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable ticket.  In 1st class, add +157€ or +197€; 1st class tickets include meal service between Brussels and London.  A Brussels stop-over is available at no extra charge, if desired.
    - Paris:  +69€ 2nd class, +99€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of +75€ in 1st class is sometimes available.  A “Ride the Bike Train” discount fare is sometimes available on Saturday afternoon:  see “alternate arrangements,” below.
    - Brussels:  +38€ 2nd class, +74€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of 49€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
    - Amsterdam:  +62€ 2nd class, +88€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of +72€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
    - Berlin or Munich:  +62€ 2nd class, +99€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of +79€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
  • Exchangeable / Refundable Tickets.  No charge for Luxemburg.  + 11€ for tickets to Frankfurt.  +21€ for tickets to Brussels, Amsterdam or Berlin.  +51€ for tickets to London.
    These tickets are exchangeable at any station, on a space-available basis, at any time until the train’s departure, for free if the exchange is made prior to the date of travel, or for 10€ on the date of travel.  Cost of either exchange is 10€ higher if you make it through us (as opposed to going to the ticket counter yourself).  Tickets are refundable less 20% before the train’s departure.  All tickets to Luxembourg are already exchangeable / refundable.  There is no need to pay extra for flexible tickets to Luxembourg.

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual packages (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)

  • Hotel in Cochem (additional nights, or without ongoing rail tickets):  65€ / person shared occupancy, 92€ single, including breakfast if you have time / get up for it.
    Both prices include taxes and booking charges.  Economical rooms without river view are available for -10€ / person.
  • Saturday afternoon train tickets (no hotel).  All prices include reservations where required.
    Tickets to points other than Luxembourg are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (see above for extra cost flexible tickets).
    - Luxembourg or Frankfurt:  36€ 2nd class, 55€ 1st class.
    - Paris:  91€ 2nd class, 131€ 1st class.
    Bike Train discount, when available:  57€.
    A super-discount rate of 99€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
    - Brussels:  60€ 2nd class, 90€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of 75€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
    - Amsterdam:  91€ 2nd class, 141€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of 99€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
    - Berlin:  91€ 2nd class, 162€ 1st class.
    A super-discount rate of 112€ in 1st class is sometimes available.
  • Saturday overnight trains (including a couchette sleeping berth aboard).
    These save the cost of a night's lodging.  Sleeping car upgrades are available (see below).
    -
    To Munich, Prague or Denmark:  97€.
    - To Austria, Switzerland, or Italy:  129€.
    Typically, at least some fellow Marbles are on the train to Denmark.
  • Upgrade from 2nd cl. couchette on overnight train:  +47€ / person to private double sleeping car cabin. +99€ to private cabin.  Deluxe cabins with ensuite shower and W.C., + a further 37€ per person, double or single.



4. TIMING Your Trip

The riding day on Saturday is full and rewarding, so it is a pity to try to depart the Moselle Valley on Saturday afternoon.  Indeed, any Saturday afternoon departure will leave you feeling rushed as you move through the day.  If you cannot spend Saturday night locally, try to schedule ongoing travel for the very end of the afternoon, early evening, or via overnight rain.

Cochem lies in a beautiful spot, and the Rhine valley is of legendary beauty.  If you can take the time for the Rhine cruise (and we can find you a hotel — not a foregone conclusion), do so.  And, if you are flying out from a local airport on Sunday, the river towns are much nicer than the airport hotels.  But...  heading out by late afternoon or overnight train on Saturday remains a legitimate option.



5. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • To Frankfurt Airport.  Sunday service is at 7:30a, and then hourly, via a connection in Koblenz (trains in even hours require an additional change of train in Mainz, but travel time is the same).  Travel time is 2.5 hours direct to the terminals.
    Saturday evening service from Bullay / Cochem is also available, to either Frankfurt Airport or downtown. 
  • To Luxemburg.  Travel time is 1'45" hours from Cochem / Bullay.  Sunday services run at 6:10a, 7:20a (locals, taking 2'20"), then every two hours from 9a.
    Saturday service is hourly until 9p, with a late train at 11p.
  • To Paris.  Trip time 4 hours.  Last Saturday train at 5p.  First Sunday train at 9a.
    Bike Train departs Cochem / Bullay at 4p, arrives Paris at 9:15p.
  • To Berlin.  Daylight travel time is 8 - 9 hours, usually with two connections.  Last Saturday train is at 5p.  Sunday trains run hourly from 6a.
    There is also overnight sleeper service, intentionally slowed to give you the bulk of a night on board:  depart 10p, arrive 7:15a, with a midnight connection in Mannheim.
  • To Brussels.  Trip time is between 4.5 and 6 hours, depending on whether the train is a local or an express.  The last Saturday train from Cochem is at 6p, via Trier and Luxembourg, arrive 10:30p.  Most Sunday service via Koblenz and Köln.  Hourly service from 6a, first express is at 9a.
    A shuttle train links Bruxelles downtown with the airport rail station, which is in the terminal, every 15 minutes (25-minute trip).
  • To Amsterdam.  Travel time is 5 - 6.5 hours, with connections in Koblenz and Köln. 
    Last Saturday train is at 7p from Cochem, arrive at close to 2a (last express is at 5p, arrive 10p). 
    Sunday service from 7:30a, first express at 10a (only one connection). 
  • To London.  Travel time is 7.5 - 8 hours (though it shows an hour less on the clock face, because of a one-hour time difference).  2 or 3 connections are required.  Sunday trains from Cochem at 7a (2 connections), 9a (3 connections) and 1p (2 connections).... 
    The latest Saturday service from Cochem is at 3p, which is not really compatible with a relaxed cycling day.
  • To Prague.  Saturday overnight, arrive Sunday at 9:30a.



6. Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS

There are slick “Hotel Trains” overnight to Prague, and to Vienna.  You can wake up in either on Sunday morning, with effective travel time of zero (since you will have been in bed asleep as you travelled).

Rhine Cruise Package

  • Saturday train to Boppard, an hour from Cochem and 20 minutes south of Koblenz on the banks of the Rhine, for a night stay there.
  • Breakfast.
  • On Sunday morning, board a ship for the trip up the Rhine to Bingen, along the river’s most beautiful, castle-studded section.
  • You reach Bingen at 1p, where you connect to an ongoing train to the destination of your choice.

Prices from 156€ double or twin, 189€ single, include ongoing train to Frankfurt (other ongoing trains available at additional cost).  An ongoing travel option:  spend Sunday evening in one of the wine towns on the banks of the river, and catch a sleeper train to Vienna, Prague, Denmark, or elsewhere (sleeper train prices as from Cochem).



7. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY After the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning post-trip individual travel. In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains.  Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Koblenz is on the “old” Rhine Valley main line, which connects to the European high-speed network an hour to the north (in Köln) and an hour to the south (in Frankfurt).


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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