Meeting Your Trip in STRASBOURG

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

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

The trip assembles at the Strasbourg train station, between 11a and 3p on the trip’s start date (a Saturday). 
A pleasant half-day ride is available on the first day, if you can reach Strasbourg before 1p.

Those who prefer not to cycle on the arrival day, or who cannot reach Strasbourg by the 1p “ride” meeting time, can elect to take a regional train from Strasbourg on to Wissembourg, our first night's stop, and join the trip there.  Wissembourg is just over an hour from Strasbourg, trains run every 2 hours or so, and the fare is ±13€.  We can send you this ticket in advance, if this is your plan (the cost of tickets bought through us is 10€).  Or you can decide what to do locally, in Strasbourg, and buy your ticket there.

If you are arriving via Frankfurt or Luxembourg, and decide in advance to skip the first day’s ride, we can provide tickets direct from Frankfurt downtown, Luxembourg downtown, or Frankfurt Airport, to Wissembourg via a shorter route (not via Strasbourg) without additional cost.   Just tell us that you want tickets direct to Wissembourg, not via Strasbourg.

We will send you details of meeting time and place with your final itinerary.

If you wish to make your own way to the trip (in other words, not to set up your travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of March 5, 2017

Our “Access Package” consists of train tickets to Strasbourg from any of Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris or Luxembourg. Alternatively, tickets from Brussels, Munich or Geneva are available for a modest additional cost.

Paris is the closest city in terms of travel time (under 2 hours via TGV).  2 morning trains even come directly from Charles de Gaulle airport (see service information, below).  Frankfurt and Zurich are geographically closer, and trains run directly from airport rail stations, thus saving the trip into town (one connection is required).  Luxembourg is almost equally close, but you must go from the airport to the city center via shuttle bus to catch your train.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  55€. 
Ride the Bike Train” discount fare from downtown Paris:  35€.
To see what these prices mean in your currency, look here: http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is usually good until 30 days prior to trip start, if you have some flexibility regarding train choice.  It is guaranteed from Zurich or Luxembourg.   But prices are most emphatically not guaranteed from Paris or Frankfurt, where we must be able to access a discount fare code that can sell out at any time.   Within 35 days, costs are often higher (especially the costs of shipping rail tickets).

Limited spaces are available at the “Ride the Bike Train” discount.  Bike trains run at 7a and 8:30a.  We will guarantee the Access Package fare if it is available at the time of your request, and apply the further discount if we are able to put a bike on your selected train.


Included:

  • A train ticket to Strasbourg from any of Zurich, Zurich Airport, Frankfurt downtown, Frankfurt Airport, Paris, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, or Luxembourg.
    Tickets from Paris, and from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.   See below for extra cost of modifiable tickets.
  • If coming from Paris (or from Brussels via a connecting service), a seat reservation.
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • All taxes, unlimited carry-on baggage, booking fees.

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.

  • Tickets from London.  Add 79€ if you are also purchasing tickets back to London, 109€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable return (in 1st cl., add 119€ or 159€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
    Tickets are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  See below for extra cost of modifiable tickets.
  • Tickets from Brussels, Munich, Geneva or Geneva Airport:  +16€.
    From Brussels via the connecting service:   +27€.
  • 1st class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +19€ from Frankfurt, Paris (downtown or airport — discount rate, subject to availability), Zurich, or Luxembourg.  +28€ from Brussels, Munich, or Geneva.
  • Modifiable / refundable tickets from Paris, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, or Brussels via the connecting service:  +19 €.
    Tickets are fully refundable until 7 days in advance, and until train departure less 20€.  They are exchangeable locally on a space-available basis, and for a nominal fee paid directly to the railway (generally 20€), until your reserved train’s departure.  If exchange is made after departure, it must be made at the station from which you were booked to depart, and within one hour of the train’s scheduled departure.  Tickets can be exchanged through us for a 10€ agency charge.
  • Ticket from Strasbourg to Wissembourg, if you are deciding in advance to skip the first day's ride:  +10€.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.


3. TIMING Your Trip

The ride on the first day is really pretty, very different from the rides that follow, and an excellent warm-up for the harder rides ahead.  Get to Strasbourg in time to do it if you can....  If you are arriving the same day from North America, this means booking a flight that lands early in the morning, ideally in Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, or Geneva, in rough order of preference.


4. 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.

  • From Paris.  Trains run frequently from 7a with a 1'50" trip time.  Service is hourly.
  • From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Trains at 9a, 11a, 12:45p and 5:30p..
    Note that only the first two trains reach Strasbourg in time for the first day’s ride.
  • From Frankfurt or Frankfurt Airport.  Direct train from downtown at 9a, arrive 11a.  Otherwise, hourly service, requiring a change of train, trip time is 2.5 - 3 hours.
  • From Zurich or Zurich Airport.  Hourly service, requiring a change of train.
    Trip time is 2.5 hours from the city center, 3 hours from the airport.
  • From Luxembourg.  Fast trains at 7a and 11a, 1'30" trip time. 
    A service taking an hour longer (with one connection) runs at 8:30a.  If travelling after 11a, you would go direct to Wissembourg, not via Strasbourg.
  • From Brussels.  Direct trains at 7:15a and 3p, trip time 3.5 hours.   Trains with one connection at 8:30a and 10:30a.
    Trip time is 4.5 hours via connecting service.
  • From Munich.  Fast trains (4 hours) at 6:30a (direct), 8:30a (one connection) and 12:30p (one connection). Trip time under 4 hours.
    Slower services are interspersed, taking an hour longer, and requiring 2 connections.
  • From Geneva or Geneva Airport.  Hourly service, requiring two changes of train.  Trip time is 4.5 hours.
  • From London.  Via Paris or Lille.
    Add 3 hours for the “Eurostar” service to Paris, the station change in Paris, and the connection time.


5. Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS

Zermatt (in the Swiss Alps):  glorious hiking and other mountain activities at the foot of the Matterhorn.  We offer a package, including

  • 2 hotel nights (Thursday and Friday nights)
  • Two elaborate buffet breakfasts
  • Zermatt “Access Package”
  • Train from Zermatt to Strasbourg
  • All taxes, booking fees, baggage charges.

359€ based on shared occupancy, 399€ single.


6. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY to 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 pre-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

Strasbourg is at a rail crossroads, with main lines running east-west (from Vienna through Munich to Strasbourg, and on to Paris), and north-south (from Brussels / Amsterdam to Lyon and Switzerland).  Overnight trains come from Spain and the Côte d'Azur.  Lots of trains to everywhere.

Planes.  Strasbourg has a small airport, served mostly from other French cities (the train is considerably faster from Paris if you are starting in the city center).  The nearest intercontinental airports are in Frankfurt and Zurich in terms of cost, Paris in terms of travel time (but via TGV, which is expensive if you are buying a walk-up ticket).


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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