Cheap Rhine River Day Cruise Boat Tickets and KD Savings Deals in Germany

Savings are available for cheap KD Rhine River short and all-day cruise boat tickets in Germany with special deals for families, children, seniors, students, and train passengers.

KD MS Rheinfantasie Rhine Cruise Boat © KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG
KD MS Rheinfantasie Rhine Cruise Boat © KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG

KD cruise line is the largest operator of day-trip, excursion, and panorama cruises on the Rhine River in Germany. KD offers many special savings deals on regular Rhine River day cruise excursions in Germany. Several cheap ticket deals are available on Rhine cruises – going on a birthday saves the most while return fares are hardly more expensive than one-way cruises. Families save on Wednesdays, and cyclists on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, savings deals are currently somewhat less generous than they used to be.

Special Savings Fares (Spartarife) on KD Rhine Day Cruises

Köln-Düsseldorfer (better known simply as KD) has special savings fares that are valid on all regular Rhine River day cruise boats. Savings cannot be combined – only one deal may be used per cruise. Discounts are usually only given on full adult fares and often only when buying tickets in person.

It is important to specifically ask for the savings deals when buying Rhine cruise boat tickets. Many cheap tickets are not offered automatically. The savings ticket deals listed below are available on all regular Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) boats but many of the smaller Rhein boat operators may offer similar discounts. Ask for discount deals when buying boat tickets – savings cannot later be added or refunded.

The savings below are available on excursion cruises (Linienfahrten), i.e. cruises that go in one direction and make stops en route. Savings are not always available on all circular tours (Rundfahrten or Panoramafahrten), mostly sightseeing cruises in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Cochem on the Mosel, and Frankfurt am Main that do not stop en route before returning to the original departure port. Excursions to special events, e.g. Rhine in Flames fireworks and cruises with meals included are usually not included in the savings deals but it never hurts to ask.

KD Rhine River Boat Cruise Savings Tickets for Everyone

The following cheaper savings tickets are available for anyone cruising on KD Rhine River boats but note that savings fares are often only available at ticket windows and not online:

Savings on Birthdays / Der Geburtstagstarif

The Geburtstagtarif (Birthday rate) is the best deals available for saving on Rhine River boat cruises. On the exact birthday – official documents as proof required – the birthday child (of any age) get special discounts. KD recently changed policy and a birthday cruiser and one guest cruise for 50% off the regular ticket price. (Previously, the birthday child went for free, even when traveling alone.)

However, many of the other cruise lines on the Rhine (and other German river and lake boats) still honor the traditional Geburtstags-Nulltarif: a passenger cruises for free on the official birthday.

Save with Return Tickets on Rhine Boat Day Cruises

An easy savings deal, offering surprisingly big discounts, is to buy return tickets (Hin und Rückfahrtkarten). The most expensive Rhine River day cruise fare is around €72 one way but only €79 return. (This fare is for example from Mainz to anywhere north of Bad Salzig, or Cologne to any stop south of Koblenz, or Bonn to Boppard).

The most popular section for Rhine River cruises are between Rüdesheim and St Goar via the Loreley Valley in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed Middle Rhine Valley. The one-way fare from Rüdesheim / Bingen to St Goar / St Goarhausen is around €25, while the return fare is only €3 more. Cruising this part of the Rhine twice is probably more interesting than adding an extension on either end (say to Mainz or Koblenz).

Save with the KD Rhine Pass on Long Cruises

The KD Rhine Pass savings deal has not been on sale in recent years but Get Your Guide offers easy booking (and often sensible cancelation options) for day-trip cruises on the Rhine departing from many popular cities such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Koblenz, Boppard, Ruedesheim, Cochem, and Frankfurt. Most cruise lines now also accept online ticket purchases but several still prefer to sell tickets directly at the quay or on board cruise boats.

Savings for Non-Drivers on KD Rhine Boat Excursions

20% Savings for Deutsche Bahn Train Passengers

Travelers, who travel by German Railways trains to the departure point of a KD Rhine River day excursion cruise, receive discounts of 20% off the regular boat cruise fare. Show the train ticket or rail pass when buying the boat ticket from a KD Rhine boat ticket kiosk.

This 20% discount is also given to bearers of some VRS tickets – the public transportation system (buses, trams, trains) in the larger Cologne and Bonn region.

It is also possible to combine Rhine and Main cruises on KD with public transportation in the RMV region (Frankfurt, Mainz, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt Airport) for significant savings.

Special Savings for Cyclists on KD Rhine Boat Cruises

Cyclists may save by using KD Rhine boats on Tuesdays or Thursdays. On these two days, cyclists can buy two tickets for the price of one for one-way journeys only. Solo cyclists do not receive discounts. No sharing on the bicycle surcharge (Fahrradzuschlag) though  – currently €3.50 per bike per cruise.

Savings Tickets for Children, Families, Seniors, and Students on KD Rhine Cruises

Discount Tickets for Children on KD Boat Cruises

Children enjoy special savings fares on KD Rhine River boat cruises:

  • Children under 4 always cruise for free.
  • Children 4 to 13 pay only €8 per day for any regular KD Rhine River cruises (both sightseeing and excursion cruises).
  • For families it is worth checking if the following deal is currently in operation: on Wednesday, up to three children aged 4 to 13 may accompany for free any paying adult.

Savings Tickets and Passes for Families on KD Rhine Boats

Families save with the special family tickets (Familienticket) that are valid for unlimited cruising on any day for two adults and two children (up to 16 years old). These family tickets are available in two versions:

  • For unlimited cruising on KD circular panorama cruises – €35 per family in Cochem, €37 in Frankfurt and €39 per family in Cologne or Düsseldorf.
  • For unlimited cruising for a day on regular KD Rhine River boat cruises – €79 per family.

Savings Tickets for Seniors on KD Rhine Boat Cruises

Seniors 65 years and older receive discounts (usually around 20%) on regular KD Rhine boat cruise fares.

Savings Tickets for School Children and Students on Rhine Boats

KD gives discounts (up to 50%) on regular Rhine River day cruises to school children and students up to 27 years old – IDs are required.

Group Savings on KD Rhine Boats

Group tariffs are available on KD Rhine River excursions for groups of at least 10 paying passengers. Savings range from 10% for groups of 10 to 30% for groups of 30 paying cruisers.

KD-RheinCard Frequent Rhine Boat Cruisers Pass

Travelers planning several Rhine River boat cruises can save by buying the KD-RheinCard. This frequent traveler’s pass cost €49 per year and gives 50% discount on all regular KD boat cruises. It pays for itself after two long day cruises.

Combination Rhine Cruise and Sightseeing Tickets

Special discounts are also available if KD Rhine cruise boat tickets and sightseeing admission are bought in a combination ticket. Deals currently available combines Rhine excursion with admission to amongst others Sealife and Drachenfels in Königswinter; the Romanticum, cable car, and fortress in Koblenz, Niederwald cable car in Rüdesheim.

More on the Rhine River in Germany

Day-Trip Excursions and Pleasure Cruises on the Rhine River:

Tips and Savings on Day-Trip Rhine Cruises


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