KD (Köln-Düsseldorfer) and other cruise lines offer Rhine River day-trip excursion cruises from Koblenz. Special offers and discount deals are available.
Koblenz, at the center of the Middle Rhine Valley, is a great departure port for cruising on the Rhein and Mosel in Germany. KD (Köln-Düsseldorfer) is the largest operator of day-trip cruises on the Rhine River and has a strong presence in Koblenz. Smaller companies offer panorama hour-long sightseeing cruises from Koblenz, as well as longer cruises to see the castles and Loreley Rock. These cruise lines are often slightly cheaper than KD while special birthday, senior, and family offers may bring ticket prices down too. Cruises on this part of the Moselle are usually only in the vicinity of Koblenz — longer Mosel cruises are easier upriver from Cochem, Bernkastel-Kuess, or Trier.
Day-Trip Cruises on the Rhine River from Koblenz
Several riverboat cruise lines operate on the Rhine and Mosel Rivers from Koblenz. Some lines cooperate so it is not that uncommon to buy a ticket from say KD and actually cruise on GPS. However, note that discounts are not always applied when cruising on partner boats.
Prices between the various cruise lines do not vary widely but in some cases, special deals and offers can make a significant difference in ticket prices. The smaller companies are often slightly cheaper than KD but not always or for all destinations. Smaller companies often have only a single cruise per day making a return trip with sightseeing en route more complicated or impossible.
For reference, KD prices from Koblenz are one-way (return) around €49 (€56) to Rüdesheim, €33 (€38) to St Goar / St Goarhausen, €17 (€19) to Boppard, €37 (€42) to Remagen, and €49 (€56) to Bonn. Returns are hardly more expensive but indicate when buying tickets if planning to interrupt a journey en route.
Online tickets are increasingly available but not that some smaller cruise lines actually still mail physical tickets making such purchases not only cumbersome but more expensive. Reservations are rarely needed for scheduled Rhine River day-trip excursion cruises, especially outside the high season, but are often required for special event cruises such as the popular Rhein in Flammen firework displays.
- Schifffahrt means shipping. The current German spelling rules require three fs but the older double-ff spelling is still often seen on signs and in company names.
Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) Rhine River Day-Trip Cruise Line
The largest day-trip excursion boat cruise line operating on the Rhine is Köln Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt, more commonly abbreviated to KD (pronounced kah-deh). KD has the largest number of boats and the largest number of cruises. The larger number of cruises makes it easier to stop en route for sightseeing and to continue the cruise on a later boat. (Indicate at the time of buying tickets any stopover plans – the ticket price will usually be the same but separate tickets may be issued for separate legs of the cruise.)
During the high season, KD has at least one daily boat cruise between Koblenz and Rüdesheim — usually on the historic paddle steamer RMS Goethe dating from 1913. Other cruises from Koblenz usually terminate in the Loreley area (St Goar / St Goarhausen). More boats depart from Boppard, which is a quick 15-minute train ride from Koblenz.
Currently, no regular excursion cruises go downstream from Koblenz, although some are available when boats are repositioning for major events. Many boats depart daily from Linz (35 minutes by train) to Bonn and Cologne.) and one from Koblenz to Bonn (and many more departing from Linz).
KD also offers frequent panorama cruises from Koblenz of one to two hours in cooperation with Reederei Gilles (see below).
One of the Koblenz-Rüdesheim cruises during the high season is on the RMS Goethe paddleboat steamer dating from 1913. (Like the historic paddle steamboats operating on for example Lake Geneva in Switzerland, this historic steamboat goes at the same speed as its modern rivals.)
Saving Deals and Discounts on KD Rhine Cruises
Special savings offered by KD Rhine River day-trip boat cruises include:
- up to 20% off when arriving by train at the departure port. (This train-boat offer is not available from other cruise lines.)
- two for the price of one on an exact birthday date.
- 50% off for scholars and students under 27.
- 30% off for seniors over 60 years old.
Family and child discounts on KD lines:
KD has several special deals for children and families. These include:
- Free for children under 4.
- €6 for children 4 to 13 for all cruises.
- Free for up to 3 children (4-13 years) per accompanying paying adult on Wednesdays.
- Family tickets for two adults and two children up to 16 – €77 for scheduled cruises.
Savings deals cannot be combined.
Bicycles on KD Rhine Riverboats:
Bicycles are transported if space allows on KD Rhine River boats for €2.80 per bicycle per cruise (return is double).
On Tuesday and Thursday, two cyclists traveling together pay only one cruise fare but, rather oddly, do pay for each bicycle. (This bicycle deal is not valid on KD partner cruise lines.)
On longer cruises, the KD Rhine Pass could be a great savings deal. It is not always available and not sold directly by KD but rather through resellers such as Get Your Guide. It cost around €35 and covers all regular cruises for a day. Note that the Rhine Pass is different from the KD RheinCard that gives a 50% discount on regular cruises for a year — also a great deal for frequent cruisers.
Personenschifffahrt Giles Boat Trips from Koblenz
The Koblenz-based Personenschifffahrt Giles operates cruises for KD on both the Rhine and Mosel but also has numerous special day-trip cruises on its own program to various sights along the Rhine and Mainz. These special cruises are often excellent value for money but the schedule varies annually.
More useful for most casual visitors to Koblenz are the one-hour panorama or sightseeing cruises offered several times per day by Giles from Easter to November 1. These circular cruises offer passengers the opportunity to see amongst others the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers, several castles and historic buildings, as well as the only inhabited river island in Germany.
Gilles also offer cruises from Koblenz to Winningen on the Mosel River. This cruise includes passing through a lock – something not used on the Rhine River at all.
These sightseeing cruises are around €10 per person and €5 for the two-hour cruises that go up the Mosel River.
Schifffahrt Hölzenbein Rhine Cruises from Koblenz
Schifffahrt Hölzenbein is another smaller Koblenz-based riverboat cruise company affiliated with the Weisser Flotte group that sails on many parts of the Rhine. Hölzenbein boats cruise as far upriver as Rüdesheim but shorter cruises to the Loreley Valley and Boppard are more common.
Hölzenbein has discount offers similar to KD although the savings are often less generous. In contrast to KD, Hölzenbein transports bicycles for free.
Marksburgschiffahrt Vomfell Rhine Cruises from Koblenz
The Marksburgschiffahrt Vomfell is another smaller cruise line with day-trip boat excursions on the Rhine from Koblenz. Boats connect Koblenz with Braubach (or Spay) up to four times per day with stops at many smaller towns such as Niederlahnstein, Stolzenfels, Oberlahnstein, Rhens, and Braubach (Marksburg), which give easy access to several large castles in the Koblenz region. Ask for combination tickets that include both cruise and admission to castles and other sights.
Gebr Kolb for Moselle River Cruises
- Rhine and Mosel River Day-Trip Cruises from Koblenz for more information on travel times and the cruise season, as well as maps.
- Transportation to Koblenz – reaching the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers by plane, car, train, boat, or bicycle
- Visit Burg Eltz – the most romantic (and authentic) castle in the Mosel Valley near Koblenz
- Koblenz Tourist Information
More on the Rhine River
Day-Trip Excursions and Pleasure Cruises on the Rhine River:
- Middle Rhine (Loreley Valley) — UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed Area:
- Upper Rhine — Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn to Linz
- Special events: Cruises to Rhine in Flames Fireworks, Christmas and New Year’s Cruises in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Rüdesheim
- Moselle River Cruises (Cochem, Bernkastel-Kues, Trier, Koblenz, Burg Eltz)
- Cruises on the Main River in Frankfurt (or better By Train from Frankfurt to the Best Rhine Cruises)
- Cruises from Worms, Mannheim, Heidelberg (on the Neckar River)
- Cruises from Speyer
- Rhinefalls (Rhine Waterfalls, Schaffhausen, Stein am Rhein, Kreuzlingen)
Tips and Savings on Day-Trip Rhine Cruises
- The best part of the Rhine for day-trip excursion cruises in the Middle Rhine between Rüdesheim / Bingen and Koblenz. See Savings Tips and the Best Cruise Lines cruising in the Loreley Valley.
- Save with a KD Rhine Pass on Rhine River cruises (unfortunately not always available but a potentially good savings deal on longer day-trip cruises).
- Check train times for Germany (and most of Europe) at German Railways.