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Relaxed change of perspective

Simply chill out and enjoy a day’s holiday just outside your own front door: KD’s boat trips offer many options to spontaneously leave your everyday routine behind and enjoy the beauty of the Rhine – for instance with one of the numerous combined tickets which include an outing on dry land and a boat trip to make a perfect day away. The RheinZeit editorial team put this to the test and decided on a combination of a cable car ride, a visit to a fortress and a boat trip through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Our short holiday starts in Coblenz with a walk to the bank of the Rhine. This is where the KD agency is located where you can obtain all the tickets for the KD tours, plus friendly advice. However, we purchased our combined ticket for the cable car and fortress in advance in the KD Online Shop. That saves time and enables us to set off without delay from the valley station of the Coblenz cable car. This has been in operation since 2011, when Coblenz staged the National Garden Exhibition. It is situated just in front of the Deutsches Eck and connects the main city on the left bank of the Rhine with Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which sits high above the right bank.

© KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG

Floating above the Rhine

In the five minutes which the ride over the Rhine takes, it became clear to us that we had chosen a tour which offers changes of perspective. Because when you are suspended above the river in a cabin, see Kaiser Wilhelm mounted on his gigantic horse at the Deutsches Eck and cast a glance over the Middle Rhine Valley, the city and landscape seem totally new and different from a little while ago when you saw them from a pedestrian’s perspective.

Having arrived at Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, we are welcomed by a large park, historical defensive fortifications, art, culture and – not to be forgotten – a simply stunning panoramic view. Right next to the main entrance, the “Stages of the fortress’s history” begin, an exciting heritage trail through the eventful history and the strategic design of the massive fortifications.

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress has protected the point where the Moselle joins the Rhine since the 16th century. Today the impressive fortification high above the city accommodates not only a youth hostel, but also the Landesmuseum Koblenz (Coblenz State Museum) with its four exhibition buildings, and has developed into one of the most important cultural locations in the region. We were particularly fascinated by the special exhibition “Ice Age Safari”, which will run until 30 October. The outdoor area by the fortress is also well worth seeing. As part of the National Garden Exhibition, it was completely redesigned, and today features winding paths and fascinating plants which invite visitors to stroll around and marvel at what they see. After an extensive discovery tour, it is gradually time for the next change of perspective: Coblenz and the Middle Rhine Valley from the water await us. And so we float back down in the cable car to the other bank in order to reach the KD landing stage punctually for the ship’s departure at 2:00 pm.

Mountains and castles

Then the white KD ship casts off, and while it glides leisurely past Coblenz Castle and many passengers stand by the railing to enjoy the picturesque view of Coblenz's riverside park, we find a cosy place in the saloon. After all, it is lunchtime, and so we are attracted to the ship’s restaurant. Regional delicacies for passengers of all ages whet our appetite. When the meal is served, the ship is gliding past everything which makes the Middle Rhine Valley so unique and so much in demand with tourists from abroad. It is like looking at a picture book: rugged cliffs rising up from the water, wonderful vineyards, towns and villages nestled picturesquely between river and cliff, castles majestically crowning the hilltops.

Going ashore in Boppard

We have chosen Boppard as the destination for our excursion, and that means we have a good two relaxing hours on board to take in this unique cultural landscape. In Boppard, we disembark and thus set foot on old Roman land, because what is today a small town was once one of the most important Roman settlements on the Middle Rhine. Situated directly on the river bank, the late Roman fort impresses with its size. The Elector’s Castle takes visitors into the middle ages. The massive architecture with the mighty tower dominate the town and bear witness to the claim to power enjoyed by its builder, Archbishop Balduin of Trier. For almost 100 years, the castle has housed the Town Museum with its famous Thonet exhibition. This is also worth visiting, and we take advantage of this opportunity.

© KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG
© KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG
© KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG

A ship named Goethe

If, like us, you decide to make the return journey to Coblenz by ship, you can look forward to a really special experience. The last trip of the day downstream is always made by the nostalgic paddle steamer Goethe. The view of the paddles turning takes you back to earlier times. As we step into the saloon with its precise reproduction of the original art-déco fittings, we feel ourselves transported back to the swinging twenties. Thus enchanted and with a glass of excellent wine from the Bopparder Hamm, we happily round off our day’s holiday.

Ticket

The KD combined ticket for the cable car and fortress is available for the routes Coblenz-Braubach, Coblenz-Boppard and Coblenz-St. Goar and also in the opposite direction, because whether you begin your day trip in the city at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle or bring it to a close there is up to you.

 

The ticket price includes a boat trip, the cable car ride in Coblenz and entry to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

Tow-in-One Ticket Information

Ship tip

If you wish to experience the outward and return trips by ship and start in Coblenz, you should plan the journey as described. After the cable car and fortress, you will board the ship in Coblenz at 2:00 pm. The Goethe leaves Boppard as the last ship at 6:50 pm and arrives in Coblenz at 8:00 pm.

Enjoyment on board

KD’s wine card includes a whole range of tasty wines from the region. The Bopparder Hamm, for example, is one of the best-known locations on the Middle Rhine.

 

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