When planning all of our services this year, our positive experiences from 2020 and 2021, seasons which were heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, were taken into account. Dr Achim Schloemer, Chairman of the Köln-Düsseldorfer Board, is upbeat about the past year despite all the uncertainties and restrictions. “We can be satisfied. With the financial assistance we received from the state, we will break even. That is very pleasing. When we were planning for 2021, we feared that the results would be worse. The state assistance provided crucial stability for our traditional company,” says Dr Achim Schloemer. “And of course, our guests remaining loyal to us played a huge role. It’s been wonderful to see this.”
In addition, the close dialogue with customers at home and abroad has never stopped. “The organisers made it clear to us that if we carried on like this, they would be on board again.” On a personal note, Dr Achim Schloemer is delighted that KD will soon be able to launch its new eventship MS RheinGalaxie. “I’m also incredibly excited about the ‘Rhein in Flammen’ (Rhine in Flames) events in Rüdesheim/Bingen and Koblenz. It’s funny – I thought I’d seen enough fireworks in my life. But these festivities could be an important signal for 2022 and therefore
hopefully a sign of a little normality.
The new timetable was drawn up based on intensive discussions with KD employees on the ships and in administration. In addition, there were talks with the KD agencies along the Rhine and other partners. Naturally, the requests and feedback from customers were also taken into account. “We always listen to their concerns, suggestions and criticisms,” says Michael Baumann, Senior Project Manager Event. His summary of 2021 is also a positive one: “When we were allowed to offer some of our cruises again when relaxing of the restrictions came into effect in the summer/late summer, we received an amazing amount of positive feedback. People were happy and grateful that Köln-Düsseldorfer events were running again. There were quite a number of reactions that made us proud and touched us at the same time. The guests told us that it was more than just a party for them; there were lots of pleasant feelings and emotions associated with it. Being able to celebrate with friends – while taking the necessary care – would make them forget the crisis for a while. And these were not just isolated voices, the feedback was really incredible,” says Michael Baumann. “These reactions from the past year both inspired us and buoyed us up. We are heading into the new season with a huge amount of confidence and courage.”
One wonderful result of such customer contact can be seen on the Middle Rhine. KD has responded to the feedback and requests of passengers and now offers more opportunities for real round trips on the Middle Rhine. There are five departures (10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm and 4 pm) for the Lorelei round trip between Boppard and St. Goar. Rhine romanticism in the Lorelei Valley will envelope passengers on the round trips starting from Rüdesheim to Lorelei (9 am, 11 am, 2.15 pm). This cruise, which last year ended in the wine town of Bacharach, now
goes all the way to the legendary Lorelei Rock. This lies in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Other highlights on the trip include the Niederwald Monument, the Mäuseturm near Bingen, Reichenstein Castle, the famous Pfalz near Kaub and, naturally, Katz and Maus Castles close to the Lorelei. It is of course still possible to disembark and visit Bacharach. One particularly special experience is a trip on the historic paddle steamer Goethe on the Nostalgia Route. There will be a daily service from Koblenz to Rüdesheim and back starting on 1st May. Guests can experience the entire UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley in an authentic atmosphere.
Around Koblenz, the highlights of the city on two rivers are best discovered from the water. Partnering with the shipping company Gilles, Köln-Düsseldorfer offers one-hour panoramic cruises several times a day. There is the Old Town-Old Rhine Cruise featuring Deutsches Eck, the Electoral Palace, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz Old Town, Niederwerth Island and Vallendar. The Castles and Palaces Cruise covers Lahneck Castle, Stolzenfels Castle and the mouth of the Lahn with Johanneskloster Monastery and Allerheiligenkapelle Chapel. The two-hour panoramic round trip from Koblenz to Winningen on the Moselle and back is also operating in cooperation with Gilles Personenschifffahrt. The cruise on the Rhine and Moselle includes a passage through a lock on the Moselle.
We have a great tip for you: the bike and boat combination ticket. The suggestions for trips offered by KD include entertaining day trips, for example to the Siebengebirge mountain range. The combination of bike and boat trip is perfect for anyone who wants to explore the beauties of the Siebengebirge actively and individually. It makes no difference whether passengers first get on their bikes and later recover on board, or whether they travel by boat to the starting point of their bike tour. Either option is possible.
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