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  #1  
Old October 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM
Jesterscourt Jesterscourt is offline
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Default Pre/post cruise Frankfurt transportation issue

We are on the Treasures of Prague, Rhine, Main Uniworld cruise in April. It starts in Prague and ends in Cologne(Koln). Apparently Uniworld provides transportation to Dusseldorf Airport only and not Cologne Train station or to Frankfurt Airport to the best of my knowledge at this early point. From my city we have nonstop Lufthansa service to Frankfurt. So it seems counterproductive to fly from Dusseldorf. My thinking is to take the train from Cologne directly to Frankfurt Airport after the cruise. Would like to hear from those who have done this.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:52 PM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Default Train to Frankfurt

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Originally Posted by Jesterscourt View Post
We are on the Treasures of Prague, Rhine, Main Uniworld cruise in April. It starts in Prague and ends in Cologne(Koln). Apparently Uniworld provides transportation to Dusseldorf Airport only and not Cologne Train station or to Frankfurt Airport to the best of my knowledge at this early point. From my city we have nonstop Lufthansa service to Frankfurt. So it seems counterproductive to fly from Dusseldorf. My thinking is to take the train from Cologne directly to Frankfurt Airport after the cruise. Would like to hear from those who have done this.
I haven't taken that cruise, but I lived in Germany from 87-91 and there is a train from the Frankfurt Main Train Station to the Frankfurt Airport. If you took the train from Cologne to Frankfurt, getting to the airport is easy. Also, the trains are on time in Germany.
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  #3  
Old October 10th, 2010, 05:26 PM
Jesterscourt Jesterscourt is offline
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Can't you take the train directly to the Frankfurt Airport(Flughafen) without having to go to the main train station?
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  #4  
Old October 11th, 2010, 03:22 AM
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Jesterscourt,

Frankfurt airport has an ICE train station. Check out www.bahn.de for connections from Cologne.

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  #5  
Old October 23rd, 2010, 11:48 PM
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When I got stuck in the volcanic ash mess last April, I had to get from Frankfurt to Antwerp. From the Frankfurt airport station there was a train direct to Brussels, via Cologne. (Unfortunately because the train was fully booked from Cologne to Brussels they made us get off and put us on buses, but I made it to Antwerp for my cruise.) It is certainly possible to travel from Cologne to Frankfurt airport.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 12:16 AM
franski franski is offline
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Who was it that told you they don't provide transport to Cologne Train station?? We are doing the Rhine Holiday Markets with Uniworld --> we are flying to Frankfurt, and then taking the train to Cologne. A Uniworld rep is meeting us at the train station.

We leave in just over a month - so can post when we get back and report on the process (although it will be Frankfurt --> Cologne, and not the other way - the information should still be useful).
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  #7  
Old October 24th, 2010, 06:55 AM
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I haven't taken the train from Köln to the airport, but have taken it many times to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. There is an ICE train that leaves Köln for the Frankfurt(M)Flughafen almost every hour every day. The trip takes just under an hour.

Once you arrive at the airport, take the escalator up two floors to the departure area.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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If you have luggage you don't want to change more than necessary. There are direct trains from Koln to Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf (which is the long distance station) multiple times every hour. They generally take about an hour, and the direct trains cost (currently) 61 Euros. You can find information by googling German Rail, go to the English site, and hit the German flag and choose Germany (to get departures from Germany in English). Then put it your info and see the multiple choices. Just make sure that you don't choose a train with connections (a pain with luggage) or the milk run (although it is cheaper if you have the time.)
Nomi
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Old October 24th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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For those traveling by rail in Germany, DBahn loads their biggest discount fares 92 days out. I save a bunch by purchasing tickets as soon as they become available.
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  #10  
Old January 10th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franski View Post
Who was it that told you they don't provide transport to Cologne Train station?? We are doing the Rhine Holiday Markets with Uniworld --> we are flying to Frankfurt, and then taking the train to Cologne. A Uniworld rep is meeting us at the train station.
I know this is an old thread but I have an issue with Frankfort transportation and saw this posting and find it interesting. Specifically we are sailing on Uniworld in April, departing Frankfort. We will be in Dusseldorf for several days visiting friends and intended to take the ICE train early on the morning of our embarkation from Dusseldorf to the Frankfort airport train station, and then use the Uniworld airport transfer. When I inquired to Uniworld about the details I as told that they would not do that. I was told that the airport transfer is only for passengers who actually arrive by airplane. She suggested I take a taxi either from the airport train station or the main train station. She never suggested that Uniworld would provide any transportation from the main train station at all.

Can anyone comment on circumstances such as these? I offered to meet the Uniworld rep anywhere in the airport at a time they designated but she said it was not possible. I was a little surprised. Any comments appreciated.
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  #11  
Old January 10th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel72 View Post
I know this is an old thread but I have an issue with Frankfort transportation and saw this posting and find it interesting. Specifically we are sailing on Uniworld in April, departing Frankfort. We will be in Dusseldorf for several days visiting friends and intended to take the ICE train early on the morning of our embarkation from Dusseldorf to the Frankfort airport train station, and then use the Uniworld airport transfer. When I inquired to Uniworld about the details I as told that they would not do that. I was told that the airport transfer is only for passengers who actually arrive by airplane. She suggested I take a taxi either from the airport train station or the main train station. She never suggested that Uniworld would provide any transportation from the main train station at all.

Can anyone comment on circumstances such as these? I offered to meet the Uniworld rep anywhere in the airport at a time they designated but she said it was not possible. I was a little surprised. Any comments appreciated.
Uniworld does provide transfers on day of embarkation and disembarkation... so the issue appears to be that you are arriving in Germany a few days earlier. This is clearly stated in their brochures.

We were scheduled to arrive on the day of embarkation, so transfers were included.

Uniworld, Scenic and Tauck are the only lines to include transfers if you don't purchase their air. But - there are restrictions.

Fran
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  #12  
Old January 10th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franski View Post
Uniworld does provide transfers on day of embarkation and disembarkation... so the issue appears to be that you are arriving in Germany a few days earlier. This is clearly stated in their brochures.

We were scheduled to arrive on the day of embarkation, so transfers were included.

Uniworld, Scenic and Tauck are the only lines to include transfers if you don't purchase their air. But - there are restrictions.

Fran
You misread my post. We arrive in Dusseldorf three days prior to the cruise but do not arrive in Frankfurt until the day of embarkation. I fail to see why it matters where I am two or three days prior to embarkation. According to Uniworld, if I was flying from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt they would gladly provide me transfer from the airport to the ship. It is only because I am arriving by train that they refuse to provide transfer, even though the train station is at the airport.
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  #13  
Old January 10th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel72 View Post
You misread my post. We arrive in Dusseldorf three days prior to the cruise but do not arrive in Frankfurt until the day of embarkation. I fail to see why it matters where I am two or three days prior to embarkation. According to Uniworld, if I was flying from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt they would gladly provide me transfer from the airport to the ship. It is only because I am arriving by train that they refuse to provide transfer, even though the train station is at the airport.
Call again and get some one else or speak to a Supervisor! Seems to me for $$ they should be willing, maybe Customer (dis) Service have a "book" of responses and don't know how to deviate from those answers.

Let us know, as I've only heard good things and Uniworld and this is such an easy fix to put a smile on a paying passengers face.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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Nana541 I agree with you. We have sailed on Uniworld before and were very impressed with them. We have no interest in using another river cruise line. But I do think that this is a little out of line. As long as I am at the airport on the day of embarkation within the time limits as outlined in the brochure, how I got to the airport should not be of any concern to Uniworld.

Now, having said that, the brochure clearly states that you should allow "up to two hours or longer" while waiting for group transfers to the ship. This has given us pause. We did not use their airport transfer before, opting to arrive in another city several days early and using a private car service to get to the embarkation port and taking several sightseeing detours along the way. If indeed we will be stuck at the airport for two or more hours in order to take advantage of the group transfer than I think I would just as soon take the train to the main station downtown and pay for a short taxi ride to the docks. If anyone has taken the Uniworld airport group transfer, did you really have to hang around the airport for several hours before the bus left?

Thanks
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  #15  
Old January 10th, 2013, 06:14 PM
ingo_e ingo_e is offline
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There is an ICE Train from FRA via Cologne to Bruxelles (ICE International?), takes about 1:20h - Fra - Cologne
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:46 PM
abredt abredt is offline
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We did the Rhone and the Danube with Uniworld. Both times we were told to go to the airport when a plane was due to arrive and join that group for the transfer to the ship. They even told us which plane to meet.

Have your travel agent call Uniworld.
cb
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:10 PM
SOShrink SOShrink is offline
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Tarheel (shouldn't you be in NC?), I have two things to say. First of all, I doubt that Uniworld would refuse to put you in one of their shuttles if you are their passenger and you are at the airport. There is usually plenty of room.
But, in your case, I strongly agree that you should go straight to downtown Frankfurt train station. The ship docks right on the river promenade close by. You will be wasting literally hours going to the airport. Get to the vessel early, drop your luggage off, take advantage of the convenient location, and go exploring. They will have hot soup and other snacks for early arrivals in the lounge, but you'll probably prefer to get a knockwurst and sauerkraut in town! Good luck! Steve (who started this thread several years ago as Jesterscourt, and who did, indeed, successfully take the train from Cologne train station directly to the Frankfurt airport successfully at the end of our cruise (thanks, everyone back then, for good advice!)
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Old January 11th, 2013, 12:50 AM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel72 View Post
You misread my post. We arrive in Dusseldorf three days prior to the cruise but do not arrive in Frankfurt until the day of embarkation. I fail to see why it matters where I am two or three days prior to embarkation. According to Uniworld, if I was flying from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt they would gladly provide me transfer from the airport to the ship. It is only because I am arriving by train that they refuse to provide transfer, even though the train station is at the airport.
Sorry - didn't quite understand what you were trying to say. You could just have your TA give Uniworld the train number (I assume you will be pre-booking a ticket) so that they have it, and then make your way to the arrival hall to meet the transfer. Don't ask if the transfer is possible - just proceed as if it is, and move forward. You will be at the airport on day of embarkation - and they will only need your arrival information. Your TA should be able to work that out with someone at Uniworld.

We have done transfers with Uniworld for our 3 cruises with them. In Paris - we were the only ones on the flight when we came in, and there was a driver waiting for us. Quick exit from the airport... In Cologne, there was going to be someone waiting for us - but we travelled in that horrible snow storm in December 2010 - so arrived into Cologne almost 8 hours late. We did have a number to call, but the station was so close to the boat dock that we took a taxi (cost was about 4 euros). In Russia, we did have to wait for a number of people - so our time in the airport was well over an hour before we left for the boat. So - no way of knowing how long the wait might be at the airport in Frankfurt for the Uniworld transfer.

However, SOShrink has a good suggestion. If you are taking the train anyway, why not take it to the station downtown and get on the boat from there? That will give you extra time in Frankfurt....

Fran

Last edited by franski; January 11th, 2013 at 12:56 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of your helpful responses. After considering our alternatives I decided to go ahead and book our train travel from Dusseldorf direct to the main Frankfurt station instead of the airport station. While I do not know for sure, it sounds like the station is close to where the boat will be docked. If anyone can confirm this I would appreciate it and if that is the case is it actually within walking distance (keeping in mind we will have a few large suitcases to pull) or should we plan on taking a taxi from Frankfurt Hbf to the docks?

Thanks again
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Carnival Tropicale - Western Caribbean 2001
Holland America Line Zuiderdam - Mediterranean 2008
Holland America Line Statendam - Alaska 2009
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Old January 11th, 2013, 06:34 PM
SOShrink SOShrink is offline
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I was on Uniworld a few years ago and we docked right near the Untermainbrucke (bridge) on the riverside promenade on the Main River called Untermainkai. Look at a map of Frankfurt and see how ridiculously close that is to the Train Station as well as downtown Frankfurt, the famous Romerberg (Old Town), and across the bridge to the Sachsenhausen District (Steamboats and other German citizens, I apologize for spelling errors!). However, it is too far to schlep luggage and a taxi shouldn't be more than €5, and you avoid the unsafe atmosphere that usually plagues train station surroundings anywhere in the world.
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