Rail & Sail from London to Amsterdam

Earlier this month we told you about our Rhine River Cruise – one of our best trips ever!  When planning the trip we figured since we were paying for airfare to Europe, why not experience more than just the river cruise?  We had never been to London before, and we saw on the map it wasn’t too far to get from London to Amsterdam by air or train.  But then we came across a third option, shown in this video:

This service is offered by the Stena Line.  When looking at costs of an extra hotel night in London followed by a train or air trip to Amsterdam on the day of our cruise, we found this rail and sail option would save us money, and it would be a new adventure for us.  We decided to go for it!

The first obstacle we found was booking the rail and sail trip online – Stena, we discovered, declined all credit cards from the U.S. because of fraud concerns.  Fortunately, Stena has an 800 number accessible from the U.S. and we were able to easily book our trip over the phone.

We’ll tell you more of our four days in London in a future blog post.  What worked extremely well for us was to hire a private driver for our last day of touring in London, and have our driver drop us at the Liverpool train station for our overnight rail and sail trip to Amsterdam.

Our rail and sail trip was great – we would to it again!  Anne writes about the experience:

“I enjoyed our trip from London to Amsterdam.  Of course it was new and different, so that can be both exciting and nerve wracking! Although Tim had purchased our train/ferry tickets in advance we had to figure out the train station in London.  Although nervous about being in the right place and catching the right train, we pulled it off and even caught an earlier train then we had expected. The train was delayed at one point and there is no convenient place to store large suitcases, but we made the best of it.

The ferry was fairly easy to board and there was assistance available to lead us in the right direction.  The ferry was more like an ocean cruise ship than I expected.  I thought the dinner was good, but there are many opportunities for them to entice you to open your wallet – menu upgrades and alcohol to name a few.  I was fine with the dinner selection and enjoyed my banana split dessert. The ship has many areas for lounging, drinking, even a casino for gambling!  Our room was very much like many of the cruise ship staterooms we have experienced in the past.  We did have fresh fruit and beverages at our cabin level.

Breakfast was good the next morning but if you go too late they start to run out of some things, since the buffet is only open for set hours.  We had no problems disembarking and were able to walk right onto the train to take us to our next destination.  I was glad we stopped at the ticket office for a pre-printed list of train stations and arrival times.  The train to Amsterdam became very crowded and again there was no convenient place to store our luggage.  With the train station in Amsterdam being so close to the pier, we didn’t even have to take a taxi.  We were able to walk the short distance to our next adventure – the river cruise.”

If you have questions about this rail and sail package, or would like to work with us on your river cruise plans, please contact us.

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