Harwich-Hoek-Rotterdam

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by stuu, 4 Nov 2019.

  1. stuu

    stuu Member

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    I'm planning on going to Hamburg via the Harwich-Hoek overnight ferry. The ferry is due to arrive at 8am, what is a sensible time to book a train leaving from Rotterdam Centraal?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I would allow about 90 mins.
     
  4. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Assuming it's a weekday, you have a metro at 8:11 and every 20 minutes to Schiedam. From experience of the old service, you will not make the 8:11, but the next one should be OK, so Schiedam 08.54. The Man in Seat 61 agrees, and he's just done the trip!
    The DB Planner shows (currently) a 10.35 departure from Centraal, 16.14 into Hamburg, and you have plenty of time for that.
    The previous one is 09.14 (just possible, but you are relying on a series of tight connections via Venlo, and the only time I did that I lost an hour, so not worth it).

    If you are into rare track, until December the Hamburg trains are diverted via Rheine and then one of the connecting curves from Osnabruck LL to HL; just put Rheine as an intermediate stop for 10 minutes, and you'll get a DB fare leaving Rotterdam at 09:50. Otherwise just take your time!
     
  5. stuu

    stuu Member

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    Thanks for the replies.. I'm going to go for the 1020 from Rotterdam then (we are going in February), that should leave plenty of time without having to worry. I wasn't sure how much hanging around there is waiting to disembark and queueing for passport control etc.
     
  6. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    That will be fine, I've done ship to platform in 20min, and I was well back in the queue to disembark.
     
  7. paddington

    paddington Member

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    I have never encountered any significant number of foot passengers that would slow things down. Although immigration and customs might be slower if we leave the EU, depending on transitional arrangements?
     
  8. superjohn

    superjohn Member

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    On my last couple of crossings there have been large parties of Indian tourists on an organised European tour travelling as foot passengers. They arrive at Harwich by coach and are collected by another at Hoek. You’ll know if they are on board as there will be an area of the self service restaurant set aside for their meal service.

    If they happen to be on your trip it would be wise to be near the front of the disembarkation queue, that many non EU passports will take a while at the border check. Your best bet is to hover near the bureau de change as the boat is manoeuvring on to the berth.
     
  9. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    I recently did this journey (London to Hamburg) using the London - boat - any Dutch station through ticket, and then a Hamburg ticket from the border (Hengelo). I figured that was cheaper than "wasting" part of the sail-rail combined ticket and paying for a Hamburg train from further back in the Netherlands. I allowed plenty of time for Schiedam-Hengalo (there are plenty of options, via various routes, many with only one change - depending on when you reach Schiedam on the metro). I also factored in a lunch-break at Hengelo; my Hamburg train was scheduled as a 17.14 arrival. But now I know the speed of the metro link and so on, I realise I could have fairly safely booked for an earlier arrival in Hamburg. (As it happened, there was a problem on the Hengelo-Osnabruck line the day I travelled, so I didn't get the Osnabruck connection I was supposed to, and arrived in Hamburg late.)

    Since I think there aren't direct trains from Rotterdam to Hamburg, hence the need for changes anyway, then I decided that - irrespective of my ticketing considerations - it made sense to leave the metro at Schiedam and start on "real" trains from there (whether the necessary connection(s) included Rotterdam or not), especially since the Hook metro line doesn't go via Rotterdam Central station, and hence requires a metro change anyway.

    In terms of speed getting off the boat, although from the gangway to the metro station is seamless, and a fairly straight (and without steps) internal route, it really is one hell of a walk. It must be one of the longest "inside" connections of its sort. I don't remember anything as lengthy on this route years ago - perhaps it's because of some combination of bigger boats, gangways being connected to a different part of the boat, or the boat tying up further long the quay?
     
  10. dutchflyer

    dutchflyer Member

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    IF you used an advance ticket (sparpreis) for the 2nd sector to HH (=Hansestadt Hamburg) then these are usually same price from any NL-station.
    You can save money by booking them (on bahn.de) from (bad) Bentheim en paying extra for the leg border-Benth., as these are mostly around 20€ cheaper. But then I DK if the sector 1tickets can be issued at all to (Oldenzaal/grens=border). The very short border-benth section can be bought as chiptickets from any NS-machine that issues tickets and can be had for less as half the rather high price (per KM) by using the eurobahn trains, only online ticketing, and of course with then extended travel times and a large chance on cancellation too. As alternative: use the Niedersachsenticket for just slow Nahverkehr trains, 24€/day, and valid on eb from hengelo too and also in HH for local transit, thus much slower and changes needed at Osnabrück and Bremen (=HB). if you know the tricks it can be bought even on board the eb trains for cash.
    Explanation: domestic tickets are always (a lot) cheaper as those over border and Hengelo (O, there are 2 such towns here in NL) is NOT a border station. Once more: in the past INTernational ticketing was based on ''borderpoints'' at the exact border and just counting the KMs each side for the appropriate amount to pay as addition of the countries concerned and their different tariffs.
     
  11. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Given the long wait before you can catch the IC into Germany, this is well worth considering if cost is an issue. The NDS ticket is available online from DB (as is a ticket Hengelo/Oldenzaal-Bad Bentheim BTW).
    The quickest route (an hour faster) from the ferry to Hamburg by regional train is actually via Groningen and the RRB to Leer, but I don't know if you'd have to pay on the bus.
     
  12. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    It is true that the metro does not directly service Rotterdam Centraal, but (depending on where you're going) this might not be much of an issue. You can change at Schiedam Centrum for trains towards The Hague/Leiden/Amsterdam, if you want to go towards Gouda/Utrecht/Amersfoort (or beyond) you can continue by metro towards Rotterdam Alexander and pick up your connecting train there. All IC trains leaving Rotterdam Centraal to go towards the north/east will also call at Rotterdam Alexander.
     
  13. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Thanks, didn't realise that. It does, however, take almost 30 minutes to get from Scheidam to Alexander.
     
  14. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    I used the overnight ferry on Thursday - there were very few foot passengers - only 6 of us alighted at Harwich International off the 19.32 from Liverpool Street - about 20 or so of us alighted at Hoek - a brisk walk meant I caught the 08.11 metro from Hoek with 3 minutes to spare.

    From train to cabin at Harwich took less than 10 minutes - from ship to train at Hoek 8 mins. Compared with over 50 minutes from train to getting through security at Schipol on Friday coming back! I would have come back by Eurostar buts it difficult to justify a fare 3 times higher than the air fare when you are on expenses.
     
  15. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    That's true, but going via Rotterdam Centraal if you're heading for Gouda/Utrecht/Amersfoort won't be quicker. Journey planners will advise you to stay on board the metro if you're traveling that way, as it saves a change and the wait at Alexander will be shorter.
     
  16. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Thanks for various suggestions concerning pricing/routing for Hamburg, in response to my note about my trip. However, even though I obviously hadn't realised all the issues that have been pointed out, when deciding to book to Hamburg from Hengelo it seems I probably did make a cost-effective choice. Looking at a random date a few weeks hence, I see that there are cheaper tickets from Hengelo than from, eg, Rotterdam, so getting the maximum out of the Dutch railways ticket that comes with the sail-rail all-in deal does seem sensible. And as for doing that plus a ticket to hop over the border, and then getting an internal German ticket from there, I've noticed that prices from Bad Bentheim to Hamburg - on the same connection - actually cost more (£31.50 versus £17.50) than if starting from back in Hengelo (and that's not counting the cost of the border hop)! (At least, for the time I looked - maybe if I booked months rather than weeks ahead, the BB-Hamburg would be at a better price.) So it seems I did end up doing the right thing.
     
  17. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Interesting - for a random midweek date in Feb I get EUR19.90 from Bad B and 24.90 from Hengelo, and for 6 months ahead both are 19.90. DB Sparpreis contingents work differently from ours, obviously!
     

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