A Deutsche Bahn (DB) ICE train at Berlin Hauptbahnhof (photo © hidden europe).
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has a very attractive rover offer for this summer. At some time over the weeks ahead, DB will announce details of its 2015 Deutschland-Pass. This is a rail pass which allows unlimited rail travel for one month across Germany.
There are no restrictions on who can buy a Deutschland-Pass. It is not limited to German residents. This summer-season pass is very much better value than Eurail or InterRail passes for Germany.
Usually reliable sources tell us that the 2015 Deutschland-Pass will be available for sale from late June — most probably from Saturday 27 June. Passes give unlimited travel for a full month from the first date of validity. The last date on which these passes may be used will be in early or mid September. The word is that the cut-off date for 2015 could well be Sunday 13 September.
We expect the 2015 prices to be as follows:
Pass holders in either of the above two categories can enter the names of up to four children on their pass, who then travel with them without charge.
There are a number of other pass options, including attractively priced passes for couples and families. For example two adults and three children can enjoy unlimited first-class travel across Germany for an entire month for just €669.
For young travellers (aged 15 to 18), there is a discounted version of the Deutschland-Pass for just €159. That’s a neat way of pulling teenagers who might not normally think of making long journeys by train. Lure them off the discount coach services during the school summer hols and perhaps they’ll become lifelong rail travellers.
Travellers from countries outside Germany are often tempted by one of the many rail passes marketed to visitors to the country. All such passes are poor value compared with the Deutschland-Pass. The InterRail one-country pass for Germany allows just eight days travel within a month and for adults (26+) costs €313 in second class or €492 in first class.
DB market a German Rail Pass to visitors from outside Europe. There are a variety of options. One of the best-value deals in this range is the Family Pass, which allows two adults and three children to roam Germany for 15 days in first-class comfort for 1336 US Dollars. That’s over €1200 — almost twice the price of a Deutschland-Pass which would be valid for a full month rather than just 15 days.
Germany is a country of such variety and of a size that one might easily wander for a month without covering the same ground twice. Few other European countries have an unlimited rail travel offer which comes close to matching the Deutschland-Pass. In Britain, for example, there is the popular all-line rover ticket which costs £724 for a week’s travel in first class — that is over €1000 for just seven days. It’s hard to fathom how a week’s first-class travel in Britain can cost more than twice as much as a entire month’s first-class travel across Germany’s much larger rail network.
In Britain ‘unlimited’ does not actually mean unrestricted. The British all-line rover is hedged by restrictions about travel in the morning peak period, although in fairness these restrictions apply only to travel to or from ten stations in south-east England and the Midlands.
This article is based on information supplied by a normally very reliable source. If you are planning on using the Deutschland-Pass in 2015, it would be wise to check details once they are confirmed and made public by DB. We expect that will be in early or mid June.