Jonas Rask Eilersen
Deutsche Bahn ICE, First Class
Hamburg, Germany - Copenhagen, Denmark
25th September 2015

When trains are good, they’re very good. So we had high expectations of the Deutsche Bahne ICE (InterCity Express), which leavesHamburg several times a day for the 4 hour 45 minute trip to Copenhagen, via the ferry (Puttgarden – Rødby). We tested out the First Class service to see how it fared in the style, comfort and efficiency stakes.

The driver welcomed passengers onboard in three languages (German, Danish and English). Shortly afterwards, a conductor came through the train to check tickets and offer newspapers and snack coupons for free coffee, tea and some chocolate, available at the onboard bistro (free for First Class passengers). Service throughout was friendly, efficient and gracious.
The DB lounge was unexpectedly calm and pleasant in the bustling station – a great place to get some work done if you arrive early. This train has a sheen of ‘glossy an new’ about it and although the carriage was almost full, in First Class the atmosphere was one of hushed elegance, space and comfort. The seat was supremely comfortable, affording plenty of leg room, adequate recline and nice and blue leather-feel upholstery. There was also an in-seat power socket and audio system (some seats offered video). Everything lookedimmaculately clean and new.
As soon as we sat down, the train started moving through the city centre, then the suburbs and finally across open land. Some 1h30m after departure from Hamburg, the train drove onto a ferry (from Puttgarden). Passengers are not allowed to stay on the train during the crossing. This was actually a welcome break – RASK stretched our legs and checked out the shops on the ferry. After the 50 minute crossing, and once back on the train, it was a swift traverse across Lolland and Zealand to Copenhagen – and the doors opened at 20.14 – exactly on schedule.

The food in the lounge was delicious – staff offered to bring all kinds of refreshments to my table while I was working. RASK sipped on a glass of Sekt, and a filling slice of rye bread with cheese. On board, RASK was given coupons by a conductor, which we cashed in for a decidedly ‘un-fancy’ sparkling water, coffee and huge Snickers bar – it did hit the spot though!
Perceived Value
Excellent - an utter bargain, in fact.
RASK pronounces this THE way to travel in Northern Europe. At a great fare, and just a small surcharge, we travelled in absolute – supreme – comfort between two of Europe’s most exciting cities.