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notamermaid

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About notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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    trains
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    Europe

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  1. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    That is good to read. I have just had a look and the Jane Austen is already on the Main now which suggests to me she is travelling without passengers, not having stopped in Rüdesheim. Passengers or not, she is through! Likewise I have just spotted the River Princess (110m) approaching Koblenz so she has been through the Rhine gorge this afternoon as is evident by her recent track. Very good. It is possible then at 34cm at Kaub, albeit slowly and possibly without passengers, less drinking water and less fuel. Not sure that I can call that impassable now... notamermaid
  2. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    Mark_T, thanks for reporting again. Yes, I have heard that even the larger excursion boats are suffering. Despite one might think they have a substantial draft. Hence the fact that the large Goethe has not been sailing for months. I suspect going round the bend at Deutsches Eck is the problem for the large river cruise ships. Although the Moselle is regulated by locks, the last 500m or so are free-flowing towards the mouth of the river and that would make the Moselle prone to low water just as much as the Rhine. Not sure, but I assume that is why there is a problem accessing the Moselle. I am impressed that APT in conjunction with the rail operator has been able to find a slot for the train on the other route so that you can join it. Have a good flight. Edit: I have just seen you are in Vienna now. Got the timing wrong, hope Vienna and the concert are very enjoyable. notamermaid
  3. candiac, you lucky person you will have cruisecritic celebrity onboard! Chris, I hope you and all Emerald passengers will have a great time on board and at the markets. I am sure the situation will improve, it just has to with one of the cruisecritic editors joining us ordinary people. Would love to see Budapest in snow. Hope you get some, and some rain in the Danube before you leave. notamermaid
  4. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    No change to the situation today. The river levels: Maxau 317cm, Kaub 32cm, Koblenz 31cm. I cannot see this changing for the better for some days to come. Rain (and snow) forecast is not too promising. First we need to get through a couple of dry days. After that it does not look too good. I try to put it in words. Precipitation for the Rhine area South of Cologne: today virtually none, tomorrow none. Friday a little, Saturday a fair amount throughout, Sunday little in most areas with no cover of the whole area, Monday fair to good cover of the whole area. All in all that is not enough to keep a rising level going for more than a couple of days. I hope the weather people err on the amount and there will be a bit more than the colour chart suggests. Naturally, the levels are low on the lower Rhine again as well. Here are some navigation channel depths (these figures are good on paper only and will not be the same throughout an entire river stretch): Maxau 158cm, Kaub 144cm, Koblenz 163cm, Cologne 192cm, Emmerich 210cm. notamermaid
  5. Geography Passau in Indonesia, now that is exotic. One of my favourite comparisons is Nassau on the Lahn river in Germany and Nassau on the Bahamas. They could hardly differ more from another. But comparing the two Passaus tops the Nassaus. Yep, cruisecritic is good for geography. Thank you for the photos of Passau in 2013. Saw the flooding images at the time on television, of course. We on the Rhine can relate well. Although I am not directly threatened in house and home when the Rhine bursts its banks, the knowledge of the next flood happening with almost annual certainty is always there in the back of my mind. But for now, there is far too little water. I hope most of that rain forecast will make it into the Danube in the right places. We need to get your petrol prices down quickly. notamermaid
  6. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    Hello newbrunswicker, as G.M.T. has just informed you, the current situation is bad for river cruising, even for the Monarch Empress. But there is a glimmer of hope as the Monarch Empress is, as you said, 110m long. Were she to be in the Rhine gorge today there is a slight chance she could make it. It is theoretical but you can track a ship on marinetraffic.com that is trying its best: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:330463/mmsi:269057512/imo:0/vessel:JANE_AUSTEN The Jane Austen is 110m long and her signal has been lost going past Spay upstream towards Rüdesheim. Click on the link "past track". Do it again in a few hours and also see where her blue marker on the map reappears. If she reappears near Rüdesheim she is through, if she reappears near Koblenz she double-backed, probably after a stop at St. Goarshausen. Up to that point the Rhine gorge is passable for smaller ships. Where it ends as regards size of ship I cannot say; as all international ships that usually interest us are 105m and longer we can in all respect call the Rhine gorge impassable. The stretch on the Danube that is impassable is virtually impossible to check out on marinetraffic as signals are lost for a long stretch and port arrivals and departures have not helped, I find. For the future, and your cruise is still a few days out for your ship to get where it needs to be, we need a higher level at Pfelling on the Danube, but how much of an advantage the Monarch Queen has over the large ships we will need to see. Perhaps, if she is in the right place at the right time on the Danube... For the Rhine she could just have that little less draft to get her through the gorge before the other ships can... But, again, depending on rain - and there are still some days that could bring us some till 8 December - your worries could disappear and you will have the cruise intended. At this point in time, i think it is reasonable for your river cruise company to not anticipate changes. Give it a week and try to track the Monarch Queen. By that time things might be clearer and according to the weather forecast it will have rained. notamermaid
  7. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    It is a grey November day in the valley today. No rain or snow in sight in my area (yet). Just a few days to go before the first Christmas markets start. Traditionally Christmas decorations are only put up after Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead). This year it is on 25th November. Nowadays some towns just cannot wait that long (commercially) to open the markets (yes, slight criticism intended) and start a few days before. In Germany they have to close on Sunday of the Dead and can reopen the day after. I walked into a local shop today, one with bakery attached. The place was filled with the aroma of spices, Lebkuchen and Dominosteine lying there ready to be bought and devoured. Bliss! I resisted the temptation, though and am really proud of myself. Thankfully, the river level at Kaub has not dropped further. Levels are fluctuating at a very low level. Stagnating if you look at the wider picture of 48 hours. The current levels are: Maxau 329cm, Kaub 32cm, Koblenz 32cm. Even 50cm at Kaub seems far away on the graph at the moment. The chemical giant BASF at Ludwigshafen has reported a loss due to lowered production and additional logistical costs of 50 million euros, i.e. directly connected to the low water levels, so far. Shell at Wesseling (Cologne) has adjusted production as barges can no longer reach the harbour there. The Swiss government has now also given permission to tap the strategic oil reserves. I have mentioned groceries before. This is what the drought does as well: https://www.thelocal.de/20181119/drought-causes-potato-prices-to-rise-by-more-than-half-and-they-have-more-flaws But when you really think about it this is still all "complaining while remaining at a comfortable level of wealth". It hits some harder than others, I feel sorry for those in a force majeure at work situation and especially those that have lost their job, like a couple of ferry employees. They have reason to moan (and cry). I am sitting in a warm room, heated by gas, not oil, with a functioning computer, am of relatively sound body and mind (apart from posting here, that is a bit mad ) and do not need a car to get to work. I consider myself lucky and if I get into a state of sadness about what is happening to "my" river, well, from Monday onwards I can drown my sorrows in glühwein and ease the pain with lots of Lebkuchen. Yummy! notamermaid
  8. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    Excursion boats are making the odd euro or two, as well. I mean those that are chartered to take cruisers through the Rhine gorge. I was a bit shocked by the tone of that email, dalekwho. While they are entitled to their opinion and business model, I regard neither tone nor message as appropriate. The company is certainly fortunate not to fall under EU regulations. notamermaid
  9. notamermaid

    Rhine & Danube Port Walkability/Accessibility

    This is a tricky one. When you look at the brochures you can sometimes see the towns and attractions photographed without a ship near by. That does actually mean the attraction is sometimes not near by. A few of the places are not actually on the river itself. Nuremberg is not on the Danube and the ships dock on the canal. Passau is so crowded these days you might be or might not be in the prime spot. Apart from being essentially on a hill. Cologne could see you further out than you want to be. It varies from town to town. Touring is often done by bus. The brutal truth is, if you cannot climb three steps onto a coach I do not recommend a river cruise. In times of low water things could get very inconvenient for you if cannot climb many steps. Will you and your husband enjoy a cruise where some of the places can hardly be reached by you? Are you fine with being slow negotiating the old cobble stones? Some of those are worse than others, mostly you will be fine, but steps to many attractions of the old kind could be difficult for you. You cannot get into Marksburg castle if you are not steady on your feet and a walker is impossible. These are just a few examples. You might prefer a shorter trip to see if you can handle it. That is my suggestion. While Viking will be happy to accommodate you as much as possible, I am sure, do have a look at their policy as I seem to remember they address mobility in their terms and conditions. You can look those up online, I think. This is my general opinion. I am sure past cruisers of Viking will give you an insight into their travels soon. notamermaid
  10. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    Onto river levels. Things are getting just that little bit worse on the Rhine. While it has snowed a bit in Passau and other parts of Bavaria, the Rhine valley has been drier today so far. A bit of rain and the odd snowflake will make it to the valley. But very little and scattered. Nothing to speak of really, yet. It is cold. The levels have dropped a bit again, as forecast. Maxau 318cm, Kaub 29cm, Koblenz 31cm. For the next few days, a slight further drop is possible, but overall stagnation is in the forecast. The rain/snow that is forecast for this week is not reflected in the graph yet. It will reach, if at all, Kaub after Wednesday. Rain in the catchment area will become more on Friday. The precipitation forecast for Saturday is looking a bit more promising, with Sunday also looking like a good day. Bear in mind this is all bit of a drop in the ocean - okay, three drops - but better than none at all. And I think I am now ready for a bit of snow. With the situation as it presents itself at the moment one does not need a Crystal ball to see that the problems will stay with us into the Christmas market cruises. The question is just how much of a problem will it still be? A previous poster has mentioned that on their cruise it was said that the Rhine needs two months of rain to get the situation back to normal. I dare not say that is right or wrong. It seems a little bit of a pessimistic view to me, but then, I am not a captain and what is meant with "normal"? 100cm at Kaub is still not normal, especially for barge cruising regarded as too low economically speaking and below of what we normally have in November/December. For river cruisers 70cm is very low for ships but can be enough for some 135m ships and sailing the itinerary as intended. I hope we will get there soon. (Sad look on my face, frustration, child stamping her feet crying "I want" etc. - computer geeks should try and create an emoji for that). notamermaid
  11. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    Yesterday's conversation concerning the Amadeus Silver, where she is now and if she will be there for the cruise, has reminded me of an article in German about river cruise ships' docking situation in this time of crisis. The Amadeus Silver is resting in a harbour outside of Frankfurt, by the way. And that is exactly the thing. Where do you put all the ships that are not needed or cannot sail? Docking sites cost money. Well, apparently not all of them. I cannot speak for the winter months in harbours, that is a different situation but, during the season where do you go, if you have a week or so till your next cruise? One option is a town called Offenbach on the Main. River cruise companies prefer that place to Frankfurt as Offenbach does not cost anything compared to Frankfurt. Ships have facilities there for maintance and get the odd "lick of paint" and a good clean to get them ready for the Christmas market cruises. The suburb of Rauental on the Moselle, belonging to Koblenz, is currently used by the River Voyager, a spot where ships have been put temporarily while awaiting their next itinerary before. Some ships might even be in their winter harbour already. On marinetraffic have a look at Cologne Niehl harbour (North of Cologne) where you can see many blue dots. I suspect some of those ships will not go on a Christmas market cruise. Catching up with a few posts: gadugger, good to read you made it to your ship in time. It was a bit of a mental marathon for you... Time to sit back and relax. Have a great cruise. Mark_T, thank you for keeping us informed from your cruise and the photos. A minor change for you again, but it sounds like a good one. Enjoy dinner tonight at Namedy castle. Nice that they took you to Drachenfels castle. Up on that hill, or rather looking up at that hill, is where it all started in earnest. The "pop star" of Romantic literature George Lord Byron and his verse on the castl'd crag of Drachenfels where the dawn of Rhine travels and "mass tourism" in Europe. Drachenfels castle is an old ruin but the attraction these days is also the late 19th century castle building: https://www.schloss-drachenburg.de/index.php/en/ jazzbeau, the regulations cited do indeed only apply to EU citizens. We are fortunate in having had courts that ruled favourably in the past about missed attractions on holidays. In these times of low water, although non of it is due to any fault of the river cruise companies, there is a kind of "obligation" to provide the holiday and if they cannot deliver the product, many passengers depending on context and severity of the disruption are entitled to receive money back. But I cannot go into details. notamermaid
  12. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    I have found cruise mapper to give good details about ships and the display of map with its features is somewhat more pleasant visually but as regards up-to-date information about ship positions I have found marinetraffic to be better. notamermaid
  13. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    I am sorry to read that. As of now, yes, the Amadeus Silver would not get back from where she is now to Koblenz on the Rhine. If you mean the Amadeus Silver ( there are also the ll and the lll), she is docked in Frankfurt according to marinetraffic. She might or might not be on an itinerary but can still be ready for you waiting at Mainz for you for example. You have a few days to go. If you are worried about flights and itinerary changes I suggest you keep in touch with your tour operator in writing so you have a record of the communication. I hope things work out for you and that you have a great cruise. notamermaid
  14. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    This is your (complete) cruise, isn't it? https://www.teemingrivercruises.com/cruises/js191118-bud-ams/#itinerary You are only doing the second leg. The Johann Strauss is in Regensburg and could obviously not make it to Budapest. Which I assume means the stretch from Straubing to Vilshofen is impassable for her as a 110m ship. This would mean that the situation is potentially worse on the Danube in that stretch than it was in the Rhine gorge South of Koblenz when she last sailed there. As your trip is still quite a few days out before you get close to the Rhine gorge, it could well mean Teeming River Cruises is not expecting the Johann Strauss to not get through the Rhine gorge. At the current level she could have problems - but even that is not certain - but if the level rises at Kaub she will likely be fine. In short: two stretches of river present a problem for river cruise ships due to low water between Vienna and Amsterdam. Budapest to Vienna adds itself to that at later point, when the river falls even further - like it has done again and is currently the case. notamermaid
  15. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

    The precipitation map only goes as far as 25th, so 24th looks good but 25th less so. 14-day weather forecast is quite vague, but looking at a few individual places in the valley it does not look promising between 26 and 29th. notamermaid
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