Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics


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172 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Thank you for the Rhine river update. Much appreciated.
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cheers,
david



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1 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Have just returned from a Scenic cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were meant to be on the Scenic Ruby but this was changed to the Scenic Pearl. We weren't told why but are presuming Ruby was either stuck in a low level of river or there was a mechanical problem. If anyone has further information we would appreciate it. We left Budapest on 31 July and made it to just South of Passau where we were informed that we couldn't get any further. We spent 5 days/4 nights on buses and in motels before joining the Scenic Jade in Andernach for our final 3 nights to Amsterdam.
Houston, TX
31 Posts
Joined Jul 2018
Originally posted by histiomom
We are currently docked in Kehl just across the river from Strasbourg. (On Viking). The Scenic Jewel cruised by us headed downstream about 5 hours ago.
I was trying to track the Viking Mimir approaching Nuremberg from Amsterdam as we we approaching Passau from Budapest for a bus transfer. I noticed the tracker wasn’t always ‘real-time,’ that the data could be 24 hours old.
Rhine, Germany
2,659 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by austinetc
I've finally found an original specification for Viking longships that says 1.60 cm draft. I'm now assuming that the "1.90" that I've been seeing is a reference to their navigable depth, taking into account your comment about a "hands breadth" safety margin. Would this be correct? I wonder also; are there regulated "passing zones" in the Rhine, or is it at the captains' discretion? I'm reading a lot about traffic delays. (Our Amsterdam to Budapest cruise isn't until late October, when I'm expecting that most of this low water trouble will be over with. Or am I being overly optimistic?)
I am postponing the next lesson and will go straight to trying to answer your questions. First, draft of Viking ships: the figure 1.90m has been around for so long in discussions that I cannot remember how it came about. sbbeachguy told us on 8 August their ship the Viking Mani has a draft of 1.53m. That is the lowest I have read for Viking. The Neptun shipyard where all the longships are built gives the draft as 1.60m. By the way, they also build the ships for Arosa Flussreisen and give their draft as being 1.60m as well. I have read 1.90 and even 2.00m, which might suggest that you are right in thinking that the safety margin was calculated into this. But I cannot say if that is correct and why one would calculate it thus. I think it would more confuse than help. There have been many figures thrown around for drafts which in my opinion has something to do with differences according to "empty ship", "average draft" and "ship with full drinking water tanks". In 2015 one poster started a thread about why some ships sail and others do not and chengkp75 taught us (including me as you will read) much about draft and what affects it: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...s#post48304873

Your second question: as regards actual traffic regulations on the river I am quite lost. What I do know is that on some stretches overtaking is allowed while at some danger spots (also when the navigation channel is too narrow of course) this is prohibited. Passing is done with the help of communication and signals, is usually straightforward but can sometimes require coordinating (as explained to me by the captain on my river cruise ship). The Rhine has very dangerous bends where until a few decades ago you were only allowed to sail with the help of a qualified pilot. Yes, you probably guessed it, it is in the castle stretch. It is still dangerous round there and the radio signal is very sketchy so the traffic is regulated by "traffic lights"! They look like this: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheins...ankeck-EBV.JPG

Your third question: as I have mentioned we have had an exceptionally dry year and the low water level will stay with us for a while from what it looks like at the moment, yet an actual prediction in figures is not possible. The maximum forecast/prediction experts give is seven days. To clarify "low water": In Kaub for example we currently have official low water status (86cm and lower, which is a statistical value averaged over ten years) but a rise above that figure - let's say 20cm - is still low. It affects barges but has hardly any negative affect on river cruising.


Edit: forgot the figures: Maxau 364cm, Kaub 71cm, Koblenz 72cm.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
Oceanside, CA
66 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
notamermaid: Your insights are excellent and entertaining. Regarding future water levels: While I fully realize that predicting levels two months in advance border on the ridiculous, they also shouldn't be ignored out of hand. "Record heat", "record low water" aren't usually thrown around casually. Justification for my personal concern is that for this trip I chose a two-room suite. (An attempt to connive my wife into finally retiring!) Two-room suites don't translate well into bus seats. I think a call to Viking is in my future.
Rhine, Germany
2,659 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by austinetc
notamermaid: Your insights are excellent and entertaining. Regarding future water levels: While I fully realize that predicting levels two months in advance border on the ridiculous, they also shouldn't be ignored out of hand. "Record heat", "record low water" aren't usually thrown around casually. Justification for my personal concern is that for this trip I chose a two-room suite. (An attempt to connive my wife into finally retiring!) Two-room suites don't translate well into bus seats. I think a call to Viking is in my future.
I understand your concern. You are right, especially "record low water" is not a term uttered quickly or lightly, us being used to low water scenarios. Do keep Viking on their toes about informing you well (and as much in advance as possible)!

I hope all goes well and you will be able to enjoy the suite - and the food - and the landscape.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
Longboat Key Fl
34 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
TAshiChino, did Scenic offer any compensation for riding 5 days on a bus instead of cruising? What types of motels were used? THanks. We leave next month for the Amsterdam to Budapest route and now having some concerns how we will be treated if low water conditions continue.
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Judy

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