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notamermaid

Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

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1 hour ago, ganski said:

We are also scheduled with Viking for the Amsterdam to Basel cruise departing November 2nd . Today we received the email from Viking that we are departing on the Eir instead of the Mani. It appears the Rhine needs a month of solid rain to get to it's proper level. We are going to make the best of it having booked this trip 14 months ago. I am hoping for minimal bus riding and a ship swap will not be the worst thing. Rain is predicted this weekend but I doubt it will improve the level very much.  

 

3

It sounds like we will likely be swapping ships halfway through our journey as the Eir and Mani are sister ships both built in 2015.   It should be an exciting trip!

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We just returned from a Viking cruise from Basel to Amsterdam and the ship swap went smooth and they did everything to make the cruise great. They rented a day cruise for the Rhine river gorge 

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2 hours ago, Walsen said:

We just returned from a Viking cruise from Basel to Amsterdam and the ship swap went smooth and they did everything to make the cruise great. They rented a day cruise for the Rhine river gorge 

Which port did you change ships?

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The river levels this afternoon: Maxau 311cm, Kaub 30cm, Koblenz 30cm. The current radar image is showing rain over the Rhine East of Basel, sweeping further East towards the Eastern lower Alps, the Danube and Bavaria. the amount the Rhine will get of this is almost negligible. We need much more. The experts anticipate more for tomorrow and hopefully this will show in the figures on Monday.

 

Apart from that there is more news of bombs in the river.

 

The good news for low water tourists in the Rhine gorge is that the Mouse Tower at Bingen can still be reached on dry foot and will be open this weekend to visitors. Other islands in the river currently also have a land connection and the locals will be flocking to those this weekend, complete with kids, dogs and in a few cases, motor bikes and cars! At least that is what newspapers have reported happened last weekend...

 

notamermaid

 

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 11:06 PM, Olivera said:

Hi

Just wanted to check whether there's anyone going on the Scenic- Zurich to Amsterdam Christmas Markets Tour departing Zurich on 12/12/18 and whether anyone has any update regards the tour? Just checked the Scenic website and it says river levels are still low.

Do you depart from Zurich or Basel, if it's the Opal you are on, hopefully, we will be joining you.

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We just returned Tuesday from Viking's Cities of Lights, left Prague and boarded in Bamberg on the Main River. We made  it to Mainz and the ship could go no further, many other lines were also stranded there as well. Our next three planned stops were done by bus, we missed cruising the Rhine and Mosel to our final destination of Trier. Our trip continued to Paris from Mainz with a stop in Luxembourg, a long bus trip.  Viking did arrange an smaller excursion boat with lunch to see the Rhine Gorge, still so lovely but the water levels were shockingly low, some areas so very narrow for boats to navigate, once you see for yourself, you can understand why this is such a nightmare for the River cruising industry.  We were bussed to our planned stops thereafter, not ideal but we were at least able to stay on the same boat and no hotels. We were joined with some other Viking boats and heard stories of changing boats, long bus rides, a lot of unhappy people. We were notified before leaving that there might be a possibility of a disruption, the cruise before ours was not interrupted and Viking was very good and I felt honest about keeping us updated. Talking with guides and locals, they have never seen anything like this and say that it could take months for the rivers to recover. However, we had an amazing trip, the weather was totally awesome and while not so happy about long bus rides we did not let it ruin our vacation. We came home to a nice voucher that we can apply to another cruise that we had already planned for next year. Totally happy with our Viking experience, I wish everyone good luck with their planned cruising.

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It looks like the area is getting some rain; Basel up through Heidelberg is getting rain, although it is drier further north.

I am fervently hoping that the rain continues in November.

I really like this site since it gives an idea of water levels, and areas that are not faring as well as others for river depth.

What I would like to understand is how much water does a river cruise ship need in depth? I know it varies by size and even by cruise line, and I *think* I read on here that 50 cm is a possible minimum? In looking at the river depths in the link below, you really can get a feel for depths at various points on the rivers. 

And as always, thank you notamermaid for you information, interpretation, and perceptions.

 

https://www.bafg.de/EN/06_Info_Service/01_WaterLevels/waterlevels_node.html;jsessionid=BB6C4479144C6D8B21E1FB79175A4B90.live21303

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We are on a Tauck trip in late November from Koln to Basel, visiting Christmas markets in Germany and France. I am guessing we will do part of this on bus, which means a whole different way of packing, but as our main object is walking and eating good winter French and German food (we lived in the area for several years) we are prepared to roll with the punches. Horrified by the photos and videos of the low levels of water, and expecting this will be a very strange adventure :-)

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21 minutes ago, Intlxpatr said:

We are on a Tauck trip in late November from Koln to Basel, visiting Christmas markets in Germany and France. I am guessing we will do part of this on bus, which means a whole different way of packing, but as our main object is walking and eating good winter French and German food (we lived in the area for several years) we are prepared to roll with the punches. Horrified by the photos and videos of the low levels of water, and expecting this will be a very strange adventure :-)

Maybe not. There is rain in the forecast for which there was almost none for the whole month of October.  So if it rains, all hope is not lost!

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2 hours ago, hbr777 said:

What I would like to understand is how much water does a river cruise ship need in depth? I know it varies by size and even by cruise line, and I *think* I read on here that 50 cm is a possible minimum? In looking at the river depths in the link below, you really can get a feel for depths at various points on the rivers.

The depths you see there are not the actual depth of the navigation channel, so you need to pay attention to the lines on the graphs, look for a level that is around the GIW line as a minimum, and preferably higher around the MNW line that you can just see above. Here is the graph for Kaub as an example:

image.png.3647e6665de89a749b3466c1bf5fb229.png

 

Thanks again to notamermaid for explaining this yesterday.

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43 minutes ago, Mark_T said:

The depths you see there are not the actual depth of the navigation channel, so you need to pay attention to the lines on the graphs, look for a level that is around the GIW line as a minimum, and preferably higher around the MNW line that you can just see above. Here is the graph for Kaub as an example:

image.png.3647e6665de89a749b3466c1bf5fb229.png

 

Thanks again to notamermaid for explaining this yesterday.

Yes, thanks. I appreciate the interpretation. I was actually paying attention to the color coding, and all of the orange areas.  Which make me sad 😞

 

What is not clear from anything I have read is...are river cruises still moving on the Rhine, are they doing ship swaps, bus tours, or what? I'd like to get some idea of what the situation is now. 

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1 minute ago, hbr777 said:

What is not clear from anything I have read is...are river cruises still moving on the Rhine, are they doing ship swaps, bus tours, or what? I'd like to get some idea of what the situation is now. 

 

Different answers for different cruise lines.

 

Right now though none of them are able to get past the Rhine Gorge.

 

Viking are keeping on the rivers for the most part with multiple ship swaps if necessary, this is the upside of having so many ships.

 

Crystal are significantly changing itineraries and in some cases shortening them as well, but as a result no ship swaps or hotels.

 

Others are doing swaps where they can and hotels where they can't or just cancelling.

 

 

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Thanks Mark.

I don't leave until 12/3 on AMA Basel to Amsterdam so I have so more time to freak out. Or not.

I feel badly for those scheduled for the coming week. They must be on pins and needles.

I would be somewhat sanguine about the whole thing but I am group leader for 11 others, some who have not been to Europe ever. I am hoping and praying to the rain gods that this works out.

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Fortunately you have nearly 6 weeks so I'd have thought there is a good chance that you'll get the water you need.

 

We leave in 2 weeks so rather more uncertain for us, but at least we don't have long to wait for a decision as APT have said they'll let us know end of next week.

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On 10/26/2018 at 5:13 PM, gadugger said:

Still no word from AMA. Train fare from Amsterdam to Basel has gone up in the last few days to a little over $500 for two people first class going to Paris on one train then transferring to another train going on to Basel.

 

Try looking at all three countries' train websites. If the train starts in Amsterdam and goes via Paris before ending in Switzerland, each country's train company will sell tickets. Often, the prices will differ, and sometimes the difference is substantial. So look at prices on the Swiss, French, and Dutch sites. (sbb.ch, sncf.com, and ns.nl, respectively). Some itineraries probably go through Germany, so check their site too: bahn.de. 

 

In general, prices rise as the journey gets closer and cheaper tix sell out. Swiss tickets are generally the most expensive. I don't have experience with Dutch tickets. French and German tix are cheaper when you buy in advance. Exceptions can be found but these generalities usually hold IME. It is also generally cheaper to buy direct from one of the national train services, and not from a reseller.

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1 hour ago, Mark_T said:

Fortunately you have nearly 6 weeks so I'd have thought there is a good chance that you'll get the water you need.

 

We leave in 2 weeks so rather more uncertain for us, but at least we don't have long to wait for a decision as APT have said they'll let us know end of next week.

Fingers crossed for you, Mark. I hope you get to take your cruise!

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34 minutes ago, jpalbny said:

 

Try looking at all three countries' train websites. If the train starts in Amsterdam and goes via Paris before ending in Switzerland, each country's train company will sell tickets. Often, the prices will differ, and sometimes the difference is substantial. So look at prices on the Swiss, French, and Dutch sites. (sbb.ch, sncf.com, and ns.nl, respectively). Some itineraries probably go through Germany, so check their site too: bahn.de. 

 

In general, prices rise as the journey gets closer and cheaper tix sell out. Swiss tickets are generally the most expensive. I don't have experience with Dutch tickets. French and German tix are cheaper when you buy in advance. Exceptions can be found but these generalities usually hold IME. It is also generally cheaper to buy direct from one of the national train services, and not from a reseller.

Excellent advice you have give.n I would also add: stay far, far away from buying tickets from Rail Europe, and as said, buy directly from the rail sites themselves. You'll also save a lot of money going second class. I find second class to be fine.

Edited by hbr777

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1 hour ago, jpalbny said:

 

Try looking at all three countries' train websites. If the train starts in Amsterdam and goes via Paris before ending in Switzerland, each country's train company will sell tickets. Often, the prices will differ, and sometimes the difference is substantial. So look at prices on the Swiss, French, and Dutch sites. (sbb.ch, sncf.com, and ns.nl, respectively). Some itineraries probably go through Germany, so check their site too: bahn.de. 

 

In general, prices rise as the journey gets closer and cheaper tix sell out. Swiss tickets are generally the most expensive. I don't have experience with Dutch tickets. French and German tix are cheaper when you buy in advance. Exceptions can be found but these generalities usually hold IME. It is also generally cheaper to buy direct from one of the national train services, and not from a reseller.

Thanks, I will follow your suggestion. I have only used Rail Europe so far. 

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Really appreciate all the great info collected here. Has been interesting to read through since we got the warning email from APT last week about the river levels for our 10 nov cruise. Fingers crossed! 

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1 hour ago, hbr777 said:

Excellent advice you have give.n I would also add: stay far, far away from buying tickets from Rail Europe, and as said, buy directly from the rail sites themselves. You'll also save a lot of money going second class. I find second class to be fine.

2nd class Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris a few years ago was pretty cramped especially in the knee area for me 5'10".

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Viking says the following on this web page:
  https://www.vikingrivercruises.com/my-trip/current-sailings/
Updated Itineraries

Please log onto MyVikingJourney.com for details regarding your specific voyage.

Recent rain has improved the water levels on the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers making sailing through possible on most routes.

However, it may take some time and more rain for all affected areas to fully recover. Viking has several contingency plans to bypass those areas where water levels remain too low and minimize the impact to each sailing. We will continue to monitor water levels daily and activate plans as necessary.

Guests on itineraries affected by residual low water conditions will be notified directly. Changing conditions may require that we notify guests on short notice.

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5 hours ago, gadugger said:

Thanks, I will follow your suggestion. I have only used Rail Europe so far. 

I recommend that you read "The Man in Seat 61" [www.seat61.com] for advice about booking train travel in Europe.  And then purchase your tickets through loco2.com

 

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We're now in Mainz after a bus cruise from Amsterdam.  I should say Wiesbaden.  We'll tour Mainz today and I assume do a riverboat cruise down the Rhine tomorrow.  I heard a rumor that even the smaller tour boats can't reach Koblenz right now.  In any case, our cruise will enter the canal tomorrow night, so my interest in Rhine water levels fades.  

Our tour guide in Cologne said that the city's services haven't suffered "yet" from the low water level.  That he even mentioned that eventuality is illustrative. Cologne deserved a lot more than a two hour tour.  It did quickly become clear that the natives have a healthy sense of humor.  A mooning statue proved that.  I liked the beer.

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8 hours ago, Rosenz said:

Really appreciate all the great info collected here. Has been interesting to read through since we got the warning email from APT last week about the river levels for our 10 nov cruise. Fingers crossed! 

 

Looks like you may be on the same cruise as us, 'Magnificent Europe' Amsterdam to Budapest 10th November?

 

... or are you doing it the other way around and leaving from Budapest on the 10th?

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