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notamermaid

Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics

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Called and spoke to 2 clueless Uniworld reps in CA today. Was not impressed. Acted like they didn’t know yesterday’s cruise was canceled. Asked where I was getting my tracking info as well as my other intel. When I stated one place was here (in the 12 minutes on hold I heard CC mentioned many time) suddenly the 2nd rep said “oh”. I asked for them to contact someone in Europe who actually knows about the river situation and call me back. Still waiting 

 

Also left message for TA and sent email explaining call discussion.  Nothing from them either.  

 

We do not have cancel for any reason insurance and we want to go on a trip. We just want to know WHICH trip. The one we booked or the one we are slamming together on our own and with the help of a new company in Europe who has been wonderful in checking hotels and tours for us. 

 

 

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Just received an email. This is Uniworld SS Antoinette scheduled for Basel to Cologne on 12/5

 

We are contacting you with an important update for your December 5 sailing on Rhine Holiday Markets

 

Due to low water on the Rhine River, the S.S. Antoinette will be unable to reach Basel for embarkation and we will therefore provide the first night of the itinerary at the Colombi Hotel. This is a beautiful 5-star property in nearby Freiburg, a picturesque city in Germany’s Black Forest region.

 

 

  • Guests with scheduled Uniworld airport transfers will be taken directly to the hotel from the airport in Basel. Transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Guests without scheduled Uniworld transfers will be able to take advantage of one of our complimentary shuttles to the hotel. Shuttle times and pick-up locations are being finalized and will be sent in a separate notification.

 

Please respond to this notice if you would like us to make changes to the email address we have on file for notifications, or to provide other contact details. While we do not anticipate last-minute changes, we may need to reach out to our guests at any time up to the day of embarkation/check-in.

 

Rain is predicted in the area, and river conditions are continuously changing. Please be assured that our operations teams are monitoring the situation continuously and will provide a complete program for our guests. However, due to the nature of the situation it will not be possible to confirm all details of the itinerary in advance.

 

In addition to our pre-departure notifications, once onboard the ship our Cruise Manager will provide a daily briefing for our guests with full details on the upcoming day, based on current conditions.

 

 

 

So now we know. But one night at a time?  And no real specifics on what we’re doing. Ugh. I’d almost rather they’d cancel as they’re not used to doing an “ad hoc” itinerary from what I’ve seen here 

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9 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Good to hear, Intlxpatr. I believe you docked in Andernach and headed up the gorge to get to Heidelberg. Correct?

I like this itinerary for the rare fact that it stops in Baden-Baden. Few river cruises do. I know of a Swiss one (tour operator) that does it a few times a year.

 

I would love to see the Christmas angel arriving in the carriage. Enjoy.

 

notamermaid

 

We went to the opening tonight. We didn't get to see the carriage, but we listened to a wonderful school choir, the Mayor greeted the people and welcomed the Angel who appeared from between the curtains at the back of the amphitheater, and read a Christmas poem. We agree with you, the Baden Baden market is beautiful, and very large, with unique items we haven't seen anywhere else. We think it is one of our best experiences, but then . . . we've thought every market was cheery and magical. 

 

Yes, we left the MS Grace at Andernach and met up with the MS Inspire docked in a canal in a small town with locks that starts with a G, like Gerbersheim. We left there tonight to cruise about 30 minutes (LOL) the approximately 17 km to Strasbourg. 

 

We booked this company on the strength of the city markets they chose: Aachen, Koln, Rudisheim, Heidelberg, Baden Baden, Strasbourg, Colmar ending in Basel. Tauck has done a great job making it all work. We are having a great time. 

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35 minutes ago, masonpips said:

Just received an email. This is Uniworld SS Antoinette scheduled for Basel to Cologne on 12/5

 

We are contacting you with an important update for your December 5 sailing on Rhine Holiday Markets

 

Due to low water on the Rhine River, the S.S. Antoinette will be unable to reach Basel for embarkation and we will therefore provide the first night of the itinerary at the Colombi Hotel. This is a beautiful 5-star property in nearby Freiburg, a picturesque city in Germany’s Black Forest region.

 

 

  • Guests with scheduled Uniworld airport transfers will be taken directly to the hotel from the airport in Basel. Transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Guests without scheduled Uniworld transfers will be able to take advantage of one of our complimentary shuttles to the hotel. Shuttle times and pick-up locations are being finalized and will be sent in a separate notification.

 

Please respond to this notice if you would like us to make changes to the email address we have on file for notifications, or to provide other contact details. While we do not anticipate last-minute changes, we may need to reach out to our guests at any time up to the day of embarkation/check-in.

 

Rain is predicted in the area, and river conditions are continuously changing. Please be assured that our operations teams are monitoring the situation continuously and will provide a complete program for our guests. However, due to the nature of the situation it will not be possible to confirm all details of the itinerary in advance.

 

In addition to our pre-departure notifications, once onboard the ship our Cruise Manager will provide a daily briefing for our guests with full details on the upcoming day, based on current conditions.

 

 

 

So now we know. But one night at a time?  And no real specifics on what we’re doing. Ugh. I’d almost rather they’d cancel as they’re not used to doing an “ad hoc” itinerary from what I’ve seen here 

masonpips,

Freiburg is a lovely place. A nice choice for a hotel stay. You can read up a bit on Freiburg on visit.freiburg.de

 

But I agree with you that this "one day at a time" planning is not pleasant. Especially as the SS Antoinette is still docked in Cologne. Granted, rain is coming. According to the weather forecast on television this evening a considerable amount is expected. I am hopeful that the SS Antoinette can meet you in Freiburg. But even with the rain coming it is not certain yet. Eight days to go and the gorge not "open" yet, that in my humble opinion is a close call.

 

I hope you can still look forward to Christmas markets and some lovely scenery.

 

notamermaid

 

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11 hours ago, notamermaid said:

 

Naa, not a pain at all!

 

My kitchen boiler (water heater) is a pain. It has lost its ability to switch itself off. A couple of weeks ago I turned it on, only to find the sink area covered in steam with the machine boiling the water as if it wanted to drive a steam engine. Had to disconnect it from the electricity supply immediately. I can turn it on but have to time it with an egg timer so I do not scold my hands while doing the washing up. First world problem, but it is a pain.

 

My regards to the North East of England by the way. Not sure where you are but North of England puts you in sort of vicinity of Newcastle. I was pleasantly surprised by the city on my recent (first) visit. My plan is to make it further North into Northumberland soon. To see some really splendid castles of course. :classic_smile:

 

Talking of castles. I have mentioned before that the Upper Middle Rhine valley is the famous castle stretch on the Rhine but the castles (and palaces) continue to a lesser degree right down to Bonn. It has been a while since I posted this overview so here goes again: https://www.romantischer-rhein.de/en/what-to-see-and-do/culture/castles/map-overview-castles/

 

Unfortunately the map leaves out the Petersberg at Bonn. This is where the politicians where taken to on state visits when Bonn was the capital of Germany. Here it is: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petersberg_(Siebengebirge)

The English version is unfortunately very short.

The Petersberg is part of the Seven Mountains range: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siebengebirge

It includes the famous Drachenfels, which George Lord Byron immortalised in the verses "The castled crag of Drachenfels".

 

notamermaid

 

Sounds like your boiler is suffering from a low water level!!! Actually sounds like your thermostat is the problem.

Northwest actually, Liverpool to be precise.

 

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

masonpips,

Freiburg is a lovely place. A nice choice for a hotel stay. You can read up a bit on Freiburg on visit.freiburg.de

 

But I agree with you that this "one day at a time" planning is not pleasant. Especially as the SS Antoinette is still docked in Cologne. Granted, rain is coming. According to the weather forecast on television this evening a considerable amount is expected. I am hopeful that the SS Antoinette can meet you in Freiburg. But even with the rain coming it is not certain yet. Eight days to go and the gorge not "open" yet, that in my humble opinion is a close call.

 

I hope you can still look forward to Christmas markets and some lovely scenery.

 

notamermaid

 

Thank you!  We will read up!  At worst I hope they can come south a bit towards us and we can board the 2Nd day.  That would help us feel better!  

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Masonpips,

Good luck with the cruise next week.  We are scheduled on the SS Antoinette departing on 12/12/18 from Cologne to Basel. The reverse of your cruise.  Keep posting if you can to let us know what is truly happening.  Thank you

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15 hours ago, peregrino said:

 

As per yourselves, we got The Letter from our cruise company.  We have decided to take the refund and do our own thing.

 

A canal tour of the low lands was not what we wanted, and vague promises that things might change is too uncertain.  Hope is not a plan!

 

We will see some Christmas markets and some castles in Germany and Austria, and have a white Christmas in the mountains.

 

Thanks heaps to notamermaid for all the great information :classic_smile:, and thanks to G.M.T. and many others!!!  We would not be in a good position today without all the information and the "hive mind" contributions during our pre-planning effort. 

Good to hear you have heard at last and can now plan and move forward with your holiday.

Can totally understand your decision.

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15 hours ago, Sturmin said:

Just back from the Viking Rhine Getaway. We sailed from Basel on the Viking Alruna to Strasbourg Nov 17th. Then a ship swap.  2+ hr bus ride to Heidelberg, followed by a 3+ hr ride to Cologne and Viking Tialfi. The following day,  a 2 hr ride back to take a dinner cruise through the Rhine gorge, an hour ride to Marksburg Castle followed with a 2 hr ride back to Cologne.  Viking did what they could, but still not as relaxing as past crises with them.  Cruise director was also kind of weak, but hotel managers on each ship made up for it.  

Pic#1, Kinderdijk. Pic#2, Heidelberg from across the river on philosopher's way. 

20181123_154643.jpg

20181120_134908.jpg

lovely pictures sorry to hear your trip involved so much busing and transfers.

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3 minutes ago, pully8 said:

Good to hear you have heard at last and can now plan and move forward with your holiday.

Can totally understand your decision.

 

Thanks pully8, it has been great "chatting" with you!

 

We will try again for a river cruise at some more auspicious time of year, if we manage to figure out when that might be!  :classic_rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, peregrino said:

 

Thanks pully8, it has been great "chatting" with you!

 

We will try again for a river cruise at some more auspicious time of year, if we manage to figure out when that might be!  :classic_rolleyes:

We have done several over the years, when things go well it is a lovely way to travel in Europe, hope you get to experience one sometime.

Reflected on our prior cruises, 4 had interruptions for low/high water, 1 was

cut short because of a lock workers strike.

We also like to do independent travel in Europe, choosing our own accommodation and going at our own pace, we hate being herded about.

Meanwhile we wait for official info enjoy your trip. 

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This is my 6th river cruise in 8 years and the first one affected by low/ high water.  Half have been Christmas Markets and half in summer. 

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Sturmin - when you arrived on the Tialfi in Cologne and then "the following day,  a 2 hr ride back to take a dinner cruise through the Rhine gorge, an hour ride to Marksburg Castle followed with a 2 hr ride back to Cologne"  If you didn't want to do Marksburg Castle, dinner cruise through rhine gorge and then the two hour bus ride back to Cologne - is it possible to just spend the day in Cologne itself.  We have done the itinerary before so not that bothered about seeing the castles up and down the rhine gorge as we have seen them before and would rather not have to spend too much time being bussed about.  We are doing the reverse Amsterdam to Basel on the 14th December.  

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2 hours ago, nstarrenburg said:

The forecast for the next 8 days.  Friday to Monday on the top row and Tuesday to Friday next week on the bottom row.

 

Please let it be.

 

any informed views on what change this may make?

 

https://www.wetteronline.de/regen-karte?fcdatstr=20181105

 

 

 

 

F277CD35-1AFF-41A8-95CD-232ECFB6BDEC.jpeg

Thanks for the copies. Looked at those last night local time and was pleased as it ties in with the comments like "Mother Nature will like this", "Rivers rising significantly". Said that on the news. In detail. I try to put in amounts of rain to benefit the Rhine gorge: Friday moderate, Saturday little, Sunday good to very good, Monday very good to excellent. Tuesday moderate to good. I will leave out the others as that can still change quite a bit. That is a good start to better conditions and hopefully will get us closer to seeing the long ships pass through the gorge. It will take a couple more days before we can say much more. My daily report on the current levels will follow this afternoon.

 

notamermaid

 

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18 minutes ago, peasmith said:

Sturmin - when you arrived on the Tialfi in Cologne and then "the following day,  a 2 hr ride back to take a dinner cruise through the Rhine gorge, an hour ride to Marksburg Castle followed with a 2 hr ride back to Cologne"  If you didn't want to do Marksburg Castle, dinner cruise through rhine gorge and then the two hour bus ride back to Cologne - is it possible to just spend the day in Cologne itself.  We have done the itinerary before so not that bothered about seeing the castles up and down the rhine gorge as we have seen them before and would rather not have to spend too much time being bussed about.  We are doing the reverse Amsterdam to Basel on the 14th December.  

Excellent question. Wondering about the reports of other lines offering cruises through the Rhine gorge to see the castles, a dinner cruise would be in the dark, are the castles lit up? Have cruised in the daytime and even then on occasions the weather conditions, or available daylight  can inhibit the view, but still nice. 

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I think the reference to dinner cruise is may be a lunch time one as you wouldn't do the marksburg castle excursion in the evening and hopefully for dinner we will be on the new ship anyway.  Time will tell and let's hope the rains come and we will have an uneventful sail

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2 hours ago, peasmith said:

Sturmin - when you arrived on the Tialfi in Cologne and then "the following day,  a 2 hr ride back to take a dinner cruise through the Rhine gorge, an hour ride to Marksburg Castle followed with a 2 hr ride back to Cologne"  If you didn't want to do Marksburg Castle, dinner cruise through rhine gorge and then the two hour bus ride back to Cologne - is it possible to just spend the day in Cologne itself.  We have done the itinerary before so not that bothered about seeing the castles up and down the rhine gorge as we have seen them before and would rather not have to spend too much time being bussed about.  We are doing the reverse Amsterdam to Basel on the 14th December.  

Yes, you can. Since we had done this before we stayed in Cologne, but the people we were traveling with did the gorge. I think,  do to the low water,  we were docked to the NW of Cologne.  Viking claimed a 20 minute walk, but it seemed a bit more.  They had a shuttle bus running in the afternoon but we didn't use it.  The last time we were there was a Monday so the museums were closed.  This time we were able to explore the Roman museum by the cathedral.  We also explored the ruins under the new town hall and Roman sewers.  The second day in Cologne, we had booked the Top of Cologne and if not sold out, highly recommend it. Hope this helps, probably more info then you wanted. 

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2 hours ago, pully8 said:

Excellent question. Wondering about the reports of other lines offering cruises through the Rhine gorge to see the castles, a dinner cruise would be in the dark, are the castles lit up? Have cruised in the daytime and even then on occasions the weather conditions, or available daylight  can inhibit the view, but still nice. 

Sorry, I should have said lunch cruise.  We have dinner and supper here😁. I believe the buses left at 9:00 and returned at 18:00 from the gorge. Still a lot of bussing for 2 hr cruise and an hour tour(Marksburg). Not blaming Viking, that's just how it is this year. 

Edited by Sturmin
Grammar correction

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32 minutes ago, Sturmin said:

Sorry, I should have said lunch cruise.  We have dinner and supper here😁. I believe the buses left at 9:00 and returned at 18:00 from the gorge. Still a lot of bussing for 2 hr cruise and an hour tour(Marksburg). Not blaming Viking, that's just how it is this year. 

Thanks for that info, agree that would be a very long day with little daylight in mid winter.

Plus you make a good point about visiting museums as an option albeit some are closed on some days. Given the circumstances this season people who have travelled to these places previously are in a better position to look at options, others are not so fortunate, but these forums can assist with info.

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On 11/28/2018 at 4:33 AM, sjde said:
The Johann Strauss, 135 m , I believe. 
Rudesheim tomorrow. Maybe they don't want to say anything yet, hoping for rain. 

I see from marinetraffic.com that you've made it through the Rhine gorge. Congrats! Did you do the full cruise from Budapest? If so, how did Teeming handle things before boarding the ship at Regensburg? It would also be interesting if you could post a word or two on how Teeming has compared to other river cruises you've done.

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We joined the 2nd week in Nuremberg , but those who  started in Budapest did have some nights in a hotel. 

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Sailing on Mani on Dec 8... rain is good for now... but IF possible, I would request that it stop on Friday (the 7th) the river levels are what they are....   visiting the Markets that we will be able to without rain would be preferable even with the bus rides/ship swapping...    just saying....

 

Kelly 

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sjde,

 

good to see the Johann Strauss docked in Koblenz. With you currently docked on the Moselle according to marinetraffic is the Johannes Brahms. She has also been through the gorge. But easy for her, she is only 82m compared to your 110m! So, congratulations. I hope you are enjoying Koblenz and its lights, with the Christmas markets good as well I hope. Thank you for your infos and the photo of the embankment in Rüdesheim.

 

notamermaid

 

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