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notamermaid

Danube water levels 2018 and similar topics - plus tips and info

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It seems clear now that Viking is using Straubing (southeast of Regensburg) as a swapping point for cruisers from the east.  There were three ships there, now one is heading back west.  No other cruise line seems to be doing this yet.  Driving distance is reduced to under 100km from Passau.  Wise, or desperate?  

MarineTraffic is not tracking ships from Linz to Passau.  Mountains?

What are the limitations in navigating the Danube?  Notamermaid has said that the Rhine leaves it to individual captains.  It appears that the Danube is more tightly controlled.

Edited by austinetc
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1 hour ago, austinetc said:

It seems clear now that Viking is using Straubing (southeast of Regensburg) as a swapping point for cruisers from the east.  There were three ships there, now one is heading back west.  No other cruise line seems to be doing this yet.  Driving distance is reduced to under 100km from Passau.  Wise, or desperate?  

MarineTraffic is not tracking ships from Linz to Passau.  Mountains?

What are the limitations in navigating the Danube?  Notamermaid has said that the Rhine leaves it to individual captains.  It appears that the Danube is more tightly controlled.

 

Our Travelmarvel river cruise BUD-AMS, on 3-17 September was impacted by low water.

We travelled as far as Passau, stopped there for afternoon tour and to pick up passengers who had done an optional tour   We then moved downstream to Aschach where we docked for two nights prior to a ship swap   Due to distance, a tour of Linz was substituted for Regensburg.  

Our captain told us that the Danube was controlled by a river authority, who instructed the river ships when, where and for how long they  could dock.   With all the chaos caused by low water, there were many ships who could not sail their scheduled routes and needed to be accommodated, usually at very short notice   

It is most likely that Viking are at Straubing because that is the berth they were allocated.

 

 

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We cruised on Avalon Expression leaving Budapest on October 5. On October 7 we learned boat would not be able to go any further than Passau. Nuremberg was cancelled,  Regensberg was done by bus from Passsu (1 1/2 hours each way), and a day in Linz was added. From Linz, Avalon offered complimentary excursions to Salzburg and Cesky Kremlov. If any one chose to disembark, a pro-rated refund was offered (I don't think anyone took this option). We felt that Avalon handled the situation very well - kept us well informed and tried to minimize inconvenience. We were disappointed to miss Nuremberg, but had a lovely day in Linz. Those taking the post cruise extension to Prague went by bus from Passau- similar travel time as originally scheduled from Nuremberg. While river level was low due to lack of rain, we did have 12 sunny days which made for great cruising and touring!

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As regards river closure in drought: In Germany it is up to captain/ship owner to decide what is safe. It was interesting to learn from a recent past cruiser that in Hungary the authorities do close river sections in low water, which explains of course the many reports of Budapest being closed. I do not know how the Austrian authorities handle it.

However, docks in Germany can be both private or attached to local authorities. I sounds very plausible that the authorities allocate ships staggered to several ports to reduce chaos.

notamermaid

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Thank you for the link. Quite a bit of reading for long winter evenings if I have not got time before then. :classic_smile:

On a different note: gee, I still need to get used to the new format. The colours and shaded frames feel a bit "insipid", looking quite anaemic.

notamermaid

 

 

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I've been tracking the SS Maria Theresa for the last week out of curiosity and so far I've seen it make it's way between Passau and Vienna. It will be interesting to see what it does now, and whether it can make it onward to Bratislava and Budapest. Still hoping for rain ...

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Greetings from the Viking Embla.  I posted status in the floataway lounge while the board was down but I think it floated away. So here is a quick update since my last post.

Budapest was closed We were only able to get as far as Mohacs before we had to be bussed 3hrs in. We spent one night and then there were bussed 3hrs to Vienna where we boarded the Embla. We are now docked  in Passau and will move up river later today to an industrail port. The plan for tomorrow  bussed to Regensburg then back to Embla. The next day we will be bussed to Nuremburg for our tours then a ship swap then on to Amsterdam. No mention of issues on the Rhine. 

The one thing that has been constant is the plan changes constantly.

Most of the passengers are taking it in stride. The Cruise Director has been fantastic given all the issues. The weather has been perfect. Plenty of beer and wine to drink. Seeing part of the world we never been to. So life is good.  Will deal with Viking about all ship swaps and hotels when I get back.

 GMT and Notamermaid A geographically challenged passenger asked how was Germany on our trip from Bucharest to Budapest. Thought I would check with u folks to make Germany's boarders had not moved since we left the state's😂😂.

 

Edited by beachlivin
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2 minutes ago, beachlivin said:

The next day we will be bussed to Nuremburg for our tours then a ship swap on on to Amsterdam. No mention of issues on the Rhine. 

😂😂The one thing that has been constant is the plan changes constantly.

 

You have at least one more ship swap ahead of you at the moment as the cruise ships are not making it through the Rhine Gorge, but at least the huge number of Viking ships is keeping you afloat...

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Thank you for the update, beachlivin.

Good to hear you folks are mostly happy considering the circumstances. The weather is splendid at least. Enjoy the autumn foliage. I hope your sunsets are as spectacular as ours here on the Rhine. I guess they do not mention a ship swap on the Rhine as that is a few days into the future, meaning far enough to allow yourself to hope for rain before making the passengers nervous. Alas, they might not be lucky as no rain is forecast before Friday and if that is going to make any difference on the Rhine is doubtful.

notamermaid

 

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5 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Thank you for the update, beachlivin.

Good to hear you folks are mostly happy considering the circumstances. The weather is splendid at least. Enjoy the autumn foliage. I hope your sunsets are as spectacular as ours here on the Rhine. I guess they do not mention a ship swap on the Rhine as that is a few days into the future, meaning far enough to allow yourself to hope for rain before making the passengers nervous. Alas, they might not be lucky as no rain is forecast before Friday and if that is going to make any difference on the Rhine is doubtful.

notamermaid

 

Thanks to the info on the board we are aware of the Rhine water issues. Will see what Viking does. When we got on board in Bucharest the cruise director said to cross our fingers about the Rhine as there was not a Viking ship to swap to.

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sorry to hear about the low water issues but amazed by the weather reports and temps.

we have European river cruised in October and have experienced temps of minus 7 with snow. 

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We’ve just boarded Viking Idun for one night in Budapest. They will be bussing us to our originally booked ship in Vienna tomorrow. We were unable to obtain ANY info from ship or headquarters prior to leaving the US  about timing for busses leaving the city.  We are very frustrated as we have private tours booked in several of our intended stops. The tour director was just short of rude when we arrived and asked for information about leaving tomorrow.

Has anyone here ever had their Vienna- Passau section canceled due to low water on the Danube?

 

 

Edited by Pudgesmom

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2 minutes ago, Pudgesmom said:

Has anyone here ever had their Vienna- Passau section canceled due to low water on the Danube?

You should be fine for Vienna to Passau, there may be some 'traffic management' in place affecting the precise timing of the ships movements and exactly where they can dock, but the water seems sufficient for now.

This is one of those times where frustrating as it may be, you are probably not going to get a lot of advance notice of precise timings.

Not helpful when you have made private tour bookings, but also not a lot your tour director can say beyond letting you know what he knows when he knows it...

 

 

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8 minutes ago, steverhodes said:

Were you supposed to stop at Bratislava?

Yes we were but this ship can’t leave Budapest. It has been here for 14 days and they are cycling passengers through daily.

 We will be leaving here tomorrow at 2 pm- finally got that info. 150 mile bus ride to Vienna after lunch at a local restaurant. We will miss lunch due to already cutting our full day private tour short by 3 hours and we want to see Budapest.

They are offering the original tours in Bratislava the following day from Vienna; another 50 miles on the bus. We will be sightseeing in Vienna. 

Edited by Pudgesmom

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3 minutes ago, Mark_T said:

You should be fine for Vienna to Passau, there may be some 'traffic management' in place affecting the precise timing of the ships movements and exactly where they can dock, but the water seems sufficient for now.

This is one of those times where frustrating as it may be, you are probably not going to get a lot of advance notice of precise timings.

Not helpful when you have made private tour bookings, but also not a lot your tour director can say beyond letting you know what he knows when he knows it...

 

 

 

How about the section from Vienna to Bratislava?

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5 minutes ago, steverhodes said:

 

How about the section from Vienna to Bratislava?

There is some traffic on the river between those ports but not the major river cruise ships, expect to find your ship stopping in Vienna.

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Just had our Avalon cruise from Bucharest to Budapest departing 24 October cancelled. Low water cited but suspect Passion just in wrong place.

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15 minutes ago, tom60w said:

Just had our Avalon cruise from Bucharest to Budapest departing 24 October cancelled. Low water cited but suspect Passion just in wrong place.

I suspect that both are correct, the low water is preventing her from getting where she needs to be.

Currently moored a little east of Regensburg and probably not moving much from there without more water...

 

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We arrived home last week from a Gate 1 Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest.   The ship was unable to sail from Vienna to Budapest.  I was prepared to hear this news thanks to the cruise critic posts.  Gate 1 bused us for a day trip to and from Bratislava.  They gave each person money to buy lunch.   The next day we had to pack to be bused to Budapest.   Again, we received lunch money and we were put into a hotel.  We only missed one night on the ship.  Everything was handled well.  While we toured the city with Gate 1 our luggage was put in our room at the hotel.  That night they had a special dinner for us with entertainment.  Then they treated us to a night cruise on the river since we missed the sail into Budapest.  The night cruise was beautiful and made up for the long bus trip.  It would have been nice to stay on ship but gate 1 did a great job making up for it.  

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Our Bucharest to Budapest cruise was cancelled on Thursday at 5 pm...  We were to fly out on Sunday.  We had originally been booked on the Passion, but were notified of a change to the Illumination about a month ago so am guessing Avalon has been scrambling to address issues arising from water levels for quite a while.

Fran

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1 hour ago, Pudgesmom said:

We’ve just boarded Viking Idun for one night in Budapest. They will be bussing us to our originally booked ship in Vienna tomorrow. We were unable to obtain ANY info from ship or headquarters prior to leaving the US  about timing for busses leaving the city.  We are very frustrated as we have private tours booked in several of our intended stops. The tour director was just short of rude when we arrived and asked for information about leaving tomorrow.

Has anyone here ever had their Vienna- Passau section canceled due to low water on the Danube?

 

 

We were in Vienna two days ago and made it to Passau today with a stop in Melk yesterday. However as we were leaving Vienna they gathered us together to tell us the we would not be able to get to Passau only to Krems. While they were briefing us with the bad news they informed the ship they we would be able to sail to Melk and on to Passau as scheduled. Our docking postion and arrival times also changed along the way as the local authorities decide who goes where and when. 

 A few minutes ago our cruise director thought we were one of the last ships to be able to get up stream to Melk and beyond so you may only get to Krems 

 So given all the change and issues with the water your cruise director may not know if, when or how you may get to any given port. If he tells you anything it would probably change and be wrong. I'm not trying to defend your CD and understand your frustration. But the CD's are dealing with record low water levels and a logistical nightmare. 

 Sorry about the long answer but we have been on the Danube since the 5th of October and the only constant is schedule change.  Not sure if this helps you but it's real info from a passenger on the Danube. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, beachlivin said:

 A few minutes ago our cruise director thought we were one of the last ships to be able to get up stream to Melk and beyond so you may only get to Krems

There is another mixed group of ships (Viking, AMA, Avalon) a day behind you, they all made it past Krems and were close to Melk when I last checked on them today.

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