Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
notamermaid

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

Recommended Posts

Something is happening along the Danube which we haven't had in a long time, namely a sunny day. Rain is due for Saturday and Sunday with light to moderate amounts.

 

The river levels above and below Passau are falling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same forecast on the Rhine, rain in light to moderate amounts. And snow on the Feldberg! It will feel chilly in the mornings. It does not look as if the coming rain will do much for the Danube from Regensburg downstream, perhaps a little. On the Rhine we are glad for every centimetre but have somewhat reason to believe we might get close to reaching easier navigable levels again next week. Yet, the Rhine gorge is doubtful still. 110m ships have a chance but the 135m ships not really.

 

Eagerly awaiting the graphs on Sunday.

 

On the Danube Hofkirchen gauge is predicted to rise from Sunday. At least the authorities believe that the rain will be beneficial for the Upper Danube and the notorious stretch. Hope they are right. How much the river will tell us on Monday.

 

The low water levels not only reveal bombs and discarded bicycles and cars. In Hungary a nice hoard of coins stemming from a sunken ship has been unearthed (or rather "unrivered"). Article with lots of ads: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6316967/Lost-treasures-Danube-including-16th-century-daggers-revealed.html

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty simple boating math.  If a longship draws 2 meters, and the river levels are well below that. You're not going anywhere by ship.  Not much moving between Budapest and Vienna, nor between melk and regensburg.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep and eye on two Viking ships, Gefjon and Jarl.

 

Both appear to be heading for Nuremberg, Gefjon from the north having come from Wurzberg (last seen just outside Bamberg) and Jarl from the south having started from a little way east of Regensburg.

 

If they make it, that will be news I believe, but they still have some way to go at the moment...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here's my observations, re viking ship movements along the Danube between Nuremberg and Budapest.  Since Viking won't provide specifics, I'm following the ships on trackers.   Ship movement seems normal between Nuremberg and Regensburg. From Regensburg, there is movement east to near Straubing.  East of Straubing, is a void. No movement around Passau. Until Linz / Melk, then movement around Krems and the Wachau Valley, but another void between Krems and Vienna.  Lots of anchored ships in Vienna. Then another gap east of Vienna.  Some small repositioning in Hungary, but mostly just a few stationary ships. Viking Idun has been stopped in Budapest all week.  (Bussing from Vienna to Budapest?). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Jcat2010 said:

Pretty simple boating math.  If a longship draws 2 meters, and the river levels are well below that. You're not going anywhere by ship.  Not much moving between Budapest and Vienna, nor between melk and regensburg.   

In order not to confuse people one should say navigation channel. The river level usually does not tell in a simple figure how deep the navigation channel is. We arrive at that figure with a calculation.

 

Currently not much movement of ships yet, I can well believe that. Hopefully the rain over the weekend will help at least Budapest.

 

notamermaid

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, iwannacruz said:

I would be really interested to hear from anyone who recently got off a Viking Danube waltz cruise. What hotels did you stay at or how many nights did you spend on the ship? What was the food arrangement if you had to go to a hotel? Did you have much time at the different cities to do you own thing since is seems busing takes up a lot of time?

Just trying to prepare myself and my family for what kind of vacation we might have in a few weeks.

Thanks

Hi.  We are leaving on the Danube Waltz next week.  I have had some limited contact with a passenger on the Hermod right now. Her cruise was supposed to start in Budapest two days ago (Wednesday).  On Wednesday, they boarded the Viking Idun in Budapest and spent the night on that ship (including dinner, of course) in the same room that they will have on the Hermod.  The Hermod was docked in Vienna. On Thursday morning, they had to have their bags outside their room at 7am for transfer to the Hermod. They had breakfast on the ship, did their included Budapest tour, and were then going to be bused to the Hermod in Vienna (about a 3 hour drive). She felt it was very well handled. Not sure what happened to the afternoon extra tours in Budapest. On Friday, they will have the option to do Vienna on their own, or be bused to Bratislava for the tours there (about a 1 hour drive).  Then from Friday night on it was supposed to be the regular cruise.  At one point, they were told they might have to be bused from Krems to Melk, and do a second ship swap (probably to the Vilhjalm, though they were not told). The rain earlier in this week made that unnecessary.  Not sure if the river levels will hold up for our trip, as there is not that much rain forecast going forward upriver, and per the app I use, the water levels peaked near Melk yesterday and are dropping already (but still plenty to pass).

 

I think the trips down river make a similar swap. The ship ports in Vienna an extra day, and then you are bused to the Idun in Budapest near the Elizabeth Bridge for the last night. The Idun never leaves the dock (Viking had confirmed for me a similar use of the Idun earlier this month when I noticed the Hermod did not make it past Bratislava for the first time).  Either way, you do seem to lose some time in Budapest but gain some time in Vienna.  You also have the extra re-packing.  But if this is in fact what happens, it seems to be as minimal an impact as one could hope considering the water levels of late.  Of course, things change daily and who knows what Viking will have to do by the time we leave.  Best of luck and enjoy the trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like MS Oscar Wilde (Riviera Travel) sailed out of Budapest today and is on the way north.

 

Also looks AmaCerto and AmaSerera heading the other way towards Budapest...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crystal Mozart - Danube, 10/31 - Vienna Roundtrip

 

So it looks like absent a "hearty rainfall" (good luck with that!), it will be a bus and a hotel.  We'll see, but based on this lack of information, we have no choice but to fly to Vienna, as scheduled, on Sunday when there should be an option to cancel for a full cruise credit or a cash refund.  This is the second time Crystal River Cruises has failed us.  The first time was when they canceled our Crystal Ravel Bordeaux cruise because they delayed building the Ravel and Debussy and canceled the France itineraries in favor of the  Rhine and Danube.  This Mozart cruise is the replacement for the canceled Ravel cruise.  Buyer beware with Crystal River Cruises.

 

Dear Valued Travel Partner,

We look forward to welcoming your clients aboard Crystal Mozart’s "Treasures of the Danube" river cruise departing on October 31, 2018.

Due to unseasonably dry conditions in central Europe, and a record heat wave, the Danube River, specifically the stretch of river between Bratislava and Budapest, is experiencing extremely low water levels.

Even though water levels may improve with just one hearty rainfall, at this time we are erring on the side of caution to prepare our guests for the possibility of a change to a portion of the itinerary on this upcoming cruise. We have well-thought-out contingency plans prepared, including backup hotel accommodations at a five-star hotel in Budapest, to ensure your clients enjoy a fabulous vacation with us.

The safety and comfort of our guests are of the utmost importance to Crystal, and current forecasts for water levels along the route are being monitored continuously. If the itinerary is amended, we will provide you and your clients with the necessary details as soon as those changes are confirmed.

While this act of nature is beyond our control, all of us at Crystal apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are all committed to providing our guests with a memorable vacation experience.

Sincerely,

Crystal
Guest Services

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, iwannacruz said:

I would be really interested to hear from anyone who recently got off a Viking Danube waltz cruise. What hotels did you stay at or how many nights did you spend on the ship? What was the food arrangement if you had to go to a hotel? Did you have much time at the different cities to do you own thing since is seems bussing takes up a lot of time?

Just trying to prepare myself and my family for what kind of vacation we might have in a few weeks.

Thanks

We just returned from a Viking  cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg, beginning on 10/14.  We got an email from Viking four days before the cruise saying that we would join the Viking ATLA in Vienna, instead of Budapest as planned.  They put us up in the Corinthia Hotel in Budapest the first night, we did our Budapest tour as planned the next day, and then we were bussed to Vienna in the afternoon.  We spent 3 nights on the ATLA, and then did a ship swap to the Jarl on Thursday.  The ATLA got as far as Linz.  We were bussed to our scheduled tours in Passau that day and then bussed to meet the Jarl in Straubing (just Southeast of Regensburg).  We made it all the way to Nuremburg on the Jarl. (3 nights on the Jarl)  We did not miss any of the included or optional excursions, but did spend more time on the bus than we had hoped.  For those who wanted to explore the cities on their own, Viking offered several bus departures during the day to get people back to the ship.   We did get a voucher for 25% of our initial cruise fare that can be applied to a future cruise on Viking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even the German government are now getting involved because of the low water levels. As nearly all private oil products are transported by tank ship (the NATO pipelines are for military use only), deliveries have been heavily curtailled as the tank ships can only catty a third of their normal load. The German government will now allo certain states to access the national oil reserve (doesn't happen very often.

 

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/wirtschaft/engpass-wegen-niedrigwasser-des-rheins-bund-erlaubt-zugriff-auf-nationale-oelreserve-31498196

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, seaworthy98 said:

Crystal Mozart - Danube, 10/31 - Vienna Roundtrip

 

So it looks like absent a "hearty rainfall" (good luck with that!), it will be a bus and a hotel.  We'll see, but based on this lack of information, we have no choice but to fly to Vienna, as scheduled, on Sunday when there should be an option to cancel for a full cruise credit or a cash refund.  This is the second time Crystal River Cruises has failed us.  The first time was when they canceled our Crystal Ravel Bordeaux cruise because they delayed building the Ravel and Debussy and canceled the France itineraries in favor of the  Rhine and Danube.  This Mozart cruise is the replacement for the canceled Ravel cruise.  Buyer beware with Crystal River Cruises.

 

Dear Valued Travel Partner,

We look forward to welcoming your clients aboard Crystal Mozart’s "Treasures of the Danube" river cruise departing on October 31, 2018.

Due to unseasonably dry conditions in central Europe, and a record heat wave, the Danube River, specifically the stretch of river between Bratislava and Budapest, is experiencing extremely low water levels.

Even though water levels may improve with just one hearty rainfall, at this time we are erring on the side of caution to prepare our guests for the possibility of a change to a portion of the itinerary on this upcoming cruise. We have well-thought-out contingency plans prepared, including backup hotel accommodations at a five-star hotel in Budapest, to ensure your clients enjoy a fabulous vacation with us.

The safety and comfort of our guests are of the utmost importance to Crystal, and current forecasts for water levels along the route are being monitored continuously. If the itinerary is amended, we will provide you and your clients with the necessary details as soon as those changes are confirmed.

While this act of nature is beyond our control, all of us at Crystal apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are all committed to providing our guests with a memorable vacation experience.

Sincerely,

Crystal
Guest Services

 

I would say that sucks.  Just 5 days prior to the sailing date does not give much advance notice. We are scheduled on the Ravel in mid-December Budapest-->Vienna.  Jeez.   Please keep us posted as to what really transpires.  Best of luck to you.

Edited by Kwaj girl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, G.M.T. said:

Even the German government are now getting involved because of the low water levels. As nearly all private oil products are transported by tank ship (the NATO pipelines are for military use only), deliveries have been heavily curtailled as the tank ships can only catty a third of their normal load. The German government will now allo certain states to access the national oil reserve (doesn't happen very often.

 

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/wirtschaft/engpass-wegen-niedrigwasser-des-rheins-bund-erlaubt-zugriff-auf-nationale-oelreserve-31498196

Yes, I read that, too. A bit worrying really. I am glad I do not need the car too often and have gas central heating.

 

More worrying I find the thing Viking has with lowering the wheelhouse or not. The Viking Tor hit a bridge a couple of days ago hit the top of a lock (i.e. the bridge over the lock). The person steering the ship at the time had forgotten to lower the wheelhouse enough. The top of it was ripped off and the ship became unable to manoeuvre as the wheelhouse had to be dismantled. It happened near Kelheim on the way from Budapest to Nuremberg. As Nuremberg was the disembarkation port there was only a slight change in the itinerary and the passengers have now apparently already left for the airport.

Thankfully noone was injured. Damage to the Tor is 50,000 euros, the bridge has minor damage "to paintwork".

 

As posted by Tim Schwabedissen on esys.org

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mark_T said:

It looks like MS Oscar Wilde (Riviera Travel) sailed out of Budapest today and is on the way north.

 

Also looks AmaCerto and AmaSerera heading the other way towards Budapest...

All three ships made good progress over the past few hours and it looks like the two AMA ships will reach Budapest tonight, with a 3rd, AmaSonata heading the same way as well.

 

Oscar Wilde is also making good progress having left Budapest earlier and is not far from Komarom at the moment.

 

Not sure how long this will last, but there sure seems to be a lot of traffic making it to or from Budapest tonight.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay Was leaving Deggendorf on the Avalon on the 31 Oct.  just got notified that I will embarking in Passau.  Ironically enough transfers to Passau will be that afternoon at 2:00 pm at the hotel I had booked for my precruise stay. 

 

They are advising bus trips to Bratislava and back to Vienna to overnight on the ship. We will be bussed to Budapest and overnight in hotel plus excursions.  They will give me a 50% credit of my cruise fare for one day,  for the hotel night.  I guess that means buffet for our last dinner.😡

 

I will Need  to make the best of it I guess.  Glad I chose the correct hotel in Deggendorf.  Did I mention I do not care for buses, I like trains better. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mark_T said:

All three ships made good progress over the past few hours and it looks like the two AMA ships will reach Budapest tonight, with a 3rd, AmaSonata heading the same way as well.

 

Oscar Wilde is also making good progress having left Budapest earlier and is not far from Komarom at the moment.

 

Not sure how long this will last, but there sure seems to be a lot of traffic making it to or from Budapest tonight.

 

 

That sounds encouraging. We are booked later in the year with APT/AMA and information is from their website 4 cruises cancelled. Direct contact with our travel agent and APT was a few days ago, saying they will contact us.

We have read some Australians were not contacted until arrival in Europe or before boarding flights and some found out about cancellations via social media.

We wanted to confirm they had our contact details, and we expect to be notified prior to departure from home.

We usually book our own flights to Europe on this trip APT have booked them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Flamencacha said:

Okay Was leaving Deggendorf on the Avalon on the 31 Oct.  just got notified that I will embarking in Passau.  Ironically enough transfers to Passau will be that afternoon at 2:00 pm at the hotel I had booked for my precruise stay. 

 

They are advising bus trips to Bratislava and back to Vienna to overnight on the ship. We will be bussed to Budapest and overnight in hotel plus excursions.  They will give me a 50% credit of my cruise fare for one day,  for the hotel night.  I guess that means buffet for our last dinner.😡

 

I will Need  to make the best of it I guess.  Glad I chose the correct hotel in Deggendorf.  Did I mention I do not care for buses, I like trains better. 

 

 

 

 

Good luck with your cruise. Agree with a dislike for bus travel but love the train travel in Europe especially in Switzerland. 50% Discount for 1 day missed at least something. On some cruises it can be $1400 a night or more for 2, unless a discount can be obtained prior. When substituted with hotels and buses it is a very different experience and cost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, pully8 said:

That sounds encouraging. We are booked later in the year with APT/AMA and information is from their website 4 cruises cancelled. Direct contact with our travel agent and APT was a few days ago, saying they will contact us.

We have read some Australians were not contacted until arrival in Europe or before boarding flights and some found out about cancellations via social media.

We wanted to confirm they had our contact details, and we expect to be notified prior to departure from home.

We usually book our own flights to Europe on this trip APT have booked them.

 

5 cruises have been cancelled so far:

 

These cancellations affect four APT Luxury cruises as follows:

26 October 2018 - Amsterdam to Budapest
26 October 2018 - Budapest to Amsterdam
27 October 2018 - Amsterdam to Budapest
27 October 2018 - Budapest to Amsterdam

Also affected is the following APT Essential cruise (operated by Travelmarvel):

29 October 2018 - Amsterdam to Budapest, aboard the Travelmarvel Diamond. 

 

I do feel for those who were already in Europe, but given how common it is for those traveling from Australia/NZ to combine river and land vacations and so arrive days or even weeks ahead of the river departure, it is almost unavoidable that some will have left home well before the news even when it is a week or more ahead of the planned departure.

 

The next decision point appears to be November 2nd, for the cruises departing on November 9th/10th, which includes ours, so with the recent slight improvement on the Danube and the hope of more rain for the Rhine we are just waiting in hope right now...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you are correct I had not included Travelmarvel.

I think it would be preferable if things do not improve for the operators to cancel and give full refunds, but understand why they do not.

Some of the late season cruises are not full so that would be easier to manage if cancelled. It would be difficult but not impossible to scramble to find alternative trip arrangements, especially if given a full refund, albeit closer to Christmas more of a challenge. 

Good luck with your cruise. It is frustrating waiting for a definitive answer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The slight improvement in the Danube levels since the last rain has now now receded back to their pre-rain levels. But the levels are stabil.

 

It is raining south of the Danube and in the Alps, the two main tributaries Isar (drownstream from Deggendorf) and Inn (Passau) will be the major beneficaries, so this should ease the situation towards Vienna and Budapest.

 

There is not much hope of relief toda for the troubled areas between Passau and Regensburg, but tomorrrow the rain will be much more wide spread. So will have to wait and see.

 

Also snow is forecasted above 500 meters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, pully8 said:

Good luck with your cruise. Agree with a dislike for bus travel but love the train travel in Europe especially in Switzerland. 50% Discount for 1 day missed at least something. On some cruises it can be $1400 a night or more for 2, unless a discount can be obtained prior. When substituted with hotels and buses it is a very different experience and cost. 

Thank you, I did the math, it might cover the non covered tips.  I travel Solo. 

 

It is is what it is. Keeping an open mind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like Uniworld's SS Beatrice finally was able to move from Budapest to Vienna and is now on its way to Melk. Hopefully that is a good sign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Tauck Danube River cruise August 12-27 from Budapest to Prague.  The cruise itinerary started with a 2-day hotel stay in the center of everything and three blocks from the river.  Perfect location.  We could not cruise to Bratslava because of the low water, so we took the Tauck bus from Budapest to Vienna to our ship.  We did not find that to be a problem as we were able to see the Hungarian countryside, which was really a treat.  The only downfall was that day the Austrian government decided to put up a border patrol, so it took us much longer to get to Vienna.  Once in Vienna, we went to our scheduled tour of Bratslava.  It is only an hour's drive from Vienna.  From then on our itinerary did not change.  When traveling you always need to be flexible and enjoy whatever comes along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.k., do not shout hooray, yet, stay calm. It could be over before it begins, but the river levels on the Danube between Regensburg and Hofkirchen (before Vilshofen near Passau) are rising. I mean rising. Pfelling is getting close to that window of sailing the Danube had there between 2rd and 5th October. I hope it works. More rain please!

 

I hope the sandbanks in those photos will have disappeared in real life soon: https://hungarytoday.hu/record-low-water-level-on-danube-hungary-in-pictures/

 

notamermaid

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...