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notamermaid

Danube water levels 2019 and similar topics - plus tips and info

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We are traveling from Bucharest to Amsterdam on Viking Embla. The Embla could not reach Giurgiu on September 4 to pick us up due to low water. We had to be bussed a further hour upstream to Lom to board. As there is no rain forecast for the near future so the river level will continue to drop. The Embla can travel in water greater than 6 ft so check the draft on your boat. 

 

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Along the Danube in Germany the situation is looking good. Recent rain has made the river rise at Pfelling to 380cm. It is forecast to peak tomorrow.

 

The prediction and the dry weather conditions this week indicate falling levels but this should not worry us this week as Pfelling come tomorrow should have a whole metre on the gauge above critical levels.

 

I will have another look at the situation on Friday.

 

notamermaid

 

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12 hours ago, mountaindoc358 said:

We are traveling from Bucharest to Amsterdam on Viking Embla. The Embla could not reach Giurgiu on September 4 to pick us up due to low water. We had to be bussed a further hour upstream to Lom to board. As there is no rain forecast for the near future so the river level will continue to drop. The Embla can travel in water greater than 6 ft so check the draft on your boat. 

 

I heard the Embla was recently in dock for repairs. Is everything functioning okay on board?

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The Embla suffered a generator failure and had a temporary generator placed on the Sun  deck in late August before we boarded 4 September. We are now in. Budapest and are told the ship cannot go beyond Passau due to the height of the generator. We are leaving the Embla in Passau and will stay in a hotel for 2 nights doing Regensberg and Nuremberg tours by bus. Then bus to join a sister ship to continue our cruise on the next day. The Embla will need a new generator which has been shipped from US and will be back in service after that. This is is disrupting our cruise but Viking is trying to be as accommodating as possible. 

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A quick look at the German Danube at Pfelling. The level has peaked and has in the meantime fallen to 333cm. The current prediction is looking good into Sunday, with the level getting closer to 300cm.

 

Light rain is forecast for parts of the river basin in Germany on Monday and Tuesday. What this will do to the falling level - if anything - we will need to wait and see of course. If the level falls under 300cm I will post briefly.

 

I leave you for this week with a great drone flight video of Augsburg which I would say looks like a great place for a cruise extension. Any guesses who would be the richest man in the world today if he was alive and had his wealth with him? Revealed in the video, you will be surprised..

 

https://www.dw.com/en/flying-guide-augsburg/av-50386978

 

notamermaid

 

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23 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

I leave you for this week with a great drone flight video of Augsburg which I would say looks like a great place for a cruise extension. Any guesses who would be the richest man in the world today if he was alive and had his wealth with him? Revealed in the video, you will be surprised..

 

Great video! We visited Augsburg back in 2013, on our self-guided trip when the Danube cruise was canceled (high water in Passau).

 

We only spent one night, as a stop between Fussen and Wurzburg. Very nice town, but at that time there were major construction works going on near the center city and it was a challenge to get around.

 

We climbed the Perlachturm and had a nice view, then walked up to the cathedral. It was getting very dark and cloudy, and luckily, we made it back to our hotel just in time because there was a very strong rainstorm with hailstones too! So we had to eat dinner at our hotel. After the rain stopped, we walked outside again and saw the Fuggerei, and then had some nice cherry strudel for dessert in the Rathauskeller. 

 

We read in our guidebook that in addition to the very low rental fee, the other "price" of renting an apartment in the Fuggerei was that the tenants had to say a prayer every day, for the good health of the Fugger family.

 

The next morning we walked to the Rotes Tor, and then we drove onward to Wurzburg.

 

Thanks for posting - the city looked familiar and brought back some nice memories of that trip.

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The level has dropped a bit further than was anticipated on Friday. Pfelling is now at 295cm. A figure of as low as 280cm is shown in today's forecast.

 

More info tomorrow.

 

notamermaid

 

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we are on Avalon Illumination and have reached Vidin having traveled from the delta. No problems to date although one arm of Danube near Constanza was too low to navigate so we took the other arm. Very hot (averaging 25-30).

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2 hours ago, tom60w said:

we are on Avalon Illumination and have reached Vidin having traveled from the delta. No problems to date although one arm of Danube near Constanza was too low to navigate so we took the other arm. Very hot (averaging 25-30).

 

We will be on Illumination 7 November from Nuremberg to Budapest. Not relevant to this thread, but what is your experience of the Illumination?

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Adding a bit of info. The weather forecast has changed, now there will likely be no rain for the Danube in Germany tomorrow with very little on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday looking dry, i.e. bleak for water level. Pfelling now at 289cm.

 

notamermaid

 

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Hi notamermaid,

 

in melk at present and heading towards Passau and then regensburg.

 

so typically, at what water levels at pfelling does ship swap start to become a reality?

 

expectlng the worst I am afraid.

 

cheers mark 

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11 minutes ago, markperth said:

Hi notamermaid,

 

in melk at present and heading towards Passau and then regensburg.

 

so typically, at what water levels at pfelling does ship swap start to become a reality?

 

expectlng the worst I am afraid.

 

cheers mark 

Officials from the local hydrology institute give the figure of 290cm for potential problems for the largest river cruise ships with the deepest drafts. Sorry, forgotten which ship you are on. We can only deduce from last year's situation and one cruiser's feedback this year that 270cm is on the low side, the margin between those two is the grey area that your captain and crew will know best about as they are right there with you. :classic_smile: Please talk to them if you are concerned. I am sure they are closely monitoring the situation and together with the cruise director will ensure you get all necessary information in good time.

 

Enjoy Melk, the Abbey is amazing. And have a great day in Passau.

 

notamermaid

 

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I have a general question regarding water levels.  We are doing the Viking Grand European (Danube, Mine and Rhine) in November.  Is water level typically an issue at this time of the year?

 

Thanks.

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mkerner,

I myself am not acquainted enough with the Danube and the historical levels or statistics to give you an answer for that part of your trip. Generally speaking it all depends on the amount of rainfall. You get more of it as November draws to a close. Last year was exceptional in that the low water span a long time period through Autumn.

 

The Main has hardly any low water issues as the authorities are usually able to keep the level up with the help of the locks.

 

On the Rhine low water can drag into November, but if the level is okay at the end of October there is a great chance it will remain so for November. It depends on rainfall but November tends to be wetter than October.

 

notamermaid

 

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The level at Pfelling has fallen further overnight and is currently at 272cm. With a bit of rain upstream the river is already reacting and the level could stabilize a bit. The forecast gives between 272cm and 280cm today.

 

The weather forecast shows a bit of rain for tomorrow but none for the rest of the week.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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A bit more rain for the Danube today than the forecast showed yesterday. Pfelling gauge is at 286cm. Forecast and prediction show figures of around 280 or a little less, so no major fall within 48 hours. Hopefully the experts are right...

 

After today, hardly any to no rain in the catchment are of the Danube for the rest of the week.

 

Will post again if the next forecast for levels shows a significant change.

 

notamermaid

 

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We are on Viking Gullweig at the moment, travelling Nuremberg to Budapest.  We were warned last night that it is likely that we will have to pack up and transfer to another ship tomorrow morning.  We couldn’t get to Passau on the river today so were bussed there, are docked at Straubing.  

Internet in our room is diabolical, so I can’t read message board unless I come to the atrium area, but will try to check in again when we know the situation later tonight.

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We just had to do a ship swap from passau to regansburg.

And were bused between the 2 ports.

 

scenic did it well, a bit of hassle packing and unpacking, but at least we will be able to continue the trip.

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We are cruising from Budapest to Regensburg with Gate 1 starting October 5.  Not happy to see they are starting to do ship swaps.  Will be keeping an eye on the posts here.  Thanks to everyone keeping us updated on river levels. 

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I've been casually watching this thread since making our Monarch Governess reservation oh so many months ago.  Now we're down to 3 weeks and am paying a lot more attention.  Thanks for keeping us informed.  Looking forward to reading more.

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On 9/15/2019 at 3:13 PM, TMLAalum said:

 

We will be on Illumination 7 November from Nuremberg to Budapest. Not relevant to this thread, but what is your experience of the Illumination?

Hi Illumination is a superb modern ship. Crew and staff very helpful. If you get Tony as Cruise Director it will be icing on the cake! We had no problems at all.

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The forecast for river levels always has a figure but also includes a range within which experts predict the river will stay. This range gets larger the further into the future the forecast/prediction reaches. So what is the gauge at Pfelling doing? Within the last 24 hours it has stayed within the range, both being at the top and low end - we are currently speaking of a range of no more than 15cm. As you will have gathered from the previous posts both from me and current cruisers, we are at a "wobbly" time as, despite the low range, exactly these centimetres determine whether a 135m ship can sail or not. Which ship will sail and which will be decided at short notice, i.e. you might be out on an excursion during the day and during pre-dinner talk you could be asked to pack your bags for a ship swap in the morning.

 

I am grateful to current cruisers giving us info from their cruises. That is really helpful for those who will be on the river - especially close to Regensburg or Passau - in the next few days.

 

Now onto hard facts. Pfelling gauge is now at 275cm, which as we have read is too low for some ships. It has dropped slightly below the forecast most likely figure of 284cm for this lunchtime. As the forecast shows figures of 283 to 280 for the afternoon the level is now already below that and other than that the forecast shows no great range of figures for the next two days, so we cannot say anything specific about the situation for the rest of the week. Current weather forecast suggests that the Danube catchment area will get almost no rain before Sunday. Rain is sweeping in from the West on Sunday, but Bavaria needs to wait till Monday for good amounts of rain all over the Danube basin. Does not sound too good, I must admit.

 

For those who would like to follow along with the situation and put it into a visual perspective, here is a screen shot of the graph of Pfelling gauge station for the last 30 days: image.thumb.png.6831ef668f855717564c75a7e0c5fb24.png

 

RNW is the line to look at, it is the 290cm I have mentioned before as being of nautical importance and an indicator of problems for the large river cruise ships.

 

notamermaid

 

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3 hours ago, tom60w said:

Hi Illumination is a superb modern ship. Crew and staff very helpful. If you get Tony as Cruise Director it will be icing on the cake! We had no problems at all.

 

Thanks so much, Tom! 36 days til we fly to Frankfurt and 50 days til we board the Illumination!

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On 9/17/2019 at 5:09 PM, markperth said:

We just had to do a ship swap from passau to regansburg.

And were bused between the 2 ports.

 

scenic did it well, a bit of hassle packing and unpacking, but at least we will be able to continue the trip.

Thank you for reporting back. I am glad to read the ship swap went well. Thankfully the distance one has to cover in a coach is not that big. Unless one takes a scenic route (no pun intended) then one can spend hours...

 

Enjoy Bamberg and the rivers to come.

 

notamermaid

 

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