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Rhine water levels 2021 and similar topics


notamermaid
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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

Thanks for reading and saying hello. While such e-mails undoubtedly make for unpleasant reading, I think it is good to give advance warning. Especially as a few people may not go straight to the cruise ship from the airport, i.e. have pre-cruise plans outside of the tour operator. Of course, everything may go according to plan but we have low water and the bottle neck at Karlsruhe. May Crystal bus you from Basel to the ship further downstream? A possibility. Or just a tiny amendment to the port times? Whatever it will be, I am sure Crystal will take good care of you. Have a great cruise.

 

Kaub gauge at 86cm. New forecast says 88cm during the evening, with 90cm in the prediction for Monday. Some rain today in Switzerland and the Southwest of Germany, no rain Monday and Tuesday.

 

notamermaid

 

 

Thank you for your response! Much appreciated 🙂 I am so looking forward to the cruise! Have a wonderful day! 

 

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4 hours ago, texasmomoftwo said:

I am set to sail the Rhine in early December.  So following along.  Hate that water levels are low. 

It is still early, two (to three) weeks is a long-ish time and enough for the levels to recover. But I understand you getting nervous. More likely than not the level at Kaub will stay under 96cm for all of next week. Which means the whole of next week will be a time when the situation can turn unfavourably. That is the computer-generated "probability graph". The forecast figures calculated at 7am this morning for the next two days show stable figures of 89cm to 90cm.

notamermaid

 

 

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On 11/10/2021 at 11:09 AM, notamermaid said:

In the next post I plan to take you back to my day trip to a castle 🏰, a not so well-known one in name, but if you have been through the Rhine Gorge you will have seen it.

 

Lahneck castle part 1

At the end of August we headed to the gateway of the Rhine Gorge, the Northern end of it. Called the Lahnsteiner Pforte (Lahnstein Gate), it is just South of Koblenz. Which also means that Koblenz topographically is not part of the Rhine Gorge, but is explicitly part of the UNESCO World heritage site Middle Rhine Valley. And there above the town of Lahnstein stands Lahneck Castle. It is privately owned but open for guided tours and has a restaurant outside of the castle but within the outer perimetre.But we will get to that later. To get to the castle you drive through a suburb with modern housing up there on the hill. There is a small car park near the swimming pool. The rest of the way is walking only, about 400m. The main car park is at the bottom of the hill at the Lahn river and from there it looks quite a steep climb. So we had the easier path and along it a view over the Lahn with the first railway bridge crossing the river. The last lock and dam with waterworks before the mouth of the river is right at the bottom of where I am standing in this photo, so hidden from view:

611033623_IMG_20210829_163542-Kopie.thumb.jpg.256ada7437c3c7dd6384466068d300ca.jpg

 

The Lahn river flows into the Rhine at Lahnstein and is navigable but only for small boats, including some excursion boats and yachts. It is popular for rowing and canoeing. I have written a bit about Lahnstein in this thread, post #6: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2516698-rhine-beyond-the-standard-ports/

 

But back to the castle. It suffered heavy damage during the Thirty Years' War. By 1840 when William Tombleson engraved it, it was a romantic ruin like so many other castles:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burg_Lahneck#/media/Datei:Tombleson_Lahneck_Castle.jpg

Since 1850 it has been in private ownership, when it was part restored and part added on in Neo Gothic style. It was resold in 1907 and has been in the hands of the same family since. But here is the family's website of their castle, where they themselves explain the history and and stories surrounding the castle: http://www.burg-lahneck.de/html/gb.html

Along the walk we also saw the former monastery with its church on the other side of the river. It is called Kloster Allerheiligenberg:

IMG_20210829_163656_5CS.thumb.jpg.2a5eba18eeafde9804082b419682c1a6.jpg

It is in private hands with a community living in it and offering guest accommodation in simple rooms with a "contemplative nature". The view from their patio is great judging from the website photos: https://kloster-allerheiligenberg.com/ I would love to see that sunset.

Just a little further along the path and round the bend we were greeted by this view:

IMG_20210829_163836.thumb.jpg.13b5261bf3157bae91049922db0d0c02.jpg

Yes, that was very promising and with much anticipation we walked through this gate:

IMG_20210829_163910.thumb.jpg.d9d7a54f3d15b7f7bc4a735fb579f806.jpg

notamermaid

 

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2 hours ago, KLRDUKS said:

thank you so much for all your information on water levels and other interesting items. 

My pleasure. And to keep up informing those with a river cruise coming up, here is the situation at Kaub: the level went down a bit more than anticipated earlier this evening, 86cm. which is a lower figure than the forecast suggested this morning. The forecast as it stands shows 86cm and under for tomorrow. Is the river loosing water faster than expected? We cannot be sure as fluctuation during the day can always happen. Into Thursday we will not see a recovery but can hope for the level to be stable, more or less. From today into Saturday there is no rain or little rain in isolated patches, that is of no help, forecast. So I will keep an eye on this.

 

2 hours ago, KLRDUKS said:

We will be visiting Lahneck Castle on Christmas Day as part of an AMA cruise.

My goodness, what an unusual day to visit Lahneck castle. I admit to being jealous. :classic_biggrin: It reminds me of my visit to Hever castle in Kent decked out festively with a huge Christmas tree adorning one room. I saw Namedy castle two years ago during their Advent market, but I expect Lahneck castle to be even better than that as you have the splendid view in addition (unless there is fog). I will get back to that view in my next post.

 

Have a splendid cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

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8 minutes ago, sjde said:

Speaking of the water level at Kaub ( is that the lowest/ shallowest  point along the Rhine?)  , at what reading does it become too low for the river cruise ships? 

Kaub is considered the gauge that marks the area on the Rhine that has the shallowest navigation channel. The depth is 1.90m (averaged out) when the figure says 78cm, i.e. at 86cm it is only 8cm above that: 1.98cm. This is a purely mathematical figure and therefore a bit of a generalization and I have to leave details and further mathematics up to captains and hydrology engineers. And that is the crucial bit here: captains decide on whether it is safe to sail or not. The authorities do not impose a ban, unless there is an emergency (like there was at Karlsruhe three weeks ago). So I cannot say when a particular ship cannot sail other than that it could be getting tight for the largest ones soon, that is the 135m ones. 110m ships have a slightly lower draft, they fare better. Then there are the ones of 105m and shorter. It was only in 2018 that almost all river cruise ships stopped sailing at one point.

 

I would be leaning myself out of the window if I gave an exact figure for when ships stop sailing...

 

notamermaid

 

 

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4 minutes ago, sjde said:

Thanks, notamermaid! I was on one of those ships in Nov 2018 and we made it through. It was a Teeming river cruise.

Aah, yes. I remember now. Your ship was 105m I think. I do not recall the name, it was not the Royal Crown, was it? That is 110m.

 

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11 hours ago, sjde said:

Does the Danube ever have these same problems? 

Worst in Germany. Every year in general a bit more than on the Rhine. For details and the current situation see the thread on the Danube.

 

Kaub stands at 87cm. Weather report says drizzle over the Middle Rhine valley. A bit more than was suggested in the forecast. Forecast for Wednesday and Thursday still says no rain.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 11/15/2021 at 8:00 PM, Canal archive said:

No river cruise to this venue but it’s a bit of praise for our North American friends the Christmas Tree and decs at the American museum at Claverton just outside Bath are wonderful.

This really looks good: https://americanmuseum.org/christmas/

 

Which reminds me. Illuminations of buildings happen here as well and some private owners do illuminations for charity. Or just for enjoyment for themselves and others. But Ehrenbreitstein Fortress opposite Koblenz will be turned into a full Christmas garden event with illuminations this year: https://www.christmas-garden.de/koblenz/en/

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Kaub is now at 84cm. Looking at the next three days we will most likely not see a real recovery, but a slight upward tick. In figures this means a range of 85cm to 89cm. This is what it looks like in the graph of the last 31 days:

image.png.72cc18747d38f18e3199a7bb019f5567.png

If the level reached the line marked with MNW (mean low water), that is 93cm, that would not be great, but do much to make rivers cruisers (and companies) relax a bit more. The river is not really too low for sailing - see post #209 above - but "too low to feel at ease". In these low temperatures not much rain is needed to ease things. This has to fall in the Rhine basin upstream from Mainz. Unfortunately, this is not forecast in the next few days.

 

We will continue to keep an eye on this.

 

But first: back to Lahnstein.

 

notamermaid

 

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Lahneck castle part 2

 

Going to Lahnstein was a somewhat spontaneous decision, so unfortunately, we could not time this to be able to take part in the guided tour. As it was a little too late in the day we arrived at the closed gate to the inner courtyard and looked through the bars:

IMG_20210829_164233.thumb.jpg.dbdbda8050a1e99f23c314b8664fc552.jpg

That means, I have no photos of the inside to share. But oddly, an educational children's website has some of the inside, here is the inner courtyard: https://medienwerkstatt-online.de/lws_wissen/vorlagen/showcard.php?id=26955&edit=0

I think that looks prettier than Marksburg castle!

 

So, back to my humble photos, the foreground from the restaurant area (you can see the gate with the door and the bars):IMG_20210829_171243.thumb.jpg.499a6c9ad69c8f13385cec96d142c639.jpg

Not the most fitting vehicle, but this is the 21st century - and it is Coronavirus, so the notices on the gate give the instructions and measures in the castle.

 

The archway in full, with the ice-cream company sunshade:

IMG_20210829_165007.thumb.jpg.50f0bfddeb1dca3072096b7c384436f2.jpg

 

It is a pleasant small terrace and the restaurant looks quite cosy, we had a peek inside. But my, we did not want to sit inside and miss that view. Not this view, this is a window, or rather arrow slit that is a window looking into the restaurant! IMG_20210829_164259.thumb.jpg.2e37467f84b9a99307a5af6ff8603297.jpg

 

Here it is, Lahnstein:

IMG_20210829_164931.thumb.jpg.1ac8fce2f0207ed07c5d459a231360f4.jpg

 

In this setting on the hill - the castle is officially sitting on a spur, which means it is not on the hill top - modern and (sort of) old are close together, so you get the 20th century bridge crossing the Lahn on one side:

IMG_20210829_164854.thumb.jpg.5689391b1f1a15b951e3ba5173fad0c8.jpg

 

And the Medieval castle turned 19th Romantic rebuilt Schloss Stolzenfels across the Rhine on the other, well, straight ahead:

IMG_20210829_164811.thumb.jpg.129a3e9d7c89a231c1855dac3a10ab97.jpg

 

Which makes me think: I should go to Schloss Stolzenfels some time and take a photo of Lahneck castle!

 

And what does one do on an afternoon at a café/restaurant in such a setting in Germany? Have coffee and cake! Hmm, not quite this time for us as there was something on the menu that appealed to us. More on that in a next post.

 

notamermaid

 

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The level at Kaub had a surprisingly good rise during yesterday but it was short-lived. Back to 87cm now and likely to fall further again. Rain is forecast, but not good amounts so the forecast for Kaub suggests a level as low as 78cm.

 

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20 minutes ago, sjde said:

It looks like lots of rain coming next Thursday, Friday , Saturday? 

Yes, looking further ahead than Tuesday things are likely to improve and if that rain materialises then a proper recovery of the level is very much likely, provided it falls in the Upper Rhine valley in decent amounts, not directly around Kaub.

 

By Tuesday we should know more.

 

notamermaid

 

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Brief update. The Rhine Gorge water levels still struggling. Bit of fluctuation. Kaub went down during the night to 72cm but has picked up, only to go down again, now at 75cm. Recovery not expected by Friday. Rain (and snow in the high hills) still expected at the weekend.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 11/20/2021 at 3:53 PM, notamermaid said:

Yes, looking further ahead than Tuesday things are likely to improve and if that rain materialises then a proper recovery of the level is very much likely, provided it falls in the Upper Rhine valley in decent amounts, not directly around Kaub.

 

By Tuesday we should know more.

 

notamermaid

 

 

It is Tuesday and the situation has not improved yet. Kaub stands at 77cm. We are now a bit closer to the weekend and the rain that was mentioned as a possibility. But first the river level. The forecast tells us the level should more or less stagnate and a change for the better is not predicted by Saturday. Could Saturday evening bring change? The weather forecast suggests rain in decent amounts on Saturday with less on Sunday. That sounds okay but not that promising yet. But something special could happen: some of the twinkling lights might light up snow flakes! There is the mention of the high likelihood of snow at the weekend and depending on how the low pressure area moves it may snow even in the lower hills. This could mean: it will not snow in Basel but the not so distant hills will be covered in light snow. In Kehl for Strasbourg excursions you could see a dusting on the hills in the Black Forest in the distance. In Koblenz it will not snow but Kaisersesch in the hills at 400m nearby will have a light snow cover. A few scenarios. Excitement and anticipation is rising for those that look forward to the "Weiße Pracht", the white splendour. ❄️

 

notamermaid

 

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No news is good news - so here is the bad news. The level at Kaub is again down to 72cm, this time a more lasting low, since lunchtime. I am beginning to sound like talking about a patient. Not so serious yet that I think it will interrupt sailing - as mentioned before, that is impossible for me to say exactly when that happens - but I expect it to slow ships down, not pleasant sailing in the dark that is for sure, even with radar and modern equipment. Oh, yes, and the forecast being based on the current low does not make for good reading - between 72cm and 68cm from now till Saturday evening.

 

By the way, after having seen what it is like to sail in the dark in a demonstration, yup, in a wheelhouse; captains have my utmost admiration for interpreting all that data, the points, the blobs and the lines on that screen, which I find impossible to fathom out what they are.

 

notamermaid

 

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21 hours ago, notamermaid said:

No news is good news - so here is the bad news. The level at Kaub is again down to 72cm, this time a more lasting low, since lunchtime. I am beginning to sound like talking about a patient. Not so serious yet that I think it will interrupt sailing - as mentioned before, that is impossible for me to say exactly when that happens - but I expect it to slow ships down, not pleasant sailing in the dark that is for sure, even with radar and modern equipment. Oh, yes, and the forecast being based on the current low does not make for good reading - between 72cm and 68cm from now till Saturday evening.

 

By the way, after having seen what it is like to sail in the dark in a demonstration, yup, in a wheelhouse; captains have my utmost admiration for interpreting all that data, the points, the blobs and the lines on that screen, which I find impossible to fathom out what they are.

 

notamermaid

 

Thanks for all your time and information!

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