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About notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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  1. Hello David. Thank you, happy to help. A spreadsheet, that sounds a great planning help. Really nice of you to do this for the roll call. It is early in the year and we have no idea what the river levels will be like when the cruises start. Right now things look okay on the German Danube - just some minor flooding here and there along the river and in the catchment area in reaction to the rain during storm Victoria (Dennis in the UK where it wreaked havoc). For those who want to follow the situation themselves on an official website, here is the one for Germany: https://www.bafg.de/EN/06_Info_Service/01_WaterLevels/waterlevels_node.html If you have any questions as how to read the map, ask away, I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge. David, have a great cruise. notamermaid
  2. shipster60, I know what you mean with the spelling on phones, don't worry about it. My stubborn smartphone took a long time to accept that I mean Maxau on the Rhine, not Macau. But to your question: the weather can be really varied at that time of year, so I join in with the common chorus saying "dress in layers".😃 When I went beginning of April we had had snowfall two days before I arrived in Passau, it was cold. On the return leg from Budapest it was sunny and about 15 degrees. Your temperature may span from zero at night on one day to 20 Celsius in the afternoon on another. I find accuweather.com quite good for planning, but tend to use wetter online for looking up daily info (in German). A note on Viking and the itinerary: I find it smart thinking of the company to start in Passau rather than Nuremberg or Straubing as it avoids the low water area. They might not do it for that reason alone, but it is good anyway. Hope it gives you time to explore the beautiful town. A bit of advice if I may when exploring in a group: I have heard a tiny rumour that the Passau people are not so happy with the huge red Viking umbrellas these days, so if you want to pretend you are not in the group invest in a smaller foldable one that fits in a bag. Perhaps in a local shop? It would make G.M.T. happi(er). 😃 Anyway, have a great time with our without umbrella. Budapest is amazing, I would love to go back. notamermaid
  3. Thank you very much. But do not encourage me too much, my posts might get too frequent and too long. I work in (tourism) marketing* and you know what those people are like when they really start talking. Grin. Seriously, I would say it is relatively quiet and uneventful in my part of the valley right now. Apart from the fact that we are on level 2 storm warning again. Next week will see the Carnival in full swing. I am watching (on websites) the progress of the building and movement of the new river cruise ships - the " Winter and Spring babies" and their christenings. More on that another time. notamermaid *Disclosure: my job is unrelated to river cruising.
  4. @CPT Trips The Diamond, the Jewel and the Sapphire are so-called TwinCruisers. The engine part is separate from the passenger part which makes it a kind of push boat with container ship. It is a technical thing apparently to keep noise and vibration low. It looks a little odd on the river compared to the standard designs, I find, but not the sort of thing that would keep me from booking a cruise on one. notamermaid
  5. Travelmarvel has indeed used chartered ships, usually a little older. Up to now. They will get a new-built this year, not sure if it is finished or not: https://www.breejen-shipyard.nl/en/shipbuilding/passengers-vessels/3559-tm-polaris/ Edit: okay, found the info now, should be ready soon, maiden voyage in April: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/river-cruise-news/21539-three-new-boats-for-apt-travelmarvel.html notamermaid
  6. I think it is one of the older Ama ships that is on the website, the video for it is on youtube. In Serbia they are busy with the Spirit of the Rhine now, I should think, today they have launched the Annabelle. In the Netherlands they are putting the finishing touches on the Geoffrey Chaucer. If the procedure is the same with the Annabelle, she will be tugged/pushed to the Netherlands to be fitted out, then the next ship and so on. But it could depend on the destination of the ship, not sure. Yet even the Tauck Andorinha for the Douro is being fitted out in the Netherlands right now. Could the AmaSiena be next in line? notamermaid
  7. Several occurrences can interfere with sailing on the Rhine (and the other navigable rivers). An unusual incident I mentioned above was the cable in the water due to storm damage. An unexpected cease of river traffic followed. Another closure happened on Wednesday, this time it had been planned meticulously for a joyous and slightly spectacular event: moving a bridge component. Connecting Mainz with Wiesbaden is the Schiersteiner Brücke, the bridge that carries the regional Autobahn numbered A643 across the river. As has become a favoured procedure for busy road bridges, a new one was built alongside the old, with the middle span put into place with the means of a pontoon. This is how it worked (video in German, but interesting to watch nevertheless): https://www.hessenschau.de/panorama/tonnenschweres-puzzlestueck-fuer-schiersteiner-bruecke,schiersteiner-bruecke-148.html The start of the operation was delayed by a few hours as the wind was too strong but the work was finished on Thursday. About Schierstein, the name of the bridge: it is a suburb of Wiesbaden, but a historic small town. Bordering the Rhine, it has a marina but no dock for river cruise ships as far as I could find out. A river cruise dock in the vicinity is at neighbouring Biebrich, which I have written about here as part 4: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2516698-rhine-beyond-the-standard-ports/ notamermaid
  8. Sounds ominous. Grin. But I think I know what you mean. Got some weird stuff around here, could call it exotic. And I do not mean the Thai restaurant. 😉 I have just read that the Bavarian Forest has been put on level 2 alert for storms. Passau looks as if it will not have to brace a storm at this point in time - tourists will storm the town again from end of March. Talking of storms. Carnival is coming up. Do you have the tradition of Rathaussturm in Passau? notamermaid
  9. shipster60, Happy to help. I am sorry to read that you - I presume - had to switch itineraries due to what is happening in China. The Danube is a great river to explore, even if it is not exotic. From Passau, hmm, a European company? notamermaid
  10. Yes, that could well be. Drought is likely to be an issue again come August, so better to have early departures. Your suggestion prompted me to look up the statistics for flooding on the Elbe on a website called "Undine". I think you can guess what's coming: the most likely month to have extreme flooding in is - March. notamermaid
  11. Oh, yeah, probably. Oh well, perhaps we will have to wait and name the next excursion boat on the Isar and Rhine, respectively. notamermaid
  12. The storm called Sabine in Germany or Chiara in the UK has somewhat expectedly hit Hamburg with a storm surge. Here are some photos from Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/en/sabine-storm-surge-floods-hamburgs-fish-market/a-52351376 Not a pleasant time to be on the rivers in Europe. So I am a bit surprised that Viking are starting their Elbe cruises on 11 March. A bit cold, no leaves yet on the trees, not for me really, I would only leave after 20 March at the earliest. notamermaid
  13. Only about a week ago TUI presented their first river cruise captain for one of the ships, the TUI Skyla, now they have stepped up a notch and announced that they are looking for godmothers - or godfathers! - for the ships. Here are the articles: https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/introducing-first-tui-river-cruises-captain https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5088/ 23 March, I am free on that day. Seeing the ship that one is godmother to sailing along on the Rhine, now that is an exciting thought... notamermaid
  14. This is the global map updated twice daily: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 notamermaid
  15. Interesting, screen-gem. I would like to read the existing questionnaire. Cannot remember filling in such a thing with my cruise line. I wonder how many other lines have it and what it covers. On a river cruise along the Rhine ships can quarantined as a whole - it has happened due to Norovirus - and as regards logistics and help is never a problem. To be honest, I am less keen on such a quarantine in a dock near me due to Coronavirus. With the current developments in Sussex in England one can see how spreading it can put hundreds of people at risk. I think screening passengers is a good idea and I am sure Viking is working "behind the scenes". Cancellations and refunds, yes, that will be an area where much discord is likely to arise. I hope the cruise lines have satisfactory contracts for such eventualities with their partner hotels. But where there is a real thread (local) governments could be the deciders in the end. notamermaid
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