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notamermaid

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About notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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    trains
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. It has been an eventful few days on the Rhine in Germany. A few ship accidents of the minor kind involving barges and tankers, heavy storms and quite a bit of rain. So let us forget low water for this year, we have had enough rain to rule it out. Mild flooding has reached the Moselle in Germany which means more water for the Rhine downstream from Koblenz but that will not be a problem. Looking at the Koblenz gauge on the Rhine we see 353cm. The river has risen fast and will rise further, but is not close to major navigational impacts. The notorious gauge at Kaub is likewise high now, at 262cm but not a problem. For what could be in store we need to look further upstream to Maxau (near Karlsruhe). The gauge there says 520cm. This is high but not flooding yet. The forecast shows that the first flooding level is unlikely to be reached before 23rd December. The bridges along the Rhine are high with much headroom for ships but there have been reports by past cruisers of a couple of bridges causing problems near the docking locations in Basel. notamermaid
  2. A flood warning has been issued for the Moselle around Trier. The level reached flood mark II earlier this morning and is now at 590cm. This has implications for navigation and makes low bridges a concern. However, the river traffic has not been suspended and as of today does not look critical. Has anyone been on the river recently, or are you even sailing right now? Or is anyone enjoying the Christmas markets on a land trip? Metz is still one of my favourites, highly recommended. notamermaid
  3. Hmm, it has been a while since I travelled on Eurostar, certainly enjoyed first class more than second class but for a two and a half hour journey it might not be worth it, I would certainly not pay double or anything close to it. I remember now: Russell Square is the garden's name. notamermaid
  4. The level at Pfelling is now at 301cm, so doing okay, but only just keeping around 300cm. There is an indication of a higher level for tomorrow. The weather is a little warm for this time of year and a white Christmas looks out of the question for many areas along the German Danube as snow that has fallen or will fall in the next few days is not going to stay on the ground in the valleys. G.M.T., any thoughts or predictions uttered for snowy days in the local news yet? notamermaid
  5. TravelerThom, as regards river cruises (and package holidays in general) German, that is also to a great extend due to EU-regulation, rules are indeed more customer-friendly than North-American rules. But I do not know anything about the cancellation in connection with a subsequent charter by a large group. In fact, before reading about this here on the board, I did not know this was done. There is a ruling apparently that the passenger can claim a compensation on top of getting all the paid money back, if he can prove that the cruise lines has mistakenly put too many bookings on a cruise, i.e. plain overbooking and his booking has been cancelled. I think this is a different case from what has happened to the OP. Although of course the effect is the same, disappointment. To the OP, that is a great pity, especially seeing that you are tide by dates and health. I hope it will work out for you, perhaps as suggested by others, with another line. Look at CroisiEurope, A-Rosa or Riviera Travel for European lines. They all over dates in early Spring. Triple cabins are rarer, but Arosa does have them. See also if you can perhaps get a reduced single rate for the third traveller and book two cabins instead. notamermaid
  6. To the OP, The Eurostar is a good train, but get first class if there is a choice. A bit more legroom and better snacks. St. Pancras is amazing, check out the architecture, making sure to say sorry every time you slow someone down or get in the way. Grin. Good shops, nice snacks. I enjoy walking from St. Pancras through one of the small parks to the British Museum. But you might already have an agenda. Enjoy your cruise and post-cruise stay. notamermaid
  7. pontac, You are of course right about Schengen. I can travel to Britain on my ID card but always have to go through border checks. In Brussels the area resembles a small air port in that you go through checks and cannot "linger" on the platform as in a normal train station. For the trains to London I expect it is the same in Paris. For those going through immigration on a passport, Brexit I believe makes no difference but EU citizens as it stands at the moment will require a passport. But as we know nothing is finalized apart from a date, well there had been a "final" date before... notamermaid
  8. sharkster77, I now recall this having been mentioned, I think it was in Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence Slight correction, if I may: the new Viking longships for the Seine are 125m. Quote from article mentioned in my post above: "... opening doors around the world at places that may otherwise have been difficult to visit." That may be the case but as regards venturing into places that need innovation, new thinking outside the box and offering rivers that have not been "trodden on" before, first price goes to CroisiEurope. The innovation on the Seine had been to send the Viking Rinda via the ocean to Paris, she was transferred from the Rhine, she was the first 135m river cruise ship on the Seine, it was big news in the area. It did not work out as planned... A-Rosa Cruises (German company) followed with 135m ships that dock in LePecq. They did so despite the Viking problems and do not seem to have a problem with it, i.e. the passengers accept it as a given. You are of course right. Uniworld led the way and introduced the first purpose-built 125m ship on the Seine. CroisiEurope has been sailing the Seine for many years with their 110m fleet and will continue to do so. Size matters indeed, very much so to CroisiEurope, who public announced in an interview many months ago that they will not upsize to 135m in Europe. notamermaid
  9. And while we are at it, new ships that is, we know Viking will have new ships on the Seine, but here is the official announcement as printed by cruise industry news: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/river-cruise-news/22058-viking-announces-new-seine-river-ships-for-2020.html Custom-built to navigate the Seine, really? The river Seine is deep, not sure what they need to do there, as far as I know they do not dock in Honfleur (only for 110m ships allowed) and do not sail close to it, which has nothing to do with the ship, but the fact that you need to be allowed to sail the maritime bit of the Seine with an expert of the area on board, is that not what we have learnt recently on another thread? If you know details, anyone, let us know. As far as I know the only problem was sailing into Paris with the 135m ships, the authorities refused to change the rules on safety grounds and kept the maximum at 125m. The new Viking ships are 125m long which means they can finally use the "Eiffeltower parking lot". notamermaid
  10. The keel has been laid: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/river-cruise-news/22053-riverboat-spirit-of-the-rhine-keel-laid.html notamermaid
  11. Pfelling has fallen short of the expected rise and is staying below the forecast. It is at 291cm. The trend has also been adjusted and although it still indicates figures of minimally over 300cm, I think we can be sceptical of that happening by Friday morning. notamermaid
  12. Thank you. Hope you are having a great time. I am surprised you are docked in Andernach. A bit unusual as their Christmas market is quite small. Yet the town is nice and quickly explored. notamermaid
  13. Well, the river does as it pleases. Which is good in this case as the night has seen a nice rise and the level at Pfelling is at 298cm now. With a further rise likely, is this the end of the low water worries for this year? notamermaid
  14. We know all these rankings, awards, etc. that come out every year. In the end, personal taste and enjoyment are what matter. But for those interested here is an article with a comparison and ranking of river cruise ships both in Europe and the World. Published in Spring by the "Handelszeitung" in Switzerland it is all in German. Some things will be clear, others might need a good try by google. If something sounds wonky, just ask and I will try to help. https://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/kreuzfahrt-auf-dem-fluss-die-50-besten-schiffe This is how they came up with the ranking, copied from the text so you might find it easier to have it translated: "So wurde bewertet: Das Flusskreuzfahrten-Ranking der «Handelszeitung» basiert auf einer Umfrage bei 36 Branchenprofis, auf den aktuellen Wertungen relevanter Fachpublikationen und Testportalen sowie auf den Borderfahrungen des Reiseexperten Claus Schweitzer. Höchstwert pro Bewertungskategorie: 10 Punkte; maximale Punktzahl: 60." Two things struck me: 1. No Viking ship is listed among the top 25 in Europe, although they have the largest fleet. 2. Crystal comes out almost top as regards overall quality but the value for money is right down at only 3, for the basic fact that the experts regard the cruises as over prized. notamermaid
  15. Thanks, Chris. I have had a look at the itinerary of the Rhine, standard route Basel to Amsterdam. Thumbs up for the excursion offered to Obernai rather than Riquewihr (Alsatian villages), a slightly better route, albeit as touristy, and thumbs up for the boat trip on Lake Titisee in the Black Forest, really nice idea. I must say the website looks easy to navigate with much info given on the ship. The photos are of course still computer generated. I think this will be a nice, comfortable option for UK river cruisers. notamermaid
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