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About notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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  1. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

    A good question, sbjornda. As the headwaters I would consider to be the Alpine Rhine region but I am not sure if the professional geographers see it thus. The Alpine Rhine has its own Wikipedia page, if you want to look it up, and as the name suggests is in the Alps with its mouth being Lake Constance. The height of Lake Constance is a good indicator of what the situation is like but I have not followed the news or water level pages recently. Replenishment always happens in winter and into early Spring and some will have happened for sure. Snowfall in January appears to have been less in the Swiss Alps than in the German and Austrian Alps but I cannot give any details. It is still cold enough in the High Rhine and Alpine regions for the rain to come down as snow and will continue to do so. A warm spell is coming but that does not prevent Mother Nature from giving us snow even down into our warm valley at the end of March if she so wishes! At this time of year the weather report can be so varied that only the other day a person very dear to me commented on the report "... so, everything apart from a volcanic eruption is possible. 😉" notamermaid
  2. Apart from the long transfer from Paris with stop in Luxembourg and probably the American cemetery you will be faced with varying distances from port into town. As you have given the towns you will be visiting here is my assessment from land trips and what past cruisers on Viking have reported (I have never travelled with them): Trier could be town location - okay, or industrial setting - then not walkable. Or small town Schweich or small town Priol. I do not know about shuttle or drop-off from there. "My Viking" online could give you hints. Cochem looks like they dock on the other side of the river - that makes it a pleasant walk through that part of the town or at least a kilometre round trip if you want to cross the bridge to get to the main attractions. A shuttle to Reichsburg castle - the usual excursion - will remedy that. Never been to the castle so cannot tell you the situation up there. Koblenz is easy, the first shops and attractions are only one hundred metres away. If you do not like a long guided tour, travel to Ehrenbreitstein on the cable car. Viewing platform at the fortress is a distance but probably doable. Mainz depends on the landing stage, but my guess is 500 metres to the town centre. Speyer seems close but it could be a kilometre into town. So not sure about that one. Strasbourg city centre is not on the Rhine, the ships dock in Kehl. Viking uses shuttles. Only you can know what "not far" means but if your wife struggles with a round-trip of one kilometre than this will mean a great restriction on a Rhine River cruise. If you are fine with doing little and enjoying the trip for the ship amenities, company of like-minded travellers and landscape - the Moselle is more beautiful than the Rhine in many people's opinions - then I am sure you will really enjoy it. Perhaps past Viking cruisers can give you more details of the shuttles and excursions, or talk to Viking. Have fun planning. notamermaid
  3. notamermaid

    The Elbe river 2019 - not just water levels

    During my research I found one other ship travelling that route which is similar in size, so I suspect there is a restriction in place or a "natural" limitation due to the sizes of locks. If I can confirm thus I will report back. notamermaid
  4. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

    We have had a few rainy and stormy days making the small rivers swell and feeding the Rhine. The water levels are now above the mean. Forecasters tell us that pre-Spring days are on their way with cold temperatures at night, rising well during the day. It is only around five weeks till the river cruising season on the Rhine starts in earnest, but a few short trips with German companies are available earlier, like themed dinner events (including one night on the ship) and trips to the Carnival in the Upper Rhine valley. But I would like to take you quite to the other end of the river with this video of the windmills in the Netherlands. No, not Kinderdijk, but the mills used for grinding wheat into flour (video loads slowly): https://www.dw.com/en/european-traditions-the-millers-trade/av-44336756 notamermaid
  5. notamermaid

    The ever increasing popularity of river cruising

    So what has Viking come up with for the new season? http://www.seatrade-*****/news/news-headlines/new-routes-land-tours-7-new-europe-river-ships-at-viking-this-year.html?highlight=InJpdmVyIg== notamermaid
  6. notamermaid

    Viking Paris to the Swiss Alps Cruise

    Past cruisers have reported that it is an all day journey from Paris to the ship's location. It is possible to do the transfer on your own by train but for that you need the exact location of the ship of course, something that only Viking will be able to confirm. You might well be in an industrial part of Trier or further out at Schweich. Paris to Trier is a fast train route via Saarbrücken, taking about 3h and 20m. For your ease you might prefer the bus transfer. notamermaid
  7. notamermaid

    The Elbe river 2019 - not just water levels

    This year sees highlighted a somewhat odd combination of history and modernism and that connecting place is Weimar. A town of only modest size it nevertheless has forever gained a place in German (and on a minor scale) European history. Before it lent its name to the newly-formed Republik in 1919, Weimar had already been a place of Enlightenment and learning with Goethe and Schiller the most well-known figures associated with the town. But in 1919 it was also the birthplace of a new school of learning, Bauhaus. 100 years of Bauhaus is celebrated this year in grand style in Germany and while such buildings and the idea of Bauhaus can be found all over Germany, the schools focus lay on the Eastern areas of Germany and that is where river cruisers can pick up the trail. Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau on the Elbe and then Berlin. Major works of architecture can be found there. Dessau is also in the process of developing a new museum dedicated to Bauhaus. Weimar is somewhat not so easily accessible from a river cruise being about two hours drive from Dresden. From Bamberg on the Danube it is a little under two hours. This is Weimar: https://www.dw.com/en/weimar-a-small-town-crammed-with-history/g-43085139 And this is Bauhaus*: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus notamermaid *Bauhaus is also the name a German chain of DIY shops has given itself!
  8. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

    A mystery close to home, and for me as a train enthusiast close to my heart, is the sunken steam engine "Der Rhein". I reported on the failed attempt to retrieve it from the waters of the river it was named after last October. The engine remains hidden but there is hope in the shape of a new clue to its whereabouts. For those who have not followed the story here is my post from last year (#604): "Breaking news: the lost steam engine in the Rhine has not been found. The organizers of the rescue operation have confirmed that at the site where they had been digging there is no engine. The excavation has been stopped and everyone is shocked and disappointed. I as a railway enthusiast am disappointed and feel so sorry for the hunters. For you cruisers it looks more promising as yesterday's rain has made the level rise at Maxau. But more on that later. notamermaid" As I promised to keep fourmiler informed about new developments here is the good news. A new fact has come to light that in 1968 divers found a large metallic object when they were employed during a rescue operation for a sunken barge close to the spot where the dig for the steam engine took place last year. The steam engine was allegedly lying at Rhine kilometre 386 and the barge sank at Rhine kilometre 387. As the German newspaper article titled "Sunken engine in Rhine remains a mystery" ends: "Could this be a happy ending?"... https://www.rnz.de/nachrichten/metropolregion_artikel,-germersheim-versunkene-lok-im-rhein-bleibt-ein-mysterium-_arid,411737.html notamermaid
  9. This is how travel weekly's Jeri Clausing sees it: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/U-by-Uniworld-An-idea-before-or-after-its-time notamermaid
  10. notamermaid

    The Elbe river 2019 - not just water levels

    Hello Pat, Thank you for clarifying about not using Road Scholar this year. Does this mean you will not have guaranteed guides in English? With guide books and online resources I am sure you will be able to have a similar experience nevertheless. And some locals will be eager to help quite likely as well. Thank you for your kind words. Providing all this info makes me learn things (sometimes re-learn them) but is also giving me an awareness of other parts of the world that sitting in front of a teacher in a classroom cannot provide. Connecting with others of like interests is what makes CC special for me. notamermaid
  11. In the thread on the Elbe river Fuelscience has drawn our attention to nicko cruises' offer for the Oder. Here it is: https://www.nicko-cruises.de/en/expose/dreams-of-the-baltic-sea/ It is offered by nickocruises directly, but Titan Travel in the UK offered cruises on the Oder on nickocruises' ship Katharina von Bora (see my post above). The one nickocruises uses for the itinerary linked to above. Revisiting Titan Travel's website reveals no cruises on the Oder this year. Further exploring the UK market shows that Saga offers a most unusual itinerary: https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/river/where-we-go/oder/journey-through-poland-to-germany.aspx?boardbasis=FB#app-Tabs-activeTab|itinerary|| Another itinerary, similar to the one offered by nickocruises, is this one: https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/river/where-we-go/oder/passage-through-pomerania-berlin-tegel-to-stralsund.aspx?boardbasis=AI notamermaid
  12. notamermaid

    The Elbe river 2019 - not just water levels

    Hooray, finally an option on the Oder. Thank you for pointing it out, I will put that in the thread on the Oder which is buried in page X somewhere on this board. There is actually one British operator that offers the Oder as well, need to see if they have any dates for this year. pacmom is going on a cruise with CroisiEurope through Roadscholar along the Elbe northbound through to Amsterdam this year. notamermaid
  13. Uncharted territory it was for Uniworld. And after all the changes they have made there is still something about that product that does not work for me to say it is a very good product. Not sure what it is. I would have loved to do that "mystery tour" or whatever they called it in a Parisian museum, though. Hoyaheel on the subject of included or not included: have a look if you feel like it at Arosa. That company might have what you are looking for. If the North American and German offers are alike that is. notamermaid
  14. notamermaid

    Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

    It is snowing in the Rhine valley and the perfect winter day to get comfy on the sofa with a hot chocolate, watching telly or in the old-fashioned way listening to stories about elves, fairies and treasures. Here is Deutsche Welle's high five of lost treasures around the world. Close to home for me is of course the story of the treasure of the Nibelungen that was dropped by Hagen into the Rhine. Some of the legend is based around the city of Worms and while most of it is really just a legend some people belief that there is some truth in possibly, potentially, perhaps, hopefully there being a gold treasure somewhere in the Rhine that could be found. https://www.dw.com/en/high-five-the-mysteries-behind-famous-lost-treasures/a-47176455 notamermaid
  15. Here is the thread on the Elbe river for 2019. Last year was disastrous for this major river of Europe. Let us hope this year will see fewer problems with water levels and do post us your tips for travel along the Elbe. For past info here is the thread for 2018: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2516541-the-elbe-river-2018-not-just-water-levels/ Will you be on a river cruise this year, sailing the standard itineraries or perhaps even the more unusual route downstream from Magdeburg, past the Havel and towards Hamburg? Looking forward to your comments, past and future cruisers. notamermaid