Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics


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#1
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Greetings from the Rhine valley. Here is the thread for 2018 for everything related to the water levels of the Rhine and bits of information on the river.

It has been an eventful January as regards weather and river levels; looking at last year's thread, quite different from January 2017.

We started into the New Year with flooding, followed by storm, subsiding river levels, minimal snow, rising temperatures, more flooding and a lot of rain and grey skies. The cold crisp yet sunny winter days where virtually non-existent in my area of the valley.

For those of you interested in details, this is the graph for the river level at Koblenz for January: https://screenshots.firefox.com/StRg...lonline.wsv.de

I am not a technical person, the site says it runs out in 14 days. Hope the link works. In the graph you can see a line saying HSW M_II. It indicates the official level for river closure, and yes, the river has been closed twice this month, not just in the Koblenz area, but further upstream and partly downstream from there as well.

We are back to a reasonable level now - for winter - but what February will bring noone knows. One thing is certain, the coming month will bring lots of merriment to the Rhine valley in the shape of Carnival!

Today is another miserably grey day with rain and unpleasant wind, quite typical of what January has been like.

Oh well, there is always the sight of the first river cruise ships sailing in March with the first new green leaves adorning the trees along the embankments to look forward to!

Wherever you are headed this year on the rivers and oceans, safe travels.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#2
389 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Thanks notamermaid, I will be looking forward to your reports. Here's hoping levels stay good for everyone sailing this year!
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#3
New Zealand
110 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
I too will look forward to your reports. My mum and I are doing Amsterdam to Basel with Scenic in September. We did Amsterdam to Budapest in 2016 and had a brilliant trip and all rivers behaved. We hope it will be the same this time round :-)
#4
Northern California
35 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Thank you Notamermaid for your first 2018 update for all of us upcoming river cruisers! We will be going on AMAStella on March 26 from Amsterdam to Basel. It will be our first river cruise! We are hoping for a smooth sailing experience and water levels acceptable for the boat! I will be very much looking forward to your updates!
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#6
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Thank you everyone. February has started as miserable as January ended and the Koblenz area is back on "slowed-down river traffic" status as the rain has made the level rise. But as this happens frequently we are quite relaxed about it. The flooding we had at the beginning of January on the other hand was one that we experience statistically every four to five years. I feel sorry for the people on the Seine; Paris and the regions downstream appear to be in real trouble.

But to a happier subject. Supposedly the Middle Rhine valley has the highest density of castles in the world on such a short stretch (I have to take the experts' word for it) but trying to find out how many there are in Germany proved impossible when I researched it some time ago. No wonder I could not find out because, actually, noone is sure of the exact number. 25,000 seems to be a popular figure and here is an article by Deutsche Welle on the subject: http://www.dw.com/en/does-germany-re...les/a-42350502

By the way, number 9 in the photo gallery, Burg Satzvey, is an optional excursion with Tauck on an itinerary that a past cruiser sailed on the Rhine last year. It is actually not on a hill overlooking the Rhine, but is a moated castle (as clearly visible in the beautiful photo) in a valley near Bonn.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#7
Central NY
637 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by notamermaid

Oh well, there is always the sight of the first river cruise ships sailing in March with the first new green leaves adorning the trees along the embankments to look forward to!

Wherever you are headed this year on the rivers and oceans, safe travels.

notamermaid
I'm looking forward to your posts as I'm doing my first river cruise this year, on the Rhine, in March. So there is a chance of green leaves? It's possible that there will still be snow where I live.
Thank you for your reports!
#8
Australia
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
I'm on my first river cruise in March, Amsterdam to Budapest on the Amavenita, leaving on the 17th. I'll be watching your posts with interest, notamermaid, and hoping the rivers will behave for our cruise.
#9
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello from a very wintry valley! Yes, I know I sort of complained about not having had proper winter days in my first post...

Yesterday we started with a few snowflakes, today it has snowed without stopping for about five hours in my area. As it is around freezing temperature the snow is staying on rooftops, cars and in nature and when I look outside all is a hazy kind of white, sky and everything. The river looks a pale grey-brown from a distance. Ok, not so attractive.

Yes, Snowshoecat, we can get snow in March. I might have exaggerated with the leaves a little but we do have a warmish climate with relatively early Spring in the Rhine valley. It varies from year to year but there will certainly be buds on trees with the first leaves trying not to freeze in night frost.


Feelincrusey, I assume you are going with APT on their Magnificent Europe itinerary. I really like that one for its unique offers, especially Namedy castle dinner. It is a relatively small intimate castle and you might not get to see the Lady of the House yourself but the castle has a lovely air about it, hidden away in a small village close to the river. Put Namedy castle in google photos and see what hits you get. Would like to do the steam train ride, too: https://www.aptouring.com/trips/euro...ar2018-dec2018

Have a great cruise everyone.

Oh, yes, nearly forgot, not important yet, but for your info: river traffic is back to normal, the Rhine "has lost" over 60cm at Koblenz in 48 hours.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#10
Australia
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Thanks for your very informative posts, notamermaid. Yes, we'll be on an APT cruise, one of the first for the year. I did as you suggested and had a look at photos of Namedy Castle ... what a place! We get to explore most of it before the banquet and piano recital in the Hall of Mirrors. I hope we get to meet Princess Heide. But it will be a thrill, regardless. I am really looking forward to the concert (Mozart Boys' Choir, opera singers and chamber orchestra) at the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna, too. Another brush with royalty. It will be my birthday! I only hope the river levels will be favourable so we get to see all the castles along the river.
#11
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello feelincruisey,

my pleasure. I had missed earlier that you have only just joined the community. Welcome! Our host jazzbeau has put together a great list of things for newbies. You can find those stickies at the top of the title page of the river cruise forum. But perhaps you have had a look at those already. I also recommend looking around the river cruising roll call pages. You can join or start your own thread - there might be a collective thread for the APT Budapest to Amsterdam (or vice versa) cruises perhaps. You are on the first itinerary for this year (or the second?) so you might like to have a look at last year's threads. If you are the first for this year, beware, future cruisers might shower you with questions.

The sun today is slowly melting the snow and Karneval or Fastnacht, the Rhenish and South-Western German versions of Carnival, is fast approaching. If you ever get to come during this time just before Lent into the regions do not be alarmed by mock 19th century soldiers marching or people in masks doing weird things in the streets, like leaping in a certain line together. It looks like Germany has gone completely mad, but it is perfectly normal and all will be over by Ash Wednesday!

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#12
Australia
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Yes notamermaid, I'm a newbie on this forum. Thanks very much for your warm welcome. I've had a look around and picked up a few bits of good advice. I'm a little reluctant to start a new roll call for the very reasons you give ... do I have enough time to spend on it?
#13
Oregon
332 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Thanks for starting this thread notamermaid. I thoroughly enjoyed your 2016 and 2017 editions. We’re planning our 2019 Amsterdam to Basel cruise on Scenic.


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#14
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Thank you so much jeb_bud.

It is cold here still, but the forecast is for an unpleasant windy, rainy, snowy and slightly warmer Carnival weekend. But a true Carnival enthusiast goes outdoors in any weather!

Happy to report that the river level is still slightly but steadily falling. It will sort of stagnate soon at a very comfortable level for winter. No flooding in sight for a few days. I cannot believe it is only four weeks till the first German river cruise ships sail the Rhine. Feels really too cold, sailing before the 20th of March is not for me.

By the way, it is actually possible to sail in Winter on the Rhine. One can go on excursions before Christmas on KD ships and a few other companies. Ships are available for day hire in Winter as well.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#16
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
toseaornottosea,

river levels, ooh, that is a difficult one. Statistics with figures are a little difficult to get hold of, they are either a bit technical or you need to subscribe to weather sites for historical data. I have not found a satisfactory website yet. Without figures I can tell you that there is tendency towards low water, i.e. lower than the mean seen over a ten-year period. September is better than October, October can get quite low, but real low water does not happen every year. Most of the Rhine is ok in low water anyway. The bottleneck that is Bingen to Koblenz is mostly affected in low water. Let us say flooding very rarely happens in September and October, low water can happen, but the impact can be minimal to none depending on river level, itinerary and ship size/draft.

The temperatures vary throughout such a journey of more than 800 kilometres (not sure about the exact figure) and one week very likely. You can get anything between 10 degrees Celsius at night and 25 Celsius during the afternoon. Here is a graph for Bonn for example: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/...ologne/climate These are of course averages. In Bonn you will hardly get colder nights than that, on a very fine day the temperature can be 28 degrees in the town centre, that is sort of the highest around that time. On rainy days it can be 15 degrees only.

Expect temperatures slightly lower and more rain as you get closer to the Netherlands and Amsterdam in general. The Rhine valley is milder in climate along the vineyards warmed up from the Summer sun, past Düsseldorf you get into "open country".

I have just realised that you are going Amsterdam to Basel, sorry, I always think in "as the river flows"-terms.

Hope this helps.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#18
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Going on a river cruise on the Rhine this year or planning one?

This I find a very good overview of what you can expect and a little more as the article starts with the Rhinefall at Schaffhausen, the area upstream is only partially navigable, partly due to low bridges at Basel.

The section of the article on the lower Rhine only partly applies to river cruise ships as the ships mostly "turn off" at a certain point to enter the canal to Amsterdam. Which is not the only place that is not on the Rhine but that you visit on a Rhine river cruise, by the way!

Reserve a bit of time for this article is my recommendation as there is quite a bit of info. Here goes: http://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/alo...rhine/s-100650

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#19
Middle of Tennessee
3,425 Posts
Joined May 2003
We took Rhine & Danube cruises with Viking in mid-November in 2008 & 2014, in each case we needed gloves, scarves, hat, winter coats & umbrellas. We didn't mind the weather at all, which was quite similar to Tennessee. We enjoyed being nearly the ONLY ship on the rivers and at the docking locations. No river level issues at all & didn't really know that could be an issue! Mike's business trips to Germany were in Feb., except for 1 trip in late Aug. which we enjoyed quite alot. I found the Rhine river sooo much more interesting, but found the Danube somewhat boring.
NOW we are considering an early June Rhine cruise with friends -- are we in for a shock as to boat traffic & docking locations? We are eager to share our love of the Rhine River with our friends, plus our nephew & family recently moved to Basel for a couple years! We will definitely want an air deviation at each end!
Where on the Rhine are the most likely places to encounter places that river tends to get too low or too high?
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UPCOMING: Viking River cruise on the Rhone in Provence plus "on-our-own trip" to Normandy D-Day beaches, Bayeux tapestries & Paris.
CRUISE HISTORY = 52 cruises (1 Transatlantic, 1 Rhine River, 1 Danube River, 5 Alaska, 4 Panama Canal, 1 California coastal, 1 Hawaii, 2 NewEngl/Canada & 36 Eastern/Western/Southern Caribbean) 459 days.
1 cruise on VIKING OCEAN: Viking Sea to eastern Caribbean from NYC to SJU in Oct. 2017.....most amazing ship!!
2 on VIKING RIVER: Sun (Rhine River Antwerp-Basel 14 days), Bragi (Danube River Budapest-Nurmberg 7 days),
26 cruises PRINCESS: Grand 5x; old Crown 3x, Caribbean 4x, Ruby 2x, Sun 2x, Dawn, Diamond, Ocean, Sea, Island, Coral, new Crown 2x, Royal & Regal (214 days)
9 on HOLLAND: Nieuw Amsterdam, Statendam, Westerdam 3x, Volendam, Veendam 2x, Zuiderdam -- 3 Star (77 days)
7 on CELEBRITY: Millennium, Solstice, Silhouette, Century, Reflection, Summit 2x (48 days)
6 on ROYAL CARIB: Radiance 2x, Brilliance, Voyager of Seas, Independence of Seas 2x (55 days)
1 on CARNIVAL Triumph (7 days)
#20
Rhine, Germany
2,655 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Cruisin Kay D,

good to hear you enjoyed the Rhine so much you want to share it with your friends! As regards crowds and river traffic I tend to get a bit philosophical, "like what is full and what is over crowded, much can a single place take?" I would say comparing it to 2008, yes you will see the difference.

Water levels are fine in June almost all of the time along the whole Rhine.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips