Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics


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#21
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Cruisin Kay D,

I have given your question another thought. Since you travelled on the Rhine last in the month of November I had a look at this year's list of ship docking in Koblenz. The difference between June and November is quite significant! You will find the same pattern in the other ports as well (nearly all the companies on the international market go to the same places, a few less offered itineraries excepted). So, you will find June much more busy than November.

As regards double docking or even three in a row, yes, in June this is likely to happen. Viking normally do not share their "personal" docking locations with other companies in the busy towns on the Rhine as they need them for their large fleet now almost the whole year. I see, more and more often, Viking "doing the double-docking" with their own ships in Koblenz now! You will be able to follow this on the official webcam showing you the view from Ehrenbreitstein fortress onto Deutsches Eck. The Viking landing stage is on the Rhine to the left of the Kaiser Wilhelm statue: http://www.wsa-ko.wsv.de/webcam/webcam_deutsches_eck/

If you look before sunset in about three and a half hours, it is 2pm here, you can still see the city covered in snow. So peaceful. I think I might copy this shot and save it.


The river level has fallen considerably leaving room for snow melt.

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
#22
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Stopping at Speyer on a river cruise this year?

Here is a short video of the UNESCO world heritage site Speyer Cathedral: http://www.dw.com/en/world-heritage-...al/av-38954636

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
#23
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Mainz landing stage to be renovated

Mainz is getting ever busier with river cruise company demands putting a strain on the current infrastructure. One such landing stage will be renovated and enlarged to meet with safety regulations and be able to take the sheer weight of the largest river cruise ships of 135m. I have mentioned before that not too long ago 110m was the largest type of ship. The landing stage of a local institution called "Wirtschaftsbetrieb Mainz" in short WBM, has been dismantled and brought by truck to a shipyard in Andernach (downstream from Koblenz). The pontoon was likewise removed and taken by the excursion boat "Carmen Sylva" (her home is in Neuwied downstream from Koblenz) to Andernach. The structure on land holding the bridge will be strengthened and "upgraded" to be able to cope with the additional weight. Total investment: around 250,000 euros. And this is how it was done: http://www.allgemeine-zeitung.de/lok...n_18509823.htm from the local newspaper with video (and many ads)

And if you would like to know where this is in relation to the town, here are the landing stages on a map: https://www.mainz.de/medien/internet...nz_anreise.pdf The landing stage that has been dismantled (to be returned) is WBM J in the winter harbour. And, you might have expected it, Viking has its own landing stage in Mainz as well. See map.

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
#24
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
It is a cold weekend on the Rhine, as one would expect in February, but the forecast tells us that we will see even colder temperatures this coming week. Frost day and night in the hills and hardly any warmer in the Rhine valley. Cold winds from the North and Northeast will make it feel really chilly. And as locals (and me) have suggested: snow in March - at least very likely in the first week of it. There will be little snowfall though, meaning the river levels that are already comfortably low will keep falling. That is good for those taking the first sailings of the season but it could bring us flooding later.

The river is keeping ever busy with barges but the other day I saw a river cruise ship being relocated, sailing downstream.

So much for this weekend.

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
#25
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
You think this is flooding (that we had a few weeks ago)... this is flooding!

With 24 years having come and gone it is easier to jokingly talk about the worst flooding on the Rhine in the 20th century. At the time though it reached catastrophic dimensions and affected many lives along the river (mine included to a minimal extent). I have lived close to the Rhine almost all my life and seen a lot of water but the memory of 1993 is still quite vivid. Talk to people about flooding in 1993 and anyone close to my age and older will remember it well and be able to tell you a story. Mine goes like this: while I was not affected directly by dirty water in my ground floor flat or something similarly "unpleasant" (to put it mildy), I was faced with having to get to work and as I took the train to get to my office quite a distance away from home had to face disruption on the line close to the river bank. My last day in the office on 22rd December started with the train lines being disrupted on the right bank in parts, but the left bank line was still open. I took a fast train early in the morning. In half darkness still, the train went along a low lying section of land and when I looked out of the window I could see only water on both sides of the train. On the right was the flood water, on the left ground water rising. The train, normally travelling at 90 km an hour was going very slowly. An eerie sight and very uncomfortable feeling. I did not know if I would be able to get home in the afternoon! Thankfully, the river level rose slowly and I was able to make the return journey.

The 1993 flood is impressive in negative numbers and sadly, a few people died as well. It is called the Weihnachtshochwasser 1993, as the level peaked on the 23rd of December in Koblenz and 24th and 25th December further downstream. The areas most affected were Koblenz and the river downstream from there.

This website dealing with historic events along the Rhine (water-related, hence the name Undine, a water spirit) is in German only but has a very good photo of the flooding in Koblenz: http://undine.bafg.de/rhein/extremer...in_hw1993.html Some figures: in Koblenz nearly a quarter of the built-up area was flooded, in Cologne more than 4500 households reported damage from flood waters, a further 9000 reported damage from rising ground water, the river from Koblenz downstream to the border with the Netherlands was closed to shipping for seven days. Cost of the damage in the Rhine area was around 1 billion Deutschmarks.

Flooding on the Saar, Moselle and Neckar was also severe.

There is a town on the Rhine downstream from Koblenz called Neuwied. Built close to the river, flooding used to be severe before the place got a flood protection dyke. Here is a photo from 1920 of boats sailing in the street: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...chwasser_1.jpg Those almost purpose-built flat-bottom boats are called "Nachen". Think of it as Venice without the romance and added odours and filth.

These days the fire brigade still has similar boats they can manouvre around the embankments with but without paddles and added diesel engines.

To the present day: as mentioned the level is quite low and will continue to stay so for a few days.

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
#27
Australia
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Brrrr!!! I've been noticing the reports about the nasty cold weather in Europe. With our departure from Amsterdam only a little over two weeks away now (boarding Amavenita 17 March, leaving Amsterdam evening 18 March) I'm wondering if the freezing conditions with wind chill are going to continue, and if it will affect the river heights. I notice you say the levels are quite low at the moment, Notamermaid. Hopefully not too low. I guess a lot can still happen in two and a half weeks. Coming from Australia, the cold is going to be quite a shock, that's for sure. The water woollies, thermals and down coat are packed!
#28
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
feelingcruisey,

Yes, it is very cold, was down to -23 degrees in the night, and it has been snowing again! But before I scare everyone, those temperatures are in the highest hills and -15 figures appeared in the East. The Rhine valley has chilly winds, not storms, is currently at around -5 degrees and little snow. Too cold statistically for end of February but bearable. Temperatures will rise again towards the weekend and rain will come. The cold spell will be gone by then more or less and we will return to standard weather for the beginning of March. What the middle of March will bring we do not know yet. A relatively accurate forecast is such a graph that you can follow along (lots of ads): https://www.wetteronline.de/wetter/koblenz I have set it for Koblenz in the middle of the Rhine valley. On the right-hand side you see a graph called 14-Tage-Wetter. Follow that one along as you count down the days to your cruise. Or change the settings around in the middle of the page for the coming days "heute, "morgen", etc. You can change the town at the top of the page where it says "Das Wetter in ..."

As regards water levels. They are more or less perfect, could be a little lower to allow for more snow melt, but are certainly nowhere near being too low for sailing. All fine for a few days.

Not to worry, AmaWaterways I am sure will take great care of you. With hot chocolate and warming tea if necessary!

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
#29
Australia
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Thanks Notamermaid, that link is very useful. I notice it's getting warmer on the weekend, if you can call 0 - 8 degrees warm, haha! It's "cool" here in northern NSW, Australia. The last day of summer was a 29 degree day. So it will take a bit of adjustment hitting Europe next week. I do hope APT has that cup of hot chocolate waiting for us.
#30
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
The Rhine valley around my area is bathed in sunshine right now. The temperature has risen and it feels warm compared to Friday. The icy wind has disappeared. The river level has risen a little but it can just as easily fall again as it is not raining. In the hills it is colder so not that much snow melt yet. Rain will come during the week to the South of the valley and then further downstream as well. But even when applying the worst case scenario published by the experts there will be no flooding on the Rhine for the next seven days.

Looking good for the first sailings.


If you would like to see what it was like a few days ago here is a video of a reporter explaining the weather conditions at Lake Constance: https://www.wetteronline.de/wetter-v...2-mk?sort=date

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
#32
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Beyond the standard ports... part 11

Opposite the more frequented city and port of Mannheim, that being used mainly as a stop for coaching passengers to Heidelberg but increasingly for excursions into the city, lies the city of Ludwigshafen. Recent regional newspaper reports suggest that Ludwigshafen wants a piece of the cake of river cruising popularity. I admit to being completely biased, but I am sure I am not the only one to say that Ludwigshafen for such an endeavour has one big problem: image. For me the city is synonymous in my mind with the chemical works BASF. This however is not accurate as the settlement goes back a bit longer and the town that emerged as the later Ludwigshafen was there before the chemical factory was built on the outskirts of the town.

Still, Ludwigshafen has built a landing stage for river cruises; I say the city has built it but newspaper reports suggest that both the construction contract and the financial means came from the ECE company that stands behind (in legal not literal terms) behind the shopping centre "Rhein-Galerie". The landing stage will be close to the actual building of the Rhein-Galerie.

To give you an idea what Ludwigshafen is about, here is the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwigshafen

So when you think of medieval castles, palaces and quaint streets, do not think of Ludwigshafen.

Who goes there? Well, I could not find out if Ludwigshafen has had a landing stage somewhere along its embankment before but no German river cruises currently have Ludwigshafen in their schedule (a few that I might not have found excepted). The construction of the new landing stage has been delayed due to the flooding we had earlier this year but is supposed to be operational from April. AmaWaterways has decided to use Ludwigshafen for a stop to put passengers on the excursions to Mannheim or Speyer or the technical museum in Speyer on the itinerary "Medieval Treasures". They might use it on other itineraries, I did not check that.

It sounds as if AmaWaterways only regards Ludwigshafen as a convenient stop for scheduling excursions which is very understandable but if you do decide to explore Ludwigshafen or even just to report on the dock I would be happy to read your info here. If you have been to Ludwighafen on an itinerary before do send us a message in this thread, too.

After all, with all its romanticism and treasured history on the Rhine we should also give the 19th century and industrial heritage a bit of a chance...

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
#33
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
If you are new to my little series of ports on the Rhine and wondering where numbers 1 to 10 are, you can find them in last year's thread on the Rhine: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2447516 But not to worry, you do not need to "wade through" hundreds of posts, this should ease the search:

Part 1 #29 Düsseldorf,
part 2 #30 Worms,
part 3 #45 Karlsruhe,
part 4 #71 Wiesbaden-Biebrich,
part 5 #90 Bingen,
part 6 #123 Lahnstein,
part 7 #209 Engers,
part 8 #246 Andernach,
part 9 #259 St. Goar,
part 10 #262 St. Goarshausen.

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
#34
New York
9,237 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
notamermaid: This is such a terrific series that I took the liberty of copying all the posts you mention into a new thread:
Rhine - Beyond the Standard Ports
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2608575

I will also add a link to this new thread in my Sticky on RIVERS and AREAS. Please continue!


[BTW there was one typo in your list above: part 8 Andernach is #246 in the older thread. I corrected it to prevent confusion ]
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I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

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#35
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hostjazzbeau, I am delighted! [blush] Thank you very much for the thread and the link. Will continue the series in the new thread.

I will conclude this evening with a happy smile on my face.

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
#36
Morton Grove, IL USA
109 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Thank you for the great info, notamermaid. We are going on our first river cruise on June 3rd, Amsterdam to Basel on Uniworld/SS Antoinette.
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Jerry
#37
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
My pleasure, JerrylnlL.

Jpalbny did a great report/blog on the itinerary on the SS Antoinette. Well worth reading, especially as your itinerary is one of the few North-American ones stopping on Boppard. I have not included Boppard in my series as it is such a well-known place, so to make up for that, for those who would like to read up a bit on that town and the furniture "genius" Thonet, here is the website of the museum: http://museum-boppard.de/start-english/

Have a great cruise.

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
#39
Rhine, Germany
2,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Just to reassure everyone: it has been raining quite a bit. River levels are still looking more or less perfect and the worst-case scenario does not bring us anywhere close to flooding status before 18th March. Looking also promising for a few days after that, unless it rains by the bucketload.

It is sunny today, but the general weather conditions are considered "unsettled".

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