Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics


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#81
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
It is a very feasible trip out from Bonn, CPT Trips, a nice idea. Take the tram no. 66 direction Bad Honnef. It will get you across the river and close to the rock without having to change. And I dare say the view from the tram going over the bridge with the "skyline" of Bonn and the seven mountains range is interesting.


Remagen, that reminds me. I will try and find out the situation as regards a landing stage there.


Meanwhile things appear to be getting critical this year in Koblenz at the town harbour - that is on the Moselle - for docking spaces. More than a hundred requests could not be met last year. Docking in third row is therefore even more allowed this year, meaning that those passengers have to walk through two other ships to get to land. Those ships do not have an electricity cable to connect them to land and need to use their own diesel generators. A problem that is frowned upon by locals and environmentalists. We will need to see how the season goes.

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
#82
Texas
253 Posts
Joined May 2016
Now -

Usually you climb over to ships instead of walking through them. That kind of cooperation is becoming rare.

When the ships use their own generators when docked, the fumes make it unpleasant to open windows in the rooms.
#83
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Just to make it clearer: the ships in third row use the diesel, not the ships in first and second row. Docking in third row is also only allowed for a few hours, no overnight stay in third row.


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
#84
Texas
253 Posts
Joined May 2016
This may be always true on the Rhine (docked with diesel running) but not in all places. Have been docked overnight beside an ARosa vessel running Diesel all night.
#85
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
What I was refering to is just the regulations in Koblenz. Other places along the Rhine have similar arrangements, both for environmental reasons and so as not to disturb the locals, who often live really close in small places. Naturally this is also more agreeable to passengers. Each port has their own set of rules and not all places have the same facilities, probably necessitating running a diesel engine all night. With docks updating and accommodating more and larger ships more and more land supply will happen. I should imagine not just in Germany but also in other countries.


Just to remind people: Koblenz has the local authority harbour on the Moselle, Viking docks on the Rhine at their private landing stage. The excursion boats also dock on the Rhine using their own places. I have seen a few river cruise ships dock on the Rhine further out of town, still within the inner city boundaries but in the "Prussian extension", that means away from the picturesque old town. I do not know what the owner situation is like with that landing stage.


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
#86
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
We are getting towards the end of a heatwave and I am beginning to struggle doing a normal day's work, especially with no air conditioning in my flat. Time to get the large fan working to cool down the computer. Thunderstorms will again end the hot spell, there are weather warnings (level two on a scale of four) in place for almost the whole of the Rhine valley for later today. It is just a bit much for May, which has already been classified as warmer than average. It is great for beer garden proprietors, though, lots of customers enjoying the sun and river.


The river level is of course falling but will rise again with the rain following the hot weather, overall therefore no change and pleasantly in the mean water level area on the graphs.


One of the regions bordering on the Rhine valley is the Black Forest. Offered as an excursion from Breisach usually, it is a nice trip out and contrasts well with other lower (in altitude) regions you can explore from the Rhine valley. I believe a visit to an outdoor museum is part of some river cruise itineraries. Here is a nice article on the "Vogtsbauernhof": http://www.dw.com/en/step-back-in-ti...est/a-19385640 If you are interested in finding out lots more about the Black Forest, here is the nicely detailed wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Forest


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
#87
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
While on the Elbe things are a little critical we here in the West still have favourable river water levels on the Rhine. The Neckar and Main are getting lower. They are two of the main tributaries to the Rhine. It is still hot and thunderstorms are forecast for today. For the Middle Rhine valley I heard the statistics for May yesterday: the month has been markedly warmer than average with much more sunshine than is normal, but the average amount of rain fell. So, for river cruising it has been a great month! Just to give you a figure, the water level at Maxau is at 546cm, just above the mean. The level is predicted to rise there. Maxau is well before the Neckar and Main rivers, though, meaning that overall there is still plenty of room for widespread rain and a flooding scenario on the Rhine is highly unlikely before 7th June. Predictions of the authority in Mannheim that is in charge of Maxau gauging station do not go further into the future than that.


To come back to a topic we had in posts #81 to #85: diesel and electricity. Here is a photo of the harbour in Cologne-Niehl (a suburb) with the new electricity landsupply (from a local newspaper): https://www.ksta.de/koeln/schifffahr...ragmentPreview It is an initiative by the KD excursion boat company. Niehl is one of the large harbours where river cruise ships dock in winter. KD is planning to gradually equip their own landing stages along the rivers Rhine, Main and Moselle with land supply electricity. KD as well as many other excursion boat companies stop at many more towns and villages than river cruise companies will, or can if the boat is too long. KD's landing stages can be rented by other companies, i.e. river cruise operators.


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
#88
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
I have mentioned the town of Worms several times in connection with travels on the Rhine and as regards Catholic religion and architecture in Germany it is often spoken of in the same breath as Speyer, yet does not get the same attention by river cruise companies. This year Worms cathedral is very much in the focus as the cathedral is a 1000 years old this week. And for its birthday it received new bells earlier this year. Here is the magnificent edifice: http://www.dw.com/en/worms-cathedral...day/a-44066097


We still have hot temperatures rain and sun luckily combine well right now giving us pleasant river levels for sailing.


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
#89
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Castles!


Plenty of them around in the Rhine valley, some are open to the public like the famous Marksburg castle that many of you river cruisers know, others are hotels, some are uninhabited as they are very much uninviting ruins, but some are lived in. Here is a video of how one owner of such a castle lives within the ancient walls: http://www.dw.com/en/the-arduous-lif...le/av-44007433


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
#90
957 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thank you Notamermaid. I so enjoy all the info you post.

Seeing people living in that enormous castle was fun and I probably never would have seen it without you.

You are a Cruise critic treasure
#91
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Thank you very much, helpmesailaway.

It was fun to find out in the video that the couple actually live in the servants' quarters! Somewhat fits his comment of him being "slave of the castle".

Here is another one of those castles, although, in German it is classified as a castle as much as a palace (a small one). It is one of those places that started out as a moated castle and was turned into a palace over a period of three hundred years or so. The moat is still discernible from one side of the building but was filled in (i.e. no water left) long ago. The article from New Zealand describes how the family in Namedy renovated the place and turned it into a venue, that, among many others, now welcomes river cruisers on an APT cruise. It is marketed to Australians and New Zealanders. The trips take place with the AmaWaterways ships. Namedy castle: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/desti...rnday-princess

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
#92
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Let us move away from fun with castles and romantic views for just one post (from me, but as always you are encouraged to comment). Plastic! There is tons of it about and lots of waste is created with it as we speak, industrial, private environments, it is everywhere. Much can (of yet) not be avoided but some can. If you are in the US - from what I have read - you are less familiar with the issue than us here in the EU where in the last four or five years the subject has been thrown at us again and again. I might sound critical but I realize of course it is important to talk about it and act. Even more so now that we know how much is swept onto beaches in far off lands. I have seen the footage on television. Plastic bags - mainly those that are thin and designed to be used only once - are a great problem that is being tackled. You may have heard of bans or schemes to reduce the waste in the EU. Here is what the European Commission says about it: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/efe...-bag-habits_en


Yes, in Germany for example you pay for plastic bags - not in all shops but at many retailers you will be asked to pay. Usually 10 cents, a retailer near me has a scheme of sizes even: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents.


I heard on the news a couple of days ago that the use of plastic bags in the UK has been significantly reduced since the introduction of the pay-for-plastic-bag scheme a few years ago. Again, there not every retailer has the scheme in place but it has worked to some extent, so: great!


But the degraded old plastic is floating around in rivers and oceans as microplastics and recently some scientists had a trip along the Rhine to see where the old plastic is, i.e. taking samples of undisturbed sediments. Here is the report: http://www.dw.com/en/microplastics-i...ne/av-43935180


If you are wondering where the video was taken, the science institute is based in Koblenz and that is where they started from with the boat. The first area where they are taking samples in the video is a couple of kilometres downstream from Koblenz at the two islands Niederwerth and Graswerth. Graswerth is uninhabited and a nature reserve. Werth, by the way, is a German term for a river island.


River levels: Due to the recent rain the river has risen and at Maxau - if the rain continues today as predicted - the river will reach slowed-down traffic status. A worst-case scenario could bring the area to flood mark I tomorrow but it is not certain. That is still quite a way away from a river closure which is definitely not expected to happen at this point.


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
#93
New Jersey, the Philly end
7,544 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
On our recent trip we discovered that there were a number of stations to refill water bottles in Nice and Lyon. They may have been in other cities, I just didn't see and use them. Along those lines, plastic water bottles were not sold, only refillable bottles were allowed, in the America's Cup Village in Bermuda.


Are you seeing that these refill stations are becoming more common in your area? Germany in general? Throughout the EU? Reusable refillable bottles are certainly a good was to reduce litter and the proliferation of plastic. Now, if only I can stop losing mine ☹️
#94
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
CPT Trips,


I am not familiar with those refill stations. That sounds a good idea for reducing plastic waste. I have read about a scheme in Germany where private individuals and small places like cafés are encouraged to offer to refill plastic bottles with tap water (free of charge is preferred but a small payment could be asked for). I know these kind of pillar-like water dispensers that are actually equipped with plastic beakers, you know, in waiting rooms, etc. Theoretically you could bring your own cup or bottle and fill it. I do not get around much these days in large towns where one might find a refill station.


The disposable coffee (etc.) cups have considerably increased the waste in shopping areas of towns in the last few years. About three years ago I bought a reusable beaker at a well-known coffee shop chain. Sounded good at the time and I used it twice, but, guess what, it made its way into the recycle bin by accident. Oops. I have a local shop that has containers for the take-away lunch they offer and you are charged a deposit (one euro) so that you are encouraged to return it. And of course, plastic bottles have a deposit charge added to the price you pay at the checkout. At weekends you see people carrying huge plastic bags containing plastic bottles and waiting in line to throw them into a machine that reads the bar code. You get your deposit back at the checkout. Sounds alright, but many of those bottles are not reused (refilled) but recycled. More could certainly still be done.


The next thing that is being "attacked" is plastic straws. Search in google for plastic straw ban. Can one do without them? Probably. I have not used any for about eight years. Remember why it is called a straw? Because it was "straw". There is a company in Germany that makes straws from rye. A sort of return to the "original" product.


But back to plastic bottles. How do river cruise companies do this? Do they provide small bottles for excursions? Are those logo-stamped refillables or disposable bottles? Or do you have large - perhaps even glass - bottles in the room? What was your experience, cruisers?




River levels: Maxau is on flooding status but the peak will be reached during the night. Slowed-down traffic, but no river closure. River traffic in that section could return to normal speed tomorrow afternoon. All other river sections are fine.


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
#95
957 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Uniworld had carafes of water in the room - and it tasted very good. I'm fussy about "water taste" because I don't like drinking water with a questionable aroma and flavor - including too much chlorine - ick - pool water!!

Uniworld also included a reusable metal water bottle for the tours. However - they were very thin metal and when you filled with ice and water - COLD to handle!! You could keep the water bottles to take home as well. I have a really nice reusable water bottle at home so we left them on the ship.

Bottled water is so helpful and yet so wasteful - - so the Uniworld contribution was appreciated by me.
#96
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Carafes of water in the room and reusable metal water bottles, that sounds really good.


I know what you mean about the taste of water - I have had that experience with chlorine taste in tap water in the UK. I tend to buy water in bottles there and refill them at places where I remember there having been nice-tasting water on a previous visit. The tap water where I live is considered to be very good and I hardly ever drink bottled water.


River levels: as predicted the level at Maxau has fallen and normal river traffic has resumed. The level is predicted to fall further (also at the other gauging stations downstream). If we have pleasant temperatures and a fair bit of rain spread over several days we should have enough - and not too much - for unimpeded cruising for the rest of the month and into July. Fingers crossed.


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
#97
142 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by helpmesailaway
Uniworld had carafes of water in the room - and it tasted very good. I'm fussy about "water taste" because I don't like drinking water with a questionable aroma and flavor - including too much chlorine - ick - pool water!!

Uniworld also included a reusable metal water bottle for the tours. However - they were very thin metal and when you filled with ice and water - COLD to handle!! You could keep the water bottles to take home as well. I have a really nice reusable water bottle at home so we left them on the ship.

Bottled water is so helpful and yet so wasteful - - so the Uniworld contribution was appreciated by me.
We're cruising with Viking, and I understand that they provide water in the staterooms as well as a bottle to take with you on excursions. I was wondering whether bringing our own metal reusable bottles would help cut down on plastic waste or would just be usable to keep the water cooler (by pouring water from plastic bottle to metal). If it would help to cut down plastic waste, it would be worth bringing them!
#98
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
CarolynFH,


perhaps you might find taking a bottle from home already useful for the pre-cruise part of your journey. Have you entered yourself in the roll call thread for your cruise? Many useful details and practicalities are discussed in such threads.


As a side note: I happened to watch a short report on the plastic waste on the sandy beaches in Thailand earlier today. They now have volunteer squads to help clear the beaches of cigarette stubs, etc. The fines for throwing waste onto the beach are very high, hopefully discouraging enough and encouraging enough to look for a bin or take the litter home/to the hotel.



As regards fines: on the Rhine we have a problems with too much wild fowl so many local authorities have by-laws to prohibit feeding ducks, etc. A standard fine is 50 euros but can be higher. If in doubt, do not even feed the swans.


River levels: Maxau is predicted to fall underneath the mean water level. Gauging stations downstream from there report falling water levels. Plenty of room for rain and not low enough to cause problems (localized occurrences like lock problems or low bridges always excepted as I tend not to read about them). As of today, really looking good for the rest of the month.


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
#99
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Beer gardens up and down the German Rhine were quite certainly full of fans last night cheering on the national team. I preferred to watch the dramatic match at home.


Things are quiet again today and it is a little too cool to be enjoying many hours sitting in beer gardens along the river. But the temperatures are forecast to rise again. We have little rain so the river level has fallen continuously over the last three days. Koblenz is now at 167cm which is a standard low to be expected for June/July. It is classified as below the mean but not official low level status. Problems for river cruise ships do not arise yet and are unlikely to for some days. The level needs to fall quite a bit further for that.


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
Rhine, Germany
2,770 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Please follow me out of the Rhine valley for one post for some fun facts. Just before you get to Koblenz on a ship downstream you pass the confluence of the river Lahn with the Rhine at Lahnstein. Towering over Lahnstein is the Lahneck castle. I believe AmaWaterways offers an excursion to Lahneck when they dock in Lahnstein. The Lahn is only navigable for small excursion boats, etc., so if you wanted in reasonable time to see the - in parts quite picturesque - river you would need a coach trip or do a car hire. If you drive along the river for a few kilometres you get to the town called Nassau. You might have guessed it, it also has castle on a hill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassau...and-Palatinate The name ring a bell? Yes, Nassau in the Bahamas "ultimately" gets its name from the place on the Lahn river. Nassau-Orange is of course the Netherlands' Royal House (simplified) - think of oranje and the colour orange - and William III of Orange (Orange being a former principality in France, an inheritated title, again simplified) was King of England, Scotland and Ireland. Northern Ireland's religious troubles are very much connected to the Catholic and Protestant battles in which William III was victorious (see the "Orange order"). Nassau county of Long Island in New York you might have heard about!

Is it not amazing how the world is connected in names and facts sometimes?


Back to the Rhine: the river level has fallen, we can look forward (or not ) to a hot weekend. After that rain will probably return the water level to a figure close to what we have now: 145cm in Koblenz. Looking really pleasant for sailing for the next ten days at least.

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