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notamermaid

Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

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Thank you so much for your input.  As first time river cruisers we basically know nothing about what to expect on the ship and weather and water conditions and tipping and so forth.  We've always toured Europe by train and car. So, we welcome any info from seasoned river cruisers.  Our trip is early October so I'm hoping for some good weather.  We are so looking forward to our trip.

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Happy to help, patprov.

You have probably already seen them, but I mention it anyway. The stickies at the top of the page by our host jazzbeau are a great source of information. And there are of course the roll calls to look at for joining or just reading of past cruisers experiences and questions they had before their cruise. You can also ask a specific question in a new thread.

Have fun planning.

 

notamermaid

 

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Cherry blossoms galore!

 

It is time to have a look at Bonn, well, Deutsche Welle did and they have an article and video on it: https://www.dw.com/en/enchanting-cherry-blossoms-in-bonn-attract-global-onlookers/g-43406324

 

https://www.dw.com/en/its-magic-bonns-cherry-blossoms-delight-visitors/av-48260082

 

I think there should be an itinerary in Spring called something like "A celebration of Spring", with a stop in Bonn, sailing from Basel to Amsterdam. Why should the Netherlands reap all the rewards for the brilliant tulips? :classic_wink:

 

My thoughts...

A pre-cruise at Lake Constance...

From Breisach a trip into Alsace wine country - sampling some wine of course...

Stolzenfels castle in the hills before Koblenz...

Or the butterfly garden at Sayn...

Oh, forgot, you are allowed to dock in Rüdesheim, but only to hike in the vineyards...

See the newborn animals in the zoo at Neuwied - a lovely setting at a forested hill overlooking the valley...

Walk through the botanical gardens of Cologne, there is more to that city than the Cathedral...

Birdwatching on the lower Rhine...

Forget Kinderdijk, walk or hike along a canal flanked by birch trees instead...

Keukenhof for the tulips, of course...

Take in the first long days of sunshine in a café in Amsterdam...

And Bonn could be a highlight (those cakes in the video!), a challenge to be there at the right time, but highly enjoyable, if the blooms are not full enough join the students in the university park...

 

Easter and/or Spring decoration on the ship is a must. :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

P.S.: Water levels - all pleasantly uneventful

 

 

 

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We were on one of the trips in October 2018 on the AmaStella that could only travel as far downstream as Strasbourg. We visited Baden-Baden, Luxembourg, and Antwerp from where we continued on the AmaKristina to Amsterdam. We received a credit from Ama and are planning on sailing the Rhine again in May. Glad to hear the water levels are good for Spring sailing. We are looking forward to the trip.

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We are on Emerald travelling Budapest to Amsterdam on 6 May, so hoping river levels should be fine. Seems as though May is generally ok, but as we all know, there are always one off events. Looking forward to our first cruise, ocean and river.

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Racr please let us know how your Emerald cruise goes.  We are taking their Jewels of the Rhine cruise in August on Emerald Sun so Emerald information would be welcomed since we have never travelled with them before.

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In the Upper Rhine valley, a typical stop on a river cruise is the town of Breisach. Its town centre lies directly at the river and has some of the mildest climates in Germany, but the town is nevertheless 189m and more above sea level. To the East of Breisach you can quickly venture into the higher hills of the Breisgau and the Schwarzwald and - at the right time - encounter much snow as this video in 360 degrees shows: https://www.dw.com/en/freiburg-and-the-black-forest-in-360-degrees/a-46464628

 

Well, we have left the wintry days behind us now - or have we? You can probably guess what is coming: snow forecast for this weekend right down into the valley! Night frost and chilly mornings could bring snow to various places, two examples: Koblenz and Freiburg. Who knows, if on Saturday you arrive in the early hours at Breisach you might be greeted by fresh snow in the hills!

 

The wintry conditions will only last a few days and temperatures will rise again next week to hopefully give us sunny Easter days.

 

notamermaid

 

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I have a questions for you notamermaid and anyone else for that matter!  On our August cruise, when we dock in Koblenz, we have a choice of a tour of Koblenz and a visit to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or Moselle and Cochem visit.  We can’t do both.  Would like your views as to which tour we should choose.  And, we’re crossing our fingers for ok water levels in August!!

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6 minutes ago, Fourmiler said:

I have a questions for you notamermaid and anyone else for that matter!  On our August cruise, when we dock in Koblenz, we have a choice of a tour of Koblenz and a visit to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or Moselle and Cochem visit.  We can’t do both.  Would like your views as to which tour we should choose.  And, we’re crossing our fingers for ok water levels in August!!

Interesting and difficult choice. It might depend on your cruise line (sorry, forgotten what you had said a while ago). By that I mean, the Viking excursion to the Moselle was mentioned here as being a bit disappointing. But it might have improved during last year. Viking I have spotted as being docked in Winningen recently which may have something to do with the excursion. Winningen is delightful but small. I wonder if someone in the roll calls can help? Cochem and the Moselle are great but I fear that it might be just a taster that could disappoint in the end. A town walk is interesting as Koblenz is very old, but do not expect Roman ruins. Just a tiny bit on the Moselle remains of that. Will you go up on the cable car? If so, you can do this on your own. If they take you on a coach there might be more involved than a short trip to enjoy the view. I would look at the details. The view is amazing but I would also have a glimpse into the museum up there. If you like countryside perhaps you will prefer the Moselle (bear in mind that Reichsburg castle is a 19th century rebuild) if you like history and military defenses go for Ehrenbreitstein. As I said, difficult one. Over to the others...

 

notamermaid

 

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We are with Emerald.  We do visit Cochem castle but that’s all I know at the moment but will ask my travel agent to find out more details.

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On 4/11/2019 at 5:49 PM, Fourmiler said:

We are with Emerald.  We do visit Cochem castle but that’s all I know at the moment but will ask my travel agent to find out more details.

Emerald, my memory, sorry. I looked up your cruise on Emerald's website. It says that the Cochem/Moselle excursion is optional and costs extra while Koblenz is included. A pity that it does on give any more details of what you will see on that excursion. People here on the board have reported that they enjoyed the castle. I would certainly consider this excursion but I am not sure if it would be worth anything more than 60 dollars to me (castle + coach). Koblenz to Cochem is 45 minutes one way by car. By the way, traffic is currently terrible in Koblenz due to roadworks (and will stay so for a few months), but the Moselle direction should not be too bad.

 

I posted the link to the Reichsburg website in the thread on the Moselle.

 

Have fun planning.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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It has been an uneventful weekend along the Middle Rhine - other than the lower Main where a WWII bomb had to be detonated - in Frankfurt in the river to be precise. This is the video: https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/weltkriegsbombe-in-frankfurt-30-meter-fontaene-bei-sprengung-100.html

 

In the Rhine valley, well we had the promised snow, it was quite cool, but Spring is returning and we should have some lovely Easter days if the weather forecast is correct.

 

The snow was welcomed in the hills to retain water and add to what the tributaries can give the Rhine in the next few weeks as the levels are a little low for April. No, no, do not panic! I mean low for barge traffic. At Kaub the level will fall below 150cm which is the figure from which (and lower) commercial shipping, i.e. container barge companies, etc. add a "Kleinwasserzuschlag" to the bill for transporting goods. They are entitled to do that legally. It is a prearranged sum that reflects the added logistical costs in conditions of low water.

 

For the authorities statistically, low water at Kaub is at 93cm. It happens to be the figure at which I would start worrying about my cruise, not much before really. But hopefully, as is the norm, we will see none of that before September. Remember, last year was far from the norm!

 

One tourist tip I have given in the past and which has also been mentioned by past cruisers as being a "trip out" option on a Rhine river cruise is the Peace Museum at Remagen. The General-Anzeiger newspaper in Bonn has reported that the museum had to close at short notice due to unmet fire safety regulations. Remagen town council is now considering a permanent exhibition in another building till they may in the future be able to open the museum in the bridge towers again.

 

http://www.bruecke-remagen.de/index.htm

 

The German site has got a closure notice but the English version has not.

 

Happy sailing everyone.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Notamermaid - interesting that you mentioned the WWII bomb detonated in the Main river and sent a link to the video.  I was most surprised that this information was actually mentioned in a radio news report in Toronto, Canada.  As far as I know this is the first time they have reported detonated bombs.  Now, if only we could get them to mention river levels...!!

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2 hours ago, Fourmiler said:

Notamermaid - interesting that you mentioned the WWII bomb detonated in the Main river and sent a link to the video.  I was most surprised that this information was actually mentioned in a radio news report in Toronto, Canada.  As far as I know this is the first time they have reported detonated bombs.  Now, if only we could get them to mention river levels...!!

I saw video on the local news here in Toronto too.

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That is certainly unusual, you two. With Frankfurt a well known city internationally and perhaps a Canadian reporter being in the vicinity, they picked the story up. Or someone happened to get it through dpa or another agency and just liked the impressive plume of water.😉 

Nice touch of the authorities: they caused a couple of small (prepared) detonations first to scare away the fish from the area before detonating the bomb. Now that is animal welfare!

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Back here on the Rhine we have some sunny Easter days coming up. Actually, all over Germany. With no rain forecast for the next few days the levels will fall a little but that is just something barge traffic needs to look at. For river cruisers let us forget this for a while and just enjoy the glorious spring days and Easter egg hunts. How I would love to do a hunt on a river cruise ship! I hope some enterprising crews have made sure the Easter bunny has at least brought a few chocolates for you.

 

Some of you are sailing along the Dutch waterways at the moment to enjoy the splendours of tulip time and other Spring flowers and quite rightly so! However, besides Keukenhof, there is another place...

 

 

Move over Keukenhof, this is Mainau

 

There is probably hardly any other place in Europe that is so much associated with Spring and tulips as Keukenhof. I have been there and find it indeed splendid. However, when I think of gardens and Spring time there is another place which is a must-see in my opinion. Not really that accessible during a river cruise but certainly an easy pre-cruise option is the island of Mainau. It sits in Lake Constance and is fabulous in my opinion.

 

Keukenhof covers an area of 32 hectares and is a huge flower show rather than a year round park. It is only open for eight weeks in Spring according to the website. Mainau is 45 hectares and much of it is landscaped garden with an abundance of tulips and other Spring flowers, yet it is only one part of the seasonal flowering arrangements. It even has a castle, like Keukenhof, well, it is more of a palace. The island has few inhabitants but a couple are quite illustrous. Mainau as an island attracts visitors throughout the year, some attractions on it have special opening times.

 

This is Keukenhof on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keukenhof

 

and this is Mainau: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainau

 

Remains for me to say, I hope you are fortunate to be able to visit both at some point. And who knows, Keukenhof may remain your favourite. :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

 

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I just got home from my Basel to Amsterdam Viking river cruise, we had a great time with no water level issues.

 

Notamermaid, you live in a beautiful area of the world, this was my first visit to Europe, I’m Australian & most of my holidays have been closer to home, Japan, China, HK,Singapore, Fiji, Malaysia, NZ, etc

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Notamermaid, thanks for the information about Blumeninsel. It looks like something else that we must add to our list. We have actually been to Konstanz, but we were on the side closest to the river, rather than the side with the bridge to Mainau Island. We climbed the cathedral spire (surprisingly...) and visited the Archaeology Musuem. We didn't have time for much else, as we had already driven all the way from Lindau Insel, and we had to return to our hotel there. It was a long day, but the Bodensee is beautiful and worth a longer visit.

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We are packed and ready for the flight to AMS and our first European river cruise. Experience from many cruises has taught us how to pack. We will travel with a carry-on bag each plus a small personal item. Less than 15 kg of luggage each..This makes travel very easy and no luggage fees, waits for luggage or lost luggage. 

 

Cheers, Bill and Sandy

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Bill and Sandy,

Have a good flight and great time on the rivers. The Spring landscapes are splendid to look at right now. And have a good Easter.

 

notamermaid

 

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We have had very pleasant Easter days with much sunshine and pollen, followed by Sahara sand. This is not a joke! In certain weather conditions sand from the dessert is carried high up in the atmosphere towards Europe and comes down either by itself or in the shape of dirty rain. They call it Blutregen (blood rain) in the news although the term is not properly used in this case. The sand is only yellowish-brown-orange. But it can come down in such quantities and colour that the rain looks red, however, that is a rare occurence. The other type of blood rain is supposedly caused by particles of algae that turn red. It used to scare people a lot in centuries past... I was a bit more worried today about the tree close to my house as the wind was catching in its branches like it rarely does. We have had a ferocious two hours of storms and warnings are still in place for some parts of the Rhine valley and beyond into the middle of Germany, as well as the Black Forest.

 

Earlier this evening my neighbour's tomcat ran past me towards the house uttering his displeasure with the wet state of his fur. He was delighted when I opened the door for him...

 

Extreme weather conditions are forecast for the next few hours with much rain for parts of the Middle Rhine valley.

 

And the water levels? They have fallen to a level that has caused news sites to pick up the current state of affairs. The levels are too low for April for my liking. I have started wondering about June after reading the first warnings of possible drought for this year on German news sites. I cannot make up my mind if it is hyped up or if there is reason to already anticipate very low water levels. In any case this is what Reuters says: https://www.reuters.com/article/germany-shipping-rhine/shipping-on-rhine-in-germany-hampered-by-low-water-levels-idUSL5N225541

 

After all the rain forecast for the next three days the level will certainly rise and it is already reflected in the predictions for Maxau in the Upper Rhine valley. Good for shipping and it ensures a good start into May for river cruising.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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On 4/20/2019 at 6:53 AM, UB & AS said:

We are packed and ready for the flight to AMS and our first European river cruise. Experience from many cruises has taught us how to pack. We will travel with a carry-on bag each plus a small personal item. Less than 15 kg of luggage each..This makes travel very easy and no luggage fees, waits for luggage or lost luggage. 

 

Cheers, Bill and Sandy

You are lucky to be able to take 15kg as carry-on. In Australia we are limited to 7kg carry-on. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2019 at 11:34 PM, Fourmiler said:

I have a questions for you notamermaid and anyone else for that matter!  On our August cruise, when we dock in Koblenz, we have a choice of a tour of Koblenz and a visit to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or Moselle and Cochem visit.  We can’t do both.  Would like your views as to which tour we should choose.  And, we’re crossing our fingers for ok water levels in August!!

 

You can visit Ehrenbreitsen Fortress & Koblenz by yourself (instead of purchasing the tour), ‘Our Viking ship docked next to the cable car, unfortunately the cable-car was being serviced that day, instead we visited Koblenz with some other passengers. I enjoyed the day in Koblenz, it was nice not being on a guided tour, as we could visit the parts of the city we wanted, instead of just the touristy places. The ship docked for a long time (from breakfast to 11.30pm) in Koblenz. 

 

If your ship docks for as for as long as ours did, maybe you could sign up for the Moselle & Cochem visit, plus visit Koblenz  &/or take the cable car to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress by yourself.

Edited by OzNaiNai

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12 hours ago, OzNaiNai said:

You are lucky to be able to take 15kg as carry-on. In Australia we are limited to 7kg carry-on. 

We each can have a 10 kg hand luggage and a small personal item with max 10 kg. It would take a large "man bag" to fit 10 kg into it. We live on an island and our flight to Vancouver is on a small turboprop plane where luggage is carefully weighed. It can be a bit bizarre to have to take a kg out of Sandy's roller bag and put it into mine so that each weighs less than 10 kg as the combined weight is going to be the same on the plane. But, rules are rules!

 

Happy trails, Bill

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Many thanks for your comments OzNaiNai re Cochem or Koblenz.  Unfortunately we’re only there for the morning so won’t have time to do both.  I have a friend who is on a bus tour of parts of Germany right now and she will be going to both so I’ll ask her for her thoughts.

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