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Rhine water levels 2020 and similar topics

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I am sorry to hear all this notamermaid. Let's hope there really will be a vaccine soon. Then all they have to do is get it out to everyone......

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For those still following along how the river is doing, here are the figures for the river levels: Maxau 433cm, Kaub 130cm, Koblenz 123cm. A bit low for the shipping industry, but absolutely fine for river cruise ships. Those that sail...

 

The number of the ships sailing has definitely increased. I see more on the river than I saw six weeks ago. If you are interested in which ones they are, here is a selection. The planned dockings at Rüdesheim: https://www.ruedesheim.de/service/

They are German and Dutch, as well as CroisiEurope. And the Charles Dickens now makes an appearance again, she is chartered long term by Riviera Travel. It indicates that Riviera Travel is (soon) sailing again, but does not prove it. The AmaKristina is the only "proper" North-American company ship in the August list. But as we know, she is chartered short term for a German operator - till American customers are back. And the Inspire is traditionally sailing for Tauck but sometimes sails for other (charter) companies - just like now for VIVA cruises.

 

notamermaid

 

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There is a storm warning for the Rhine valley and most of Germany. Storm Francis moved over the British Isles yesterday and with the name Kirsten is moving over Germany right now and into the evening. Most of the area is on level two (on a scale of four). It is forecast to be up to 80km/h in the valley but faster in the high hills. There is already damage reported to overhead power cables (railways mostly) and the A44 motorway (Cologne towards Belgium) was closed this morning due to a sandstorm caused by dried out fields and dust from open cast mining. Should not be too bad in towns but experts expect damage in forests as the storm hits trees that still have their full leaves.

 

The river levels have fallen: Maxau 398cm, Kaub 96cm, Koblenz 97cm. But river cruise ship passengers do not need to worry yet as rain is forecast for the Upper Rhine catchment area and the Alps from Friday, continuing with various amounts well into next week.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Breaking news

 

The famous Christmas market on the Domplatz in Cologne, that is next to the Cathedral, has been cancelled. So have the other ones that draw the large crowds into the city: https://www.focus.de/gesundheit/news/koeln-weihnachtsmarkt-am-koelner-dom-abgesagt-auch-andere-fallen-aus_id_12363133.html

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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worldtraveller99, it is a sad day for Cologne. And it is getting to me a bit. Are the cancellations a sign of more to come in other major cities? Being close to the events management through my work, I know how difficult it is to meet all the health and safety measures and still make the markets economically viable and fun for everyone. I honestly see more cancellations coming soon. And the German ministers are discussing the current situation in a conference today. It does not look good for cultural events...

 

Do stay in touch on this thread and yes, hopefully we will hear from you close to a river cruise in happier times.

 

Please keep in touch, people, wherever you are, do not let me hold a monologue on river levels and castles! Wink.

 

notamermaid

 

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notamermaid, I read your posts daily, even though it's the Danube we are hoping to sail on next year.  

 

Sad that the Christmas Market is cancelled, but unfortunately, I can see more coming down the pipeline.  It's just to hard to do something like that and keep it to "local"s" only.  Sad for all, as I will assume they are like the German Kindle Markt that we travel up to each November...a social gathering as well as lots of great food & gifts.  

 

One can only hope next year will bring more "normalcy".

 

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Thank you @worldtraveller99 and @Daisi

 

As indicated above, the video conference was unlikely to bring good news and the chancellor has spoken, well, she as "Ze Big Boss" and the state bosses are sort of all in agreement that tougher measures are needed. More on that in the thread "River cruisers - how are things where you are?".

 

Daisi, a Christmas market is such great fun, despite the commercialism these days, there is merriment, food and drink and an element of charity in most places with local stalls in aid of charities or prize draws for charitable organizations. I can do without large crowds but Christmas markets are different. If I had the choice I would cancel any Summer music festival and make sure the Christmas markets can take place.

 

Boooahrggg. Sniff. :classic_sad:

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Hello again notamermaid.  We’re just reminiscing about our wonderful Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel with Emerald Waterways at this time last year.  So glad we did it as we certainly would not have been able to this year.  The weather was perfect, if perhaps a little too hot, and water levels were also good.  On this date last year we visited the Ehrenbreitstein fortress and the cable car broke down temporarily.  Fortunately we were not mid air at the time as the outside temperature was around 40C and would not have been fun surrounded by glass.  Our trip culminated in a visit with long-lost cousins now living in Switzerland.  A perfect trip all around and wonderful memories.  And, I’m still reading this thread and enjoying your information.  I’m probably addicted!

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Posted (edited)

Hello Fourmiler,

Good to hear from you again. Thank you for your kind words. I remember you saying how much you enjoyed your cruise. We sure had some hot days in August last. Glad to read you were not stuck in one of the cabins of the cable car. Sounds like you had a very happy time in Switzerland with family members. I hope you have been able to stay in touch since then.

 

If you were on the Rhine right now you might be holding your breath as regards river levels. Although there has been rain the levels have gone down further, it was not enough. Kaub went down to 84cm yesterday and has not recovered yet. At 84cm the so-called guaranteed depth of the river channel is only 196cm. But the rain that has come down in the Upper reaches of the valley and will continue to do so today and tomorrow, should reach Kaub by tomorrow evening and the gauge showing 100cm again early on Tuesday. During the course of Tuesday a real fast rise is forecast.

 

Thank you for being in touch again, Fourmiler. Take care.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
Missing word

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On this dark and rainy day, when the clouds descend and the hilly Rhine valley shows the first signs of Autumn (tomorrow is the meteorological beginning of it), a look at the dark tale of the Nibelungs is a great way to spend the evening. Forget today's soap operas, comic hero films and the latest drama, let us go back in time to a story filled with sex and crime. No, not Shakespeare, even further, to a time when German was not what it is today and the English were talking in Middle English. "Uns ist in alten mæren wunders vil geseit..." in an 1898 translation this becomes: "To us, in olden legends, / is many a marvel told..."

That is the first line of the first verse. And here is the story explained in Modern English by Deutsche Welle:

https://www.dw.com/en/a-tale-of-sex-und-crime-just-who-are-the-nibelungs/a-54444515

 

notamermaid

 

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Wow, that sounds like a great story... Jetzt muss ich es lesen!

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jpalbny, glad you like it.

 

Worms is obviously one of the main settings for the tale, but another place on the Rhine - apart from Xanten - is important for the story and and the incident there is oddly only mentioned "in passing" in the verses: Siegfried slaying a dragon in a cave on a hill. This is the Drachenfels in the Seven Mountains range. On a misty, cloudy day the hill and castle ruin can look like this: https://www.fotocommunity.de/photo/drachenfels-im-nebel-frank-landsberg/42809149

 

notamermaid

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The 21st of August was a happy day in Bonn, full of nostalgia and hopes for a great future of a special building that for some Bonn citizens must have felt like an old friend returning to where he belongs. The "Bundesbüdchen" is back! I know what you must be thinking: "oh, how, nice - I don't know what you are talking about"

 

First, as the language geek that I am, a German lesson ("oh, no!"). Back in the day, before Berlin got the status back, Bonn was the federal capital of Germany - German word "Bund". A "Bude" is a small often one-roomed building, of no elaborate or ornate style usually. It can also denote a room in house, often with slight meaning of neglect or of reduced value of sorts. The English "booth" is an etymological "cousin". A typical diminutive is "chen", so now we throw the two together, change the vowel, drop the e and we have Büdchen! The Büdchen in this case is a kiosk and it used to stand in Bonn near the offices of the Federal state adminstration area, hence it was known as the Bundesbüdchen. Sadly, it had to make way for a large complex, but what saved the kiosk from demolition is the fact that it is a listed building, i.e. on a list of buildings of exceptional value. It was stored away for 14 years and has now finally returned to a spot not far from were it used to stand. Many civilians and high-ranking politicians used to rub shoulders buying newspapers and sausages and they say that those who had only an hour before clashed over political topics in the Bundestag could be seen happily chatting with each other again at the "Bundesbüdchen".

 

And although big politics is now happening in far-away Berlin you can at least experience the renovated famous kiosk as a civilian together with the locals again. Here is the photo gallery of the reopening celebration, complete with former customers including politicians, and you can even switch to English for reading the history of this unusual building: https://www.bundesbuedchen.de/aktuelles.htm

 

notamermaid

 

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Just passing by... Leutesdorf

 

Leutesdorf is a small wine village downstream from Koblenz, just past Andernach, but on the right bank of the Rhine. It is one of those small places that do not have a landing stage for river cruise ships but do have one for small excursion boats. The closeness of the river and surrounding vineyards dominate the appearance of this small village of medium interest. No, it is not a massive tourist attraction but merits an afternoon stroll with its many old buildings, wine cellars where you can buy wine and liqueurs at source and beer garden at the riverfront. And if you are into village museums you can spend hours in the Leutesdorf one uttering: "What was that used for?" or "My grandmother had one like that!" https://leutesdorf-rhein.de/geschichte/leutesdorfer-dorfmuseum/bilder-zum-leutesdorfer-dorfmuseum.html

 

Needless to say it has got a castle - err, which actually is called Marienburg but is an 18th century small palace which was built on the spot of the old castle.

 

A regional tourist attraction is the restaurant in the hills making wine from blackberries.

 

Last year I took a trip out to the castle ruin Hammerstein just beyond the village, this is one of the photos I took, looking upstream towards Andernach: DSCN2131.thumb.JPG.4d4bdb5733607029af1154754273a02c.JPG

 

And this is the landing stage for the excursion boats:

DSCN2118.thumb.JPG.928ad06c74a63c5c586837579e45cf0b.JPG

This is facing sort of Northwest, i.e. downstream. The trees on the left are on the peninsula Namedyer Werth and the boat in the photo is the one taking visitors to see the cold water geyser.

 

As far as I know there are no excursions to Leutesdorf with any river cruise line. That is somewhat a pity. It is a nice place for booking a wine tasting. I did one a few years ago and as it was part of an assignment through my work it was even in English. I dare say we all had a great evening! :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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The Other Tom,

 

I saw that report the other day and was thinking of posting it. You have beaten me to it. :classic_smile:

 

The article picks up on a report I had posted about and linked last year. Here is my entry from 3 April 2019:

"When grown men play with water

 

I mentioned in post #117 that experts are literally looking into how to deepen the navigation channel at Kaub. Yes, men - and possibly a few women - in Karlsruhe are playing with water and looking into it to see how little plastic balls behave in the current. It sounds like enormous fun, but is all very important and scientific. The Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau, that is the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, has built a true to scale model in scale 1:60 of a section of the Rhine to see how the current and gravel banks change with different ways of deepening the navigation channel. They want to publish their findings in 2020. Here is the article and video, in German only, I have not found an English translation yet: https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/rheinland-pfalz/mainz/Fahrrinne-soll-vertieft-werden-Tests-an-Rhein-Modell-soll-Schifffahrt-helfen,optimierung-des-mittelrheins-fuer-die-schifffahrt-100.html

 

Back to the river live. The rain is forecast to raise the level at Maxau to around the mean. All looking good for plain sailing for a while. Current levels: Maxau 453cm, Kaub 151cm, Koblenz 165cm.

 

notamermaid"

 

end quote

 

The Federal Association of German Inland Shipping (my translation), in short: the "BDB", is aware of the report and have linked to it. Two spokespersons of the Association were consulted by the author Elisa Miebach in preparation for the Bloomberg report.

 

The discussions about how to improve shipping, safety and capacity, has been going on for many years. The drought of 2018 and its impact on the economy sped up the discussions. Essentially, the idea is to do a "Abladeoptimierung", that means to do something to the river to increase the capacity of commercial ships. For that the depth of the navigation channel near Kaub is supposed to be increased from the guaranteed 1.90m to 2.10m. It does not sound much but would result in many extra days of shipping in Autumn with much load and reduce the days of low water, which for shipping starts at 1.50m on the gauge at Kaub.

 

The river cruising industry is not really a consideration (you hardly ever read about the river cruising industry in such a context), but the effect would be nice for large river cruise ships. Mind you, it would not have a great impact as river cruise ships run into problems only at a much lower level than container barges or tankers. To put in into perspective of disrupted sailing days: the twenty centimetres extra would have resulted in no extra sailing day this year so far as the level at Kaub has not fallen sufficiently lower than 90cm yet. In 2018 it could have resulted in (my estimate) an additional two weeks - this is a rough guidance as sailing is always determined by the captain and not halted or advised by authorities on the Rhine (in low water). Remember, the situation in the Autumn of 2018 was dire.

 

On the Danube, by the way, the extra 20 centimetres they are aiming for with the measures there near Straubing will have a greater positive effect on river cruising. As I said, on the Rhine this year so far we have not had a single day of "real" low water, the Danube in Bavaria has intermittently has had ten days so far - and counting. My post in the Danube thread today says Pfelling at 262cm, that is 28cm below what is desirable for large* river cruise ships. It means that from 290m or lower a ship can have problems sailing but it will depend very much on the ship's draft, which is of course lower with reduced load (no, I do not mean the cake in the galley fridge and your tummies or the drinks cabinet :classic_wink:)

 

*large in Europe is 135m length, small is 110m or shorter, a few older ships have lengths between the two figures.

 

Right, that's it for the time being. Time to enjoy the splendidly sunny afternoon. And temperatures forecast to rise even more tomorrow.

 

notamermaid

 

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The temperature today will reach over 30 degrees Celsius along the Rhine valley and it is not raining. Overall for this Summer nature is too dry. The river's natural reservoir, Lake Constance, is going down and not fed by rain in the Alpine region enough. This is a problem that experts are anticipating will get worse in years to come and it is perfectly likely that a drought will cause low water problems of the major kind again. The level at the crucial gauge Kaub is down to 108cm and could fall below 100cm by Thursday. Now as I have pointed out this is no problem for river cruise ships but for the commercial artery that the Rhine is. It is crucial to keep it going as much as possible as no way can road transport take over that much load, even rail transport would struggle.

 

So, the technical people at Karlsruhe built the model to figure out how the Rhine will behave with alterations planned to its flow. Here are photos of the model: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bundesanstalt_fuer_wasserbau/albums/72157707665229984 

 

In the Autumn of 2018 problems got so bad that housebuilding was delayed for some as the raw materials could not reach their destinations in time and Switzerland was worried about a shortage of heating oil. Losses in industry and commerce were huge in terms of money.

 

notamermaid

 

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Sorry to tell we have had a Dreke day here in Scotland in other words the water you need for the rivers in Europe fell on us today, nay problem we will just add a touch to the Scotch. Also it is unseasonaly warm. The wildlife total today includes - red squirrel , so cute, very bedraggled hen peasant, young Heron, usually seen on a river cruise, plus an extremely busy treecreeper.

Fingers still crossed for cruising next year! CA

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23 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Sorry to tell we have had a Dreke day here in Scotland in other words the water you need for the rivers in Europe fell on us today, nay problem we will just add a touch to the Scotch. Also it is unseasonaly warm. The wildlife total today includes - red squirrel , so cute, very bedraggled hen peasant, young Heron, usually seen on a river cruise, plus an extremely busy treecreeper.

Fingers still crossed for cruising next year! CA

Do not worry, we will get some rain eventually. More needed in California and neighbouring states. We do indeed have herons on the Rhine as well. They look graceful. Red squirrels here in abundance, I know they are a rare species now in some parts of the UK. I saw one climb up a huge tree in a quiet road nearby only a few weeks ago.

 

An unexpected twist in the Coronavirus developments: Alsace has not been made a risk zone by the German authorities, but parts of the Netherlands that include Amsterdam. This is why: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-netherlands-idUKKBN2672K0 Very unfortunate for German river cruisers going North (downstream). Basel is still okay, but Geneva is a risk zone.

 

notamermaid

 

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Amsterdam and Rotterdam are currently under a travel warning by the German authorities. Nijmegen is still o.k.. Upriver the Rhine river is o.k. as well as the Moselle river.

 

steamboats

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50 minutes ago, steamboats said:

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are currently under a travel warning by the German authorities. Nijmegen is still o.k.. Upriver the Rhine river is o.k. as well as the Moselle river.

 

steamboats

 

So Nijmegen is in another province. Good for Arosa and I believe the Amakristina is also going North now, after the South itineraries. One can of course just cut short the cruise distance and explore the Nijmegen area in more detail. Moselle, yes, a perfect river to do right now, no high no low water, incidence rate of Covid-19 low. And the weather is splendid.

 

notamermaid

 

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Nijmegen is locted in Gelderland.

 

AmaKristina has left Amsterdam early yesterday and is on her way up to Cologne. Next cruise is the Southern itinerary.

 

steamboats

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