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notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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    trains
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    Europe

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  1. It really depends on the child in my opinion. I read from your description that he is well-travelled and can adapt. From what the other posters have said I would also deduce that both Amawaterways and Uniworld could fit you. One thing to note is that WiFi on ships is not always what you are used to from home so a book or "card games with the old folks" might be the entertainment for him in the evening. You could make good use of smartphones by getting him engaged in planning, finding websites and using the info along the way, for example an app if you head out on your own without the tour guide. If your son can enjoy cycle rides, guided walks, castles and ruins - perhaps try to get the excursion to Marksburg castle into the itinerary - and Cologne Cathedral (which just blew me away when I was twelve) then he can be fine. As a side note: there is A-ROSA (a German company) which tends to cater for families. You would need to see what they currently offer on the US market. notamermaid
  2. Welcome home, pacmom. Thank you for reporting so far and I look forward to reading more. About the route: you went from Spandau along the Havel and the canal onto the Elbe I presume. Did that happen at Magdeburg? Were there any comments on how close you where to being stranded on the Elbe as it was already quite low? Did you sail to Tangermünde and see the town? Where did you leave the Elbe, or did you sail the whole river to Hamburg? What was the stretch on the North Sea? End of barrage of questions (grin). notamermaid
  3. Problems normally always start near Pfelling on the route you are taking. For Hungary I linked to a website quite early in this thread. Pfelling is easiest checked here: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/start#locations?w=DONAU as it has both a standard and a good mobile website. The forecast for Bavaria is short and not much to speak of but can be seen here: https://www.hnd.bayern.de/pegel/donau_bis_passau/pfelling-10078000?vhs_type=trend&ensvhs=&member= I have clicked on the graph for the trend for you which shows the most likely scenario as a line with the error interval as a coloured area. Underneath where it says Vorhersage you can switch to the 12-hour forecast (the meaning of the word Vorhersage). Those two are official authorities websites. They are more accurate than wetter online can be. notamermaid
  4. Sybil2, I hope you had a wonderful time on the Danube and brought home great memories and stories to treasure and share. Unfortunately, I need to share with prospective cruisers the fact that the situation has changed on the Bavarian Danube. The weather is warming up again to bring us hot Summer days. An example: Regensburg in Celsius degrees Saturday 32, Sunday 30, Monday 33. The only day with rain is Sunday in the next six days (ignoring the odd shower here and there). The Danube levels are going to fall, with Pfelling gauge forecast to drop below 290cm tomorrow, 285cm are possible. Further than Saturday I have no info and will quote Sybil2's captain: "next week is next week on the Danube". notamermaid
  5. Onto business - the shipping industry The river has lost quite a few centimetres and with only Friday providing significant amounts of rain in the next seven days, coupled with hot temperatures of up to 34 degrees maximum, will fall further soon. While Maxau 507cm, Kaub 179cm and Koblenz 166cm sounds still very good to river cruisers' ears, the industry needs to prepare for the weeks ahead when barges and tankers will almost inevitably need to plan for reduced loading capacity. For the future, the federal minister of transport, Andreas Scheuer, has presented the government's plans on a boat on the Rhine. Here it is: https://www.worldcargonews.com/news/news/germanys-rhine-low-water-contingency-planning-62583 I am afraid to say that at least in the article the river cruising industry is not mentioned. While that tourism sector is growing, it is nevertheless economically of little importance on the river. However, the plan includes the so-called "Abladetiefe-Optimierung" which means increasing the loading capacity of barges in relation to the navigation channel depth. Here it means dredging the river so that the navigation channel depth in the Kaub area is increased from 1.90m to 2.10m. That would also benefit large river cruise ships and could well eliminate ship swaps and coach tours in many years. Last year it would have been of minor help as the drought affected a much longer stretch of river than just around Kaub. notamermaid
  6. The MS Raymonde is a CroisiEurope ship that is far smaller than the standard river cruise ships. It is officially a barge. CroisiEurope also offers this itinerary on their website. Epernay to Paris is partly on a canal the river cruise ships cannot sail, and also very few river cruise can go to the upstream areas of Paris and further. notamermaid
  7. Today, after dwelling a bit on the biggest town on the river, let us move on to a small place, my promised hidden gem. We cannot fully leave Frankfurt yet, as to get to this little place we need to figure out on the map where we are. From Frankfurt we take a trip out into the Southern area by crossing the river by car which is only 23km, so we are still in the plains of the Rhine and Main rivers. By train it is only 24 minutes from Frankfurt main station to: Dreieichenhain. Dreieichenhain (in English "three oaks grove") is no unknown to regional travellers as it has got a lovely old town with half-timbered houses and a castle ruin. It is also renowned for its theatre festival in Summer. The town has no English website: https://www.dreieichenhain.de/ For some photos click on "Stadt-Impressionen". It still has its medieval town wall as well. Dreieichenhain is lovely for a nice stroll with quick lunch and then back to the river and your cruise ship, such an outing is very doable in a morning if you would like to be back in Frankfurt for lunch. I have not been for some years but if the town is still as pleasant as I remember it you will possibly almost be alone with the locals (unless it is the festival season) and can be sure to get some good "old Germany" photos without having to lift your camera over the heads of a tour group... And if you just cannot get enough of half-timbered houses, explore more of them along the route that Dreieichenhain is also part of: https://www.deutsche-fachwerkstrasse.de/en/Homepage.html notamermaid
  8. They do look lovely. Thanks G.M.T. . This is also a good one, coming up in August: https://www.rhein-in-flammen.com/spay-koblenz-gb/spay-koblenz-gb.html notamermaid
  9. Indeed. Here is an unusual piece of history lesson not so often mentioned or well known: many a French aristocrat and sympathizer fled to the Koblenz area; the town slightly North of Koblenz called Neuwied was teeming with French-speaking people. As it had a liberal ruler there was a freedom of press well-known to publishers and a certain Louis-Francois Mettra set up shop there having lost his belongings and workshop in Cologne after flooding. He published French underground books, also the indexed works of Voltaire, and even went as far as publishing risqué literature. When French revolutionary troops brought the fighting to the Rhineland, Mettra fled the area and moved to Leipzig, even then a major book publishing hub in Europe. But if your head is starting to float a little, after all this history and wine, lean back and enjoy a bit of alternative history and in the shape of a certain Edmund Blackadder meddling in the French revolution - or pretends to, actually: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUTlE90j7n8&list=RDXUTlE90j7n8&start_radio=1&t=0 notamermaid
  10. It is the 14th of July and to greet our friends in my neighbouring country let us shout "Vive la France!" and here is the history lesson for it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day We should join in the celebration with some Alsatian wine - that is what I will do in fact, i.e. drink some Edelzwicker from Riquewihr - and get "in-depth" information about the wines by virtually going into the wine cellars of Strasbourg courtesy of Atlas Obscura: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/historic-wine-cellar-of-strasbourg-hospital By the way, if you have no Alsatian wine readily chilled you may use other river cruising regions like Rhone and Bordeaux. And as we are on the subject of French pastimes, has anyone ever seen a Boule playing field on a river cruise ship? I wonder if it would work, quite like the idea. Cheers! notamermaid
  11. With the German Danube having recovered well, Pfelling is currently at 352cm, we can sit back and relax for a few days. Let us have another look at UNESCO. Also among the nomminées these year was the Danubian Limes, the "wet border" of the Roman Empire. It was a joint entry of four Danube countries. At the last minute Hungary made a change in the application. In consequence, the committee could not decide on the application and the whole thing has been postponed to next year. Here is the story: https://hungarytoday.hu/govt-thwarts-bid-limes-world-heritage-title/ The relevant site is the palace of the Roman settlement Aquincum in modern day's Budapest: http://www.aquincum.hu/en/ notamermaid
  12. A commemoration was held on Friday: https://hungarytoday.hu/hungarian-victims-of-hableany-disaster-to-be-commemorated-today/ notamermaid
  13. Pfelling gauge has risen to 313cm. A sigh of relief... Next week's sailings look better now. notamermaid
  14. The Main is a federal waterway of high importance for commercial shipping. The level is indeed controlled with the help of the locks, the authorities try to ensure a depth of the navigation channel. I am not familiar with details but overall official information gives between 2.50m and 2.90m. This means it is in many parts as deep or even deeper than the Rhine for example. For river cruise ships there is no single kilometre on the Main that is free-flowing. You could in drought encounter problems theoretically but it is the authorities' duty and endeavour that the navigation stays at the said level which is very favourable for the draft of river cruise ships. The figures you read are the gauges and do not indicate the depth of the river. The fact that they are classified as low comes from them being put in context of statistics, i.e. how they compare to the mean over a certain amount of years. notamermaid
  15. You have every reason to be I would say. It certainly looks much better than it did last year. On 5th July 2018 I posted that the level at Kaub was 137cm. The sort of good news is also that in the low water level report of the BAfG (the Federal Institute of Hydrology) - 1st update published yesterday - they have published the Kaub prediction graph for the next ten days and the most likely scenario shows a figure that will be hardly any lower in ten days than it is now. notamermaid
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