Rhine water levels 2018 and similar topics


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Rhine, Germany
2,651 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
For those interested in the details of why there are so many problems with sailing on the Rhine right now and would like to know a bit of theory, here is a bit of background information (that also helps to explain further some of my posts). Of course, sailing is impaired because it is hot and it has hardly rained which is not unusual in Summer. But this Summer is extreme and for August there is far too little water in that commercially most important inland waterway in Europe, the Rhine. So here is a bit of theory on navigation channel, water and gauges.


First: Navigation channel, depth, etc. Here is a pdf-file to show you the depth of the river:


http://www.wsd-west.wsv.de/wasserstr...eite2011_2.pdf


Do not worry, it is not as complicated as it looks. It is the Rhine from Basel at kilometre 165 to the border with the Netherlands at the respective kilometre(s). You can follow these kilometre signs as you sail along the river and put what you read in the file into practice. Up to 334 at Iffezheim the Rhine is regulated by locks, after that it is free-flowing. Look at the line with a red marking that has the figure 1,90m written above it. That is the trickiest bit and in that section you find the Lorelei rock for example.


More to follow.


The water level figures: Maxau 379cm, Kaub 71cm, Koblenz 73cm. A rise, yes, but it more is needed.


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
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Notamermaid, your input is very much appreciated. Fingers crossed for all the folks including us who have spent a great deal of time & $$$ on planning our river cruises. It sounds like the Rhine gorge may be the most critical point for our cruise with Viking Sept 24 from Trier to Basel.
United States
136 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by notamermaid
Look at the line with a red marking that has the figure 1,90m written above it. That is the trickiest bit and in that section you find the Lorelei rock for example.
Very interesting. So the shallowest part of the river is between 508 and 557? And the current depth on that stretch is 1,90m?
9 Posts
Joined May 2015
We awoke yesterday in Koblenz to significant rain and storms. They were short lived but hopefully providing some bit of relief. In the afternoon we cruised the middle Rhine (Rhine River gorge) viewing the many castles. While it was made known that it was super tricky navigation due to the water level we were able to safely but slowly make it through to Rüdesheim in the early evening. We navigated through to Mannheim this morning where we departed the ship by bus for a day in Heidelberg to meet up with the ship this evening in Speyer. Now sailing on to Strasbourg. Again other than a few minutes delay here and there we have had no interruption to the planned itinerary.
Mississauga, Ontario
815 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We are currently on Avalon Tranquility II having departed Amsterdam on August 11th. We transited the Rhine Gorge today.

Have had a couple of changes along the way to recognize the reality of the water levels.

Tomorrow, we were to go to Heidelburg and dock there. The water at the planned dock does not exist so the plan now is to be bused from Mainz to Heidelburg, do our excursion while the ship sails to a docking place beyond Heidleburg.

Avalon is revising on the fly and doing a great job.

More updates later if neceßary.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
TN
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Notamermaid, thank you for the timely updates. You have been a lifeline for those of us embarking a Rhine River journey

Histiomom, lucky you to be going to Strasbourg. Do take the time to view the famous clock , and by all means take time to walk around that gorgeous city. Food in Strasbourg is outstanding as many cultures combine for tasty treats.The onion tarte is not to be missed.

Any reports on Crystal river out there?
Rhine, Germany
2,651 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by Captiveguru
Very interesting. So the shallowest part of the river is between 508 and 557? And the current depth on that stretch is 1,90m?
Hello Captiveguru,

you are right about the shallowest part. The depth in that area is currently 1.83m. Why and how it is calculated I am happy to explain tomorrow.

Histiomom,
Thank you very much for your update. And have a great time in Strasbourg.

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
Oceanside, CA
64 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Notamermaid, wonderful to have you teaching everyone. According to various specs, Viking Longships have a draft of at least 190. I've also seen 195 and 200, but never anything less than 190. Can you explain why Viking would built river boats with a draft that exceeds the typical depth north of Mainz?
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Rhine, Germany
2,651 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by austinetc
Notamermaid, wonderful to have you teaching everyone. According to various specs, Viking Longships have a draft of at least 190. I've also seen 195 and 200, but never anything less than 190. Can you explain why Viking would built river boats with a draft that exceeds the typical depth north of Mainz?
Hello austinetc,
That is a good question. The short answer is: they don't. Somewhere along the line the 190 for the ships has been established over the years in conversation but there is a flaw in that somewhere.

I shall be back with a longer explanation.

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