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notamermaid

Danube water levels 2018 and similar topics - plus tips and info

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Hello everyone,

 

here is the thread on the Danube for 2018. Thank you everyone for contributing to last year's thread, especially those making the effort to report from their cruise ship.

 

Tips and info of a general nature on this splendid river always welcome.

 

notamermaid

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We are sailing in October. I will definitely be following this thread. Than you for starting one for 2018.

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Will be on the Danube the first week in May , from Passau to Budapest, and want to know what we should expect regarding water levels? This is our first river cruise In this region.

Thank you!

 

 

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December 8th Budapest to Passau ❄️❄️❄️❄️☃️

 

 

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Hello BarbaraB2,

 

Will be on the Danube the first week in May , from Passau to Budapest, and want to know what we should expect regarding water levels? This is our first river cruise In this region.

Thank you!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

It is very difficult to say as there can be great variation from year to year. I am not so familiar with the Danube as I live 500km away and only hear of the worst flooding and drought in the news. Relying on statistics to give you an answer is both "dangerous", i.e. easily leading to misinformation and difficult as statistics are a little tricky to get hold of. One way of getting hold of historical data is by subscribing to websites, one I would use is https://www.wetteronline.de/?gid=DL&pcid=pc_pegel_data&pid=p_pegel_data&sid=StationDiagram where you click on "Mehr Pegeldaten? ... " and become a member. The fee is given. For the time being this is not an option for me. Non-subscribers can get some data on: https://www.wetteronline.de/pegelstaende?gid=BAY This just covers Germany.

 

To show you some historical data and how varied it can be, here is a page on Vienna: https://www.wien.gv.at/statistik/lebensraum/tabellen/donau.html It shows you the year, the highest and the lowest with the dates when it occured in that year. Usually on the Rhine we get the highest in Winter or early Spring and the lowest in Autumn. The Danube is on the other side of the European watershed and does not always show the same pattern. The two greatest flooding incidents happened in June 2013 and August 2002, respectively! From the info on Vienna one can deduct that May actually has fewer incidents of high water (low water is almost impossible) but one also needs to bear in mind that the terrible flood in 2013 started at the end of May further upstream of course. In general though, May is better than April if you want to avoid flooding, data from the Bavarian authorities indicates.

 

 

All this does not really make you much wiser, I know. Closer to the date you will be travelling on please come back to cruisecritic to see what cruisers are reporting (hopefully) from the river. Figures do have a wide range and what looks good on 28 April might not do so on 8 May for example! Flooding can happen within 48 hours in extreme cases, i.e. lots of rain in the catchment area of the Danube combined with warmer temperatures that cause a little snowmelt in the lower Alps. Look at weather websites and if in doubt always check with your river cruise company.

 

Two things are certain. The most problems with low water occur in the section in Germany where the locks do not regulate the flow of water, a port in the area to remember is Vilshofen. There is a notorious bridge in Passau that often causes the first problems for sailing river cruise ships. i.e. can interrupt your journey: https://www.hnd.bayern.de/pegel/donau_bis_passau/passau-10091008/marken? Two important figures here are 630cm when passage for some river cruise ships becomes difficult under the said bridge and 780cm when the authorities stop the entire shipping on the river section they are responsible for.

 

Please note that I always refer to the Danube downstream to Budapest at the most, I have no data or experience for the area past Budapest towards the Black Sea.

 

Hope this helps a little.

 

notamermaid

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Thank you, notamermaid, for your detailed response to my question. I will certainly check back closer to my departure and hope for the best.

Barbara

 

 

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We will be on the Maria Theresa in July Budapest to Prague. We have sailed with Uniworld once before on the Douro. It was nice but we were considerably younger and we wished for more active itinerary options. I think this will fit the bill! We are very excited

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Neuschwanstein Castle

 

Some of you will have visited the castle already, others might think "hm, this rings a bell". While not on the Danube this castle nevertheless fits in here as it is offered as part of pre- and post-cruise extensions on some cruises. What is it like? Well, I found it very interesting, but for me it is more something that the British might call a huge "folly", a fancy building that resembles something old (sometimes in a weird way) and definitely not my favourite castle or palace in Germany. But let that not deter you. Is it busy, i.e. popular with many tourists? Oh, yes. The German tourist board's survey for tourist attractions popular with foreigners in 2017 reveals it as being number three! Here is a little more on "mad" King Ludwig's castle: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/palaces-parks-gardens/famous-figures/fairytale-refuges-for-the-fairytale-king/neuschwanstein-castle.html

 

notamermaid

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Thank you so much, notamermaid. We are taking a Viking Danube Waltz cruise in April and our pre-cruise trip to Munich and Salzburg includes an excursion to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof palaces. I have been researching information in preparation, and appreciate your contribution!

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Hello LFS517,

 

how good to be able to contribute to your planning. It would not be fair to compare King Ludwig's dream castle to the other splendid palaces in Bavaria and I won't. But if you wanted to see the difference between his place and a palace designed in Baroque style I would recommend going to Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. Designed in the latest French fashion (i.e. 17th century) with Italian stucco it is modelled in the exterior on Versailles - just like a dozen (and I do not mean just twelve) other palaces in Germany. Here it is: http://www.schloss-nymphenburg.de/englisch/palace/index.htm

 

I cannot comment on the interior as I have not been inside. Anyone who cannot make it to Munich, do not be disappointed. The Würzburg Residence (where I have been inside) I recommend as an alternative, if you are headed upstream from Passau.

 

notamermaid

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To help avoid confusion of dates on the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, it was built in the 1700s ('seventeen year hundreds' in German hence notamermaid's dating of 17th century but in English the 1700s are the 18th century). The majority of the interiors are in the early 1800s (19th century) 'Empire' style. It is definitely worth seeing, especially the pavilions in the large park - especially the "Amalienburg", a fantasy in blue walls with silver rococo decorations. It's often taught as a premier example of German Rococo in Art History classes. The palace and pavilions are clearly marked on Google maps.

The is also a small porcelain factory in part of the palace outbuildings - Nymphenburg Porcelain - that is worth a visit as well.

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Thanks xmaser, always a thing to remember that "1701" turns into "18th century" in descriptions or "17 hundreds" when spoken. In the case of Nymphenburg I was actually correct but confusion must come from the fact that I was referring to the design - it is from 1664 yet most of the building dates from 17.. onwards and the interior from the 1800s. Had a discussion about that very "years and hundreds counting naming problem" with an Englishman the other day!

 

Thank you for pointing out the porcelain factory - "Nymphenburg Porzellan" is certainly high quality - still today: https://www.nymphenburg.com/en/manufactory

 

notamermaid

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Thank you both, xmaser and notamermaid (again)! We will definitely add Nymphenburg to our list of things to see in Munich.

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When you go to Neuschwanstein, be sure to look at the views out of the windows, especially from the upper floors. They are spectacular and help explain why Ludwig built there. The building is a fantasy product of the 19th century inspired in part by the "legend" operas of Wagner. It was used as the Baron's castle in the film "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang".

 

If you want an authentic castle, the Hohenschwangau is just across from Neuschwanstein. It still has Ludwig's bedroom with the 'twinkling' star ceiling. The tours however may be available only in German. Very interesting but not as spectacular as Neuschwanstein.

 

Linderhof is another Ludwig palace, an exquisite rococo-revival jewel. It's often on the same tour as Neuschwanstein.

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Hello LFS517,

 

how good to be able to contribute to your planning. It would not be fair to compare King Ludwig's dream castle to the other splendid palaces in Bavaria and I won't. But if you wanted to see the difference between his place and a palace designed in Baroque style I would recommend going to Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. Designed in the latest French fashion (i.e. 17th century) with Italian stucco it is modelled in the exterior on Versailles - just like a dozen (and I do not mean just twelve) other palaces in Germany. Here it is: http://www.schloss-nymphenburg.de/englisch/palace/index.htm

 

I cannot comment on the interior as I have not been inside. Anyone who cannot make it to Munich, do not be disappointed. The Würzburg Residence (where I have been inside) I recommend as an alternative, if you are headed upstream from Passau.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

The reason Neuschwanstein is so popular - at least with Americans - is because it’s supposedly the model for the Walt Disney Castle.

 

It’s been on my bucket list, but I haven’t made it yet. I’ve been close, but not made it [emoji25]

 

 

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When I went on my Danube river cruise in 2013 I did not prepare much for it, more taking things in its stride, really. Partly as I was busy working and got to go on this cruise at relatively short notice, I did not put much effort into planning; but I also live on a German river and could not imagine another river in Europe being that much different... It was not, but one thing I had not anticipated was the docking location in Vienna. Not a big deal for me, but as this subject has come up in several threads in the past few years I have done a bit of digging and thought it might be of interest. Basically, you can dock either in Vienna or out of town in the suburb of Nussdorf. The ship kindly sailing me along the Danube docked in Nussdorf and it was a relatively pleasant experience.

 

Here are the two variations.

 

First, the docking locations in Vienna: http://www.donauraum.at/index.php/anlegestellen

 

Secondly, the two in Nussdorf provided by this company: http://www.donaustationen.at/en/moorings/wiennussdorf-29/ and http://www.donaustationen.at/en/moorings/wiennussdorf-34/

 

In Nussdorf you can park in third row and we did. Literally, up the ship's stairs, through the ship, down stairs, etc. I imagine this would be a real struggle for those with mobility issues.

 

There might be other moorings in Nussdorf that are not provided by that company. I found the area to be quite large but do not recall which ships I passed by while walking to the tram.

 

notamermaid

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We had a really cold spell in Germany last week with quite a bit of snow. But now the temperature has risen and is above zero during the day. Rain will come to Bavaria tommorrow meaning rising water levels. But has they had dropped low during the freezing days and melting snow will not have a great impact yet. In fact, as the temperature might fall again for a couple of days in Bavaria so will the river level by a few centimetres. Dangerous conditions for driving.

 

It looks promising for the first sailings on the Danube in Germany and Austria - around 12th March I mean - but it will be chilly, bring your gloves.

 

notamermaid

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Thank you so much for this thread and your reporting on the weather and river levels. We will be doing a Budapest to Amsterdam cruise in the fall. We are very much looking forward to it. We are going a bit later than when we did our Rhine cruise in 2016, so I’m thinking I may need more layers.

 

We hit a heat wave in 2016, and left the layers in the closet for the most part.

 

 

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Notamermaid - nice to see you on here! You were very helpful on our Rhine cruise in 2016.

 

We are sailing from Nuremberg to Budapest October 7. So looking forward to it! In the process of deciding how much time we want to spend pre and post cruise. Since some of us are still working stiffs, we have to budget our time wisely.

 

Hoping people will post about their cruise experiences, particularly pre and post cruise recommendations.

 

Nat

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Hello travelin_nat,

 

good to hear back from you! I am sure you will greatly enjoy your Danube cruise. Are you flying into Munich or doing Prague? Either way, I would recommend arriving at least a day earlier. If you have a tight schedule you might prefer to add a post-cruise day onto Budapest, or two. I highly recommend it.

 

notamermaid

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Yesterday was the first day of Spring according to the calendar but looking outside my window it did not look that Spring-like. I am sure people on the Danube similarly have not seen much of Spring yet, as it is still cold. Weather reports show snow and freezing temperatures in the hills. It even snowed in Munich earlier.

 

The cold weather means there is no snowmelt and the Danube is low enough to allow for the water supplied by rain and snow melt to make the level rise without causing much flooding in the next few days.

 

Snow of course makes for some nice photos and here is a video of a drone flight over Passau cathedral: http://www.dw.com/en/dailydrone-st-stephens-cathedral-passau/av-43049783

 

notamermaid

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Thank you notamermaid for the gorgeous video. We loved our time in Passau. Seeing the high watermark there was a reminder how unpredictable the river is.

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My pleasure Got2Cruise.

 

Going back to some pre- or post-cruise tips like Neuschwanstein Castle and Nymphenburg Palace I came across Kloster Andechs. I have been to the area but not to the monastery itself. But I have heard it is worthwhile exploring especially for sampling the BEER! So if you feel like heading out into the Bavarian countryside from Munich - if you feel you have seen enough of a big city - I recommend the place. You might need a rental car. To give you an idea of the monastery, here is a drone flight video: http://www.dw.com/de/dailydrone-kloster-andechs/a-36436359 This is the website: http://andechs.de/en/

 

notamermaid

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I'm sure we will be monitoring this thread frequently before our July Budapest to Amsterdam cruise. Thanks for starting it and the many good posts that have been made.

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Yesterday was the first day of Spring according to the calendar but looking outside my window it did not look that Spring-like. I am sure people on the Danube similarly have not seen much of Spring yet, as it is still cold. Weather reports show snow and freezing temperatures in the hills. It even snowed in Munich earlier.

 

The cold weather means there is no snowmelt and the Danube is low enough to allow for the water supplied by rain and snow melt to make the level rise without causing much flooding in the next few days.

 

Snow of course makes for some nice photos and here is a video of a drone flight over Passau cathedral: http://www.dw.com/en/dailydrone-st-stephens-cathedral-passau/av-43049783

 

notamermaid

 

What is the typical water level in early May? We’re on a May 6th departure, Nuremberg to Budapest. Thank you.

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Hello Lyndonn,

 

I cannot tell you, sorry. Please refer to my post at #5. I am not very familiar with the Danube on a daily basis and live too far away. Depending on Spring snowmelt and rain the beginning of May can bring flooding but it is almost impossible to encounter low water.

 

Reliable reports are only available 48 hours out but a tendency can be seen a few days out.

 

In general May will have more sunshine and less rain than April and should not be too problematic but you can never know for sure.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

notamermaid

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Hello Lyndonn,

 

I cannot tell you, sorry. Please refer to my post at #5. I am not very familiar with the Danube on a daily basis and live too far away. Depending on Spring snowmelt and rain the beginning of May can bring flooding but it is almost impossible to encounter low water.

 

Reliable reports are only available 48 hours out but a tendency can be seen a few days out.

 

In general May will have more sunshine and less rain than April and should not be too problematic but you can never know for sure.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

Danke 😃

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Some places have seen unlikely fame, I ma talking of those places that are sort of nice, but are not in themselves tourist attractions. Popularity stems from the fact that they were film locations in internationally famous productions and are attracting visitors. Others have been popular before but just gained in the numbers of visitors. Hollywood productions (and not only those) are full of places that are not where they are supposed to be. One example is the 2011 production of The Three Musketeers. Filmed on location in Paris? Nope, nearly all done in - Germany! An expert in art history could well spot the difference between French and German Baroque but for most of us it will do. If you want to do a locations tour you can do some of that on a river cruise even: http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/t/Three-Musketeers-2011.html

 

notamermaid

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Posted (edited)

I have had a look at the river levels in Germany and there the Danube is looking good a bit on the low side perhaps in Regensburg but I cannot say if this could have an impact on cruising as I am not familiar with that stretch there. In Passau there is certainly enough headroom to make in under the low bridge.

 

I know that river cruisers stop in Regensburg. Deggendorf and Vilshofen have been mentioned as well as stops before getting to Passau. But what about Straubing? From a recent TV documentary (in German) I would say it looks interesting. Here is some info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straubing

 

The town received a modern landing stage in 2016. Has anybody of you been there as part of a river cruise?

 

notamermaid

Edited by notamermaid

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The Danube is showing pleasant levels for cruising (in Germany and Austria) right now but flooding is a regular occurence that some of you have been affected by on your cruise. In some years flooding is so severe that it affects locals to the point of giving up their home and moving away. But most stay and here is a report on how they cope and what experts say about flooding in the future: http://www.dw.com/en/walls-and-neighbors-protect-against-danube-flooding/a-43696380

 

notamermaid

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While waves do not normally reach heights that make movement on a river cruise unpleasantly detectable - never heard of anybody feeling seasick on a river cruise - and storms have not much effect, turning on rivers is sometimes tricky and with small boats especially can be felt quite bit. I have had such experiences on Rhine river excursion boats.

 

 

Occasionally, unfortunately this can happen to the large river cruise ships. In April due to strong winds the Thomas Hardy hit the Viking Bragi: https://binnenschifffahrt-online.de/2018/04/featured/3100/passagierschiffe-stossen-bei-linz-zusammen/

 

 

In the article it says that near Linz the Thomas Hardy tried to dock and hit the Viking Bragi with her stern. There were no injuries to passengers or crew. The Thomas Hardy did not suffer any damage, on the Viking Bragi three window panes broke on the middle deck.

 

 

The Danube will see high temperatures in the next few days and in Bavaria be as hot or even hotter than the Rhine valley. In Passau it is forecast to reach potentially 32 degrees on Tuesday. Naturally, the river level has fallen and will continue to do so, but thunderstorms will bring rain. It seems to be not as much as in the Rhine valley but to report details I am too far away from the region. For the moment river levels from Passau into Austria still look favourable, any problems, if they do arise, are likely to happen further upstream. As the East of Germany is also showing high temperature figures this does not bode well for the Elbe.

 

 

notamermaid

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Here is a video of the beautiful stretch of the Danube in Bavaria near Regensburg: http://www.dw.com/en/on-the-danube-from-weltenburg-to-regensburg/av-17690869

 

 

Weltenburg and the Donau gorge (Donaudurchbruch) are not accessible by river cruise ships. Shortly downstream from there at Kelheim the river cruise ships leave the Main Danube Canal and enter the Danube following its course to Regensburg. I seem to remember that Weltenburg is an optional excursion on river cruise itineraries.

 

 

This is Kelheim with some information on the gorge: https://en.kelheim.de/poi/naturschutzgebiet_weltenburger-2001/

 

 

River levels on the Danube in Germany (the free flowing stretch) look a little low in the figures but are not on official low water status. Hopefully this translates into good conditions on the river right now.

 

 

If you are on the Danube right now and feel like using the internet - you should be too busy exploring :) - send us a message please. Happy to hear your experiences and tips.

 

 

notamermaid

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Avalon Impression docked in Vienna a little while ago. We came from Budapest. No problems so far with water levels. The weather right now is sunny and warm. Last night we had thunderstorms and rain. Forecast for tomorrow afternoon is 50% likelihood of rain in Vienna.

 

 

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Thank you for the info, BAYA. Sounds like all is well on that part of the Danube. And it has rained since your post, so things are looking good. Even at Vilshofen where the Danube is not controlled by locks the level has risen well and is close to the mean.

 

 

While the locks are a blessing for river traffic, especially river cruise ships and the modern barges, our fellow creatures in the water are "not happy" about them. In fact, some species are critically endangered: http://www.dw.com/en/poaching-dams-imperil-ancient-danube-fish/a-43907515

 

 

It is really sad to think that these fish have been around for millions of years and have hardly changed in evolutionary terms since then, but it has taken humans only a hundred years to almost make them disappear for good.

 

 

Sightings along, well, in the Rhine are so rare these days that they make local headline news. These is the critically endangered European sturgeon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_sea_sturgeon

 

 

notamermaid

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I have been following this thread in anticipation of our Danube cruise in October. Fingers crossed that we will not experience any problems with water levels.

Thank you notamermaid for you informational posts!

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Thank you dogs4fun.

 

 

The Danube also saw a lot of rain over a couple of days and rose, which in the free-flowing stretch in Bavaria one could say was actually welcome. Now the level has fallen again but it is not low water status. Hopefully rain at the right time and in the right areas will keep it that way.

 

 

Budapest, a great city to explore and here is one way of doing it, on an amphibious bus: http://www.dw.com/en/touring-budapest-on-an-amphibious-bus/av-43875721

 

 

notamermaid

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I’ve been hearing from people currently on Danube cruises (through a Viking group in another place) that there is a Slovakian freighter stuck athwart the Danube near Regensburg and that all river traffic is stopped at that point. Another ship tried to help but it is stuck as well

 

Someone posted this link and a translation, but I don’t read German. Seems like quite a mess

 

https://www.br.de/nachrichten/niederbayern/inhalt/schiffshavarie-auf-der-donau-gleich-zwei-gueterschiffe-stecken-fest-100.html

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