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notamermaid

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

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One other thing. Just go with the flow. I am reading now that ships can’t get into Budapest. We had no problems last week. The cruise companies look at these water levels day to day. Like the passengers they would like to avoid the inconvenience as well. Evidently the critical area of the river for us was from Passau to Regensburg. They day we ship swapped the water level was such that we could have made it but then the next day it dropped below again.

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We only swapped once and it was painless. Of course we would have preferred not to change ships but it really wasn’t bad.

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One other thing. Just go with the flow. I am reading now that ships can’t get into Budapest. We had no problems last week. The cruise companies look at these water levels day to day. Like the passengers they would like to avoid the inconvenience as well. Evidently the critical area of the river for us was from Passau to Regensburg. They day we ship swapped the water level was such that we could have made it but then the next day it dropped below again.

 

 

 

My entry point is Deggendorf just north of Passau. So if no rain it looks like a bus to a Passau. I don’t know better work on my plan B.

 

 

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We only swapped once and it was painless. Of course we would have preferred not to change ships but it really wasn’t bad.

 

 

 

Yes, that wouldn’t be bad. I am hearing horror stories on other lines on 4 hour bus trips. I guess I will be prepared when ever I get my notification.

 

 

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One other thing. Just go with the flow. I am reading now that ships can’t get into Budapest. We had no problems last week. The cruise companies look at these water levels day to day. Like the passengers they would like to avoid the inconvenience as well. Evidently the critical area of the river for us was from Passau to Regensburg. They day we ship swapped the water level was such that we could have made it but then the next day it dropped below again.

 

Now I'm getting nervous...our ship due to sail from Budapest toward Vienna starting 10/20 with Gate 1, the Monarch Baroness. Right now the Monarch Baroness is on the Resgensburg side of the sallow area near Pfilling and is heading further to the East.

 

See:

https://pegelonline.wsv.de/webservices/zeitreihe/visualisierung?ansicht=einzeln&pegelnummer=10078000,

 

AND there is very little rain in the forecast over the next two weeks. Has anyone had ship "swaps" using Gate 1? For a few weeks, I've followed the Monarch Baroness and as long it was "stuck" on the Budapest side I was feeling OK the that worst case we might need to ride a bus from Budapest to Bratslava (if the levels were low on that portion of the Danube). NOW I'm not sure if ANY Gate 1 ship even will be in the area when we arrive in Budapest in two weeks.

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This morning along the Danube, it is overcast and raining (currently only a light drizzle - but who know) this was not expected or predicted.

 

 

The river levels have fallen overnight.

 

 

Lets see what the weather brings us today.

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Thanks, that is what I was figuring. I am doing AVALON at the end of the month. Hours on a bus is not my idea of a river cruise. Hoping for Rain!!

 

One more question, Did you have to pack and unpack every time you switched ships.

 

 

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Yes, you will have to do your own packing and unpacking (unless you have a butler service?).

 

For obvious reasons, most ship staff won’t handle personal belongings.

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The Christmas biscuits are in the shops, German Erntedankfest (giving thanks for the harvests) is celebrated (on different days among the Christian churches). Turn around on your axis three times (as I always say) and before you know it, it is time to sing "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" again. This year with even more of a solemn voice as it is a special anniversary: https://www.dw.com/en/celebrating-200-years-of-silent-night/a-45715825

 

 

An Austrian song that is - ahem - also sort of Bavarian according to the article. Shifting borders and boundaries... Still, let's go with the officials. The song is part of the UNESCO-recognised Intagible Cultural Heritage of Austria.

 

 

notamermaid

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Posted (edited)

Update from the Viking Aegir. We talked to the program director today he told us there was %150 percent chance we would have to change ships. He said Budapest is closed right now so we will dock at Mohacs for our tour that day then stay in a hotel for three nights. Then a bus ride to Vienna . Not happy but not much Viking can do about the low level. Will see how it all works out. On a positive note the food and service on the ship is great and the tours through the former Soviet Block counties has been fascinating and informative. It still stinks that we have to do hotel and bus tour for part of it. The program director has been straight up with us and we know things can change at a anytime. Most of the passengers are only going to Budapest only 40 are headed all the way to Amsterdam. Most have no clue about the Danube water levels. They are blissfully ignorant about the up and coming attractions and my DW is making me keep my big mouth shut. When I started to talk to one of our fellow travelers about water levels ship change...they started to freakout so we will let them enjoy the trip for now. Will continue to update as we head toward Amsterdam.

 

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Edited by beachlivin

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On the Avalon Expression right now and are not sailing to Nuremberg which was to have been our final stop before Prague. At least no ship swaps. We stay on the boat and lose Nuremburg but in compensation they are offering full day tours in Salzburg for free. And have offered anyone who wanted to get off the boat now a full refund for the days on the boat that they will miss. Barely a ripple. Kudos to Avalon. It has been handled very well and the feeling on the boat is quite cheerful.

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On the Avalon Expression right now and are not sailing to Nuremberg which was to have been our final stop before Prague. At least no ship swaps. We stay on the boat and lose Nuremburg but in compensation they are offering full day tours in Salzburg for free. And have offered anyone who wanted to get off the boat now a full refund for the days on the boat that they will miss. Barely a ripple. Kudos to Avalon. It has been handled very well and the feeling on the boat is quite cheerful.

 

Thank you for the update. We are doing the exact same cruise next week so are interested to hear how Avalon are dealing with low water levels. We have visited some of the places previously by train. The whole point of this trip was to do it in a leisurely way on the river & not have to pack up & move on every day! So the solution of staying on the ship would suit us.

Enjoy the rest of your cruise. I am praying for rain at night so it doesn’t disrupt your days out!

Keep us updated if you can on how it works out.

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On the Avalon Expression right now and are not sailing to Nuremberg which was to have been our final stop before Prague. At least no ship swaps. We stay on the boat and lose Nuremburg but in compensation they are offering full day tours in Salzburg for free. And have offered anyone who wanted to get off the boat now a full refund for the days on the boat that they will miss. Barely a ripple. Kudos to Avalon. It has been handled very well and the feeling on the boat is quite cheerful.

 

Thanks for the post. We are booked on the Expression to Budapest on the 12th. We've been wondering what to expect and have contacted Avalon but they are not announcing any changes yet. Guess we won't be leaving from Nuremberg as scheduled. We will be heading to over to Europe today, so I expect we will hear from them after we are over there. If it's just the one port affected, not a big deal. If it's a lot more than that, we may have to come up with a Plan B.

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Thanks for the post. We are booked on the Expression to Budapest on the 12th. We've been wondering what to expect and have contacted Avalon but they are not announcing any changes yet. Guess we won't be leaving from Nuremberg as scheduled. We will be heading to over to Europe today, so I expect we will hear from them after we are over there. If it's just the one port affected, not a big deal. If it's a lot more than that, we may have to come up with a Plan B.

They don’t tell you much before they actually tell you anything if that makes any sense. They obviously want to keep the calm as long as possible. They also don’t know from day to day. We left Budapest on the 5th and the I read here that other ships could not get into Budapest on the same day, so it honestly is a case by case or ship by ship decision I guess. I can only tell you that we are very hAppy to be staying on the boat and feel that Avalon is doing their best to make it the memorable trip that we all planned for.

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Today, in the words of Phil Collins it's "Another Day in Paradise" or hell if you are sitting in a bus. Sunny and warm.

 

 

 

Yesterday the weather forecasters got it completely wrong, no sun - it rained the whole day. Even though it rained, it has had no efffect on the river levels, they are still slowly falling.

 

 

 

According to our local weather experters (the farmers) it will need two weeks of heavy rain (flooding:o) to replace the lost ground water in order to guarantee enough run off to maintain the river levels.

 

 

Along the Danube, there are several job vacancies for Rain Makers although the lfe expectancy is not great.

 

 

 

The question is for November, do I build an Ark or another deck chair?

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Something went wrong with the weather forecast here on the Rhine too. Actually rain that was forecast for the French-Swiss border regions did not come. Well, I did not expect it to have any impact anyway.

 

 

Judging by the wording of an article by SWR the weather forecasters and water experts are not expecting much rain soon.

 

 

I would go for the deck chair even in November - perhaps invest in a blanket though for the chilly mornings.

 

 

The Rhine is struggling, but just managing to keep the ships afloat. So we should concentrate on the Danube, I was thinking one could get some crowdfunding project together, i.e. find the crowds to haul the ships over land. This is what the real old Viking ships' crews did in the 9th century to raid Mainz on the Rhine and other nearby places. Upstream they virtually rolled or carried the ships over land, ransacked the place for goodies, seriously annoyed the locals and sailed downstream. I wonder if anyone has ever calculated how many logs it would take to get a modern ship moved, or if it is possible at all.

 

 

According to the river gauge graph at Pfelling the window of opportunity for sailing has closed, if my calculation based on the info of the Passauer Neue Presse is correct.

 

 

notamermaid

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We are just home from our 9/17 sailing with Viking. We did 4 extra days in Amsterdam after the cruise.

 

We boarded the Viking Modi in Budapest as scheduled, but left that night instead of the next night due to falling water levels. Seems to be a day to day situation at Budapest.

 

We got extra time in Vienna as a result. We didn’t miss the included Budapest excursion because they docked in Komárom and took us back by bus. I feel that I should mention that even during times of normal water levels, tours frequently involve bus rides. I’m not sure where first time river cruisers get the idea that bus rides are such a problem. Not all the cities on an itinerary are right on the river and some are actually quite far away.

 

We had normal water level conditions on our previous cruise and still spent time on a bus.

 

Anyway we made it to Passau - did get prime docking space right at the confluence of the 3 rivers. We stayed overnight. They moved the ship further north and we boarded buses for Regensburg there - cutting the length of the bus ride. The ship moved as far upstream as it could and we met the ship there when the tour ended. We stayed there overnight, and packed for the ship swap.

 

After breakfast we boarded buses for the 3 hour trip to Nuremberg. Viking made it as painless as possible and the trip felt shorter than it was. We did the Nuremberg tours on the new ship after lunch.

 

From there on everything else went according to schedule. We had no other issues.

 

 

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Kath,

 

 

Thank you for reporting back. It sounds as if Viking did this as seamless as possible. Really good. I hope you enjoyed all the ports as well as the cruising. The place Komarom appears to have proven itself as a good vantage point from where to get to Budapest by coach. It is so good to have a convenient alternative dock not too far away.

 

 

The coach rides, well that is an issue. But the real problem are the marketing brochures. Ships docked in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, ships docked in front of Deutsches Eck on the Rhine. The mind "extrapolates" meaning "river cruise ships dock right in town (everywhere)", is what registers as the obvious. But when you look at the photos of river cruises more closely you will notice that you never see a ship docked in Nuremberg on any of them as that town is not on the Danube. The inner town does not even have a river cruise dock. The river Pegnitz that flows through Nuremberg is not exactly navigable...

 

 

 

The same by the way applies to Strasbourg, the town centre is not on the Rhine but on the Ill river (capital i double l), ships dock only on the Rhine.

 

 

 

notamermaid

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I recognize that this question is premature however I will ask anyway. In light of the long dry summer what are some of the opinions folks have over how a December Danube cruise will be impacted. I recognize this will be speculation but would be interested to hear what people say. thanks adi

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Currently on uniworld Beatrice. This segment started in Budapest and ends with a hotel stay in Bucharest. We were supposed to stop in Rousse Bulgaria for a full day and an overnight tomorrow ( Tuesday), then disembark from Giurgiu, Romania on Wednesday morning. The ship can’t get past Nikopol on the Bulgarian side of the Danube an Turnu Măgurele on the Romanian side. The nautical distance between there and Giurgiu is 70 miles. This means that the tours that were supposed to leave from Rousse will be departing from Nikopol, with a 2 to 2 1/2 hour bus ride each way. And the bus on Wednesday will have to drive a longer distance to get to Bucharest. Considering the severe drought and water levels, this is a pretty good outcome. We still have all the same tour options and can stay on the ship the whole time.

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I recognize that this question is premature however I will ask anyway. In light of the long dry summer what are some of the opinions folks have over how a December Danube cruise will be impacted. I recognize this will be speculation but would be interested to hear what people say. thanks adi

 

If you are travelling with Crystal, they have the best balls for cruising.

 

Magic 8 ball says:

 

As I see it, yes

Ask again later

Better not tell you now

Cannot predict now

Concentrate and ask again

Don’t count on it

It is certain

It is decidedly so

Most likely

My reply is no

My sources say no

Outlook good

Outlook not so good

Reply hazy try again

Signs point to yes

Very doubtful

Without a doubt

Yes

Yes, definitely

You may rely on it

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Re the comments about buses. I realise that some excursions from the ship involve taking a bus. That’s fine - I would choose not to go on those that involved a long bus trip & do something independently or just relax on the ship.

 

If the water levels are too low for the ship to continue then I’m concerned that I will be forced into taking long bus trips. Not my idea of fun & I wouldn’t find that at all relaxing.

 

I was really looking forward to a CRUISE down the Danube something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve checked the terms & conditions & they do allow the cruise company (in my case Avalon) to substitute the cruise with bus & hotel when required with little or no notice to customer.

 

Hopefully it won’t come to that. Or Avalon will give us the opportunity to cancel/rebook. We can only wait & see.

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Re the comments about buses. I realise that some excursions from the ship involve taking a bus. That’s fine - I would choose not to go on those that involved a long bus trip & do something independently or just relax on the ship.

 

 

 

If the water levels are too low for the ship to continue then I’m concerned that I will be forced into taking long bus trips. Not my idea of fun & I wouldn’t find that at all relaxing.

 

 

 

I was really looking forward to a CRUISE down the Danube something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve checked the terms & conditions & they do allow the cruise company (in my case Avalon) to substitute the cruise with bus & hotel when required with little or no notice to customer.

 

 

 

Hopefully it won’t come to that. Or Avalon will give us the opportunity to cancel/rebook. We can only wait & see.

 

 

 

 

I am with you. From what I have heard on this thread and several others, AVALON has been offering several options. I am still hoping for rain.

 

I lived in Puerto Rico for 9 years and we had a dry spell . Water rationing was about to commence, then lo and behold the rains came and everything was back to normal within a few days.

 

Maybe being overly optimistic, but at this point there is not much we can do.

 

 

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Still in Germany after leaving our Viking cruise just this past Saturday. The weather has been beautiful. Good for Oktoberfest and such but not much help for the Danube. Good luck to all of you. Headed back to the US tommorrow morning.

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Still in Germany after leaving our Viking cruise just this past Saturday. The weather has been beautiful. Good for Oktoberfest and such but not much help for the Danube. Good luck to all of you. Headed back to the US tommorrow morning.

 

 

 

Thanks for all the updates, have a good flight back!

 

 

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The only change to report is the Danube river levels have fallen slightly.

 

 

The good news is that the Christmas Markets will not be impacted by the low river levels (at least for us locals).

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The only change to report is the Danube river levels have fallen slightly.

 

 

 

 

 

The good news is that the Christmas Markets will not be impacted by the low river levels (at least for us locals).

 

 

 

Speaking of the markets when do they start

 

 

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Speaking of the markets when do they start

 

 

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Generally speaking the Christmas Markets run from 1st. Advent until 23rd. December.

 

 

Some stat a week before Advent and some are open after Christmas, e.g. Munich Airport Christmas Market is open 18th. November to 30th. December.

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Speaking of the markets when do they start

 

 

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I found several start in November in Vienna:

 

https://www.city-walks.info/Vienna/Christmas-Market.html

 

Same in Salzburg:

 

https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/skiing-and-winter/christmas-markets/christmas-markets-in-salzburg

 

Munich - November 27:

 

https://www.bavaria.by/experiences/city-country-culture/christmas-markets/christmas-market-munich/

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Noticed the thread regarding river levels on Floataway Lounge appears to have floated away. 😉 Hopefully that means that everything is finally up and working.

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Still a lot of cleanup and fine tuning still to be done.

New CC website is like Danube river levels, both going down.

 

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I am happy that they finally fixed the problem with the general river cruise forum - it was missing when Cruise Critic first came back online.

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:classic_smile: We are back where we belong. But, oh my, could not log in at first and then it took ages to load on my smartphone.

I am sure things will be better tomorrow on our river cruise couch.

Probably not on the Danube.

notamermaid

 

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Off topic, but to squeeze signatures down to something reasonable, use bullets.  I despise empty white space.  Clearly I'm in the minority though.

Yesterday I joined a Viking Facebook page.  The lack of knowledge about river conditions is unsettling.  At least three referenced rivercruiseinfo.com to dispute the low-water-level contingent.  I sent a message to Cruise Critic asking if their tech guys knew of a way to take the site down.  Among other pages, the Contact Us link is broken on that site.

Viking's advisory is admitting that things are not ideal, but still saying rain is in the forecast.  I think they're drinking too much beer.

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2 minutes ago, austinetc said:

Off topic, but to squeeze signatures down to something reasonable, use bullets.  I despise empty white space.  Clearly I'm in the minority though.

Yesterday I joined a Viking Facebook page.  The lack of knowledge about river conditions is unsettling.  At least three referenced rivercruiseinfo.com to dispute the low-water-level contingent.  I sent a message to Cruise Critic asking if their tech guys knew of a way to take the site down.  Among other pages, the Contact Us link is broken on that site.

Viking's advisory is admitting that things are not ideal, but still saying rain is in the forecast.  I think they're drinking too much beer.

 

austinetc's, if I remember correctly the gentleman managing the website was or is a CruiseCritic member but has not posted for all long time (a year+). I wonder if he is ok?

For accurate info you can mention the official website pegelonline.wsv.de The map on the computer version shows a massive amount of orange dots. All those stations are on low water. On the mobile phone version the station names are framed in orange. The situation should be clear then even it will fail to convey details that might not be understood due to the language barrier.

Thank you again for keeping us going in that waiting lounge by starting a thread. SMILE

notamermaid

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2 hours ago, austinetc said:

Off topic, but to squeeze signatures down to something reasonable, use bullets.  I despise empty white space.  Clearly I'm in the minority though.

Yesterday I joined a Viking Facebook page.  The lack of knowledge about river conditions is unsettling.  At least three referenced rivercruiseinfo.com to dispute the low-water-level contingent.  I sent a message to Cruise Critic asking if their tech guys knew of a way to take the site down.  Among other pages, the Contact Us link is broken on that site.

Viking's advisory is admitting that things are not ideal, but still saying rain is in the forecast.  I think they're drinking too much beer.

Rain is in the forecast, ten days from now(per the Weather Channel app).  Of course it's been ten days from "now" for the last couple of weeks at least.  It'll be nice when the model starts showing rain a little more imminent:classic_rolleyes:.

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We are in Vienna on the AMAVIOLA. No water here. We can’t go up or down river. We were supposed to go to Budapest. Now we are bussing it. Very disappointed but it is what it is. 

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3 hours ago, jeb_bud said:

Rain is in the forecast, ten days from now(per the Weather Channel app).  Of course it's been ten days from "now" for the last couple of weeks at least.  It'll be nice when the model starts showing rain a little more imminent:classic_rolleyes:.

All the forecasts I've seen preface "rain" with "a little" or "a bit of".  The Danube needs a lot more than that before Regensburg becomes accessible.

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