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notamermaid

Danube water levels 2019 and similar topics - plus tips and info

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On 7/16/2019 at 1:01 PM, flgatorgirl said:

This is our first river cruise and we leave Saturday 7/20 from Nuremberg to Budapest (romantic danube) on Viking.  We did get an alert email from Viking one week out  that ship swaps may occur.  I am okay with that (if time is limited on a bus) but I am nervous about the trip turning into a bus tour or being on a bus for hours.  I do have trip insurance and can get 75% of my money back if I cancel or the trip is interrupted.  Hopefully Viking gives us options to back out if it were to turn into a bus tour.  Has anyone sailed recently or been in a similar predicament that you can give me some reassurance? At this point it seems like we will have to fly out there and see.

Viking has not always been very forthcoming with information like this.  But, as I understand it, the rivers are doing pretty good right now.  Much better than this time last year when our Avalon ship was about the only ship that made it through to Vienna within several days of our arrival.  There were ships lining the banks for much of the Danube around Passau and Vienna.  Several groups' ships had not moved and the pax were daily bused to and from their excursions, using the ship as a hotel.  I hope it works out for you. 

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On 7/16/2019 at 7:01 PM, flgatorgirl said:

This is our first river cruise and we leave Saturday 7/20 from Nuremberg to Budapest (romantic danube) on Viking.  We did get an alert email from Viking one week out  that ship swaps may occur.  I am okay with that (if time is limited on a bus) but I am nervous about the trip turning into a bus tour or being on a bus for hours.  I do have trip insurance and can get 75% of my money back if I cancel or the trip is interrupted.  Hopefully Viking gives us options to back out if it were to turn into a bus tour.  Has anyone sailed recently or been in a similar predicament that you can give me some reassurance? At this point it seems like we will have to fly out there and see.

We flew back from Budapest on the 14th July at the end of our Uniworld Passau to Budapest cruise. The river levels were great and the weather was perfect for us. Temps remain in the low 20s and there was some cloud cover. The previous week they’d really suffered in the heat.

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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

 

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Thank you. Yes, it looks like Sybil2 had great weather and it will heat up for us.  It’s amazing how quickly levels can change.  I see many gauge indicators on wetteronline.  Are there others besides pfelling I should look at for Nuremberg to Budapest? Which website has the forecast?  Thank you!

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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

 

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Well, as far as forecasts go they can only tell so much and the river may decide otherwise. That is why there is a shaded area around the graph for a river level. This morning I find the Danube at Pfelling has done this and dropped further than the forecast suggested yesterday. The current level is 277cm (note that it always fluctuates a little during a day).

 

Not looking too good.

 

notamermaid

 

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Thank you for the additional insight.  Our flight leaves tonight and we haven’t heard anything additional from Viking.  At this point we are going to just proceed and hope for the best. Hopefully it will only affect a few nights. I will download some books on Germany and Austria in case I need to do some crash planning for touring on our own.

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We are doing the Danube on August 14, Budapest to Prague with Avalon. We have our fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for decent water level along the way.

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We are doing Viking Danube starting July 28 (Nuremberg to Budapest) and I just received the obligatory email from Viking about low water and possible ship swap. My guess is Viking does this automatically now to ensure they don't get the complaints that we were uninformed. I'm watching your posts daily now, notamermaid. You are my source of info for sure! I'm with the others who are crossing all toes, fingers and eyes in the hopes that the river cooperates. Shall I start a group rain dance? All together now....

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13 minutes ago, hsack said:

We are doing Viking Danube starting July 28 (Nuremberg to Budapest) and I just received the obligatory email from Viking about low water and possible ship swap. My guess is Viking does this automatically now to ensure they don't get the complaints that we were uninformed. I'm watching your posts daily now, notamermaid. You are my source of info for sure! I'm with the others who are crossing all toes, fingers and eyes in the hopes that the river cooperates. Shall I start a group rain dance? All together now....

Interesting.. our first Viking email was a week ago (8 days prior to sailing) and we haven’t heard anything water related again except the port info for Nuremberg was sent a few days ago. Yes, Please start the group dance and prayers for rain! Stuck in Miami traffic for my overnight flight and we are supposed to start our cruise tomorrow. I’ll try to keep you all updated on any options we are given from Viking. 

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A brief report. Pfelling at 273cm, downward trend continues. Tomorrow could see 267cm. Widespread rain on Sunday, if it steadies the river level we will need to wait and see. No rain of note on Monday or Tuesday.

 

notamermaid

 

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Pfelling at 269cm this lunchtime, slightly up from this morning, with the forecast showing a down trend to a potential 262cm. Allow for fluctuation of a fee centimetres during a calendar day, a normal occurrence. Not possible to say how much impact tomorrow's rain will have.

 

notamermaid

 

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Pfelling slightly better this morning than same time yesterday. 262cm still in forecast though. Rain over Bavaria with heavy rain forecast for Munich today. The upper reaches of the Danube will also get rain, so that should help. No rain Monday to Wednesday.

 

notamermaid

 

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A bit of good news. Forecast changed. Rise to 270cm today. Allowing for fluctuation, further rise to 280cm possible tomorrow, with potential for a slightly higher rise.

 

Not great, but could be just the extra centimetres the ships need.

 

notamermaid

 

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Unfortunately we received news tonight that we will be doing a ship swap on Wednesday.  We left Regensburg tonight and we won’t be able to go all the way to Passau Tuesday due to low water levels , so we are supposed to dock in Straubing instead.  It sounds like we will have a long bus ride/transfer trip on Wednesday to meet our new ship somewhere in Austria, but we will know more tomorrow. 

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1 hour ago, flgatorgirl said:

Unfortunately we received news tonight that we will be doing a ship swap on Wednesday.  We left Regensburg tonight and we won’t be able to go all the way to Passau Tuesday due to low water levels , so we are supposed to dock in Straubing instead.  It sounds like we will have a long bus ride/transfer trip on Wednesday to meet our new ship somewhere in Austria, but we will know more tomorrow. 

Keep us informed—I’m on this same trip next week so I’m assuming we are in for the same situation you experience. I like going into this informed. Keeping a positive attitude though—we will still have an amazing trip!

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I'm curious if there are ever periodic problems with the water levels on the Budapest to Bucharest portion of the Danube? We are doing Viking's Passage to Eastern Europe next year in late July. Seems we lucked out in July/Aug 2017 when we went Budapest to Amsterdam without experiencing any significant issues due to water levels. 

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@BluebonnetTexan

 

I don't know about next year but we were on this cruise last month and the river was full and had flooded its banks.

 

The Danube is Europe's second longest river and this cruise travels along the lower part. In other words, the major rivers that discharge into it are up river.

flooded-danube-190608.jpg.8551d811afa9935941fd19146745629e.jpg

 

Flooded Danube at Belgrade, Serbia on 8 June 2019

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14 hours ago, flgatorgirl said:

Unfortunately we received news tonight that we will be doing a ship swap on Wednesday.  We left Regensburg tonight and we won’t be able to go all the way to Passau Tuesday due to low water levels , so we are supposed to dock in Straubing instead.  It sounds like we will have a long bus ride/transfer trip on Wednesday to meet our new ship somewhere in Austria, but we will know more tomorrow. 

Sorry to hear that. So 280cm at Pfelling is too low for the Viking ships. I would have thought that you only need to go from Straubing to Passau but it depends of course where the other ship is.

 

Have a great trip, nevertheless.

 

Pfelling gauge is now at 282cm and forecast to change little, most likely is a minimal fall during the next 36 hours.

 

notamermaid

 

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3 hours ago, pontac said:

@BluebonnetTexan

 

I don't know about next year but we were on this cruise last month and the river was full and had flooded its banks.

 

The Danube is Europe's second longest river and this cruise travels along the lower part. In other words, the major rivers that discharge into it are up river.

flooded-danube-190608.jpg.8551d811afa9935941fd19146745629e.jpg

 

Flooded Danube at Belgrade, Serbia on 8 June 2019

Thanks @pontac. That's what I suspected, just had not seen any reports - which I took to be a good thing. Of course, flooding can cause issues as well. One of the risks you take with river cruising - too much water or too little water! And like you said - who knows about next year - I was just curious if it had been a problem historically.

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We are on the Grand Circle "River Rhapsody" from Budapest to Prague leaving on August 4.  Does anyone know about the river levels and problems?  I have tried to understand the various charts, but ..... no luck.  We haven't heard from Grand Circle.

Most of the river cruise companies imply on their web sites that the various cruises are still on schedule, but I suspect that doesn't mean that you won't get put on a bus for large portions of the trip.

Any information? 

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The Scenic Jasper was supposed to be in Regensburg today, but she appears to be stuck downstream at Passau. My guess is there's a ship swap happening.

 

Sterling

 

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3 hours ago, sbjornda said:

The Scenic Jasper was supposed to be in Regensburg today, but she appears to be stuck downstream at Passau. My guess is there's a ship swap happening.

 

Sterling

 

Interesting.  I guess our captain made the right decision to dock in Straubing rather than try to get to Passau.  Tomorrow we will leave Straubing and drive to another ship docked in Grein Austria. We will then sail  on the Gulveig from Grein to our regular scheduled stop in Krems.  I think Thursday should be a normal itinerary in Vienna and then onto Budapest.  (Assuming that area doesn’t have low waters?)  I would assume that the ships departing on 7/26 are also changed since the Egil will no longer be in Budapest that day , but rather the Gulveig will be.  Fascinating how all this works, but I may stick to my normal ocean cruises for a while to avoid the hassles.   Although the Rhine seems to be a great itinerary!

 

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17 hours ago, LynnTTT said:

We are on the Grand Circle "River Rhapsody" from Budapest to Prague leaving on August 4.  Does anyone know about the river levels and problems?  I have tried to understand the various charts, but ..... no luck.  We haven't heard from Grand Circle.

Most of the river cruise companies imply on their web sites that the various cruises are still on schedule, but I suspect that doesn't mean that you won't get put on a bus for large portions of the trip.

Any information? 

The River Rhapsody is 110m long and therefore has a slight advantage as regards her draft over the Viking ships for example. She could still be running on schedule, as you suggest. If in doubt I would phone the cruise line. You start in Budapest, so the cruise line might not be able to determine yet what will be when you get to Passau.

 

Pfelling gauge is at 274cm this morning. A small drop over the next 48 hours is forecast.

 

Regensburg could see 37 Celsius on Friday. Rain sweeping into Bavaria on Saturday.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We have just swapped ships from Nuremberg to Passau because of low water around Pfelling. Viking had 4 ships swapping today. (2 each way ). 

We swapped Lif to Aegir A to B. 

Tours in Regensburg still on by coach tomorrow.

Swap went easy but pack unpack a bind.

High temp at moment which makes walking tours more difficult .

Scenic Jasper alongside us in Passau also seems to be stuck here.

Edited by KevinandSally
Spelling

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