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checking river flow

i am going on a river cruise on the danube in sept.i have read stories of low river flow causing problems.does anyone know of a way to check the water levels before leaving the U.S.?

Posted by
3 posts

We took a Danube River cruise last July-August, starting in Budapest and ending in Amsterdam. We were told the river was very low at one point and we would have to change boats.

When we arrived at Regensburg, Germany, it was moving day. We all disembarked and rode the buses into town, where we walked around the city and had lunch. We came back to the buses, which took us to a new boat. Ours had made it to near Regensburg and had to turn around, while the other boat came from Amsterdam to near Regensburg and went back to Amsterdam. The boats merely traded passengers and the company took care of all our luggage, even putting us into the same number cabin (the boats, except for name and crews, were identical).

In short, no, I don't know how to check it before leaving the U.S. other than to call the American (toll-free?) phone number of your cruise line and ask. But if the river is low at some point -- and you're traveling with a major line (ours was Viking) -- they will monitor the river levels and take care of everything relative to your comfort. In our case, the decision to trade boats was made after we left Budapest, so checking before we left Jacksonville, our home city in Florida, would not have helped.

Nevertheless, hope this helps.

Bill

Posted by
20634 posts

And what would you do if you had that information? I don't think you could cancel since that is a known risk of river cruising. And, of course, the other end is high water in the spring time. Cannot win.

Posted by
30971 posts

I doubt that you'll find any information that will accurately predict the river flow at the time of your trip. I'd suggest contacting the cruise company as I'm sure they'll have an idea on the number of times that's occurred at that time of year. Even if the boat is blocked by low water, I'm sure the cruise firm will provide alternate transportation.

Posted by
20634 posts

Wow, that is a very generous cancellation policy. Not many cruise companies do that. So who are you using.

Posted by
959 posts

I am sure there is a site on-line to search river levels, but years ago we did the Danube. I followed the river cruise forum on cruise critic where many discussed river levels. You can just post the question too. Also, follow that forum as you near your tour date, and someone may post info that might help you. There were many stories posted by unhappy cruisers when they had to use a bus for their tour and not a boat.

Posted by
5504 posts

If you want to start a data base of Danube water levels, here is the Bulgarian "THE EXECUTIVE AGENCY FOR EXPLORATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DANUBE RIVER" website:
http://www.appd-bg.org/siteen/page.php?2

Bulgarian section current (24-04-2016) water levels:
http://www.appd-bg.org/siteen/wrap.php?3
For example (24-04-2016) :
At 495.60 km at Ruse water level = 288 cm forecast falling 13 cm to 275 cm

Beyond Bulgaria:
http://appd-bg.org/en/buletin_en.php
Hungary 1560.6 km at Dunafeldvar water level is 49 cm

Good luck in figuring out the flow levels vs navigability.

Posted by
5 posts

thank you everyone for the suggestions.i am new to this site but will start using it now .a great resource

Posted by
10837 posts

If you do decide to cancel in advance I know some good private guides / drivers from the Black Sea through Austria. I suspect that the cost would be the same.

Posted by
20634 posts

I would still like to know your cruise line. None I that I have used in the past were that generous with cancellation so I would be interested in using them in the future.

Posted by
5 posts

i got the deal with Viking i had to book and pay in Jan. i was very skeptical and checked and rechecked but was assured it was a one time promotion.I got it in writing in my contract

Posted by
967 posts

In August 2014 a friend and I took a Grand Circle river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna. That year the rivers were quite high and we barely made it under several of the bridges. So you never can tell ... it will be fine no matter what, so don't worry so much. If you have to move to a different ship a few miles up the river, just make it part of the adventure ...