Low water levels on the rhine and danube

How are the low water levels impacting the Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise? Anyone currently on this cruise who can share their experiences? We are to depart August 21, 2022 from Budapest to Amsterdam.

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  • We are on the Danube today, docked in Vienna on the SS Joy. We were told this morning that the water level approaching Budapest may be too low to proceed. It’s an hour by hour decision after we leave Bratislava on Tuesday. We leave the boat in Budapest so it won’t impact us other than sailing into Budapest on Wednesday which is a beautiful approach to such a wonderful city. Pray for rain or you will be busing more than you planned for.

  • milmil
    edited August 2022

    with water levels down so drastic, the predictions are headed to an end of river cruising. It is heartbreaking.....

    https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/europe-drought-river-cruising/index.html

  • No interest in river cruises. Guess that's one way to get Tauck to stop sending me the River Cruise catalogs. I've asked them not to send them, but they keep on coming and go right in the trash without taking them out of the plastic.

  • Like British, I prefer land tours. The problem with river cruises (for me) is the short time you stay in any one city. With Tauck land tours, you spend at least two nights in most cities.

    For example, the Augustiner Bräustübl beer hall in Saltzberg is not to be missed, but it opens too late for river cruise people to be able to go to it. The ship usually has to leave that evening. But if you have two nights in Satlzberg, you can spend one night at the beerhall. This beer hall is nothing like the Hofbräuhaus in Munich - it's much better.

    Mike

  • I have no interest in beer either

  • Nancy,

    I hope you have an uneventful (in terms of river drama) balance of your tour. Stay safe.

  • Remember folks, rivers which can have an extensive watershed, can recover quickly with just a little rain.

  • Very true, we watch our local river vary all the time and the stream at the back of our home, it’s still been more full then empty on the whole this year. If the river cruises stop, we will have more to worry about on our planet. Hope everyone gets to do their cruises. and reports back how things are handled by the saintly TD in the Tauck video

  • We like land tours but also enjoy river cruises. We haven't been to the beer hall in Salzburg but have been to Munich one several times when we lived in Germany. My husband is a beer drinker and I am a wine drinker. We are going on the Seine river cruise with Tauck in August and I hope that a year will take care of the water levels. Europe badly needs rain. Tucson where we live is very fortunate this summer as our monsoon season has been great this year with spectacular lighting and thunderstorms also daily.

  • edited August 2022

    We prefer land tours - as we enjoy a few nights in each town and we prefer the food in towns over the boat -- but we do LOVE the Christmas Market River Cruises - we've been on several and have one booked this year and next year.

    We did have low water levels effect us on our 2018 Danube Xmas Market Cruise - this was with Uniworld, not Tauck, because it was an itinerary we hadn't done - the trip was still done VERY well and it didn't change anything/we didn't miss anything.

    These low water levels are devastating on many levels, not just tourism.

  • edited August 2022

    We like land tours but went on our first river cruise in 2019 and enjoyed it very much. As we age I think river cruises will become even more popular and you can’t beat not having to pack and unpack! We are scheduled for Rendezvous on the Seine in less than two weeks and was selfishly relieved while reading the cnn article posted by mil that the Seine is in somewhat better shape than the Rhine and Danube. Fingers crossed.

  • Great news, Nancy. When you can, please post a review of your adventure.

  • Nancy, You will love Budapest. We missed the official tours because of Covid but we were able to be outside if we wore masks. It is a very walkable city with remarkable architecture and history. Enjoy!!

  • edited August 2022

    Budapest is definitely lovely. The synagogue is very historic and interesting, a must to see to learn a bit about its history. Tony Curtis donated quite a bit for the memorial behind the synagogue. His father was from Budapest.

  • We toured the synagogue on our own time and only had time for the guide's discussion and a bit of time in the memorial garden. Wished we'd had more. Very unique architecture.

  • Helena Rubenstein was a large donor. too. Also, there's a museum on the grounds. IIRC, up a staircase on the left side as you're facing the front.

  • Yes, Budapest was one of those surprise cities - much better than we expected. And the food is excellent.

  • The entire Jewish Quarter is a wonderful place to stroll.

  • I noticed this information on the Tauck website. I don’t know how long it has been there

    Low Water Impacts on River Cruising in Europe: Unfortunately, some of our river cruises are being impacted by low water levels in Europe resulting from Europe's exceedingly dry summer. While there are no issues with our Seine, Rhone/Saone and Douro cruises, the Rhine river has been hit the hardest by the drought. The Danube river is less of an issue, with our Rhine/Danube (e.g. Amsterdam to Budapest) cruises most impacted. Please know that we are carefully monitoring conditions along the river. If we anticipate your upcoming cruise may experience disruptions or changes, including hotel stays, alternate cruising/sightseeing or longer drives, we will contact you directly with updates and options. Please do not call Tauck at this time. We are hopeful for rain and will always do our best to preserve your Tauck experience, even if itinerary adjustments are necessary.

    I do think it’s crazy that people are again being asked not to call about their vacations. I know it leads to long wait times on the phone but when other people are finding out by calls from Tauck and you might be still waiting to find out about your vacation, it must be hard.

  • British - that information has been on the Tauck website since August 15th. I understand why Tauck are requesting that we do not call. My trip is a few weeks away and, unless Tauck have a crystal ball, there is not much they can really tell me at this time.
    I am following river levels and posts but I am not going to waste my days by worrying about something I have absolutely no control about. Life is too short and I have confidence that Tauck will do all they can for their travelers.

  • I’m not worried myself, I’m not taking a river cruise, but clearly others are because they are asking here. There may be peoples out there who might want to change their vacation plans anyway before tours fill up.

  • We just completed the Danube trip, now in Budapest. The trip that is most impacted is the one that goes Amsterdam to Budapest and visa versa. (Not the one week Rhine and Danube trips) The problem area is where you move from the Rhine to the Danube. It’s not possible thus the travelers will be changing by bus to the ship already sitting in the Danube or the Rhine…it is inconvenient but a disruption that Tauck has faced many seasons and does it efficiently. The Tour Directors say this is most likely for the coming weeks since it would take substantial rain to make it passable again. Budapest May be a challenge still but our trip successfully came in this am and is returning this afternoon heading West.. I’d rather be with Tauck in this situation rather than any other company!

  • We made the switch in 2019 because a lock on the Main was damaged (by a Viking ship :/ ) . One of the reasons it works well on the Amsterdam/Budapest cruise is that its a dual direction cruise so when one group leaves Amsterdam another is leaving Budapest on the same ship type. So you end up in the same numbered cabin your were on. If you're on this cruise, I'd recommend packing cubes and keeping your belongings somewhat rounded up to make repacking go faster. The crews did a fabulous job for our ship swap. On that morning we got our bags ready, got on a bus to see that days excursions, then checked in aboard the new ship.

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