Rhine & Moselle -- River levels Impacting Sailing

Just returned from the June 9th cruise southbound. The water levels in the Rhine are very high, and we could not sail all the way to Basel. We sailed only to just south of Mainz. The ship could also not sail up the Moselle, although we still got to Luxembourg, Cochem and Trier. Because this impacted all the other companies doing river cruises, docking is a problem, and we wound up docked in Gernsheim, a very small village which is primarily a container port north of Mannheim. My understanding is that the next tour leaving from Basel was to pick up the boat there. Our Tauck directors did a great job of arranging alternate travel. We did see Strasbourg and some other great places not on the original tour, including a fabulous stay in Lucerne. But it involves a lot of bus travel and packing and unpacking that we wished to avoid by taking the river cruise in the first place. I'm no expert, but having just left Basel and seeing the water level and currents in the Rhine there, I suspect this problem will exist for some time to come.


  • edited July 2016
    Thank you, Jack47, for your update on the impact of the high water levels on Tauck's Rhine-Moselle itinerary. Sounds like the Tauck staff truly lived up to their reputation by responding well to the challenges caused by the flooding. Where did you stay in Lucern? Were there other cities where you stayed overnight, and if so, would you please let us know the names of the hotels and cities? Thanks.
  • There is also repair work scheduled for this summer on the lock between Strasbourg and Basel so some impact from that as well. Not a big deal if you don't dock in Basel. We did last year on the southbound cruise and where they dock you can't really walk off and go see Basel. Not a bad area, just not a tourist spot. Tours left the ship by bus whether they chose Lucerne or Basel for the day. We did Lucerne and loved it.

    Too bad about the Moselle. That was our favorite part of the cruise.
  • GTown TX Cruisers -- When we disembarked, we were bussed to Strasbourg for lunch and a tour. We stayed in Strasbourg overnight at a modest hotel (Marriott-like) which was just fine called the Hotel Mecure. It is away from the old town, however, in a business/government section of the city. The next day we were bussed to Lucerne, where we stayed at the fabulous Palace Hotel right on the lake. Most of the rooms overlooked the lake and the Alps. If you were going home as soon as the tour ended, you were bussed to the Basel airport from Lucerne the next day, which is a pretty long ride. We had extended our stay and were bussed to the hotel we were supposed to use (Swissotel) in Basel. We were later bussed to the airport from there. You are correct about the Tauck staff. They did an amazing job of organizing all this on the fly.
  • edited July 2016
    Thank you, Jack47, for your detailed response to my questions. Staying at the Palace Hotel in Lucerne sounded like a wonderful experience and would be an excellent way to end the "cruise" portion of your trip. Also glad you had an extended time in Strasbourg. If one has to be ashore for part of the journey, Lucerne and Strasbourg would be my two preferences. We have been closely tracking the water levels on the Rhine and Moselle, and they seem to be slowly getting better, especially on the Moselle and at Basel itself, and am hopeful that they are at "normal" levels when we embark at Basel on 8/24. We appreciate your efforts to keep fellow Tauck cruisers informed.
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