We awoke on Tuesday July 9th, to the knowledge that our ship had sailed up the Danube until just around midnight, where it had docked at Deggendorf, rather than traveling all the way to Regensburg. The night before, we’d been told that the Lif along with every other ship heading west, had been ordered to halt their progress at Deggendorf due to dangerously low water levels. That meant we would be taking a 1 hour bus-ride to and from Regensburg for our tour of the city. Lingering in our minds for the entire day was the burning question…. “will we be continuing on our cruise this evening, or will we have to be bused overnight to Nuremburg due to the low water levels”.
As detailed in my previous blog entry, our trip to Regensburg was really excellent, but now as we gathered in the lounge for Program Director Leonard’s evening Port Talk, we were all anxious for some news from the river authorities. Much to everyone’s relief, Leonard had the answer we’d all been hoping for – we had been given permission to keep sailing. There was a lot of loud cheering and hearty applause as no-one wanted to pack their things, and get onto another bus.
To be honest, I’m not sure if the green light had been given to all traffic on the Danube, or whether Captain Anne had convinced the river authorities to let the Lif go forward, with Viking assuming the responsibility for any problems or issues that might arise.
What I can say for sure, is that starting around 8 PM in the evening, we noticed the Lif expelling ballast water at a rapid rate – all in attempt to raise the ship as far off the bottom as possible without threatening any overhead clearances. I can also say for sure that everyone on board heard and felt the ship scrape bottom as the Lif made its way up the Danube towards our Wednesday docking destination at Nuremburg.
Captain Anne obviously knew what his ship was capable of, had great confidence in his skills, and thankfully he got us through. We found out later in the day on Tuesday, river authorities had in fact definitively closed the Danube off between Deggendorf and Nuremburg, and any ship coming along behind us was going to face the fate we had avoided.