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River Rhine water level in Cologne (cm)
water level rhine in cologne
By courtesy and with copyright of: General-Anzeiger Bonn

More Rhine water gages and other rivers available here

Rhine water levels Cologne (cm)
Lowest water level ever     80 (2003)
Normal water level   355
High water alert I   620
First floodings   700
High water alert II   830
Old center floodeduntil 2006: 1000
now 1130
Highest level past years1069 (1995/1926)
High water walls Cologne1130 - 1190
Highest level ever1355 (1784)

River cruises
Many people ask me for water levels in connection with their planned Rhine river cruise. Especially whether low water levels could be dangerous for their cruise.
Well, it's really very exceptional that Rhine river cruises are stopped by low water levels. In 2011 we had a low level of about 120 cm in Cologne and there were no problems with Rhine cruises. The cruise ships have a  draught of 1 meter or less. And … the official level announcements don't mean the river has this level in the entire riverbed. In most areas the shipping lane is more deep, in most cases it has a deep of about 2 meters more than the official water level says. The only problem could be the less deep banks of the river since there are the landing stages and so the landing could be a problem in some cities in case water level has less than 1 meter there. But I cannot remember a year where they said it was impossible for cruise ships to land somewhere, in Cologne for example.

And water level in the 1- 2 meter area subsides very slowly. In very hot summer without any rain it could be 1 – 3 cm a day the level subsides. In most cases the rain has come back in this time …

Freighters have a more deep draught with their heavy freight. So we have several low level years where the freighters have problems, but this only means they have to reduce their freight. But there are normally no problems in this same situation with cruises.

    High water links Map Rhine
High water page city of Cologne
High water map Cologne
ELWIS Rhine water gages
ELWIS Water gage Cologne
ELWIS Water gage forecast Cologne
Civic action group high water Rodenkirchen
Hochwassermeldedienst RLP
WDR high water page
Wetteronline statistics water gage Cologne
High water page koeln-altstadt.de
High water page unwetter.de

High water pictures (1)

Above picture: high water February 1970, courtesy of David Stockham


High water April 1983


High water April 1983


High water April 1983


High water April 1983


High water May 1983


High water May 1983


High water May 1983


High water May 1983


High water May 1983


High water May 1983

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