Austria

Referring to the “inland waterways” of Austria seems a bit redundant as they have no ocean shores. Be that as it may, the Danube passes through the country from west to east and we followed that route. This route followed on from our Danube route and so we have not repeated the preamble about boat dimensions etc. here as they may be read on the Danube Overview page. Comments here are specific to the inland waterways of Austria.

In general terms Austrian inland waterways continue the same standards as we encountered on the German inland waterways. One difference is that Austrian rules require life jackets in the locks although you are not required to wear them outside of the locks. The locks on the Austrian Danube are generally large, 24 by 240 metres, and usually are 2 locking chambers side by side. Most but not all have floating bollards (“schwimbollards” in German) and these are usually found on the outer walls of the lock chamber (i.e. not on the wall that separates the 2 lock chambers). Something we found but never learned the rules for were the DSS barges which are located at 38 places along the Danube from Linz to Budapest, sometimes they have 2 fingers for sport boat mooring on the down river side – in 2013 the fees were €1.50 per hour or €5.00 for the night. We never learned the rules for mooring at the barges which always had ramps for shore access. Commercial boats moored on them and perhaps there is some reservation system for them.

Austrian boat clubs  listed in the pilot usually list visitor berths, and once you are in the marina there is usually a sign designating the guest berths. The catch is that more than half the time these berths were filled with local boats which had fixed lines to the dock and additionally security cables locking the boat to the dock. How you are supposed to handle this was never made clear. Austrians on the Danube basically can go up and down the river so their perspective is that visitor boats should phone ahead and reserve. The situation of boats passing through and being at the mercy of the lock keepers and lock traffic and unable to keep strict schedules does not seem to enter into their viewpoint. Never the less we were usually found a berth (notably not in Linz) although it was usually not a designated visitor berth.

Note: Comments are based on 2013 passages with very high water levels due to extreme rainfall and subsequently very high levels of siltation in harbours.

Danube River on Wikipedia

Terminus Points: Passau, Devin
Connections to:  Inn river, Ilz river
Locks enroute:  9
Portion Covered:  km 2223 to km 1873
Description:
Problems or Issues:

Previous river segment upriver – Germany

The Danube runs for 350 km across Austria. For the first portion it is only on the right bank, then both banks prior to crossing into Slovakia.

Winterhafen Linz Danube km 2132.5
Depth: 2+ m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues: Another instance of local boats being permanently moored in the marked guest spots. We were told that they were “full” and nothing was available, not even for one night even though the marina was only partially occupied.
Au Danube km 2071.1
Depth: <2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: water, garbage, electricity, toilets, showers, food shopping (Lidl)
Description: A harbour with about 4 clubs, we stayed at MYC – AU as they had the showers and bar facilities. A convenient 5km bicycle ride takes you into Mathausen where a tour can be made of the hilltop former Mathausen concentration camp.
Problems or Issues: The centre of the harbour had been silted up completely and had birds walking  on the “silt island.” We were told that they were unable to get the silt dredged out until August. We were made most welcome and tied to a restaurant ship that was out of business.
Wallsee Steganlag, Steyer Yachtclub Danube km 2093.5
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: water, garbage, electricity, toilets, outdoor showers, possibly food shopping nearby
Description:
Problems or Issues:
Grein Danube km 2079
Depth: <2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues: The harbour mouth was silted to far less than 2m when we were there.
Melk Danube km 2037.1
Depth: 2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues: The harbour mouth was silted to far less than 2m when we were there. Also  the waiting pontoon on the lower side of the locks was silted up and so we could neither use it to wait at or as a moorage to visit the Melk monastery from. We visited from a DSS pontoon on the other side of the Danube (about 7km ride to the monastery).
Sport Boat Hafen Krems Danube km 2000.5
Depth: <2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues: Although listed as having 3m of water it was silted to less than 2 at the entrance.
Behordenhafen Krems Danube km 2000.2
Depth: 2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: shore access only
Description: The outer part of the waterways works yard has a sailing club and some pontoons where various craft are moored.
Problems or Issues: This site is inside a secured area which also has a military aspect (such as multi-lingual signs to not touch live shells).
Korneuburg Danube km 1943
Depth: 2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: water, garbage, electricity, toilets, showers
Description:
Problems or Issues: Another instance of local boats being permanently moored in the marked guest spots. But this time a spot was found and a bar tab started in Maringret’s name. A very pleasant club with very helpful members.

Note: having visited Vienna previously we did not stop on this trip.

Next river segment downriver – Slovakia

  • Die Donau by Melanie Haselhorst & Kenneth Dittmann – guide to the Danube River from Kelheim Germany to the Black Sea. Referred to as “the pilot” on this page, we have full description of it here.
  • we have collected the links we found for the canals and rivers of Germany, eastern France and the Donau
  • some of our sources were online facilities which we list in Android for Sailing

© The contents of this site are the copyright property of the authors.  Visitors may read, copy, or print any material for their own use, free of charge.  No material printed or copied from this site, electronically or in any other form, may be sold or included in any work to be sold without explicit permission from the authors.