Rhine, Danube Water Levels - Are Cruise Lines Sharing Info?

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#61
321 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Hi Pat, Safe travels and happy times on your river cruise. We're going on the Rhine with Avalon a year away, but have been lurking on your roll call to pick up tips! Looking forward to your trip report.
Karen

Originally posted by pacmom
Here I sit looking out at the snow!!!! In a few hours we leave for the airport to head to Budapest for our AMA trip. Looking at the long range forecast, rain starts after we leave Budapest. Glad we packed those rain pants from our Anartic trip. Looks like about a week of rain/snow forecast. AMA is optimistic that once we get on the boat in Koramom that the boat will make it to Nurnberg. Will try to post river conditions along the way, but can't promise--after all, there is all that glugwein to taste. Pat
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Life's Too Short to be Dull








2015: Norwegian Escape, Nov 14 - Eastern Caribbean
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#62
Texas
506 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Have a wonderful time pacmom, don't forget about the wursts!
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5.2011 Viking Emerald/China
2.2011 Carnival Triumph/Mexico
9.2009 Uniworld River Ambassador/Rhine
12.2008 Grand Circle Provence/Saone
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#63
2,434 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Blingbling, love your screen name. Thanks for the kind words. You just have to watch weather about a month out and then stay in touch with cruise line.

Suspaul, ah the wursts!! we really don't plan to eat many meals on the Amalegro--each markets wursts are different.

Pat
#64
Houston, TX
787 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by pacmom
Here I sit looking out at the snow!!!! In a few hours we leave for the airport to head to Budapest for our AMA trip. Looking at the long range forecast, rain starts after we leave Budapest. Glad we packed those rain pants from our Anartic trip. Looks like about a week of rain/snow forecast. AMA is optimistic that once we get on the boat in Koramom that the boat will make it to Nurnberg. Will try to post river conditions along the way, but can't promise--after all, there is all that glugwein to taste. Pat
Have a great trip!! If you have not yet seen Budapest illuminated at night, it is just breathtaking! If you eat any meals in Budapest, try Cafe Kor, the best Schnitzel we had ever!!The Christmas markets were setting up in Budapest when we were there and they were hanging the lights on the Christmas tree, hope for rain or snow and you get to enjoy your river cruise. Happy Holidays
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#65
Coastal NC
3,148 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Have a great trip, Pat. Hope that all goes well for you and that the rain only comes at night .

We leave next week for Viking Paris to Normandy.

Sharon
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Sharon

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#66
Las Vegas, NV
251 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by newfirsttimer
There has been a lot of talk about the policies of Viking and Tauck, does anyone have any experience with Uniworld on this matter of low water, bussing and compensation? Thanks so much.
Judy

Last year we were on Uniworld Nuremberg-Vienna and were unable to continue past Regensberg on the Danube due to HIGH water! Uniworld worked very hard to maintain the itinerary. We spent an extra night on board the ship in Regensberg. (For us, this was not a bad thing) Uniworld provided bus transport to Passau (sp) for those who wished to see that city. Then when the river was still too high, they provided bus transport through Linz, Austria to Vienna.

We were put up in a 5 star hotel in central Vienna for 3 nights; (actually a much better location than the normal docking spot for river cruises) provided with meals and scheduled tours and generally "taken care of". Once this problem started, all the optional tours (admittedly few) were provided free of charge.

We also recieved a letter offering us $250 per person credit for a future cruise. The credit was good for 2 years.

Result, we are on another Uniworld cruise leaving 7 Dec.

We felt the line did everything possible to maintain the level of service. Yes we had some "bus time", but all in all we were very satified and remain devoted Uniworld clients.
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#67
Houston, TX
787 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by 2DesertRats!
Judy

Last year we were on Uniworld Nuremberg-Vienna and were unable to continue past Regensberg on the Danube due to HIGH water! Uniworld worked very hard to maintain the itinerary. We spent an extra night on board the ship in Regensberg. (For us, this was not a bad thing) Uniworld provided bus transport to Passau (sp) for those who wished to see that city. Then when the river was still too high, they provided bus transport through Linz, Austria to Vienna.

We were put up in a 5 star hotel in central Vienna for 3 nights; (actually a much better location than the normal docking spot for river cruises) provided with meals and scheduled tours and generally "taken care of". Once this problem started, all the optional tours (admittedly few) were provided free of charge.

We also recieved a letter offering us $250 per person credit for a future cruise. The credit was good for 2 years.

Result, we are on another Uniworld cruise leaving 7 Dec.

We felt the line did everything possible to maintain the level of service. Yes we had some "bus time", but all in all we were very satified and remain devoted Uniworld clients.
Sounds like Uniworld handled your situation in the most professional manner possible under the circumstances and hence you are a satisfied customer and a returning passenger to their Cruiseline. Good Customer Service is all so Important!! Hope you have a great trip
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#68
Milton On Canada
938 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Thanks Mark & Kyra for your response. I am praying for rain in the region so that the river cruises can go ahead as planned. Makes for a much better time for the passengers and the cruise company.
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#69
Michigan
9 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We just returned from a Viking River Cruise starting in Amstredam andsupposedly ending in Basel, Switzerland. What really concerns me is that we were not told about the river level. It is a historical low and not navigable for many type of ships - including Viking River Cruise ships. They knew this. They interrupted a previous trip. My trip was November 12 through November 20th. We were only on the ship three stops, if you want to count embarking in Amstradam. We unloaded, suitcases sitting on the sidewalk in Koblenz. It was buses from that point all the way up to Basel. It was dull, miserable, nothing like the brochures claimed. AND, to add insult to this corporate rip-off. Viking has had the audacity to mail a letter dated November 22nd offering a 25% discount on a future cruise!??? No refund for the bus trip, lack of balanced meals, shore excursions that weren't delivered. They pocked my $4,111.00 for full payment! They misrepresent a river cruise that they are fully aware will not happen.



Originally posted by editor@cruisecritic
We're concerned about the impact of the low levels on the Rhine and the Danube on Xmas markets cruises and so hope those of you out on cruises will keep us posted about how it's going. In the meantime, here's a story on what's happening that was launched yesterday on Cruise Critic: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/news.cfm?ID=4665

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
#70
New Jersey
996 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by YodaMom
We just returned from a Viking River Cruise starting in Amstredam andsupposedly ending in Basel, Switzerland. What really concerns me is that we were not told about the river level. It is a historical low and not navigable for many type of ships - including Viking River Cruise ships. They knew this. They interrupted a previous trip. My trip was November 12 through November 20th. We were only on the ship three stops, if you want to count embarking in Amstradam. We unloaded, suitcases sitting on the sidewalk in Koblenz. It was buses from that point all the way up to Basel. It was dull, miserable, nothing like the brochures claimed. AND, to add insult to this corporate rip-off. Viking has had the audacity to mail a letter dated November 22nd offering a 25% discount on a future cruise!??? No refund for the bus trip, lack of balanced meals, shore excursions that weren't delivered. They pocked my $4,111.00 for full payment! They misrepresent a river cruise that they are fully aware will not happen.
So sorry that you have been treated so shabbily by Viking. It's one thing to have water level problems and other "acts of Nature" disrupt your trip but how a company handles it can make or break it. Sounds like Viking gets a big thumbs down. Seems like many of the other tour companies are dealing with this situation with better customer satisfaction.

Would be interested in knowing how Vantage is handling the situation as well.
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#71
Tucson, AZ
1,348 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Here is the latest from Tauck from their Facebook page:

"The Danube and the Rhine are continuing to experience low water levels. Rain is in the forecast for later this week, however, and we are hoping to operate our Christmas market cruises as planned. That said, we are also ready and able to make modifications should the need arise. Exactly what form those arrangements might take is essentially a “game-day decision” that would be based on river conditions as they exist at the time of each cruise. Unfortunately, and given the changeable nature of the situation in Europe, that’s as specific as we can be at the moment. Thanks for your patience and understanding."
#72
Long Island, NY
53 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Hi all,
Susan here aboard the Amalegro docked in Cormoran, Hungary. Sorry I have not been able to post sooner but the Internet has been unavailable everytime I wanted to use it (including while docked in Vienna), I would get on and get thrown off.
Anyway, I wanted to report that the captain told us on Wed. that we would not be able to sail into Budapest due to the low water. While sailing last night from Vienna to here at 3:30am the ship scraped bottom but was able to continue to our mooring. I believe they are quite worried that they will not be able to get back. They were also saying they may only be able to make it as far as Regensburg for the next cruise and not to Nuremburg, but again that has not been determined.
While it has not rained at all here, it is very foggy every day until late morning. There may be a little rain in the forecast in the next couple of days but probably not enough to raise the river.
AMA bussed us in today to Budapest at 9:00am, arrived 10:30am and left the city at 4:30pm and arrived back at the ship at 6:00pm. AMA gave every person $20 euro to use for lunch, which I thought was quite generous.
Overall the cruise was great, the weather could have been better but those are the chances that you take when you travel in winter.
When I get some time after my return home, I will post a full review.
Good luck to all those sailing in the next few weeks, you're going to need it. And while noone wants it to rain on their vacation, I hope for all that they get the rain they need to raise these rivers.
Regards,
Susan
#73
Woodland Hills, CA
636 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by YodaMom
We just returned from a Viking River Cruise starting in Amstredam andsupposedly ending in Basel, Switzerland. What really concerns me is that we were not told about the river level. It is a historical low and not navigable for many type of ships - including Viking River Cruise ships. They knew this. They interrupted a previous trip. My trip was November 12 through November 20th. We were only on the ship three stops, if you want to count embarking in Amstradam. We unloaded, suitcases sitting on the sidewalk in Koblenz. It was buses from that point all the way up to Basel. It was dull, miserable, nothing like the brochures claimed. AND, to add insult to this corporate rip-off. Viking has had the audacity to mail a letter dated November 22nd offering a 25% discount on a future cruise!??? No refund for the bus trip, lack of balanced meals, shore excursions that weren't delivered. They pocked my $4,111.00 for full payment! They misrepresent a river cruise that they are fully aware will not happen.
Dear YodaMom,

We’re truly sorry to hear of how disappointed you are with how your trip was effected by low water levels. We would greatly appreciate an opportunity to personally discuss these concerns with you and ask that you contact us at your earliest convenience at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Very kindly,
Viking River Cruises
#74
california
75 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by VikingRiverCruises1
Dear YodaMom,

We’re truly sorry to hear of how disappointed you are with how your trip was effected by low water levels. We would greatly appreciate an opportunity to personally discuss these concerns with you and ask that you contact us at your earliest convenience at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Very kindly,
Viking River Cruises
Please keep us posted on how things turned out with Viking customer service. Booked in summer on Viking and getting nervous!!!
#75
220 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
YodaMom, expect Viking will fight tooth and nail on the "compensation". They've already got your money, they're doing everything they could not to give it back.

Of course, the longer it take them to come up with a fair compensation, the louder the words of the unsatisfied customer will be, till you get your money back.

Good luck!
#76
Michigan
9 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Well, today is Friday and I've made three calls to the Customer Service Rep who authored the "here's your coupon for another fun cruise with us". However, Viking Cruise apparantly monitors the website. They posted a message asking that I contact them. Stay tuned. I'm happy to share our situation if it helps save another couple shelling out $6K for a bus trip along the scenic highways. .quote=at_nyc;31510361]YodaMom, expect Viking will fight tooth and nail on the "compensation". They've already got your money, they're doing everything they could not to give it back.

Of course, the longer it take them to come up with a fair compensation, the louder the words of the unsatisfied customer will be, till you get your money back.

Good luck![/quote]
#77
220 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by YodaMom
However, Viking Cruise apparantly monitors the website. They posted a message asking that I contact them.
I didn't know one can post messages to individuals...
#78
Woodland Hills, CA
636 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Dear Viking Guests,

We know you have questions and we know some of you have complaints. We thank you for your input and assure you that we are listening. The magnitude of this late-season drought was not immediately apparent, but we have made adjustments each day in an effort to continually provide you with our very best. For each of the Danube and Rhine sailings that are effected in December, we are providing shipboard credit, complimentary optional excursions, and credit to use on a future cruise. Should you decide instead to not join us, we will provide you with a credit for 100% of your cruise fare towards a future cruise.

We understand that you want answers about how your itinerary may need to be altered. We will continue to update our future guests via email with additional information as it becomes available. We have also made all of these communications available on our website here: http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/about/vikingnews.aspx. We will continue to keep this information on our website updated as well.

For those who joined us in November and had their itinerary altered by the low water levels of the rivers, we are working hard to address your concerns and will also be sending you a credit voucher for a future cruise.

And as always, we are happy to hear from you directly at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

Regards,
Viking River Cruises
#79
Tucson AZ
1,767 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Just a few questions...can they cancel now without knowing what the water levels will be? Will you help recover independent airfare cancellation fees? Do you offer the rebate without regard to whether they purchased travel insurance?
#80
220 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
And, will the complimentary optional excursions be extended retroactively to those passenger who's cruises were affected, whose feed back brought about this new policy?

Will we see credits on our VISA card for those optional tours we had to pay for?