High Water Levels Affect Some Seine Cruises

We’ve written in the past about the fluctuating nature of water levels on the waterways of Europe. If rivers are flowing too high, river cruise ships can have difficulty clearing low-resting bridges. Too low, and ships are at risk of bottoming out.


AmaWaterways’ AmaLegro is experiencing fluctuating water conditions along the Seine. Photo © Aaron Saunders

This week, guests planning to sail along the Seine River may want to check that their cruises will be embarking as scheduled. AmaWaterways announced on its website that the May 24 voyage of the AmaLegro may not reach the port of Paris in time for embarkation:

URGENT – AmaLegro Travel Advisory (B130524PP)

Dear Valued Guests, Due to current high water levels on the Seine River, the MS AmaLegro may not reach the Port of Paris on time for embarkation on May 24, 2013. We anticipate the ship to be docked in Conflans-Ste. Honorine, at Quai de la République.

Upon arrival in Paris, guests should proceed to the regular Paris docking location Quai Andre Citroen accessed by Port de Javel Bas. We will have AmaWaterways representatives and shuttle busses to transfer you to the ship. Please keep in mind the order of your cruise sightseeing could be affected should the ship not reach Paris on time.

Please make a note of these telephone numbers:

French Number: +33 481 680 858; West Coast 1 (323) 410-0141

We apologize for any inconvenience. We look forward to welcoming you onboard the MS AMALEGRO!

It’s helpful that AmaWaterways posted this notice prominently on its website. We applaud AmaWaterways for taking the time to spell out, in detail, what guests who are en-route or already in Paris should do in order to successfully embark the ship.


High water conditions prevented Avid Cruiser Ralph Grizzle’s ship from traversing the Danube in December — by mere inches. (See, it happens to us, too,) Photo © Ralph Grizzle

Water levels can change on a day-to-day basis. AmaWaterways’ solution in this case was to direct guests to proceed to the scheduled docking location for the AmaLegro. If the ship happens to make it to Paris, everyone boards as scheduled. If, as the line suspects, the ship must embark in Conflans-Ste. Honorine, motorcoaches will transport guests from the pier in Paris to the pier in Conflans, roughly 37 kilometers — or a 45-minute drive — away.

Water levels along Europe’s rivers will always fluctuate, but it’s reassuring to know that regardless of what situation presents itself, river cruise lines will always attempt to give their guests the best possible experiences.

You can learn more about the impact fluctuating water levels can have on a river cruise by reading our feature article on the subject.