Water levels on the Danube hit a new record low last week, with the river receding in Budapest to only 16 inches. Rain is in the forecast, with a 60 percent chance on Sunday, and 80 percent chance on Wednesday. The end of October looks promising, with rain in the forecast nearly every day. Rain will certainly raise the river level, but will it be enough so that ships can resume their normal schedules? It’s difficult to say.
Faced with rivers that are difficult or impossible to navigate, the river cruise companies are responding in ways that please their guests and in ways that displease their guests. Rather than summarize the comments here, I suggest you read them yourself. Note that you can sort the comments. I typically sort by “Most Recent.” And if you have something to add to the conversation, by all means, please do.
I will post one comment here that came in yesterday: We are scheduled on Uniworld November 10 from Budapest to Amsterdam. We cannot do bus tours. Even if it started raining now, would boats be able to navigate? If anyone can answer this question, please let the reader know.
Janet Jester says
To all those folks who experienced river cruise trouble due to low water –
Did you receive any refunds or compensation from your cruise company?? From Emerald Waterways?
We were scheduled for a 14 day Emerald cruise in Oct 2019. On the second day – first day cruising, we received notice that they had to empty the pool and that river itinerary would change for a few days. After that, we would be bussed from point-to-point for the majority of our trip. We received a minimal refund for 7 days of our 2 week cruise, loosing cabin and drink upgrades.
We had made many inquiries and were told to continue as planned – never an offer to reschedule.
Charles Wagnon says
Lots of choices besides Europe. My family was certainly disappointed with our October 2018 Danube Cruise. Spent way too much time on tour busses. Viking tends to sort of tip-toe around the problem until it is too late to make changes. Their offered compensation isn’t even close to what it should be.
Check various sites and read lots of reviews. My next cruise will be on an Ocean and NOT with Viking!
We’re scheduled for a Vantage Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam (Nov 1 -16).
Has anyone heard anything?
Rata Robinson says
I sailed with Uniworld in August-September this year on the lower Danube between Bucharest and Budapest when water levels were very low and I felt that the company managed very well. We had to be off the ship for longer than normal on a couple of days so that the ship could be sailed without the weight of the passengers on it to the next port – but at least we were on the ship every night and the very experienced captain managed to sail the ship with at times only a clearance of 30cms from the riverbed – he got a round of applause for that!
Ron Barron says
It has been over six years since my first Uniworld River Cruise up the Rhône River. So, naturally I have long forgotten the booking agreement terms regarding cancellation of a scheduled River Cruise incumbent upon the River Cruise Company. Could you address this question the best you can? Meaning, the expected reply from you would be “It depends upon each River Cruise Company.”
Thank you kindly in advance of reply!
Franz chong says
I have one booked for December over Christmas.what do I do everything is paid for already.Getting scared that I might be forced against my wishes onto a South Pacific cruise.will speak to agency on Thursday.
We are doing a Uniworld Christmas Markets Cruise from Cologne to Basel on the Rhine Nov. 28-Dec. 5th ..does anyone know how Uniworld handles these cases of low water levels?..sounds like Viking gives terrible customer service but AMA is better, any thoughts on Uniworld? we hear there is some rain in the forecast and hope that we will be able to Cruise! This is a first time bucket list trip for us 3 sisters and it would be devastating to tour by bus and hotels, if this happens don’t think I would ever cruise again:( fingers, toes and everything else crossed!!
Elsa Nystrom says
We were on two Uniworld cruises that had problems with low water. The first was three years ago, and the low water came at the end of the cruise. We left the ship close to Vienna and were in the Ritz Carlton for two nights. This was in some ways better than being on the boat as we were right in the historic center of Vienna and were able to do all the tours. Then we road a bus instead of a boat to Budapest. There we also stayed in a 4 star hotel with views of Danube and got to enjoy all planned activities.
The second was this summer. We were on the Bordeaux cruise ready to go to Budapest for our Eastern Europe cruise when we got a call from our travel agent that cruise was cancelled due to low water. Uniworld offered options of switching to another cruise or a full refund. We switched and enjoyed our second choice since we were already there. Incidentally the French rivers seem to have plenty of water…
Not sure with Uniworld but my clients love how Viking treats them with situations like this. They even stayed in a Ritz Carlton and give them a generous credits to return. I inform my clients about the water levels when they book with me so they are prepared.
Karen Rice says
We too are concerned as we are leaving tomorrow for Amsterdam.. We planned this two years ago and realize it’s out of Vikings control, but did not plan on being bused and living out of our suitcase. At this point we are committed and pray that Viking will take care of us !
fritz jane says
That’s very nice of you Cheryl but that unfortunately was not my experience.
The ship design that AMA uses has a shallower draft so they are able to cruise when others cannot. I have cruised with both Viking and AMA and feel that AMA is the better of the two.