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  #1  
Old June 18th, 2013, 03:59 AM
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Exclamation VIKING PASSENGERS - were you cruising on The Danube on 2 June 2013?

If you were a passenger on any of the Viking cruises on The Danube (or any of the other flooding European rivers) on or around 2 June 2013 - would love to hear from you and your experiences and how Viking are now treating you?

I was a passenger on the Viking Danube Waltz which left Budapest on 2 June 2013, on Viking Legend - we didn't even cruise a single millimetre.

I also know the Viking Bragi was moored next to us in Kormano for several days - I think this was Viking's Grand European Tour. I'm guessing you had as enjoyable cruise as us - just guessing!

I'm sure we're not alone.

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  #2  
Old June 18th, 2013, 05:02 AM
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Friends were sailing Amsterdam-Budapest end of May. Up to Frankfurt it was o.k., after it was buses and hotels.
They also were absolutely not happy how things went. Of course nobody has influence in the waterlevel etc., but it probably would have been cancelling the cruise in Frankfurt
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Last edited by Ine; June 18th, 2013 at 05:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old June 18th, 2013, 07:35 AM
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Sorry, Amtico, that your cruise turned out to be no cruise at all. But this has been the worst flood situation for more than 500 years! It broke every so far recorded record.

I doubt that any ship did cruise by that time as the rivers were closed for navigation by the authorities. I´ve checked Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest and all cities were "crowded" with stranded river cruise ships. Some ships had to dock offside in an industrial harbor as the main docking areas were already filled up.

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Old June 18th, 2013, 08:49 AM
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Thank you.

Yes, we're trying to get in touch with other Viking customers who were meant to be sailing at this time - to find out how they were treated by the company at the time and also since they've arrived home.

We were moored in Kormano, a small industrial harbour, alongside the Viking Bragi and two other ships - until evacuated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboats View Post
Sorry, Amtico, that your cruise turned out to be no cruise at all. But this has been the worst flood situation for more than 500 years! It broke every so far recorded record.

I doubt that any ship did cruise by that time as the rivers were closed for navigation by the authorities. I´ve checked Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest and all cities were "crowded" with stranded river cruise ships. Some ships had to dock offside in an industrial harbor as the main docking areas were already filled up.

steamboats
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  #5  
Old June 18th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Thumbs down Viking Danube

We were scheduled to sail on the Viking Vienna for the Romantic Danube cruise. We were taken to the ship near Nuremberg. For the next week, we endured a non cruise, since we didn't go anywhere except for one short "sailing". Instead we were herded around on buses for many hours, not allowed to ask questions of our cruise director and generally treated like cattle. Many of the Viking people were rude and refused to help us at all. We were moved after a few days on the ship and made to travel by bus and change hotels often. Now we are being refused any type of refund! We paid for a cruise that we did not get! I would love to hear from others on our "cruise".
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  #6  
Old June 18th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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wow lots of disappointed and angry people. really hope their concerns will be addressed soon.

some on other cruise lines have reported they have had their cruises handled in a more positive and appropriate manner on this forum and in other places.

perhaps others had the benefit of advocacy or legal representation? certainly this needs to be addressed. none of us would be happy about the treatment being reported.

clearly some cruises should not have proceeded after state of emergency and rivers were closed to traffic, in some areas?

a lot will be learnt from this disaster no doubt.
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  #7  
Old June 18th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Hi angsue - thank you for replying to the thread.

It appears you were treated fairly similarly to us on the 2 June Danube Waltz cruise - though we never actually moved anywhere on board the ship.

Before we finished our 'holiday' a gentleman collected quite a few email addresses of fellow cruisers - both from the UK and USA, so we could stay in touch.

Are you in the UK, USA or elsewhere?

Please keep in touch via this thread, if you want to, hopefully some other passengers from your cruise will also join in.

Our cruise should never have taken place or been cancelled within first couple of days and full refunds given.

Viking's treatment of us has been disgraceful so far.





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Originally Posted by angsue View Post
We were scheduled to sail on the Viking Vienna for the Romantic Danube cruise. We were taken to the ship near Nuremberg. For the next week, we endured a non cruise, since we didn't go anywhere except for one short "sailing". Instead we were herded around on buses for many hours, not allowed to ask questions of our cruise director and generally treated like cattle. Many of the Viking people were rude and refused to help us at all. We were moved after a few days on the ship and made to travel by bus and change hotels often. Now we are being refused any type of refund! We paid for a cruise that we did not get! I would love to hear from others on our "cruise".
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  #8  
Old June 18th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Thumbs down

I am in the US and am in touch with a few fellow travelers both here and in Canada. We would love to hear from others who were in our group. One woman collected email addresses, but we haven't heard from her. We feel there is no doubt that our horrible experience warrants a refund by Viking. So far tey have shown us customer-no-service!
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  #9  
Old June 18th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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I´m pretty sure that Viking will respond to this thread (as they did before). They are monitoring this board. If you check the other threads you will see that Viking posted information here about the flood situation (as did other river cruise lines).

Please keep in mind that this has been an extreme situation also for the staff onboard. There might have been mistakes. But what would have you done in that situation being the CD of a river cruise ship with 120 or more people on it. Please also think of all those people who have lost everything in the flood. You haven´t lost anything except for a nice vacation. Legally a cruise company doesn´t owe any refund as weather and river conditions are out of their control (read the fine print). Most companies do give a refund or future cruise credit.

I´ve been into that situation during the 2005 flood and my cruise ended after 23 hours. The rest was bussing. We had the choice of a 25% refund or 50% cruise credit. But this was a German cruise company. Anyway we weren´t able to change anything so we made lemonade out of lemons and had fun! This is part of river cruising. I had river cruises in the US which were cut short due to flooding (and I never got anything, no refund, nothing).

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  #10  
Old June 18th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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II understand your points. My point is that we never should have been taken from Prague to Nuremberg to get on the ship. The cruise should have been cancelled while we were still in Prague and our money refunded at that time. In an article the CEO of Viking, Thorsten Hagen was quoted as saying, "Obviously to be on a bus is not nice". I agree with Mr. Hagen on that and hope his company has the integrity to do the right thing.
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  #11  
Old June 18th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Steamboats - you presume far too much, with no evidence, that we have not considered the people who live in the region! I feel quite insulted by that comment, frankly.

The point is that the cruise should never have taken place or we should have been given the option, after shared information, to either cancel or continue and hope for the best, with refund if cancelled. That option was not given - unlike the passengers of Tauck and Avalon, on similar cruises at the same time.

One of our number has now completed his research in to how The Danube is monitored, condition reports before we sailed and forecasts (this is my idiot summary) - Viking were fully aware, as were all the river cruise lines, obviously conditions are monitored closely by all the operators. Viking decided to go ahead, not informing us, several other cruise lines did not, as mentioned above.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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According to Travel Weekly (http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cr...pean-flooding/), Viking should be able to afford to offer more compensation:
Since Viking River Cruises has the most river cruise ships sailing Europe’s inland waterways, the flooding also caused it to do the most juggling. As of late last week, the company had canceled 13 sailings and modified 25 itineraries.

“There is a financial impact anytime we have to cancel a sailing,” Richard Marnell, senior vice president of marketing at Viking, wrote in an email. “With the 2013 season nearly sold out and vibrant sales already for the 2014 season, Viking’s breadth provides the ability to withstand such an impact.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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As a reasonably well travelled kiwi (about to head north to the otherside of the world for the 7th time in 10 yrs) and leaving in 8 days for a Europe River cruise I have read Cruise Critic twice daily for the last 2 weeks checking on rivers problems and how its being handled.
Amtico - I support your stand 100%
Steamboat - your are off the mark, with no hard facts.

Viking performance is shocking and there should be a big warning that if this is how they handle problems, its is how the whole company operators and I would recommend that no one in their right mind should risk their money on a operator like they are.
I will certainly be advising all our kiwi friends who ask us for travel advise to stay well clear of this company
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Old June 18th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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Thank you - it appears they could afford it, certainly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzbeau View Post
According to Travel Weekly (http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cr...pean-flooding/), Viking should be able to afford to offer more compensation:
Since Viking River Cruises has the most river cruise ships sailing Europe’s inland waterways, the flooding also caused it to do the most juggling. As of late last week, the company had canceled 13 sailings and modified 25 itineraries.

“There is a financial impact anytime we have to cancel a sailing,” Richard Marnell, senior vice president of marketing at Viking, wrote in an email. “With the 2013 season nearly sold out and vibrant sales already for the 2014 season, Viking’s breadth provides the ability to withstand such an impact.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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Thank you Peter.

Viking (in the UK and USA) are so far not responding to any of our communications, we are a group formed largely from both those countries, which is extremely disappointing.

It's a shame, as their reputation is now being tarnished somewhat online, in various locations and, of course, by word of mouth.

I hope your upcoming European River Cruise is wonderful and passes by without incident!








Quote:
Originally Posted by peterdkiwi View Post
As a reasonably well travelled kiwi (about to head north to the otherside of the world for the 7th time in 10 yrs) and leaving in 8 days for a Europe River cruise I have read Cruise Critic twice daily for the last 2 weeks checking on rivers problems and how its being handled.
Amtico - I support your stand 100%
Steamboat - your are off the mark, with no hard facts.

Viking performance is shocking and there should be a big warning that if this is how they handle problems, its is how the whole company operators and I would recommend that no one in their right mind should risk their money on a operator like they are.
I will certainly be advising all our kiwi friends who ask us for travel advise to stay well clear of this company
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:11 PM
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My argument over the years has been that these river cruise companies must know all this in advance of a cruise. We do so why wouldn't they. BUT it's a business and they want to get you onboard then pretend that this situation just happened without warning so onto the busses you go. They'll probably throw in a future cruise credit voucher, take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from their passengers on CC but all the time they're safe in the knowledge that they have your money in their bank.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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Amtico
Good luck in your battle, if I was in your shoes, nothing less than 100% cash refund + discount on a rebooking would be acceptable. Others such as Avalon have offered that.
We are in UK for 10 days for Goodwood Festival of Speed, hope you have some good weather for us. We have major flooding in South Island with major snow storms expected in next 24hrs, so it would be nice to have some summer weather to look forward too.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Indeed. One of our group now has gathered evidence from ICPDR that forecasts conditions on the entire length of The Danube, accurately, 48 hours in advance and also 7 day advance conditions too. (I'm stating it in very simplistic terms there).

These reports are used by all the cruise companies. They knew, well in advance, so could have cancelled the cruise, at the last minute or given us the option to continue, after being informed of possible conditions, so we could make an informed choice.

The Viking Rep who met us at Budapest informed us that "the river was a LITTLE high" & we would be taken to a hotel for about an hour or so, until conditions improved, when we would be taken to the ship to begin our cruise.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Agreed, After watching my flatscreen being flooded with Viking River Cruise commericials I was going to book our first river cruise with the company. While on the Celebrity Infinity T/A in May a couple steered us toward the Uniworld Antoinette. After reading this forum we are so glad they did so.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Default Excuse me?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by angsue View Post
Many of the Viking people were rude and refused to help us at all. We were moved after a few days on the ship and made to travel by bus and change hotels often. [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]Now we are being refused any type of refund[/color]! We paid for a cruise that we did not get! I would love to hear from others on our "cruise".
That is not the impression that i have gotten from reading the viking posts both here and on the viking website. I, as a fellow cruiser on dry land, thought you were being well looked after AND being compensated fairly by viking for a situation that only Mother Nature could control .

I am disappointed as a two time past viking customer to hear of how you are being " handled" . I hope you get some more satisfaction in the near future...keep us informed.
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