How are cruise lines dealing with low water conditions?


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#21
261 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Happy2trvl
Where do you acquire the Crystal information? We are sailing soon and I can’t seem to find any information on it.



Thanks.


We just returned from our Danube cruise on the Crystal Mozart. Even though we were not able to cruise to Budapest do to low water levels, it was still a wonderful cruise! Once in Passau, it was announced that we would return to Vienna with a new stop in Krems, Austria. Crystal set up new tours and assisted passengers in getting to Budapest who wished to do so.



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#22
San Jose, CA
30 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Happy2trvl
Where do you acquire the Crystal information? We are sailing soon and I can’t seem to find any information on it.

Thanks.
Crystal seems to be scrambling. We found out our new itinerary 3 days before departure, and they couldn't give any details until onboard. Likewise, there doesnt seems to be any consistency to how they are dealing with the changes. Once onboard we got a nice card and $750 "gift certificate" for onboard use, but when we went to exchange it they tore it up and said there had been a mistake (ouch, especially after we starting thinking how to use it!). Our ship is half full, apparently a lot of people were able to cancel (but no cabin upgrades despite a lot of empty cabins!).

We had heard that Crystal markets more of a luxury experience than they can deliver, and so far we've found that to be true. They have been bad at communicating, inconsistent with what they say, and indifferent. Having said that, at least our ship is on a river and Crystal didn't just put us on busses like some other river cruises have.
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#23
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Crystal Ravel sailing from Vienna to Basel trip starting August 16th-30th has been modified to a much shorter cruise, six days versus 14 days. We are heartbroken as we booked this cruise 1 year ago as a special trip for my parents 70th wedding anniversary, our friends 50th and our 49th. We are working on rescheduling to another cruise now with the TA, but changing the airline tickets 10 months out is a major nightmare and cost prohibitive. We do understand there is nothing Crystal can do about the water level, but it is still very disappointing to us.
#25
California
350 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by FunTurtle
Crystal Ravel sailing from Vienna to Basel trip starting August 16th-30th has been modified to a much shorter cruise, six days versus 14 days. We are heartbroken as we booked this cruise 1 year ago as a special trip for my parents 70th wedding anniversary, our friends 50th and our 49th. We are working on rescheduling to another cruise now with the TA, but changing the airline tickets 10 months out is a major nightmare and cost prohibitive. We do understand there is nothing Crystal can do about the water level, but it is still very disappointing to us.
The Ravel cruise beginning on August 16 is comprised of two sub-cruises: the first part is 6 days (Vienna to Nuremberg) and the second part is 8 days (Nuremberg to Basel), for a total of 14 days. Do you mean to say that the second part has been canceled altogether? What will the ship do for those remaining 8 days? This doesn't make sense.
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#26
Rochester, NY
247 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by FunTurtle
Crystal Ravel sailing from Vienna to Basel trip starting August 16th-30th has been modified to a much shorter cruise, six days versus 14 days. We are heartbroken as we booked this cruise 1 year ago as a special trip for my parents 70th wedding anniversary, our friends 50th and our 49th. We are working on rescheduling to another cruise now with the TA, but changing the airline tickets 10 months out is a major nightmare and cost prohibitive. We do understand there is nothing Crystal can do about the water level, but it is still very disappointing to us.
Will your trip insurance cover any of the costs?
#27
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by skybluewaters
The Ravel cruise beginning on August 16 is comprised of two sub-cruises: the first part is 6 days (Vienna to Nuremberg) and the second part is 8 days (Nuremberg to Basel), for a total of 14 days. Do you mean to say that the second part has been canceled altogether? What will the ship do for those remaining 8 days? This doesn't make sense.
Yes, per our email notification from Crystal the new disembark is Passau/Vishofen, Germany, on Aug 22. The next part of the cruise was just dropped off our itinerary.
#28
Rhine, Germany
2,783 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
FunTurtle,


that is very disappointing. I am sorry to read that. Did you say in another thread that you have cancelled now? Do you know if Crystal is taking people to Nuremberg by coach? But perhaps you might prefer not to think about it...


Again, sorry, what a disappointment for such a big planned occasion.


notamermaid
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#29
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by KathyK13
Will your trip insurance cover any of the costs?
We were told that the travel insurance would not cover. Crystal offered up to $1000 per guest reimbursement for amending independent airline arrangements to match new cruise booking if you opted to switch booking to another Crystal River cruise. If you opted to cancel your reservation you would receive 100% refund of all items charged by Crystal. Therefore, you could be out thousands of $ for your airline tickets if they aren't changeable or refundable.
#30
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by notamermaid
FunTurtle,


that is very disappointing. I am sorry to read that. Did you say in another thread that you have cancelled now? Do you know if Crystal is taking people to Nuremberg by coach? But perhaps you might prefer not to think about it...


Again, sorry, what a disappointment for such a big planned occasion.


notamermaid
Thank you nota mermaid. The new amended itinerary is after going to Passau, the Ravel goes to Grein, Austria and then returns to Passau/Vishofen, Germany where it disembarks. There was no notification of tours available. Yes, we opted to switch to another cruise in 2019. The difficult part is changing our independent airline tickets. None of this has been easy.
#31
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by pugmadkate
Is this a summer issue or year round? We are scheduled for the Romantic Danube Viking cruise November 2019 and I’m starting to get nervous.
In the spring the river can flood. The low water level this summer is because of the lack of rainfall and the unusually hot temperatures. Hopefully, the area will get some much needed rain.
#32
Germany
4,277 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by FunTurtle
In the spring the river can flood. The low water level this summer is because of the lack of rainfall and the unusually hot temperatures. Hopefully, the area will get some much needed rain.
This is not always true. In June 2013 the Danube experienced it's worst ever flooding.
#33
Rhine, Germany
2,783 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
To further complicate matters, this year's drought phenomenon is (almost) all over Europe and hitting the Elbe and Danube very hard and the Rhine to a lesser extent. Danube and Rhine can often differ in how much they are affected by high or low water. When the Danube flooded badly in June 2013 the Rhine was much less affected (but the river was closed for a bit as well). November is normally an o.k. month on the Rhine with the lower temperatures and more rain beginning to fill the catchment area and the river. The Danube reacts the same way but not necessarily as much or in the same time span.


notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
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#34
Jacksonville, Florida
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by G.M.T.
This is not always true. In June 2013 the Danube experienced it's worst ever flooding.
You are right! In Early July 2009 we were on AMA Amalegro and the cruise before ours had to be bussed due to flooding on the Danube, and the swift currents.
#35
545 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Wonder what sort of winter this part of Europe will have after such a hot dry summer?
Thinking of those travelling in December, guess time will tell.
We have had both high and low water interruptions as well as strikes by lock staff when doing European river cruises over the years. We enjoy the style and experience of that mode of travel especially when things go well however.
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#36
4 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
We were on the Rhine last week with Viking (Amsterdam to Basel). The river was very low and we apparently came close to having to switch ships. But there ended up just being enough water to pass through the Middle Rhine without incident. The only issue was that we could not dock at their usual pier in Cologne due to low water so they let us off in Vons and bussed us about 1/2 hour to Cologne where there was the included walking tour and the optional tours and free time. They ran shuttle busses throughout the afternoon back to the ship which had relocated since dropping us off to an industrial harbor (Niehle, I think?). It was about 15 minutes from town. The rest of the cruise went on without any problems with water levels (that the passengers knew about, anyway). Thank you Captain Vadim!
#37
Rhine, Germany
2,783 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Ryan208,


good to hear about your successful cruise and I hope you had a great time. Niehl is the "winter" harbour just North of Cologne (a suburban district actually). Docking can be tricky as so many landing stages are at the side or just out of the navigation channel. Several docks in the Middle Rhine valley are also "out of order". This is Niehl harbour: 50.974248, 6.979768 on google maps


notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#38
Marysville, WA
84 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Friends returned today from Avalon Vista Amsterdam to Budapest cruise that departed July 31. I had asked if they would do it again. Texted answer: "We would. It was an adventure for us . But it was hard for some people. Avalon is giving refunds for the days we were scheduled to be on the river and weren't. They paid for lunches, hotel rooms and meals for those days too."

I had warned them early this summer that the cruise could become a bus tour and Avalon had let them know just before they left that they would be bussed from Amsterdam to Cologne. So they were somewhat prepared.
#39
Minneapolis, MN
50 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by mysusie45
Friends returned today from Avalon Vista Amsterdam to Budapest cruise that departed July 31. I had asked if they would do it again. Texted answer: "We would. It was an adventure for us . But it was hard for some people. Avalon is giving refunds for the days we were scheduled to be on the river and weren't. They paid for lunches, hotel rooms and meals for those days too."

I had warned them early this summer that the cruise could become a bus tour and Avalon had let them know just before they left that they would be bussed from Amsterdam to Cologne. So they were somewhat prepared.
Did your friends mention being bused anywhere else than Amsterdam-to-Cologne? We're booked for the same itinerary starting 9/21, and I'm seeing mentions on other threads about impassable sections on the upper Danube (Regensberg-to-Passau) and the final stretch into Budapest.
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John & Cindy
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#40
Marysville, WA
84 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Friend did not mention specific bus journeys but did mention plural coaches and hotels. So apparently more than just to Cologne. From following trip on marine traffic.com I know they did not make it to Budapest on a boat. Bussed from Vienna. Also seems to have been a boat swap at one point. Good luck.