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Any River Cruises cancelled due to low water?

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We are already in Romania and have received no notice that the cruise has been canceled. How were you notified, directly or through your TA?

 

Can’t understand how some might be notified and others not!

 

We spoke with the Uniworld rep in Bucharest last night and she had no such information!

 

Last week we were told it was cancelled then, the next day told that they had postponed the cancelation. So we are on our way from New Zealand today to Bucharest to join the cruise. If you are there now and heard nothing more about the cancellation, maybe it is still on, I did call uniworld this morning and they advised it was still sailing.

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We are already in Romania and have received no notice that the cruise has been canceled. How were you notified, directly or through your TA?

 

Can’t understand how some might be notified and others not!

 

We were phoned by our TA who were advised by Emerald Waterways.

 

I was monitoring the Emerald site respecting rivers that were experiencing low water & changes to the itineraries that may occur. I recalled there were 2 sailing dates on August 22 & 25 (I think ) on the Danube River that may have problems & if so, guests will be advised accordingly. However, there were no mention of problems with the Rhine River, even after we received our cancellation call from our TA. I have not since monitor said sight.

 

Hope everything works out for you.

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Anyone experience cancellation/bus trip for the Rhone? Or heard of anything? Thanks

 

Got off Rhône Saturday the 18th. Absolutely no problems at all. Awesome cruise.

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Our Tauck cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Prague, scheduled for August 23, was canceled the evening of Monday August 20. About six hours earlier we had received email confirmation from Tauck of our pick-up and transfer in Budapest from our flight on Aug 23. We were already in Europe, with an itinerary built around the cruise (and ending with it). The next day we literally had 14 hours of touring ancestral homes in Belarus, so that night we only had time to rearrange flights etc. so we could just fly to London Aug 22 and home Aug 23 instead-- absolutely no time to make alternative plans. We're trying to figure out how much this ended up costing us, in addition to a lot of trouble and lack of sleep due to time spent rearranging flights from Minsk to Warsaw, hotel in Warsaw, and then London, then home (It's not easy to get into or out of Belarus!) What mystifies us is why they gave us so little notice, and what changed in a few hours from confirmation to cancellation. Even letting us know there was a possibility of cancellation would have been thoughtful -- actually, I would have expected it. Once we get some rest, we'll try to figure out what to do.

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We are on the same cruise as you and also from NZ! What did you do instead of the cruise? As I understand it, if we cancel there is no refund, but if they cancel there is a refund. So, right now, we are still heading to London tonight and Bucharest as planned. Fingers crossed it still goes ahead.

 

Today is the day we were due to fly to Bucharest from London, where we have been for a week. When Uniworld told us the cruise was cancelled we made other arrangements. When they came back a day later to say they may reinstate it, but could not decide for another few days we had already cancelled our flight to Bucharest and made other hotel bookings, so were not interested in having to wait to see what they were doing. We are picking up a rental car today and going down to Devon & Cornwall for 4 nights, then flying to Budapest for 5 days. Then continuing on as previously planned from Budapest.

 

As I understand it the cruise prior to ours was cancelled, so there would be no boat to start our trip from Bucharest anyway. Uniworld promised a full refund, but no costs towards changed flights. We have insurance so can claim. We deal with a TA so the advice of cancellation came through our TA.

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We are back in Bucharest now for Day 1. Cruise going as planned, no problem. The boat is here waiting on us.

 

A lot of false information given. Uniworld never advised any of it’s US customers that the cruise was under consideration for cancellation, so not sure why they would tell the Aussies that!!!?

 

The cruise before ours did sail as it started in Regensburg and came down river to here. If it had been canceled we wouldn’t have a boat!

 

Having a first get together in an hour, will know more then.

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Considering a Volga cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow (or the other way). Anyone have any experience with or knowledge of low water issues/cancellations on this route?

 

Likely going with Viking or maybe Uniworld.

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Considering a Volga cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow (or the other way). Anyone have any experience with or knowledge of low water issues/cancellations on this route?

Never heard of water level-related cancellations on that route - it is essentially a series of canals, lakes, and reservoirs, with water flow heavily regulated by several large hydroelectric dams.

What is more likely, though, is ice-related issues around the start (April) and closure (November) of navigation - but operators and aggregators catering to the Western crowd typically open their season a little later and close it quite a bit earlier anyway.

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Never heard of water level-related cancellations on that route - it is essentially a series of canals, lakes, and reservoirs, with water flow heavily regulated by several large hydroelectric dams.

What is more likely, though, is ice-related issues around the start (April) and closure (November) of navigation - but operators and aggregators catering to the Western crowd typically open their season a little later and close it quite a bit earlier anyway.

 

Thank you! This is better news than I'd expected As our cruise is from 5/28 through 6/9, we should be in the clear of ice.

 

Can't wait!!:D

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Jay2018,

 

Sorry to read that. And welcome to cruisecritic. I hope we can help you in your situation a bit. I will give it a try. If I have understood it correctly you will travel to Cologne soon. In Cologne there is much to see and in a building site they have even found recently what seems to be the oldest library building in Germany. If you want to see the Rhine gorge you can do this as a long day trip from Cologne with train and then excursion boat from Koblenz. Phone Koblenz Touristik for times of sailings. They will speak English. Or you could head to the Moselle. Happy to assist further if you like when I am on my computer, I am on my smartphone with limited time and access right now.

 

I hope you can enjoy the Rhine valley.

 

notamermaid

 

We understand that you are most aware of the conditions concerning low water levels due to the drought conditions in central Europe. We are slated to leave Budapest October 5th on a Uniworld ship to Amsterdam. Are we correct in assuming that we will be spending part or all of the cruise traveling by bus?

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Hello BillPizzaiolo,

 

 

there is a thread on Uniworld changes to itinerary that you will find when scrolling down or on page 2 of the thread list. I cannot imagine Uniworld making you do the river cruise as a land tour. Other companies have given the option to cancel, though one cruiser reported that they had about half their cruise as a land trip (six nights in hotels). It will really depend on the lack of water in the Danube downstream from Regensburg or in the gorge on the Rhine downstream from Rüdesheim. If Uniworld has two ships going in opposite directions and have them leave so that they can swap on the Danube then you might only be on a coach to "circumnavigate" the impassable stretch there and get to your other ship. However, if this does not work out - it can happen when the Rhine is low at the same time - then another plan B or C will come into effect. The river cruise companies all have them and I am sure Uniworld will work out the best option for your itinerary.

 

 

At this time in September we are still too far away from your sailing date to know what will happen with the water and the weather. But if nearer the date not knowing makes you nervous do try to get in touch with Uniworld.

 

 

Rain is coming to the area but nobody knows whether it will be a temporary relief (likely as of now) or be enough (unlikely as of now) to raise the levels enough to ensure cruising in late September and October. The Rhine could fare better than the Danube, but the rivers are on different sides of the continental divide and often react differently to weather conditions.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

notamermaid

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Hello BillPizzaiolo,

 

 

there is a thread on Uniworld changes to itinerary that you will find when scrolling down or on page 2 of the thread list. I cannot imagine Uniworld making you do the river cruise as a land tour. . .

 

...At this time in September we are still too far away from your sailing date to know what will happen with the water and the weather. But if nearer the date not knowing makes you nervous do try to get in touch with Uniworld.

Rain is coming to the area but nobody knows whether it will be a temporary relief (likely as of now) or be enough (unlikely as of now) to raise the levels enough to ensure cruising in late September and October. The Rhine could fare better than the Danube, but the rivers are on different sides of the continental divide and often react differently to weather conditions.

 

Hope this helps.

 

notamermaid

 

Thank you for the quick reply. We will keep an eye on the weather. It does look like two or three days of rain coming up. This will be our second Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise on Uniworld. The first with friends that have never cruised before. We are hoping for the best conditions.

Thanks again, Bill:cool:(y):wine-glass::champagne-toast:

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Thank you for the quick reply. We will keep an eye on the weather. It does look like two or three days of rain coming up. This will be our second Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise on Uniworld. The first with friends that have never cruised before. We are hoping for the best conditions.

 

Thanks again, Bill:cool:(y):wine-glass::champagne-toast:

 

 

 

We just got off an Ama River cruise / Budapest to Vilshofen on 9/14.

We had no problems. There was an Avalon cruise that started in Budapest with us and they had to disembark in Vilshofen and finish their last 7 day leg to Amsterdam as a bus tour.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We are on Tranquility II on 9/22 Amsterdam to Basil. First time to River Cruise and hoping things improve before then. So sorry for all who have had their trips cancelled.

Hi bmj, did your cruise set sail as planned? We leave next week for the same cruise. Our first with Viking. Concerned about water levels 😏

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We were just on a tauck river cruise on the Rhine and it had to be modified and shortened due to the low water levels.  It is really bad on the Rhine and a few locals said it hasn’t been that bad since 2003.  

 

At first we we wondered why the cruise even took place because the water levels were SO LOW and virtually unsailable in places.   They said that the previous cruise, that came from Basel to Amsterdam, completed. The explanation we were given was that they forecast a 48 hr period which entails not only rain but other things such as water release from other places into the Rhine and other things I can’t remember.  Rains were forecasted all week before our trip but as the days wore on, the forecast kept changing to sunny and warm.  But on the flip side, I can’t imagine any rain would fill the Rhine where it needed to be within a week but that’s my perception.  

 

We docked in xantas I believe...sorry if I didn’t get the name right, and after the day trip by bus to Koln to see the cathedral, they had to bus us to another ship at Rüdesheim around a section of the Rhine that was almost dry...we saw small boats dry docked in the middle of it later during one of our bus tours!  After we settled into the second ship, we did one trip by bus to see (I think Cochem) which was nice and then they had to move the boat because where we were docked was starting to become too shallow.   They docked at a town they’ve never docked at called Nierstein (not much to see there) but it was deep enough to temporarily dock the ship.  They did a day bus trip to Trier and back which we didn’t do because it was 3 hrs each direction so we elected to do a small winery which was fun but not  what we had signed up for.

 

At this point we decided to go home because the boat was not going to sail any further, and our trip was shortened by six days.  Tauck did plan a last minute small boat tour of the pretty part of the Rhine to see the castle-lined area from the small boats since the riverboat couldn’t cruise that area; however after that they had planned to drive straight to Basel, Switzerland the next day skipping Heidelberg and Strasbourg ending the trip a few days early.  We didn’t really want to do all that because it also meant we were looking for a hotel since they were getting in earlier than planned and there was a huge tennis tournament causing low vacancies in hotels.  At this point it was easier for us to go to the Frankfurt airport a half hour away from Nierstein where our boat was docked to fly  home to San Francisco.  

 

So so what did I think of all this?  Very disappointing to say the least.   Our cruise director was top notch though.  Maggie worked her tail off to still provide tours for the passengers like the small boat cruise and the winery.  I can’t imagine being in her position taking direction from corporate and still trying to satisfy all the disgruntled passengers.   Some people can be very difficult during these types of events.   We didn’t fly using Tauck air and in this instance I think that work to our advantage. We were able to easily  change our flight to an earlier date and come home when we wanted. 

 

I think Tauck handled it pretty well so far, but I don’t have the final decision since we just got home and it’ll be a while before the financial aspects are settled. However, I do have faith that they will make it good. They even sent someone from corporate to the boat to explain to all of us what was going on. We are satisfied customers of Tauck in the past and I really do believe they did the best they could. The one thing I still think is that our cruise probably should’ve been canceled in the first place due to the low waters,  but then I’m not in the business of making money on the river cruises. 

 

Oh and one more point....trip insurance is worth it!

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We are finishing up our Uniworld cruise Budapest To Amsterdam tomorrow. It allowed us to swap ships twice. We started on the River Empress went on the River Princess and then on to the River Queen. Each one treated us excellently. We saw places on the Rhine where you could actually walk to the other side. 

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Hi Laura Macky,

     Thank you for your very informative post. We just returned home from our week with Viking from Amsterdam to Basil.  We also had to do a ship transfer and completely miss Rudesheim. Fortunately we were able to meet our boat in Cologne & continue our journey on the Rhine to our final destination of Basil, Switzerland. Our ship also missed traveling down that part of the Rhine where all the castles line the shore (starting in Lorelei).  They got us on a lunch cruise, wine & beer & lunch. Weather all week was phenomenal.

    I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t always dock at the towns it appeared we would dock (from viewing the video or looking at pictures). A bit deceiving I feel. Sometimes our French veranda view was the side of another longboat we were tethered to, other times a wall or a remote docking area outside the main port.

     Our cruise director was phenomenal! As was the staff. All in all we had a wonderful time! We did 2 bike tours that really made this trip. As well as a winery and a castle or two. Some included excursion—some guides were better than others. I would venture out on my own more next time. No time to do both!

      Will definitely do a river cruise again!

 

suejeanette

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3 hours ago, Suejeanette said:

 I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t always dock at the towns it appeared we would dock (from viewing the video or looking at pictures). A bit deceiving I feel...

suejeanette

Since this was due to an Act of God, perhaps you should take up the 'deceit' issue with Him :classic_wink:

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I believe most of the tethering (blocking view) & limiting use of balcony is due to the excessive number of longboats on the Rhine.

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1 hour ago, Suejeanette said:

I believe most of the tethering (blocking view) & limiting use of balcony is due to the excessive number of longboats on the Rhine.

The rafting (correct name for thethering) is not only due to the number of cruise boats floating (or  not) around, but is the current situation where many ports and moorings cannot be reached because of the lower water levels.

 

PS. Please let us know how you get on with Him about the deceit issue.

 

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1 hour ago, G.M.T. said:

The rafting (correct name for thethering) is not only due to the number of cruise boats floating (or  not) around, but is the current situation where many ports and moorings cannot be reached because of the lower water levels.

 

PS. Please let us know how you get on with Him about the deceit issue.

 

Regarding "rafting".  I agree that it's the proper term, but for some reason in the U.S. Navy it was (and is?) called "nesting". Don't know why.  For months I though everyone was wrong to use rafting. Live and learn.

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7 hours ago, Suejeanette said:

Hi Laura Macky,

     Thank you for your very informative post. We just returned home from our week with Viking from Amsterdam to Basil.  We also had to do a ship transfer and completely miss Rudesheim. Fortunately we were able to meet our boat in Cologne & continue our journey on the Rhine to our final destination of Basil, Switzerland. Our ship also missed traveling down that part of the Rhine where all the castles line the shore (starting in Lorelei).  They got us on a lunch cruise, wine & beer & lunch. Weather all week was phenomenal.

    I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t always dock at the towns it appeared we would dock (from viewing the video or looking at pictures). A bit deceiving I feel. Sometimes our French veranda view was the side of another longboat we were tethered to, other times a wall or a remote docking area outside the main port.

     Our cruise director was phenomenal! As was the staff. All in all we had a wonderful time! We did 2 bike tours that really made this trip. As well as a winery and a castle or two. Some included excursion—some guides were better than others. I would venture out on my own more next time. No time to do both!

      Will definitely do a river cruise again!

 

suejeanette

You’re welcome.  I think you probably were one ship ahead of us haha.   From what I gather, we were the first of a long line of boats that weren’t able to do the rest of the cruise. They certainly did their best to do it.    

 

I’m glad you had a nice time!   We did the Danube last year and had a perfect experience so a bit disappointing this time but things happen and we just need to roll with the punches.   

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On 10/19/2018 at 9:09 AM, BillPizzaiolo said:

We are finishing up our Uniworld cruise Budapest To Amsterdam tomorrow. It allowed us to swap ships twice. We started on the River Empress went on the River Princess and then on to the River Queen. Each one treated us excellently. We saw places on the Rhine where you could actually walk to the other side. 

Bill - we are supposed to be on the River Duchess for that same cruise with Uniworld, November 9.

 

Was there any word re expectations from crew regarding future cruises? Are water levels improving or worsening?

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