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When May River Cruise Lines Resume Service? [final edition]


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well, we just rebooked our cancelled September 2020 Rhine Cruise(Avalon) to the end of October 2021...with the insurance we have been reassured that even if we make the choice to cancel, it can be rebooked again with no penalty...we are booking based on airfare specials as that is a big savings for us..this will be our first Europe trip and possibly the only one we can afford in our lifetime ...we are really hoping for all our sakes that this will be somewhat back to normal by this time...anyone else booking the end of 2021?

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@lindya, I have a December 2021 cruise booked.  When I booked it last summer it seemed like the thing to do but now I'm having my doubts.  The vaccine is being administered at glacial speed and until it's available to the population at large, I doubt any European countries will be open to US residents anytime soon.  

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Viva Cruises based in Düsseldorf, Germany, were going to return to the river Rhine on 4 February for short "wellness" trips (spa treatments offered). The extension of the lockdown has stopped those plans.

 

notamermaid

 

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We have just been told our Tauck Rhine Christmas Market cruise end November 2021 is cancelled, because they have lent the ship to a German company this year. I am transferring again to November 2022.....

 

I do not know yet if it is Northbound or Southbound. Whichever way we go, is it nicer to book our cabin on the German side or the French side please? 

 

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19 hours ago, worldtraveller99 said:

We have just been told our Tauck Rhine Christmas Market cruise end November 2021 is cancelled, because they have lent the ship to a German company this year. I am transferring again to November 2022.....

 

 

I am sorry to read that. Really disappointing. I am afraid the Inspire is actually for this year with Viva Cruises mentioned above. The ship was supposed to sail those winter cruises... The Inspire had already sailed for them instead of Tauck last year, I reckon as quick change due to the pandemic.

 

The Grace is still with Tauck for the whole year it seems, she does not appear on the German market (as far as I could ascertain).

 

Both the Inspire and the Grace are actually Scylla company ships, used by operators in some form of cooperation/lease/charter business model.

 

I suppose changing to an itinerary on the Grace was not an option?

 

notamermaid

 

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15 minutes ago, worldtraveller99 said:

No we really like the southern Rhine itinerary. Also waiting till November 2022 gives more time for us to be welcomed back to Germany etc! Definitely not welcome at moment!

I am afraid not. You are correct. Sorry. Mind you, we are even more worried about the South Africa strain.

 

So looking forward to going back to England. If they will let me in... By the time Covid-19 is under control I may well need a passport, but I am still a bit sceptical about it all running smoothly and without a visa. For the time being the island has banned us anyway as you will know. And a good thing, too. You cannot trust any European continent person in times of Covid.

 

Would love to see the Upper Rhine valley in winter, I am sure your river cruise will be great. 

 

Stay Safe.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 1/13/2021 at 2:17 PM, lindya said:

well, we just rebooked our cancelled September 2020 Rhine Cruise(Avalon) to the end of October 2021...with the insurance we have been reassured that even if we make the choice to cancel, it can be rebooked again with no penalty...we are booking based on airfare specials as that is a big savings for us..this will be our first Europe trip and possibly the only one we can afford in our lifetime ...we are really hoping for all our sakes that this will be somewhat back to normal by this time...anyone else booking the end of 2021?

We have a 2021 Sep/Oct Viking Ukraine river cruise.  I have decided today to cancel (I was going to wait until May (the last point at which we can get most of $$ refunded) due to the new requirements for a COVID test being done within three days of flying back into the US, also the CDC has extended the no sail order through September, the slowness of vaccinations being administered, and lastly, the COVID virus having new mutations.  Just too much uncertainty and we already have a very large cruise voucher from a  canceled trip from last April 2020 which we have used yet.  

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New travel/entry bans due to Coronavirus mutations

 

Several EU countries have further reacted to the new strains. This may affect you only marginally depending on where you are, but could well impact European companies' river cruise itineraries in early Spring: https://www.dw.com/en/eu-nations-announce-new-restrictions-on-nonessential-travel/a-56321085

 

notamermaid

 

 

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On 1/22/2021 at 6:12 PM, SM77 said:

We have a 2021 Sep/Oct Viking Ukraine river cruise.  I have decided today to cancel (I was going to wait until May (the last point at which we can get most of $$ refunded) due to the new requirements for a COVID test being done within three days of flying back into the US, also the CDC has extended the no sail order through September, the slowness of vaccinations being administered, and lastly, the COVID virus having new mutations.  Just too much uncertainty and we already have a very large cruise voucher from a  canceled trip from last April 2020 which we have used yet.  

I was looking at a September cruise also and decided against it.

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On 1/22/2021 at 6:12 PM, SM77 said:

....also the CDC has extended the no sail order through September...

 

When did that happen?  

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

 

When did that happen?  

 

It didn't.  This is a false rumor based on an announcement that said 'September' and didn't mention '2020.'  Unfortunately the rumor started on Friday afternoon, so Cruise Critic management haven't been able to fact-check and suppress it.

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AmaWaterways and Uniworld give a round up of the year 2020 in this report: https://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/399204/special-report-river-cruise-lines-seek-calmer-waters

 

Bottom line: AmaWaterways sought out a cooperation with a German tour operator which turned out very well indeed, with more than 1,500 German guests given the opportunity to try out a North-American luxury experience. Uniworld had no sailings but also looked towards enhanced marketing.

 

What the article does not say for the future is: will AmaWaterways continue with the Germans in light of the continuing crisis?

 

What the article does not say about the latest marketing with Uniworld: In 2020 the company looked towards the Germans with their marketing strategy and secured a cooperation with a German agent for future sailings so that Germans may be able to book within Germany. Through its German agent the company now offers sailings with a German cruise director in 2021.

 

I can understand the positive look towards the UK market in view of the prospect of mass-vaccination of the over-60s.

 

The big question is: with both companies having "a foot in the door" on the German market, will they dare set sail as soon as travel restrictions in European countries are lifted, which may or may not be at the beginning of the season in March? Or might they postpone like Riviera Travel, or APT with their new ship?

 

From my personal view looking at the news in the last few days, I say March is not looking good for any river cruise traveller, not even "ze Germans" in their own country.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 1/23/2021 at 7:57 PM, Roz said:

 

When did that happen?  

I found the reference on the State Dept Travel Advisories for Cruise Ship travelers.  I just checked & the text is not there anymore.  I had assumed anything on the State Department's travel advisories would be current.  My bad if that is not the case but I thought information on the State Dept website would be current & accurate.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Received an email from Viking yesterday, in part:

 

For now, though, our scheduled cruise departures must wait – and we are extending our suspension of scheduled departures through May 31, 2021.

Edited by mnjack
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On 2/12/2021 at 6:16 PM, notamermaid said:

AmaWaterways have updated their website, suspension through 31 March: https://www.amawaterways.com/travel-updates

 

notamermaid

 

This has been extended to 30 April. Regardless of what happens after that for Ama as a whole, AmaWaterways will be resuming operations with two ships, AmaSiena und AmaLucia, deployed on the Rhine and Danube, available on the German-speaking market only, bookable online exclusively through one operator.

 

notamermaid

 

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