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Europe floods cause river cruise cancellations

Profile Photo By: H L
June 5, 2013

Europe floods cause river cruise cancellations

Raging waters from three rivers have flooded large parts of Passau, Germany, following days of heavy rainfall in central Europe. (Photo: Matthias Schrader, AP)Deadly flooding in central Europe has caused river ship companies to cancel sailings, scramble to re-route itineraries on the Danube, Main and Rhine, and in some cases move passengers to different vessels.

At least?eight people have died and nine were missing?due to severe flooding in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, the Associated Press reports.

Particularly hard hit was Passau, Germany, a historic city on the Danube that is often visited by river ships and serves as an embarkation port. The city saw its worst flooding in at least 70 years.

With reports that much of Passau was inaccessible on foot and that electricity had been cut off as a precaution, Viking River Cruises, the largest of the river cruise lines, canceled more than a dozen visits to the city scheduled in upcoming weeks.

Viking also canceled two cruises: a June 9 Romantic Danube cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg aboard the Viking Prestige and a June 9 cruise between Passau and Budapest on the Viking Legend.

Guests and their travel agents were being notified. Viking said it would provide guests with the option of re-booking another cruise at a later date or canceling for a full refund — in either case they would also receive a $500 future cruise credit “in acknowledgement of the inconvenience.”

In addition, Viking’s Swiss operations team scrambled to reconfigure schedules of passengers already in Europe and to reconfigure some 15 itineraries, in most cases because the line couldn’t get ships to regular embarkation points in places including Budapest, Nuremberg and Amsterdam due to high water levels.

For instance, guests booked on a June 5 Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Freya from Nuremberg to Budapest will now be moved to the Viking Odin, with transport provided to Regensburg, the new starting point.

“In every decision we make, the safety of our guests and crew remains our top priority,” Viking officials said in a statement.

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Source: Fran Golden (2013). Europe floods cause river cruise cancellations, USA Today?http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2013/06/04/europe-flooding-river-cruise-cancellations/2389845/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories+%28Travel+-+Top+Stories%29 published Jun 04, 2013. Viewed Jun 05, 2013.

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