Drought threatens Christmas river cruises

The low water levels of the Rhine and Danube rivers are causing concern to river cruise companies offering Christmas markets sailings.

Viking River Cruises and AmaWaterways are posting updates on their websites, with Viking offering refunds for those passengers deciding not to cruise.

Other passengers are being offered on board credit, free excursions and credit towards a future cruise.

Uniworld president Guy Young told Cruise Critic that cruises were being assessed on a case-by-case basis “and certainly if we expect to be able to operate the cruise as per the normal itinerary we will not allow clients to cancel and receive a full refund”.

Viking River Cruises said: “The magnitude of this late-season drought was not immediately apparent, but we have made adjustments each day in an effort to continually provide you with our very best.

“For each of the Danube and Rhine sailings that are affected in December, we are providing shipboard credit, complimentary optional excursions, and credit to use on a future cruise.”

Passengers deciding not to cruise will be provided with a credit for 100% of the cruise fare towards a future departure.

To make matters worse, unexploded World War II bombs were discovered in the River Rhine in Koblenz, resulting in half the population being evacuated to allow for them to be defused.

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