Does anyone have an idea if my proper complaint to Viking Cruises has a chance of being successful in the following situation:

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Nov 30, 2018
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#21
Viking ships draw ~5.5' of water. Other cruise lines have newer ships that draw ~4.5' of water. That seemingly small difference means some ships can navigate the low water levels and Viking can't. We encountered this issue last fall with another river cruise provider where our ship made every port as scheduled, and people on Viking ships on the same itinerary were bussed from ship to ship because the Viking ships could not go through the areas with low water. The Viking passengers were not happy, to say the least. Instead of the advertised "unpack once for the entire trip" they were packing and unpacking every day or two.

Having said this, a river cruise is a GREAT experience. Just choose your tour/ship operator carefully, using the services of a river cruise travel expert.

Here is some info about the river water levels last year. The problem comes and goes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/world/europe/rhine-drought-water-level.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/28/travel/european-river-cruises-low-water-cancel.html
Neil, Weihlac, thank you very much for this. I have read many of the earlier posts about water levels affecting the ability of ships being able to transit rivers. I didn't realize when I posted that damage to a lock could also affect water levels. Eek!
 
May 1, 2018
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#23
The OP lost 3 days and one port. Are water levels covered by insurance?
There are some cruise-oriented insurance policies that provide a set cash benefit for missed ports of call. The amounts are generally pretty small and ultimately don't amount to much. Say you get $100 per person per missed port - what good does that do you?
 
Likes: Student
Mar 17, 2015
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#25
Just to give another shout out to AMA, last year we were on a Danube river cruise and our Nuremberg port stop was cut short (we started there and were supposed to overnight, but due to water levels, sailed out the evening of embarkation) and we were given a 15% credit on a future cruise. For a change that made almost no difference in our cruise, except a few extra hours on the bus between where we ended up docking and Nuremberg. I was absolutely shocked we received anything at all.
 
Nov 11, 2018
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#27
I wish people would stop complaining about missed ports or being bused from one location to another because of bad weather or rivers which are too high or too low for ships to pass. Read the contract for each shipping line be it Ocean or River. Mother Nature is a factor about which no ship captain has any control. We have been on ocean voyages where we have missed ports due to terrible weather with 80 mph winds and the captain, wisely, made the decision to not expose his passengers to risks associated with tender use to get to shore. We have experienced low water on the Danube and were bused twice. No big deal. We still had a good time as we made it so. Do you deserve compensation because of these happening? Not in my opinion. As far as Viking versus other lines, it makes no difference which line you cruise with when Mother Nature causes the rivers to be too high or too low. It is what it is so make the best of it.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#28
I wish people would stop complaining about missed ports or being bused from one location to another because of bad weather or rivers which are too high or too low for ships to pass. Read the contract for each shipping line be it Ocean or River. Mother Nature is a factor about which no ship captain has any control. We have been on ocean voyages where we have missed ports due to terrible weather with 80 mph winds and the captain, wisely, made the decision to not expose his passengers to risks associated with tender use to get to shore. We have experienced low water on the Danube and were bused twice. No big deal. We still had a good time as we made it so. Do you deserve compensation because of these happening? Not in my opinion. As far as Viking versus other lines, it makes no difference which line you cruise with when Mother Nature causes the rivers to be too high or too low. It is what it is so make the best of it.
It actually DOES make a BIG difference in river cruising. Viking has older, deeper draft ships which have fared quite poorly with the low water levels. Other river cruise operators have newer, shallower draft ships that that can navigate the rivers when Viking ships cannot.

Last fall, at the height (depth) of the low water levels, we cruised with a provider on a new ship that made every port as scheduled when Viking passengers were bussed over and over on the same river itinerary. We heard a litany of complaints about bussing from many Viking passengers at the airport.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#29
The river cruise line we get the most complaints about is Viking and weihlac has stated what the issue is- Vikings ships. However, people just blindly book Viking because they advertise without doing any type of research about River levels and the issue there are.

We also sailed on AMA and Emerald and saw the same thing Weihlac - our ship made it through low river levels and Vikings were pulled aside with buses being filled and luggage being taken off.

Overhill is also correct- all contracts on any cruise line allow for these changes. Choosing the right cruise line that has purpose built ships is critical to the experience on a river cruise. A travel agent that specializes in river cruises can be the difference between a good and bad experience.