At least 20 river cruises have been affected in Germany on the Danube and Elbe rivers after lower than normal water levels have forced some cruise lines to undertake complex logistical maneuvers to keep tours running.
Some Cruises have had to alter their itineraries. Cruise Critic will continue to monitor water levels in the regions and update you with further reports.
Viking Cruises has seen more than a dozen of its itineraries affected, and maintains an updated list on its website. In addition to "ship swaps" -- where the line undertakes a passenger exchange (usually via bus) between two ships positioned on either side of an impassable stretch of river -- at least one cruise has been more severely affected.
Departure for the June 24 Budapest to Amsterdam northbound sailing on the Viking Atla longship was delayed by two days, according to the website.
"This itinerary will begin with a two-night hotel stay at the Boscolo Budapest Hotel, as Viking Atla's sailing schedule has been altered by the river conditions and the ship will not be able to reach Budapest in time for embarkation," the statement read.
For the June 24 sailing on Atla, Viking deployed representatives to meet passengers at the airport on arrival and stationed an agent at the original embarkation point near the Chain Bridge in Budapest. A Viking spokesman also told Cruise Critic that customer relations teams are communicating directly with all affected passengers about "the options that best suit the individuals, including continuing with the modified itinerary."
Scenic Tours has also undertaken "ship swaps" on some of its Danube itineraries.The line posted an updated cruise schedule on its Facebook page yesterday (June 26) covering seven departures between June 30 and July 30.
Scenic's statement said: "Due to the recent low water levels experienced on parts of the Danube River, there has been minor impact to our sailing schedule.
red arrow Gems of the Danube River Cruise departing Budapest on 30 June (PNB300614.2) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Ruby.
red arrow Jewels of Europe River Cruise departing Amsterdam on 2 July (STC020714.1) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Diamond.
red arrow Gems of the Danube River Cruise departing Nuremberg on 7 July (PNB040714.1) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Ruby.
red arrow Jewels of Europe River Cruise departing Budapest on 14 July (STC140714.2) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Ruby.
red arrow Jewels of Europe River Cruise departing Budapest on 16 July (STC160714.2) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Diamond.
red arrow Romantic Rhine and Moselle River Cruise departing Amsterdam on 28 July (AMBA280714.1) will now be embarking onto the Scenic Ruby.