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Unn July 25th, 2003 10:06 AM

problems on Viking Europe ???
Has anyone recently been on the Viking Europe and had a problem? Specifically, we were scheduled to leave yesterday (7/24) Amsterdam to Vienna, and they've told us there is not enough water for the ship out on all the rivers since there's been so little rain. They said the previous cruise had people that were flown out off the ship and sent somewhere, not too sure where as they are very vague about it all.

We are getting quite the run around and do not know what's real and what isn't. Now, instead of 12 nights on board, we "may" have only 4. We're under the gun here, since tomorrow morning they want to take us on many bus tours, we'd like to find out just what's going on, as the cruise director has lied to us so often, she tells everyone a different story, that we're starting to get a little paranoid. Please help if you can and let us know what's going on. I think the cruise would have left somewhere around the July 12th time frame. THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH !!!

ggo July 25th, 2003 01:41 PM

Re: problems on Viking Europe ???
We're scheduled to take the 8/7 Amsterdam-Basel cruise. I called Viking's 800# and was told the following:

Some rivers are impassable due to low water levels. As a result, passengers are/will be given the option of continuing the vacation using buses/hotels and joining the ship when/if the river level allows or returning to the U.S. and receiving some form of refund/credit. For current passengers, such as yourself, the choices may be more limited as Viking claims they "just discovered" the water level problem.

They claim they are providing more advance notification of at least several days to other affected passengers (e.g., those who have not left the U.S.) and offering them the options described above to include canceling the trip. The woman to whom I spoke indicated that the Basel-Amsterdam cruise that is set to begin tomorrow (I think) is still on. However, the water level situation can fluctuate daily, for better or worse.

The good news (at least for the Rhine/Moselle route) is that rain is forecast off & on for the next week, which may help the water levels. Viking indicated that passengers who have not yet left for Europe can call the line in advance of their trip to get an updated status. However, as a practical matter, the line probably won't know more than several days in advance what the situation will be and, as noted, even then it can change quickly.

That's all I know.

Unn July 25th, 2003 03:11 PM

Re: Re: problems on Viking Europe ???
We found out this afternoon that Viking KNEW about the problem as early as July 12th. We didn't even leave the states until July 21st, and received no call from them explaining the situation. Neither did any other passenger we've spoken. Our Option, and it seems, our ONLY option, is to get a 50% discount on another Viking cruise this year or the next. Quite frankly, we don't EVEWR want to go on another Viking cruise. They basically have us in a catch-22 and they know it, because if we just go home, they will not guarantee us any type of a refund. Don't know when I'll have computer access again. Good luck, you'll need it!

Donna Bergeron July 25th, 2003 11:46 PM

Re: Re: problems on Viking Europe ???
Rreply to ggo

We are taking the Amsterdam Basel cruise on 8/31. You mentioned that the forcast is rain---I am not familiar with the area but here in Seattle, it would take a lot of rain to make any difference in the level of the rivers. Are you familiar with the area? Any idea how much rain they would need to help the rivers?
Thank You,

pal August 6th, 2003 07:15 PM

Re: problems on Viking Europe ???
We must have been on same cruise- we arrived to find no ship, went to dinner, got the same run around and were given the motor coach itinerary. We decided to bail since we could NOT do 6 days on a bus and different hotel in anticipation of finally boarding the ship in Nuremberg on day 6. PLEASE tell me what happened... did you go? When did you actually get on the ship? Where they more accommodating than they were the first night in Amsterdam? This trip has ended up costing us a total fortune because we had to pay for our hotels, meals and transportation from Amsterdam to Vienna- we could not get early air out of Europe as everything was totally booked.

pal August 19th, 2003 06:13 PM

Re: Re: problems on Viking Europe ???
As my first message stated, we were to go on the 7/24-8/5 Amsterdam to Vienna cruise- we could not do the bus thing so we left right after we heard Viking's plan to bus us. We immediately (from Amsterdam) called American Express to dispute the charge... we've been waiting to see how Viking would handle this and today we received a letter from American Express notifiying us that Viking had refunded 100% of our money. This restored our faith in Viking's business ethics and we are willing to try them again next year. It would be nice if they also sent the drop-outs a 50% off coupon for a future cruise since we ended up spending twice as much as our original cruise price... it's very costly to spend 2 weeks in Europe with no advanced reservations for hotels, trains, airlines, cars, etc.

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