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River cruises canceled, modified due to floods in Central Europe

June 12, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • An aerial view Tuesday of the flooding caused by the Danube River at Baja, Hungary, about 100 miles south of Budapest.
An aerial view Tuesday of the flooding caused by the Danube River at Baja,… (Sandor Ujvari / EPA )

River cruise companies have been canceling and modifying cruises as flooding continues over a large swath of Central Europe, including Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Viking Cruises, Tauck and others have been reaching out to customers and travel agents by email to tell them of the changes, according to company websites.

The BBC reports at least 19 people have died as of Tuesday, including 10 from the Czech Republic and five from Austria, after rivers rose to dangerously high levels.

In response to the crisis, Viking Cruises' website says it has canceled four cruises that were slated to sail this week: two between Nuremberg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, that were to leave Wednesday (today) and two between Berlin and Prague, Czech Republic, that were supposed to sail Saturday.

Another cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam is scheduled to sail Wednesday (today) aboard the Viking Sky but it will begin with a tour of Budapest and then transfer passengers to Vienna by motorcoach before embarking on the second half of the cruise down the Danube, the website says.

Guests are being offered an option to rebook the cruise for 2014 or continue with the revised course. The company also changed ships and modified itineraries for other upcoming trips, though it says it expects cruises to operate normally after June 21. [Passengers with questions should call (800) 706-1483].

High-end tour company Tauck already canceled four cruises with departures between May 30 and June 2 and has canceled the Budapest to the Black Sea tour that was set to depart Friday. "As the surge of the Danube River is expected to pass Budapest Monday or Tuesday, and the impact of the surge as it heads from Budapest to the Black Sea is unknown at this time, we have canceled this departure," the company's website said.

The company's Blue Danube tour starting in Prague is expected to depart Thursday and follow its planned itinerary to Budapest.

The website Cruise Critic compiled an up-to-date list of companies and the status of their river cruises.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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