Thursday, 9 June 2016

River cruise lines report few disruptions due to Seine flooding

River cruise lines report few disruptions due to Seine flooding

River Seine flooded.

River cruise lines said that only a small number of their departures have been impacted by the severe flooding of France's Seine River. 

Due to heavier than usual rainfall, the Seine overflowed last week, forcing the Louvre in Paris to close for several days -- the iconic art museum reopened on Wednesday.

The high waters have impacted at least three Viking river cruises: the June 8 Paris & the Heart of Normandy sailing aboard the Viking Rinda; the June 10 Paris & the Heart of Normandy sailing aboard the Viking Kadlin; and the June 12 Paris & the Heart of Normandy sailing aboard the Viking Rolf.

Viking said in a statement on its website that the potential effects on these cruises could entail changes in embarkation and/or disembarkation ports, abbreviated sailing portions and certain destinations being visited by motorcoach.

According to AmaWaterways co-founder and president Rudi Schreiner, the biggest issue for river cruise vessels has been the inability to get into and out of Paris to dock. Many Seine river itineraries have instead been docking in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a little more than 20 miles upriver from Paris and river cruise lines were then bussing passengers into the French capital for sightseeing.  

AmaWaterways has had two cruises impacted by the high waters and has given those passengers a future cruise credit to compensate for the inconvenience.

Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways said that while the rains in France have created higher-than-normal waters on its rivers, the company has not had any cancellations due to the rain. "All cruises have operated but we have had to make some alternate disembarkation and embarkation arrangements where conditions necessitate for a handful of cruises."

Added Clark, "Water levels are receding and expected to continue to improve and normalize this week. The Louvre is open, as is Giverny [the location of French artist Claude Monet's famous gardens]."