We were on board the Tor sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest and then Prague on 26 May, 2013. Incredibly, the Viking Company sailed us right into the historic European flooding on the Rhine, Main, and Danube. As we left Amsterdam, it was already obvious to even casual observers that the Rhine was overflowing its banks and was at or nearing flood stage. By the 3rd day we were told we had to leave our ship because of high water for another ship, the Skadi. We were assured we would then continue our trip unimpeded. Instead we found the Skadi parked in an industrial canal in Bamberg and would never set sail again. We were bussed around and given walking tours in miserable cold rain, day after day. On another day we were informed to pack up again that we were leaving the Skadi for yet another ship in Passau and reassured once again that we would be able to resume our cruise on the Danube. That was changed hours later when someone learned that Passau was underwater. We were then told not to pack. Several hours later, we were told to pack up again and we would be moved to Munich via Regensburg.
When we arrived in Regensburg we discovered the city was under siege from the flooding Danube. On our walking tour, again in the driving rain, we actually watched city crews building sandbag walls and flood barriers along the river front.
It then became obvious that we would never be able to resume our cruise. All the area rivers were flooding. We read news accounts of emergency declarations, soldiers being mobilized, evacuations, highways and railroads shutting down, and people dying and missing. All along the Rhine, Main, and Danube cities were in full disaster preparedness. Even Prague was being hit hard. Sadly, the Viking Company never told us any of this and instead of keeping us informed and offering alternatives, they seemed intent on keeping silent and bussing us in and around the disaster. It is hard to imagine what the corporate strategy was.
When we arrived in Munich, I and my travel companions decided that Viking was not acting responsibly nor in the best interest of its passengers. They offered us no further information or alternatives, choosing instead to keep us in the dark and inform us of their plans sometimes with only hours of notice. Our only information was that they would put us in hotels and eventually bus us to our final destinations.
Our 15 day cruise of a lifetime ended in disaster after only 3 days. We are especially disappointed that Viking has been so insensitive to the circumstances, extremely poor with communications, and developing a rapid alternative for its guests.
In Munich, it became apparent the river cruise would never continue as planned and was in practice, if not fact, cancelled, although Viking refused to make that cancellation official. With Viking offering no information beyond 24 hours, we decided that the prudent and safe course would be to immediately leave the flooding and fly home from Munich.
11 days after the trip began, Viking still refuses to acknowledge the scope of the disaster and the horrible impact it had on its guests. Instead, we are being given standard corporate bureaucratic language and told to write them of our "concerns".
We are hopeful that the Viking Company will soon realize that they need to quickly communicate with us, help us with the cancellation, and offer us help with another cruise.