Viking Forseti cruise that never left port due to river flooding
Our Viking cruise was to have initiated in Basel, Switzerland Saturday June 1. We flew in early to be able to see Lucerne, Switzerland. The locals in Lucerne said the Rhine was higher than they had seen in twenty years and it was still raining. This probably should have been a tip off for us that maybe there was a problem. My view is Viking should have given us the choice of canceling the river cruise at this point. Yes it probably would have been a mess to arrange flights back home but we should have been given a choice. Instead we were bused to our ship on Saturday which was now docked in Briesach, Germany. The Rhine River was so flooded that the boat couldn't make it up the river to Basel. Apparently there was an issue of navigation safety due to river flooding and low bridge clearance.
Briesach was to have been the first stop on the cruise. The ship remained docked there from Saturday(6/1) through Wednesday(6/5). Each night, the ship's officers indicated that we were not able to sail due to river conditions. During these four days we were bused to the various stops that were supposed to have happened had the boat sailed. One of the excursions was an extremely long and uncomfortable bus trip. I mean from Briesach to Heidelberg and then back to the boat was a long miserable day. During the four days we were in Briesach, the ship was parallel parked next to another ship so the view from our veranda (at additional cost) is into the stateroom of the adjacent ship. The ship was moved at the end and the view was actually quite nice in spite of the river being at flood stage. On Wednesday, we were bused to Cologne to another ship. This boat is docked in an heavily industrial area with a very steep rope lined gangplank. Difficult to maneuver for us old guys but no one fell in. The normal docking downtown was of course precluded by the flood stage of the river. Finally on Friday(6/7) we were bused to Amsterdam for an over night hotel stay and flights in the morning..
The whole trip consisted of an evacuation from one end to the other. It's not a river cruise when the boat never leaves the dock. The trip was totally disrupted by the flood conditions that precluded the ship from ever leaving port. We were basically evacuated from the beginning to the end. We felt that we didn't get anything resembling what we paid for. We requested a full refund for the cruise including airfare from Viking. We received a response from Viking acknowledging there were disruptions to the trip. However what they offered was 75% of the cruise cost applicable to a future Viking River Cruise. In my view, this is totally inadequate.