Flooding Hits Several European Countries; Elbe River Cruises Affected

April 18, 2006

Heavy rains and quickly melting snow in the Czech mountains have caused Europe's second largest river -- the Danube -- to hit near-record levels, particularly in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Ten thousand Romanians faced evacuation today from low-lying villages, according to Reuters.

Central Europe's Elbe River is also on the rise; according to a spokeswoman for the line, Peter Deilmann's Dresden and Frederic Chopin were unable to operate and have been stationery for the past 10 days; the next seven-night sailings departing April 22 will be operating normally. Deilmann's ships on the Danube have not experienced flood-related itinerary changes, however; both operated as scheduled last week with some minor alterations for operational requirements.

A spokeswoman for Avalon Waterways tells us that because its first lower Danube cruise isn't until the end of June, the company does not anticipate any flood-related itinerary changes. The first river cruise on the upper Danube in early May should sail as scheduled, as high water levels are expected to decrease over the next few weeks.

Viking River does not have any cruises on the Danube until end of April, so no cruises are affected or canceled at this time. A representatives for Uniworld will provide us with information as soon as it becomes available; stay tuned to Cruise Critic for the latest.