Broken River Lock Forces Cruise Itinerary Changes on Danube River

October 16, 2013
(8:15 a.m. EDT) -- A river lock on a stretch of the Danube River running along the border of Hungary and Slovakia has been closed for repairs, forcing at least one cruise line to make alterations to published itineraries.

Viking River Cruises has confirmed that the Gabcikovo lock between Budapest and Bratislava has been closed for repairs, affecting some of the line's scheduled sailings.

"The closure is expected to last a few days," a spokesperson for the line told Cruise Critic.

"Passengers are continuing on scheduled excursions in both cities and while Viking ships remain in Bratislava, a combination of motorcoach rides and occasional one-night hotel stays in Budapest are used to maintain itineraries."

While Viking has not specified which ships are being affected, multiple online schedules show that up to nine ships were scheduled to call in Budapest this week. Additionally, Cruise Critic members have taken to the boards to discuss the closure. Member acruisefan kicked off the discussion on October 10, after being told that his AmaWaterways cruise would begin with a bus ride from Budapest to Bratislava.

Member Jimmyfan concurred on October 13, reporting: "The lock is being shut down for 5 days, sometime today. We are currently on the Viking Idun and left last night so we could get though the lock before it closed. They bussed the guests back to Budapest this morning."

Cruise Critic is awaiting response from the Slovakian authority controlling the lock and will update this story with any information we receive.

--by Jamey Bergman, Production Editor, U.K.