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River Cruises Affected by River Volumes

What’s new with travel? As a resilient breed, those of us working in the travel industry have faced a host of new challenges, an alphabet of airport chaos, baggage missing in transit, covid restrictions and now – dry riverbeds. We take it in our stride, however, to find out more ITTN’s Shane Cullen spoke with Brian Hynes, National Sales Manager of Ireland for The Travel Corporation, who shared that “the small number of guests and agents that were affected were very understanding of the situation as it’s outside of our control and most rebooked or opted for alternative cruises”.

President & CEO of Uniworld, Ellen Bettridge shared, “The nature of rivers is that they ebb and flow with the seasons, and we have made adjustments as necessary with current low water levels caused by the staggering summer heat,”.

She continues, “Our guests are always our first priority, so while we may have to make changes to some of our itineraries and have had to cancel a few voyages, impacted guests and travel partners have and will receive transparent updates and the opportunity to re-book onto another sailing. Guests can be assured that we will still provide the 5-star Uniworld experience that they know and expect.”

How Uniworld Handles the Unexpected:

The company explains “While travel is a wonderful way to see the world, learn about other cultures and relax, it isn’t always without its unexpected surprises—which come from the ebbs and flows of the world as we know it. With that in mind, you can count on the value of Uniworld’s experience and regional knowledge to make sure you enjoy your cruise-tour even when conditions beyond our control occur.”

If unexpected conditions occur, Uniworld will make decisions that are in the best interest of guests, crew and vessels. They list the steps they take as follows:

Uniworld will keep you posted on significant deviations

They monitor conditions along all routes throughout the season and will share updates with customers and travel advisors when deemed appropriate.

  • During unusually low/high water periods, a special statement will be posted on their website to inform clients of the river conditions and travel advisors will be directly contacted with relevant updates.
  • If there is a likelihood that a particular cruise will be significantly impacted, their website will be updated with information about that cruise.
  • In the case of a significant deviation or full cancellation, clients will be notified at the email address provided at time of booking or on the Passenger Information Form.
  • In the case of a significant deviation that becomes necessary after the start of the cruise-tour, Uniworld’s onboard/on shore personnel will keep clients informed.

Patience & Service

In fact, while in the forefront of our minds with press coverage, this is not a new phenomenon and suppliers have always had to adapt to meet challenges, changing conditions and the unexpected. With many customers embarking on their first big holiday since pre-covid, hopefully a little patience combined with excellent customer service by all tour operators ensure a happy and memorable journey, wherever that may be.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.

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