(5:30 p.m. EST) — Cruise travel in France’s ports and rivers returned to normal Monday, while passengers booked on future trips considered their options in a world where current events often affect or change vacation plans.
P&O’s Ventura, which docked in Le Havre on Saturday, canceled all excursions into Paris over the weekend. Passengers on Viking River Cruises on the Seine were able to leave Paris as scheduled on Saturday, and other passengers were rerouted out of other French cities, such as Bordeaux.
In Marseilles, museums and sites were closed for a three-day period of national mourning, so passengers on Costa Favolosa, which was docked there, were reimbursed for all shore excursions. The ship held a minute of silence and entertainment was suspended Saturday.
Cruise Critic member Albert Quilter reported live from her river cruise on Viking Pride. “We were due to sail into Paris this evening and disembark tomorrow. We have just been advised that we will stay in Conflans tonight, and disembarkation is expected to still happen tomorrow but from Conflans instead of Paris.
The optional tour to Versailles was cancelled today because of the lockdown. I did not hear any complaints. Mood on ship is much more somber than it has been for the past week, which is understandable. Some just want to get home.
We have had a great cruise, though. The staff have been fantastic, the food amazing, and most tours have exceeded my expectations.”
Avalon announced on its Facebook page that passengers scheduled to travel on a cruise that includes Paris within the next month (through December 14) could rebook to another 2015 or 2016 departure date without penalty. Other cruise lines, such as Uniworld, noted that December cruises to Paris would go on as planned.
On the Cruise Critic message boards, members have been talking about the tragedy and mulling over future cruises to France and Europe.
Said Vedettes1: “Just last month I spent a week in the very neighborhood of the restaurant shooting. It’s a beautiful, lively, mellow area. I think I will go back, but not for a while, not from fear but from sadness.”
“I felt much safer living in both Germany and Italy than I ever have living in the US and that feeling will continue,” said BubMunkeyBles. “Still crossing fingers to be able to spend more extended time over there again. I’ve been blessed to travel the world thanks to my husband’s job in the military and truly feel it’s an overreaction to cancel travel to Europe.”