(7:15 p.m. EST) – River cruise lines operating in Europe are monitoring the situation after today’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. So far, one company has reported that cruise passengers due to fly into Belgium’s capital city tomorrow will be diverted to another airport, while another company has opted to transfer passengers by coach instead of train.
No cruises are affected at this stage, with only AmaWaterways considering a change to an upcoming itinerary this weekend. All cruise passengers and crew in the region are understood to be safe and unharmed.
Viking River Cruises was the first to announce an impact for some passengers booked on the 23 March departure of Viking Kara’s 11-night Rhineland Discovery cruise from Bruges, in northwest Belgium, to Basel, Switzerland.
In an emailed statement, Viking said: “Because the Brussels Airport is closed for flights tomorrow, we are working directly with impacted guests and agents to reroute flight itineraries as necessary.
“The safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority, and along with our local partners, we will continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming days.”
Scenic has also revised transportation plans, according to a spokesperson. “No cruises affected but we will be transferring some guests from Paris to Amsterdam via coach instead of rail as the rail services in Belgium are suspended.”
Cruise Critic has reached out to other lines in the region this week. Here are their responses:
AmaWaterways: “AmaWaterways does not currently have any guests in Belgium. We start with the first Tulip Time Cruise on March 27 in Amsterdam, which is scheduled to enter Belgium (Antwerp) on March 30. We are considering re-routing this itinerary and to only focus on the Netherlands. In this case, we may offer tours to Ghent and Bruges from Dutch ports for those guests who still would like to visit those cities. We will add one additional trained security staff member onboard.
”We will also allow our passengers who would like to cancel their Tulip Time Cruise, to switch to another AmaWaterways cruise in 2016, without penalties.”
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: “At this time, we are operating all cruises as scheduled as we continue to assess the situation in real-time, including monitoring alerts from our State Department and Belgian authorities and adhering to any official guidance.
“We will be prepared to make any necessary itinerary changes to upcoming departures visiting Brussels as needed and will always alert affected guests and their travel agents of these changes.
“Guests scheduled to travel on trips including Brussels departing in the next 30 days (through April 22, 2016) may re-book without penalty on any future 2016 departure date, or 2017 if their selected 2016 itinerary is not available.”
Avalon Waterways: “Avalon’s cruises haven’t yet started operating in that part of Europe, so no direct impact this week.”
We will continue to post updates as soon as advised by the affected cruise lines.