How The Brussels Attacks Have Affected River Cruise Travel
Photo courtesy Belgian Tourist Office
Sadly, the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium are causing many travel interruptions, and with the capital city featuring on several river cruise itineraries, a handful of cruise lines are releasing online statements updating travelers as to their current and future plans in the region. In many cases, alternate plans are being offered without penalty.
On its website, Avalon Waterways says that its sister brand Cosmos had travelers in Brussels when the attacks occurred but confirms that they are all safe and have now left the city. Meanwhile, the river cruise line adds, “we are working closely with our representatives in the city to ensure the safety and well-being of future travelers, and therefore guests on any of our brands scheduled to travel within the next month (through April 22, 2016) on any cruise or tour that includes Brussels may rebook to any future 2016 departure date, or 2017 if their 2016 itinerary is not available.”
The line also says, “we will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide any updates as necessary. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by these events, and we applaud the resiliency of the people of Brussels.” Those with any questions about future departures may contact Avalon’s parent company Globus by calling 866-397-6593 or emailing email@example.com.
Briefly on its Facebook page, Tauck also commented on the situation: “we are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred in Brussels. Our hearts are with all those who have been affected. We continue to monitor the situation very closely. As always, the safety of our guests and employees remains our highest priority.”
READ MORE: Terror in Brussels: Travel Agents React
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has posted a comprehensive statement on its website beginning with the line’s condolences: “our world-wide Uniworld family is greatly saddened by the tragic events in Brussels on March 22, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected. We sincerely commend all the Belgian people who are generously offering shelter and transportation to travelers in need, via social media channels such as #IkWilHelpen (‘I want to help’).”
The company also confirms that none of its guests were in Brussels at the time of the attacks, and for the time being, all Uniworld cruises are sailing as scheduled. The line adds, “we will continue to closely monitor the situation, accessing real-time advisories from the U.S. State Department and Belgian authorities and complying with all official directives. Should we need to revise travel arrangements for any Uniworld guest planning to visit Brussels in the near future, we will notify individual guests and their travel agents as soon as possible.
“Please know that we will be taking every precaution to ensure the safety of all Uniworld guests, as well as our onboard teams and onshore staff; as always, their health and welfare is our primary concern. We will continue to post announcements and real-time updates on our website. Guests and travel agents are also welcome to contact us directly at our toll-free call center number.”
Uniworld is offering guests booked on any itinerary that features Brussels and is departing through April 22, 2016 the option to switch to another upcoming 2016 or 2017 sailing date with no penalty. In greater detail, the line adds that it will contact guests and travel agents who reserved airfare through the company if any flights are affected, and guests with Uniworld’s Travel Protection Plan for trips through April 22, 2016 that include Brussels are covered under its "Terrorist Act" condition. Those guests can make a claim should they cancel. Plus, travelers who made a deposit at the time of booking and would like to delay their travel plans may utilize Uniworld’s $300 cancellation travel credit and make a new reservation later.
Meanwhile, Cruise Critic is reporting that AmaWaterways is considering rerouting its upcoming Tulip Time Cruise itinerary, beginning on March 27, to bypass Belgium, the line will add another security member onboard and guests may rebook a different 2016 cruise without penalty. The website also reports that Scenic has no cruises that are affected but will take guests from Paris to Amsterdam by way of coach rather than by suspended train service, and that Viking River Cruises is also monitoring the situation and has rerouted some air travel away from Brussels.
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