River Boat Viking Harmon 2 CQ – Do you know anything about an accident that occurred to the Viking longship, Hermod, in the early morning hours of June 7, 2015 on the Rhone River?

Can this accident be verified? The Viking cruise, “Portraits of Southern France”, scheduled to begin on June 7, 2015, was cancelled and all those who arrived for the cruise were told that the Hermod, while being brought to Avignon for the beginning of our cruise, struck a bridge support in a wind storm and was severely damaged. My wife and I were among those who were affected and had to fly back home to the USA.

If you cannot provide information, can you refer us to the appropriate governmental/maritime authority who would have this informatIon?

A – So sorry to hear that you were so badly inconvenienced by this accident. River boats generally continue sailing during inclement weather and this accident appears to be the result. The damage is not being exaggerated and repairs are required. The facts are, in general, as you report them.

We see no need to contact any maritime authorities in Europe. That would be, likely, a frustrating experience. In the States, Viking is a member of Cruise Lines International Association but they act more as a marketing organization for the member lines. Writing, as a one-booking entity to the line’s Customer Service people might earn you a future cruise credit but you represent little clout with a line as large as Viking River.

Your cruise consultant is your true advocate in this kind of situation. Your agent will be working within the Viking sales structure to secure the best possible financial relief on your behalf and to get you all of the information related to this accident that you are requesting. You have paid your agent a commission of at least $1,000. They need to earn it when things don;t go as planned.

Your travel consultant hopefully belongs to a consortium group representing millions of dollars in annual revenue. As such, they will have clout that you as an individual will not have. You need to contact your travel agent and you should expect their cooperation and advocacy. Please advise the outcome as we are anxious to see how Viking reacts to your travel agent’s efforts.

Again, so sorry this had to happen to you.