Q – Our travel agent told us that mid-October was a great time to do the Rhine because the tourists have left and the temperatures are cooling off. So here we are, scheduled to leave on October 13th on Viking with no recourse until they, on their own, decide to cancel our cruise – which of course they won’t, given how much money is at stake. So we are, according to our agent, facing some likely changing of boats or, worse, ending up on a bus tour from hell. We are going with another couple and they are having tee shirts made that will read “I paid $16,400 and all I got was a lousy bus ride”. We will wear them when/if appropriate. Comments? Should we change travel agents – perhaps working with you instead?
A – We would not suggest changing travel agents yet. Our clientele does not wear tee shirts in public so we may not be a good fit. Actually, your agent tried to have you avoid the drought – although October is often a time of high water levels as the rains come to northern and central Europe. You were given factual information about Viking’s policy – full cancellation is charged unless they cancel your sailing. So, yes, a bus tour is totally possible, at least for a part of your journey. Going forward, and looking at current weather patterns, we prefer to have our riverboat guests back home no later than October 20th. But that is an arbitrary figure and very subject to environmental change.