FAQs / Water Level Information

Our Frequently Asked Questions are continually updated to address questions we repeatedly hear about our cruise(s) and company, Teeming River Cruises. In addition, please refer to our Terms and Conditions which details all the specifics of the cruise. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.

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Why is Teeming River Cruises less than half the price of other European river cruises?
Are flights included or will Teeming River Cruises arrange my airfare reservations?
Are transfers to and from the airport included?
Does this lower price mean I will be sacrificing the quality of my cruise, ship, food etc. if I book with Teeming River Cruises?
How do I know this is real and is not a “too good to be true” scenario?
How do I pay?
Do you take credit cards?
What is the “No Cash Discount Adjustment” on the checkout page?
What currency will I need on the cruise?
How much foreign money should I bring on the trip?
Is tipping included in my price?
What additional costs should I expect to pay while on Teeming River Cruises European tour?
When can I purchase shore excursions and smartphone apps?
Are accommodations pre and post cruise included?
Do I need a passport and a visa?
Should I purchase travel protection?
Can you accommodate solo travelers? Or do you allow for three people in a stateroom?
What about young travelers?
What about wheelchairs, walkers and service animals aboard the vessel?
Will you accommodate my special diet while on board?
Is there medical staff on board?
Is smoking allowed on board?
What are your future plans? Will you have other dates or more cruises in the future?
What do I need to consider regarding my baggage?
Do I need to bring an adaptor/converter plug to use the electricity while on board?
What are the seating arrangements in the ship’s dining room?
What language is spoken on board and during port tours?
Will there be a Cruise Director on board?
Could there be changes in the itinerary or daily program?
Is there Wi-Fi provided on board the vessel?
How can I communicate with those back home?
Are there laundry services onboard?
Is there a fitness center on the ship?
Is there a shop on board?
What is the dress code on board the ship?
What are the embarkation and disembarkation times?
Where are the berths in the ports?
I have a large group from my church/organization that would fill up an entire ship. Can you do an exclusive trip for our group?
What happens if there is low water and the ship cannot sail our scheduled itinerary?
Is it safe to travel in Europe?

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Q: Why is Teeming River Cruises less than half the price of other European river cruises?
A: Teeming River Cruises is an independent, family-owned business which was founded with the intent of being the low-price leader in European river cruises, offering an incredibly low price approach to cruising. This way you only pay for activities and tours you choose, as opposed to a price which includes all excursions. (Note: bus charters are extremely expensive in Europe and all-inclusive excursions can dramatically raise the cruise price as well as limit passengers control of their time at port.) Likewise, while some river cruise companies allow unlimited alcohol or wine & beer with every meal; with Teeming River Cruises coffee & tea are offered with each meal and alcohol packages are offered at an additional cost. We seek out and find ships that are not reserved and negotiate excellent charter rates (these can be shoulder season, off-season or even prime season) and bring that lower cost to the market in our pricing.  These are examples of a few of our cost-saving measures intended to allow you to “Explore More for Less”. With our cruise, you can be much more flexible, having more control over your time for less money. Like we like to say, Teeming River Cruises is “Half the Price, Twice the Fun”.  Back to top

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Q: Are flights included or will Teeming River Cruises arrange my airfare reservations?
A: No, flights are not included but Teeming River Cruises can help with your airline reservations. We have access to consolidated airfare contracts and our rates are usually 30-40% below retail if the flights have a “tour rate”. Meaning, these fares are only available if you have booked a tour with us (they are not available on every flight or every airline). In order for us to shop airfare for you please visit the following link Airfare Request Form.
Teeming River Cruises will not be responsible for late arrivals or missed transfers due to delayed or canceled flights, for missed cruise/trip days, or for extra costs resulting from the foregoing. We would advise you to arrive at the departure port at least the day before embarkation in case you have any flight delays. In addition, we strongly encourage you to purchase Travel Insurance to protect you and your investment.Back to top

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Q: Are transfers to and from the airport included?
A: Transfers are not included with the cruise. To provide a lower cruise price, as well as more individual control, passengers are expected to arrange for their own transfers. For example, an UBER from the Amsterdam Airport to the cruise dock is 24-33 €. There is also public transportation to a much greater degree in Europe. For instance, the nonstop train from the airport to Central Station in Amsterdam is 9 €. In Budapest, Taxi fare runs approximately $25. It is far more efficient and cost-effective to use a Taxi or UBER. This also will eliminate waiting for a group and the bus to fill up. Back to top

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Q: Does this lower price mean I will be sacrificing the quality of my cruise, ship, food etc. if I book with Teeming River Cruises?
A: We have contracted directly with the shipowner, Neerlandic Shipping Group who supplies all our vessels, the MS Royal Crown, MS Johann Strauss and the newest addition to our fleet, the MS Royal Emerald. These luxury vessels offer both form and function. They are each beautifully appointed with their own unique style and offer an elegant, comfortable setting to take in the picturesque scenery.
What’s more, the hospitality company who has been contracted to handle all the ship operations including food, staff, operations, captains, and crew, is River AdviceRiver Advice is the leading independent manager of river passenger ships worldwide, operating a fleet of over 100 passenger cruise ships for river cruise companies such as Avalon, Excellence, Vantage Deluxe Travel and Monarch brands. Our business arrangement is no different than these lines. Back to top

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Q: How do I know this is real and is not a “too good to be true” scenario?
A: First and foremost, check out our Reviews page on our website, so you can hear firsthand what our passengers are saying about Teeming River Cruises. Although we are new to the river cruise industry, we are not new to business ownership, the service industry, the hospitality industry or the travel industry. Due diligence for any purchase such as this is always a good idea.

  • We are members of the Better Business Bureau (link at the bottom of this page).
  • Google our name where you can see that we own and operate an agency with a Fortune 500 Insurance Company and have done so for 28 years.
  • Look up our business on SunBiz.org, Florida’s Division of Corporations Official Site. Click here and search “teeming”.
  • Our sister company, Teeming Vacation Rentals, was #7 on the Inc5000 list in 2017 and #25 in 2018  as one of the Fastest growing American companies in the Travel & Hospitality industry. Back to top
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Q: How do I pay?
A: A nonrefundable deposit of at least 50% of the total fare, per person is required at the time of reservation. Final payment is due at least 90 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Consult Teeming River Cruises Terms and Conditions for further details. Back to top

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Q: Do you take credit cards?
A: Yes, we take all major credit cards; MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and AMEX. Reservation deposits must be made on a credit card. Credit cards usually come with many types of protections including fraud, some travel type coverage, etc. (Onboard our ships in Europe do not take American Express.)
Some credit card companies may impose a “Foreign Transaction Fee” even though your transaction is denominated in US dollars. This is an arbitrary fee that occurs in a small number of cases and accrues entirely to the credit card–issuing bank. Teeming River Cruises does not control these bank-imposed fees nor does Teeming River Cruises derive any benefit from them, monetary or otherwise; we are therefore unable to accept responsibility for the fees. If your card is issued in the US and you are a US resident, there should be no additional transaction fees as we are a US-based enterprise. Back to top

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Q: What is the “No Cash Discount Adjustment” on the checkout page?
A: As part of our model of reducing the overall price of the cruise, all prices on the website are the discounted cash price. Cabins can be booked online with a major credit card. The remaining balance is payable by personal check, cashier’s check, certified bank check or money order to take advantage of the cash discount (5% discount); or by credit card (no cash discount). The quoted total price is a discounted cash price. Please insure payment (e.g. cashier’s check, certified bank check, money order etc.) is in U.S. funds. When remaining balance payments are made less than 30 days prior to arrival date, to receive cash discounted price the payments must be paid by overnighting a personal check, cashier’s check, certified bank check or money order. Back to top

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Q: What currency will I need on the cruise?
A: Most of the countries visited on European river cruises will use the Euro although some still have their own local currency (e.g. Hungary). For small purchases (under $10) ashore or in small towns, the local currency is preferred. However, most shops and stores accept major credit cards. We suggest that you have an updated credit card that has a chip. Also, we suggest you take more than one type of credit card as not all types of credit cards are accepted. ATM machines are located onshore at most all ports. Prior to departure, you should confirm your ATM card and PIN will work overseas. ATM’s are the best and most cost-effective way to get Euros. All purchases onboard are charged to your shipboard account. The onboard currency on river cruise ships is the Euro. Shipboard accounts may be paid by Euro or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover). Tips for the crew are calculated in Euros (their local currency)Back to top

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Q: How much foreign money should I bring on the trip?
A: Either prior to leaving home or after your airport arrival, it is a good idea to obtain at least a small amount (@ $50) of foreign money. Although many locations accept credit cards, for small vendors and incidentals some local currency may be necessary. We suggest withdrawing the bulk of your funds from an ATM machine that is part of a bank during your trip. Back to top

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Q: Is tipping included in my price?
A: It is customary to give cruise gratuities, subject to your satisfaction with the services rendered. Gratuities for your Cruise Director, Local Hosts, Local Guides, Driver, and Ship’s Crew are not included in the cruise price and are discretionary. Suggested gratuities are 12 € euro per person, per day for the crew (entire sailing crew, NOT per person) and 3 € euro per person, per day for the cruise director. Please note crew and cruise director gratuities should be paid or charged separately. Back to top

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Q: What additional costs should I expect to pay while on Teeming River Cruises European tour?
A: Our Teeming River Cruises include all the essentials (e.g. all meals on board your ship, daily housekeeping, Wi-Fi, Teeming CityWalking Tour App for smartphones, port taxes & fees etc.), so most services are already included. However, there are some optional services or amenities on board that is offered for an extra charge. These include shore excursions [varying prices per port], meals & drinks purchased while on shore, purchases in the onboard shop, laundry service, and phone calls. Also, cruise drink packages (soda, beer, house wine with lunch and dinner), fine wines, champagne, and other premium beverages are offered at an additional cost.
Most guests do purchase our drink package as it is the best value. A soda and glass of wine if purchased would cost around $10.75 a day (ship currency is in euros, so this amount can fluctuate), consequently, it is well worth it if you plan on having more than 2 drinks a day. In the spirit of transparency, we post the drinks prices online for guests to see prior to sailing with us. To see our drink prices/menu for each ship click the link below.

Royal Emerald Drink Menu/Price List
Johann Strauss Drink Menu/Price List
Royal Crown Drink Menu/Price List

Rhone Princess Drink Menu/Price List

You will also probably want to have some spending money for souvenirs. In addition, there is the cost of gratuities which is up to your discretion [typical gratuities for Crew and the Cruise Director run 15 € euro per person a day as noted in the previous question]. Back to top

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Q: When can I purchase shore excursions and smartphone apps?
A: Prior to your sailing date, we will be sending instructions on downloading Apps where you can purchase “Optional Excursions” for various ports. We have partnered with local guides to offer teeming options to our passengers. Note that these are not exclusively offered to Teeming River Cruises passengers and we strongly recommend you book early to avoid popular excursions selling out and to secure the pre-sailing excursion price. While the excursions are based on a first come first serve basis, you may still be able to purchase some excursions after boarding the ship, depending on remaining openings and availability. You may download the complimentary TeemingRC City Walking Tour App at any time with Wi-Fi service. Confirmed passengers will receive the access information prior to departure. It is a good idea to check the tours cancellation policy (as schedules do often change) to make sure it is refundable.
To book excursions prior to your trip please visit this link- EXCURSIONS
To book to museums and events prior to your cruise please visit this link- TICKETS
To book Local Guides for city walking tours click GetYourGuide
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Q: Are accommodations pre and post cruise included?
A: We do not offer any pre or post cruise accommodations for passengers. Teeming River Cruises is committed to allowing passengers to determine how they spend their vacation dollars both while at each port during the cruise, as well as pre and post cruise accommodations and activities. You may wish to make hotel arrangements for the nights before or after your cruise, which is an additional expense. (Passengers often make hotel reservations to avoid jet lag and in case of possible flight delays.)

For hotel suggestions, we suggest searching on sites like hotels.com, expedia.com or booking.com.  In Europe, American named hotel brands are not as common. To be safe, you may want to book with a large European hotel chain like Accor, Ibis, Mercure or Novotel to name a few. What we personally look for is the guest rating. On a 1-10 scale, we suggest you only look at hotels with a rating of 8 or more. This has always been a fun part of travel (i.e. finding a nice hotel at a good price) for owners of TeemingRC, Jeff and Gina Paglialonga. Also remember that the star rating in Europe means amenities, not the niceness of the hotel. If there is a non-negotiable amenity you would require such as an elevator or air-conditioning, please verify the hotel you are selecting provides this feature. Back to top

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Q: Do I need a passport and a visa?
A: When traveling outside the United States, a passport is required for U.S. citizens and we also recommend bringing some form of government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license. Passports are required to be valid for at least 6 months after the scheduled return date of the trip. Furthermore, we suggest that you also carry a photocopy of your passport in your luggage. Non-US citizens should check with the respective consulate of the country(s) to be visited for current entry requirements. Back to top

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Q: Should I purchase travel protection?
A: Teeming River Cruises makes every effort to ensure that passenger’s trip is safe and enjoyable. However, situations beyond our and their control may occur. We wish our passengers never had to cancel or interrupt their cruise, but occasionally things beyond their control force them to change their plans. Because our deposit is nonrefundable, we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. To help provide you with some peace of mind, Teeming River Cruises has teamed up with RoamRight, a leading Travel Insurance Company to offer a comprehensive plan to address many travel concerns such as trip cancellation and interruption, lost and delayed baggage benefits, coverage for pre-existing conditions when purchased within 21 days of initial trip deposit, and emergency medical coverage. If there’s a possibility you may need to cancel your trip for a reason that’s not typically covered by traditional trip cancellation insurance coverage, consider upgrading to Cancel For Any Reason coverage (CFAR). Keep in mind that as the passenger, your health plan coverage for a stay outside the US may be limited. To review options and secure a quote call us or see RoamRight Travel Insurance link. Travel insurance usually costs about 7% of your trip cost depending on your age. Back to top

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Q: Can you accommodate solo travelers? Or do you allow for three people in a stateroom?
A: Each cabin is designed to sleep two (exception; Cabin 224 on the Royal Emerald) and all prices are per person based on double occupancy. None of the cabins are equipped to accommodate more than 2 passengers (regardless of a passenger being adult or child). Back to top

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Q: What about young travelers?
A: Passengers who are less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by and share a stateroom with a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult age 18 or older. There are no connecting cabins on Teeming River Cruises. Children under 8 years of age are not allowed on any Teeming River Cruises. Teeming River Cruises does not provide discounts for young travelers, nor do they provide entertainment or supervision of children. Parents or guardians are responsible for the appropriate behavior and supervision of their accompanying minors and young adults during the entire cruise. Back to top

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Q: What about wheelchairs, walkers and service animals aboard the vessel?
A: Motorized scooters and service animals cannot be accommodated on the vessel. Wheelchairs and walkers can be stored in your room, but bear in mind the particularly uneven terrain of most of these cobblestone old towns and plan accordingly. Remember, there are no elevators, so your wheelchair and/or walker would need to be carried off the ship. Please bring the lightest wheelchair possible. Back to top

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Q: Will you accommodate my special diet while on board?
A: Teeming River Cruises cannot guarantee accommodations for gluten-free or special diets. Small ships have limited choices aboard and we cannot create or maintain a special menu for your diet.  Back to top

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Q: Is there medical staff on board?
A: On our Teeming River Cruises ships, there is no doctor or nurse on board. In the case of an emergency, we will immediately contact a medical facility or medical personnel on land, and the ship will stop at the nearest possible landing point to facilitate emergency medical attention.
If you have any medical conditions that are of concern to you, please visit your physician to be thoroughly checked and cleared before embarking on a cruise. Back to top

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Q: Is smoking allowed on board?
A: Smoking is not permitted inside Teeming River Cruises vessels.  You may smoke in designated smoking areas on the deck only. Also, smoking is not permitted on motorcoaches or any excursion while with the group. This policy applies to all forms of smoking materials including vapor e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Marijuana (whether legal or illegal) or any other illegal drug is strictly prohibited on board. Back to top

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Q: What are your future plans? Will you have other dates or more cruises in the future?
A: We are growing and adding additional cruises as our personal finances allow. There are many factors and risk that are involved in this endeavor such as; exchange rate fluctuations, airfare rates, competition, and the overall economy. We hope to continually expand our sailings every year. Back to top

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Q: What do I need to consider regarding my baggage?
Teeming River Cruises is not responsible for lost or delayed luggage. We will be happy to assist in letting passengers know when and where we will be in each port, so passengers can arrange with airlines for delivery. Teeming River Cruises is not responsible for calling airlines on passenger’s behalf to arrange luggage drop off or inquire about lost bags. Teeming River Cruises has no baggage limit aboard the vessel, however, all your bags must fit in your cabin without obstructing access in and around the cabin. Most bags with a 12″ depth when flat should be able to fit under the bed. Teeming River Cruises is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage to baggage and/or personal belongings at any time during the cruise or cruise/tour, or on included transfers and other transportation. A protection plan covering lost, stolen or damaged baggage can be secured by purchasing travel insurance. In case of lost or delayed luggage, passengers are encouraged to buy replacement clothing at their earliest opportunity. Often airlines have difficulty delivering baggage to cruise passengers as the port location is continually changing as we cruise the river. Typically airlines reimburse travelers for their expenses incurred due to lost luggage.  Back to top

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Q: Do I need to bring an adaptor/converter plug to use the electricity while on board?
A: Yes. Electricity on board the vessel is 220V, so a power plug adaptor/converter is required to use small appliances such as flat irons, electric shavers, mobile phone chargers etc. Back to top

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Q: What are the seating arrangements in the ship’s dining room?
A: The Teeming River Cruises’ dining rooms feature single dining sessions, with open, unreserved seating. Dining times for all meals may vary depending on the day’s sightseeing and sailing schedule, but in general, meal times are as follows: Early Riser Light Breakfast: 6:30 am Breakfast Buffet: 7:00-9:00 am, Lunch Buffet: 12:00-1:30 pm, Dinner: 7:00-9:00 pm. Back to top

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Q: What language is spoken on board and during port tours?
A: The official language on board is English. All Cruise Directors, Hosts, and Local Guides speak English, and all ship commentary is conducted in English. Back to top

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Q: Will there be a Cruise Director on board?
A: Yes. The Cruise Director and the Crew at Reception look forward to answering your questions, taking care of you and offering helpful suggestions. The Front Desk/Reception is staffed 24 hours a day. Back to top

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Q: Could there be changes in the itinerary or daily program?
A: Teeming River Cruises reserves the right to change the vessel, itinerary and shore excursions at any time for any reason including water level problems, excessive winds or ‘force majeure’ event. In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to take a different route than planned altogether. Although every effort will be made to keep itineraries and tour packages as presented, substitutions may be necessary. In such cases, we will do everything we can to make sure the locations visited, the excursions taken and the vessels offered are like the ones originally planned. Back to top

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Q: Is there Wi-Fi provided on board the vessel?
A: Wi-Fi connectivity is provided by an independent third party with separate Terms & Conditions of usage and acceptance thereof. Wi-Fi connectivity is not guaranteed, and is often disrupted, unavailable, and slower on board than you are accustomed. You will not be able to download or stream movies or most video. Onboard Wi-Fi will be best for emails and texting. In many cases, the bandwidth cannot support Skype or other types of calling services or apps. We will be offering a short talk on “How to use Skype” and “Calling with Facebook” on board.Back to top

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Q: How can I communicate with those back home?
A: There are telephones available in your cabin for you to make outside calls. A price list of calls is located at Reception, as well as part of your cabin directory. In case of emergency, we are also able to assist in sending emails. For $10 a day ATT offers unlimited calls to the US and unlimited data within your normal plan. For details visit ATT. Other carriers may offer similar international plans as well. Back to top

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Q: Are there laundry services onboard?
A: There are laundry services onboard for an additional cost. There will be a cost sheet in each cabin should passengers wish to use that service. Back to top

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Q: Is there a fitness center on the ship?
A: Please see the individual ship link on the top menu for specific information regarding each ship. Back to top

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Q: Is there a shop on board?
A: There is a small shop on board the Royal Crown and the Royal Emerald, but not on the Johann Strauss. The onboard shop offers a selection of toiletries, cosmetics, everyday commodities and a limited number of souvenirs. Back to top

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Q: What is the dress code on board the ship?
A: Dress code during the day is “smart casual” clothing (including shorts, pants, jeans, skirts etc.).  You may wish to bring items that do not wrinkle easily.  Bring a variety of clothing for the environments expected during your cruise, including light clothing for the hot weather, a sweater or jacket for cooler weather, and of course a raincoat and/or small umbrella. Please check the weather for your specific cruise countries, as the weather can vary quite a bit from day to day. Items you can layer like lightweight jackets/sweaters are ideal. Sunglasses, a sun hat, and sunscreen will also prove helpful. Depending on the season and destination, you may also want to add a warm coat, gloves, and water-resistant footwear. Don’t forget to bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes for sightseeing, which includes walking on rough and uneven terrain (i.e. lots of charming cobblestone streets).

There are no “formal nights” on Teeming River Cruises, though most passengers dress up more for the Welcome Aboard & Farewell Dinner. Recommended evening dress is “elegant casual” such as a dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse for ladies; for gentlemen, trousers and a collared shirt. Ties and jackets are optional. Back to top

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Q: What are the embarkation and disembarkation times?
A: On the day you board your ship, your cabin will be available at 3:00 pm. You may visit the ship earlier to drop off your bags so you can go enjoy the city. On the day of disembarkation, your cabin will no longer be available after breakfast and you need to vacate your cabin by 9 am. You may sit in the ship’s lounge or on the Sun Deck until disembarkation. Back to top

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Q: Where are the berths (docking) in the ports?
A: In some cities, the port authorities assign several ships the same berth because of the high traffic density. In these cases, the ships berth side by side and the clear view from your cabin can be affected. Unfortunately, Teeming River Cruises has no influence over berth assignment. Docking positions are also dictated by the local Dockmaster and positions can change with every trip. Back to top

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Q: I have a large group from my church/organization that would fill up an entire ship. Can you do an exclusive trip for our group?
A: We can negotiate a deal for your group and also customize an itinerary to your liking. You can reserve part of a ship or the entire sailing. Back to top

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Q: What happens if there is low water and the ship cannot sail our scheduled itinerary?
A: TeemingRC’s policy to sail as close to our intended route as possible. With our older ship, the Royal Crown, it is a deck lower than new ships and can sail in high water when other ships can’t. The Royal Crown can also sail in lower water when other ships cannot. This is because of the weight and draft (“Draft” means the number of feet from the waterline to the lowest point of a ship’s keel) of a ship. In the summer of 2018, when most of the Viking fleet was docked, the Royal Crown kept sailing. Our newest ship will have the same issues as other lines with high or low water. Our policy is to sail to wherever we can go. We will do whatever possible to make the journey a great experience which may include changing vessels or changing itineraries. Every high/low water circumstance may require a different decision.
For more information see our friend Ralph Grizzle’s page on this at River Cruise Advisor and another site that tracks water levels. The bottom line is that no one can control water level issues and a large part of travel is being flexible to enjoy what comes your way. Back to top

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Q: Is it safe to travel in Europe?
A: Many people who have never traveled to Europe do not realize how safe it is. For most all Americans, Australians, or Brits, it is far much safer to travel where we go compared to home (specifically Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary…).  SafeAround is a website that lets you assess risk levels in over 100 countries and cities worldwide.– see World Danger Rankings – note the following rankings with 1 being the safest place: Iceland – 1, Austria – 3, Switzerland – 7, Czech Republic – 9, Netherlands – 14, Germany – 16, Hungary – 18, Sweden – 22, Slovakia – 29, Italy – 37, United States of America – 57, and France – 64 Back to top

More Detailed info on Water Levels and Teeming River Cruises Itinerary Change Policies

According to travel expert and Travel Weekly columnist, Richard Turen, with regards to water-levels, “There’s about a 6% to 10% chance that a river cruise itinerary will be impacted, depending upon who is doing the analysis.” He goes on to explain, “…that operations are often a matter of inches of water clearance or bridge clearance and that decisions, of necessity, are often made within hours of a scheduled sailing.”

Moreover, Roland Noordermeer, creator of the River Cruise App and with years of experience as a cruise director goes on to detail, “The local water and shipping authorities display actual water levels at different sections and also do forecasts, but these have become rather unreliable, as they continuously have to correct them this year…Water after rain travels in “waves through” the river and this can be observed when checking the important water level gauges. It is a question of a few hours, sometimes 24 or more that the level is high enough to sail through. The Danube can at times rise/fall 3 or more meters in 24 hours.”

We at Teeming River Cruises know the disappointment of having unexpected and disruptive events occur outside of our control (i.e. acts of God) and how they can affect our passengers’ vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes issues appear that are beyond our control and which require us to modify our itinerary. It is understandably disappointing, not just for our passengers but for us, the owners of Teeming River Cruises, as we truly love being able to give our passengers their dream vacation.

Let us assure you of the following:

  • We will make every effort to inform our guests as soon as possible. Please be aware that water levels, as well as forecasts, can change within hours.
  • Guest communication from Teeming River Cruises will be in the form of an email, text, or via our experienced Cruise Director whilst on board.
  • We will make every effort to not turn your vacation into a bus tour.
  • We will sail where we can, when we can, instead of busing guests from ship to ship, or hotel to hotel.
  • When you are staying on the ship, there are many benefits as compared to becoming a land tour with daily busing & different hotels.
  • On the ship, we are in control of the service and food quality which enables us to better deliver our standards. The value we provide can understandably not be sustained off the ship for the same cost.
  • Hotels with enough hotel rooms and amenities are difficult to secure with last minute ‘force majeure’.
  • By staying on board guests do not have to pack and unpack every day as you would on a land tour changing hotels option. (This is one of the big reasons people choose a river cruise.)
  • However, please be aware, at some point, we may need to bus you to your departure city for your flights. Similarly, we may be required to bus guests from their arrival city to the ship’s location.
  • We are committed to providing our guests with the right tools & advice to be able to explore towns, cities, and attractions on their own, for which your Cruise Director will be available to assist.
  • We will add new cities to our Teeming River Cruises’ City Walking Tour App as needed.
  • Any drink package purchased on board will be refunded for each mandatory transfer day you are not on the ship and hence unable to use your drink package (i.e. evening meal).
  • Any tours purchased through Teeming River Cruises only will be fully refunded if they are forced to be canceled. We advise you to contact your insurance company, once home, if you purchased a separate tour for which you were unable to attend.
  • We do not give full or partial refunds for cancellations due to water-levels or other bad weather issues.
  • Our Cruise Director has full authority to make decisions (in conjunction with the Captain) as to changes in sailing times and itineraries (given there will be times when last-minute decisions must be made without the opportunity to first receive Home Office approval).
  • For update to date GENERAL overciew of water levels in Europe please visist http://riverinfo.eu/

Teeming River Cruises will always try to be transparent and informative. Please understand that every situation is somewhat unique with different ships, ports, water-levels etc. but the above information provides general knowledge and company procedures.

Information from Cruise Director and creator of the River Cruise App Roland Noordermeer

The River Rhine is a perennial river with a catchment of 185,00 sq. km is usually very predictable. The Rhine’s two largest tributaries, The River Moselle and Main have been completely harnessed and in general, do not cause much trouble.
Extreme rainfall however in the entire Rhine catchment area over an extended (continuous) period of time could cause some flooding with occasional extremes such as August 2002 and June 2013 when the river cruise industry was disrupted for a few weeks. Flooding in the Rhine catchment mainly takes place during winter and early spring.
The Danube Catchment being 800,000 sq. km is a bit more unpredictable and it is not completely harnessed by man. Plans to construct a number of barrages and accompanying locks have existed for a couple of decades to solve shipping challenges have gone down the drain after several lawsuits from the green parties who recently won.
On average, small parts of the Danube cannot be navigated 60 days a year (mainly in winter months of January and February), this can be easily solved by just waiting behind a bridge during high water or at a ford during low water until you can sail through, sometimes a few hours, sometimes a day and that’s it. Nothing to worry about.
The River Elbe has always been a very challenging river and notorious for low water and the industry has had some interesting challenges, therefore special ships equipped with paddle wheels have been built and are successful.
Due to extreme heat throughout Europe this spring and summer we have had quite some challenges in the RMD Region (Rhine, Main, Danube, and their tributaries). unforeseen and worse than the summer of 2003, when we had some challenges as well.
Not a drop of rain throughout the RMD region for several months caused extreme low water on the Danube with not only the usual fords, becoming rather shallow but also at unusual sections. This has created unexpected situations, thus given some serious headaches to the industry and its customers.
The local water and shipping authorities display actual water levels at different sections and also do forecasts, but these have become rather unreliable, as they continuously have to correct them this year.
Water after rain travels in “waves through” the river and this can be observed when checking the important water level gauges. It is a question of a few hours, sometimes 24 or more than the level is high enough to sail through. The Danube can at times rise/fall 3 or more meters in 24 hours.
Now we have had a lot of rain in the catchment for the past weeks, which saturated the land again and extra rain will now be able to find its way to the river feeding a lot of shallow sections again. Nevertheless, if rain doesn’t come the wave is gone again after 72 hours, a rather complicated situation to predict.
The most challenging stretch of the Danube is between Regensburg and Passau where a natural part of the river is only fed by 3 sizeable rivers, The Altmühl joining the Danube as part of the Main-Danube-canal, The Naab, just before the Danube reaches Regensburg and the Isar, just past Deggendorf.
The river was forecasted to be navigable for a few days, last week, but then a correction took place to this week, which is communicated by the authorities last minute…
I hope it helps you understand that the industry and all cruise lines are doing their utmost best to properly inform you about the situation on the rivers.
This problem caused by nature is very expensive for the cruise lines as well. Let’s hope we can sing in the rain again, this fall.

Information form Ralph Grizzle, RiverCruiseAdvisor

See his recent write up at https://www.rivercruiseadvisor.com/water-levels/

Information from Columnist Richard Turen

Richard Turen owns Churchill & Turen, a luxury vacation-planning firm based in Naples, Fla., and is an owner and editor of the Churchill & Turen Media Group. He has been named the top-producing adviser in the Virtuoso Network and a Travel Superstar by Conde Nast Traveler.

Links to the full article.
River Cruise Needs/Facts

There’s about a 6% to 10% chance that a river cruise itinerary will be impacted, depending upon who is doing the analysis. That’s a range of uncertainty that justifies having every river cruise line help set expectations for guests and share some scenarios for what could occur if a trip is interrupted.

Every river cruise guest should be offered a chance to purchase optional insurance enabling them to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours prior to embarkation.”

We understand that every situation is somewhat unique. But on-the-spot decision-making at the front desk once our guests have boarded or, even worse, lines of guests waiting onboard for word from management located abroad, isn’t satisfactory.

While we’re admittedly facing conditions beyond anyone’s control, we can do better. As the warden in “Cool Hand Luke” declared, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” Our clients have a right to better communication regarding water levels on Europe’s enchanting rivers.”