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Europe’s River Cruise Season Falling Low

The water levels on the Rhine, a major river in Europe, are supposed to be at their highest in the present months traditionally. However, commercial river traffic operators have been warned of water shortage and possible bottleneck formation at the narrow points of the Rhine as well as its various tributaries.

The news website Bloomberg reported that the water levels on the Rhine and its tributaries have been at their lowest in seventeen months. The snow season was poor, and as a result the meltwater from the Alps Mountains that give water to the rivers of Europe has also been low, which has resulted in lower water levels. In addition to this the month of April was unusually dry.

The situation is at the moment affecting only freight barges that have been traveling with lighter loads to prevent running aground. Most river cruse operators have not been showing much of concern over this matter.

Avalon Waterways, which launched the Avalon Panorama recently, also issued a plan ‘B’ program in the event that the ship will not be able to travel the Frankfurt – Mainz – Rudesheim – Koblenz – Cochem – Cologne itinerary that is being planned. The Panorama may not be able to make the Rhine Gorge Section of the trip and will potentially miss out on Cochem, Koblenz and Rudesheim.

Uniworld, Viking and AmaWaterways, the main cruise lines that offer river cruises on the Rhine and the tributaries, did not report any operational changes. The forecast is rain this week, which is hoped to bring some relief.

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