Changes in water levels not concerning for river lines, says AmaWaterways owner

Low or high water levels are not a barrier for river cruise lines as they can easily adapt to any changes, according to Kristin Karst, executive vice-president, co-founder and co-owner of AmaWaterways.

Last year, several river cruise lines faced challenges due to low water levels on the Danube and Rhine following a drought across the continent.

However, Karst said she is not concerned about water levels changing, and declared the line will “adapt and work with it” if they do.

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Speaking at Clia’s RiverView Conference in Vienna, Karst said: “Water levels haven’t changed much in all the years we’ve been cruising, and when it does change, we work with it by doing things like offering more itineraries in Austria where the water level is regulated by the locks.

“For example, we don’t sail on the Nile in July or August because the water level is lower and to compensate we start the season earlier by sailing from the start of the year and we can do the same in Europe if we need to.

“We can adapt very easily.”

Giles Hawke, chief executive of Avalon Waterways, added river cruise ships are all similar within a brand so it is not a challenge for river cruise lines to move customers between ships if they do face challenges which prevent sailings from taking place.

“Each brand’s ships are very similar and you don’t need to see every ship to know what a brand is about,” he said.

“It means that customers can go between ships within one brand without any problem because they are so similar. So if an itinerary is changed, a line can easily transfer passengers onto another ship in their fleet.”

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