140 passengers evacuated from stranded Danube River cruise amid historic flooding

   June 5, 2024 ,   Accidents

~140 passengers were evacuated from an unidentified river cruise ship on the Danube River in Southern Germany earlier this week. Concurrently, Austria has closed the waterway to all traffic amid historic flooding that prompted Germany to declare a state of emergency on Monday.

Reports indicate that passengers from the USA, the UK, and Australia were removed from the boat, which had been stranded since Sunday.

Southern Germany has experienced persistent heavy rainfall for several days, resulting in severe flooding in regions such as Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. Tragically, several lives have been lost, including a firefighter involved in a rescue operation.

According to DPA International (press agency), Austria has shut down the entire 350-km stretch of the Danube within its borders, from Passau in Germany to Bratislava in Slovakia. This closure has forced several cruise ships to dock in Linz. On Tuesday, the Danube overflowed its banks in Linz.

A spokesperson for the state waterway company, Via Donau, stated that safety cannot be guaranteed above a certain water level.

Hungary is also bracing for flooding, with the mayor of Budapest issuing a first-degree (lowest level) flood alert on Tuesday. The lower embankment of the river in Budapest is expected to close to traffic from 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 6.

Viking issued the following statement:

"Currently, sections of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers are experiencing high water levels. To varying degrees, these conditions may affect select itineraries. Our Switzerland-based nautical team is continually monitoring the situation and will make any necessary adjustments to accommodate the conditions. Guests and their Travel Advisors will continue to be notified directly if we think that their itinerary might be impacted."