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Following the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine, some river cruise companies have cancelled or diverted their scheduled 2022/23 itineraries involving the two countries. 

Here are the updates for each river cruise company as of March 8 2022. 

Scenic River Cruises 

As of March 4 2022, Scenic decided to suspend all 2022 and 2023 Russia river cruises, including connecting land journeys. 

For those who have booked Russian voyages, a Future Travel Credit (FTC) shall be applied to support making alternative travel arrangements. Scenic’s Reservations Team will call passengers to discuss alternative bookings and the details of the FTC scheme. 

Scenic’s European river cruises will be operating as scheduled, and the company promises to monitor the situation in bordering countries closely, and may amend the itineraries accordingly if there are possible impacts on the passenger experience. 

Affected guests may use Scenic’s Flexible Booking Policy to rebook an alternative river cruise in Europe, France, or Portugal. The policy is also applicable for Scenic Eclipse ultra-luxury voyage up to 60 days before departure, with no Scenic Group Fee. Guests can also choose to transfer their cruise to an FTC to cancel or defer their voyage. 

Emerald Waterways 

As part of the Scenic Group, Emerald Waterways also suspended all its Russia river cruises for 2022, including any connecting land excursions. 

Those with affected departures can take advantage of travel credits, which can be applied for other voyages offered by the company. 

Affected passengers can also use the Flexible Booking Policy similar to Scenic. 

Viking River Cruises

On February 24, Viking River Cruises cancelled all its 2022 departures with Ukraine river itineraries, and on 1 March, it also ceased all operations in Russia. 

The cruise company said they had already notified passengers and travel partners with affected departures. 

Uniworld 

Uniworld has no scheduled river voyages involving Russia and Ukraine for 2022 and 2023. 

However, the cruise line has scheduled itineraries in Finland and Romania, which are near Ukraine and Russia. 

Avalon Waterways 

Avalon Waterways has no scheduled river voyages involving Russia and Ukraine for 2022 and 2023. 

However, the cruise line has scheduled itineraries in Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia, which are near Ukraine and Russia. 

APT Touring

As of press time, APT Touring’s official website still shows available river itineraries involving Russia for 2022 and 2023 sailings. 

The company hasn’t yet announced any cancellation or diversion. 

Tauck

Tauck has no scheduled river voyages involving Russia and Ukraine for 2022 and 2023. 

Riviera River Cruises 

Riviera has no scheduled river voyages involving Russia and Ukraine for 2022 and 2023. 

However, the cruise line has scheduled itineraries in Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia, which are near Ukraine and Russia. 

What should you do if your river cruise has been cancelled?

It is not ideal to call your cruise line immediately when your cruise has been cancelled. Chances are, your call will not be entertained quickly due to the high volume of calls, and most lines will be issuing credits by default. 

If you want a refund, you should first check online to see if your cruise line has an automated refund or rebooking form. This will save you a lot of waiting time. 

Most cruise lines will contact you to inform you about the cancellation. But that will take a few days after the announcement. 

While waiting for your call, you may think about your cruise plans. Are you interested to rebook immediately on a new cruise? Or do you want a future cruise credit? Browse other itineraries so that you are ready with your decision when the cruise line gets in touch. 

Also, take note that COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, and so with the possible escalation of the conflict in Central Europe, there will be cancellations and alterations.

You may find yourself in a situation where your cruise is not cancelled but instead offered an alternative voyage due to local policies. 

So most river cruise lines are offering flexible cancellation policies because of the double whammy, which gives you more choices. 

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