River cruise companies have been forced to cancel the rest of their 2021 season for their European Christmas Market sailings due to Austria going back into a two-week lockdown that commenced on November 22 as COVID-19 cases rose.
A few days later on November 25, Slovakia announced it would also be going into lockdown for two weeks. That decision prevented river cruise lines who sail on the Danube River stopping in Bratislava.
Germany has also cancelled their popular Christmas Markets and is considering going back into lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID cases. It is the second year that they have cancelled the Christmas Markets in the Bavaria region, which includes Nuremberg, Passau and Regensburg. The Munich market was cancelled just three days before it was due to open this week.
Some cruise lines have not cancelled the rest of their 2021 cruise season and instead are modifying itineraries or simply removing any sailings that travel through Austria.
So which cruise lines have cancelled their Christmas Markets cruises?
AmaWaterways is still sailing at this time and told Cruise Critic they are monitoring the situation.
Avalon Waterways has cancelled all remaining Danube and Main-Danube cruises. Avalon told Cruise Critic, “Due to conditions related to COVID-19, the Austrian and Bavarian governments have announced lock-downs and Christmas Market closures that will have a direct impact on select Avalon Waterways cruises”
Crystal River Cruises has cancelled all remaining Danube River cruises on board the Crystal Debussy.
Emerald Waterways, Scenic and Tauck have cancelled all remaining 2021 European Danube River cruises. Tauck is still sailing on the Rhine River however.
“In the wake of increased lockdown measures in central Europe, Scenic Group have taken the decision to suspend all remaining 2021 European river cruises,” Scenic Group said in a statement to Cruise Critic.
Uniworld has cancelled selected itineraries due to depart in the first two weeks of December including the Danube Holiday Markets, Classic Christmas Markets and European Holiday Markets itineraries.
Ms Ellen Bettridge, President and CEO of Uniworld told Cruise Critic, “Due to Covid-related lockdowns in Austria and the closing of various European Christmas Markets, we will be suspending select Uniworld departures and are working on an alternative for guests still interested in experiencing the European holiday markets this year along the Rhine River.”
She added that guests have been contacted to discuss alternative travel dates and sailing options.
Viking is still sailing but will sail through Austria without stopping.