Cruise routes are being changed due to low water level of the Volga.

  • access_time14 May, 2015

Due to low water level of the Volga and other navigable rivers, cruise tour operators are forced to change cruise routes and move passengers to ships with a smaller draft, Mosturflot cruise company representative Svetlana Goncharova said.

 The expert noted that this is the second year in a row that the Volga and other rivers are shallowing, but the repeat of 2014 crisis didn’t catch tour operators by surprise.

 ''We have taken into account the circumstances in which we had to operate last year when we were confronted with the fact that our motorships  won’t be able  sail on Volga because of low waters. Rivers do get shallow from times to times, but this year is unique, because it is the second year in a row that the Volga is shallowing. There was little snow in the winter, rivers didn’t flood in spring, and as a result we have the same situation as in 2014, but since all cruise operators monitored the water level, we are ready for such a season"- said the specialist.

 Having received information that four-deck ships with a draft of 2.8m won’t be able to pass certain parts of the Volga (and that starting from July ships with even ships with a draft of 2.3m will be stopped), tour operators started looking for alternative routes and replacing ships.

 Passengers now have two options: they can go on the original route they chose, but by another vessel of the same level, or remain on the original vessel, but take a different route within similar dates.

"Now all the operators are busy moving passengers to other ships. There are not many cancellations, though. Most of our customers are loyal enough and understand that this is a force majeure. So, usually they accept an alternative option" – added Goncharova.