High and Dry

Date: Sunday 19 August 2018.

Location: Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Central Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Today we were due to start another river cruise with Viking across Europe from Amsterdam and ending in Budapest in Hungary. Two days ago we received an email from the company telling us that due to low water levels we would not be able to join the ship in Amsterdam. We were to stay in a hotel there instead and make the journey by bus on Monday to Kinderdijk, our next destination. We were given the impression that we would then journey to Cologne in Germany (our third stop) by bus and join the ship there.

When we arrived at the hotel, following a brief walk around Amsterdam, we were told that following our excursion in Kinderdijk we would, in fact, be travelling to Rotterdam and staying there overnight before travelling to Cologne. Following our excursions in Cologne the plan was that we would join the ship at Mainz. Although the company had said they were going to refund a significant proportion of the cost of the holiday as a credit note towards a further cruise, the current holiday was clearly disappointing, and nothing like the experience we paid for.

The food tonight was not brilliant, presumably because it had to be produced at short notice. We chatted over dinner with a couple from Florida and another couple from New Zealand. They seemed remarkably sanguine under the circumstances, but I suspect “the natives will become more than a little restless” if further modifications have to be made!

Our room at the Doubletree was on the 10th floor. There is only one more floor, and this contains a rooftop bar. The significance of this only became apparent when we were woken up at 01.00 by a text message. Extraneous noises from the bar made it difficult to get back to sleep in preparation for our early rise next day.


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