FAQs / Water Level Information

Our Frequently Asked Questions are periodically updated to address questions we repeatedly hear about our cruise(s), tour packages, and company, Teeming River Cruises. In addition, please refer to our Terms and Conditions which details all the specifics of the tour package. Please do not hesitate to email us if you have any additional questions.

Q: How does Teeming River Cruises keep their prices so low?

A: TeemingRC intentionally selects cruise tours that allow for a more unique build-your-own-adventure concept in river cruising, rather than the typical all-inclusive approach. When possible, dependent on the destination, we love to offer our passengers both flexibility and independence. Instead of expensive group tour buses and guides, we provide resources that enable you to plan your own individual adventure. In fact, the very birth of Teeming River Cruises came from our realization that many of the “all-inclusive” items (such as unlimited alcohol, flag waving city guides, daily bus excursions, & airport transfers) were amenities we didn’t need or want, especially if it meant an exorbitant increase to the cruise price. We believe in a personalized travel experience that gives you more of what you want for a price you can control.

Q: Are flights included or will Teeming River Cruises arrange my airfare reservations?

A: No, flights are not included. With COVID the need to book your air direct with the airline is more important than ever before. You need to have control over your complete journey. Making changes, handling canceled flights, is no longer in the hands of a travel agents, but resides in the palm of your hand. Most all airlines have apps that can handle any changes, updates and notifications (and the airlines prefer this form of communication).

Teeming River Cruises will not be responsible for late arrivals or missed transfers due to delayed or canceled flights, for missed cruise/trip days, or for extra costs resulting from the foregoing. We would advise you to arrive at the departure port at least the day before embarkation in case you have any flight delays. In addition, we strongly encourage you to purchase Travel Insurance to protect you and your investment.

Q: Are transfers to and from the airport included?

A: Transfers are not included with the cruise. To provide a lower cruise price, as well as more individual control, passengers are expected to arrange for their own transfers (via taxi, apps like Uber or Lyft, or public transportation). It is far more efficient and cost-effective than cruise ship bus transfers. This also will eliminate waiting for a group and the bus to fill up.

Q: Does this lower price mean I will be sacrificing the quality of my cruise, ship, food etc. if I book with Teeming River Cruises?

A: We have contracted directly with our numerous shipowners. These luxury vessels offer both form and function. They are each beautifully appointed with their own unique style and offer an elegant, comfortable setting to take in the picturesque scenery. 

Q: How do I know this is real and is not a “too good to be true” scenario?

A: First and foremost, check out our Reviews page on TourRadar, an independent tour booking site, so you can hear firsthand what our passengers are saying about Teeming River Cruises. Although we are new to the river cruise industry, we are not new to business ownership, the service industry, or the travel & hospitality industry.

Q: How do I pay?

A: A nonrefundable deposit of at least 50% of the total fare, per person is required at the time of reservation. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Consult Teeming River Cruises Terms and Conditions for further details.

Q: Do you take credit cards?

A: Yes, we take all major credit cards; MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. Reservation deposits must be made on a credit card. Credit cards usually come with many types of protections including fraud, some travel-type coverage, etc. 

Q: What is the “No Cash Discount Adjustment” on the checkout page?

A: As part of our model of reducing the overall price of the cruise, all prices on the website are the discounted cash price. Cabins can be booked online with a major credit card. The remaining balance is payable by personal check, cashier’s check, or certified bank check to take advantage of the cash discount (5% discount); or by credit card (no cash discount). The quoted total price is a discounted cash price. Please ensure payment (e.g. cashier’s check, certified bank check, etc.) is in U.S. funds. When remaining balance payments are made less than 30 days prior to arrival date, to receive cash discounted price the payments must be paid by overnighting a personal check, cashier’s check, or certified bank check. 

Q: What currency will I need on the cruise?

A: Most of the countries visited on European river cruises will use the Euro although some still have their own local currency (e.g. Hungary). For small purchases (under $10) ashore or in small towns, the local currency is preferred. However, most shops and stores accept major credit cards. We suggest that you have an updated credit card that has a chip. Also, we suggest you take more than one type of credit card as not all types of credit cards are accepted. ATM machines are located onshore at most all ports. Prior to departure, you should confirm your ATM card and PIN will work overseas. ATMs are the best and most cost-effective way to get Euros. All purchases on board are charged to your shipboard account. The onboard currency on river cruise ships is the Euro.

Q: How much foreign money should I bring on the trip?

A: Either prior to leaving home or after your airport arrival, it is a good idea to obtain at least a small amount (@ $50) of foreign money. Although many locations accept credit cards, for small vendors and incidentals some local currency may be necessary. We suggest withdrawing the bulk of your funds from an ATM machine that is part of a bank during your trip. 

Q: Is tipping included in my price?

A: Tipping for the Cruise Director, and ship crew is cruise specific. Please see the individual cruise page for further details. Guests are always able to leave additional tips for the Ship Crew or Cruise Director at the conclusion of their cruise if they choose to do so. It is customary to give cruise gratuities, subject to your satisfaction with the services rendered. Gratuities for your Local Hosts, Local Guides, and Driver are not included in the cruise price and are discretionary.

Q: What additional costs should I expect to pay while on Teeming River Cruises European tour?

A: Our Teeming River Cruises’ tours include all the essentials (e.g. all meals on board your ship, daily housekeeping, Wi-Fi, etc.), so most services are already included. However, there are some additional services or amenities on board that are offered for an extra charge. These include optional shore excursions [varying prices per cruise and port], meals & drinks purchased while on shore, purchases in the onboard shop, laundry services, and phone calls. Depending on the cruise, drink packages (soda, beer, house wine with lunch and dinner), fine wines, champagne, and other premium beverages are offered at an additional cost. These packages are cruise specific, and some cruises may include drinks as well. Check your specific cruise page for details.

Q: When can I purchase shore excursions and smartphone apps?

A: Prior to your sailing date, we recommend downloading Apps where you can purchase “Optional Excursions” for various ports. We strongly recommend you book early to avoid popular excursions selling out. While the excursions are based on a first come first serve basis, you may still be able to purchase some excursions after boarding the ship, depending on remaining openings and availability. It is a good idea to check the third-party tour cancellation policy (as schedules do often change) to make sure it is refundable.

Q: Are accommodations pre and post-cruise included?

A: We do not offer any pre or post-cruise accommodations for passengers. Teeming River Cruises is committed to allowing passengers to determine how they spend their vacation dollars both while at each port during the cruise, as well as pre and post-cruise accommodations and activities. You may wish to make hotel arrangements for the nights before or after your cruise, which is an additional expense. (We encourage passengers to arrive at least 1 day before the cruise in case of possible flight delays.) For hotel suggestions, we suggest searching on sites like hotels.com, expedia.com or booking.com. In Europe, American-named hotel brands are not as common. To be safe, you may want to book with a large European hotel chain like Accor, Ibis, Mercure, or Novotel to name a few. What we personally look for is the guest rating. On a 1-10 scale, we suggest you only look at hotels with a rating of 8 or more. This has always been a fun part of travel (i.e. finding a nice hotel at a good price) for owners of TeemingRC, Jeff and Gina Paglialonga. Also remember that the star rating in Europe means amenities, not the niceness or quality of the hotel. If there is a non-negotiable amenity you would require such as an elevator or air-conditioning, please verify the hotel you are selecting provides this feature. 

Q: Do I need a passport?

A: When traveling outside the United States, a passport is required for U.S. citizens and we also recommend bringing some form of government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license. Passports are required to be valid for at least 6 months after the scheduled return date of the trip. Furthermore, we suggest that you also carry a photocopy of your passport in your luggage. Non-US citizens should check with the respective consulate of the country(s) to be visited for current entry requirements. 

Q: Should I purchase travel protection?

A: Teeming River Cruises makes every effort to ensure that passengers’ trips are safe and enjoyable. However, situations beyond our and their control may occur. We wish our passengers never had to cancel or interrupt their cruise, but occasionally things beyond their control force them to change their plans. Because our deposit is nonrefundable, we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. To help provide you with some peace of mind, Teeming River Cruises has teamed up with Allianz, a leading Travel Insurance Company to offer a comprehensive plan to address many travel concerns such as trip cancellation and interruption, lost and delayed baggage benefits, and emergency medical coverage. Keep in mind that as the passenger, your health plan coverage for a stay outside the US may be limited. To review options and secure a quote, see Allianz Travel Insurance link. Travel insurance usually costs about 8% of your trip cost depending on your age. 

Q: Can you accommodate solo travelers? Or do you allow for three people in a stateroom?

A: Each cabin is designed to sleep two and all prices are per person based on double occupancy. None of the cabins are equipped to accommodate more than 2 passengers (regardless of a passenger being adult or child).

Q: What about young travelers?

A: Passengers who are less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by and share a stateroom with a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult age 18 or older. There are no connecting cabins on Teeming River Cruises’ offered ships. Children under 8 years of age are not allowed. Teeming River Cruises does not provide discounts for young travelers, nor do the offered ships provide entertainment or supervision of children. Parents or guardians are responsible for the appropriate behavior and supervision of their accompanying minors and young adults during the entire cruise.

Q: What about wheelchairs, walkers, and service animals aboard the vessel?

A: Motorized scooters, wheelchairs, and service animals cannot be accommodated on the vessels.

Q: Will you accommodate my special diet while on board?

A: Teeming River Cruises cannot guarantee accommodations for special diets. Small ships have limited choices aboard and we cannot create or maintain a special menu for your diet. Each ship may have specific options in which they will do their best to accommodate any dietary needs. 

Q: Is there medical staff on board?

A: There is no doctor or nurse on board the ships. In the case of an emergency, the crew will immediately contact a medical facility or medical personnel on land, and the ship will stop at the nearest possible landing point to facilitate emergency medical attention.
If you have any medical conditions that are of concern to you, please visit your physician to be thoroughly checked and cleared before embarking on a cruise.

Q: Is smoking allowed on board?

A: Smoking is not permitted inside any ship. You may smoke in designated smoking areas on the deck only. Also, smoking is not permitted on motorcoaches or on any excursion while with the group. This policy applies to all forms of smoking materials including vapor e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Marijuana (whether legal or illegal) or any other illegal drug is strictly prohibited on board. 

Q: What are your future plans? Will you have other dates or more cruises in the future?

A: We are continually growing as a company, adding multiple new cruises to various new countries, rivers, and ports to our itineraries!

In order to add a wider variety of both dates and locations, we will not be exclusively chartering the majority of our cruises. We are always open to new destinations and requests from our TeemingRC clients and look forward to further exploring “more for less” right along with you. On the horizon, we have exciting new itineraries in the works such as; Egypt and the Nile River, Iceland, the Greek Islands, Vietnam, The Amazon, India, and Croatia to name a few. We even have a Serengeti Safari tour package available (email for more info)!

Q: What do I need to consider regarding my baggage?

A. Teeming River Cruises is not responsible for lost or delayed luggage. The ship’s crew will be happy to assist in letting passengers know when and where they will be in each port, so passengers can arrange with their airline for delivery. Teeming River Cruises or the ship’s crew are not responsible for calling airlines on passengers’ behalf to arrange luggage drop off or to inquire about lost bags. There is no baggage limit aboard the vessel, however, all your bags must fit in your cabin without obstructing access in and around the cabin. Teeming River Cruises is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage to baggage and/or personal belongings at any time during the cruise or cruise/tour, or on included transfers or other transportation. A protection plan covering lost, stolen or damaged baggage can be secured by purchasing travel insurance. In case of lost or delayed luggage, passengers are encouraged to buy replacement clothing at their earliest opportunity. Often, airlines have difficulty delivering baggage to cruise passengers as the port location is continually changing as we cruise the river. Typically airlines reimburse travelers for their expenses incurred due to lost luggage.

Q: Do I need to bring an adapter/converter plug to use the electricity while on board?

A: Yes. Check your specific cruise to determine the voltage on your ship. Typically, electricity on board the vessel is 220V, so a power plug adaptor/converter is required to use small appliances such as flat irons, electric shavers, mobile phone chargers etc. Check your specific device to see if it will work on either. 110V or 220V.

Q: What language is spoken on board and during port tours?

A: All Cruise Directors, front desk staff, and assigned local guides speak English, and all ship commentary is conducted in English. Ship commentary and announcements may also be given in other languages depending on the majority language of the guests.

Q: Could there be changes in the itinerary or daily program?

A: The shipowner reserves the right to change the vessel, itinerary, and shore excursions at any time for any reason including water level problems, excessive winds, or a ‘Force Majeure event. In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to take a different route than planned altogether. Although every effort will be made to keep itineraries and tour packages as presented, substitutions may be necessary. In such cases, steps will be taken to make sure the locations visited, the excursions taken, and the vessels offered are like the ones originally planned. 

Q: Is there Wi-Fi provided on board the vessel?

A: Wi-Fi connectivity is provided by an independent third party with separate Terms & Conditions of usage and acceptance thereof. Wi-Fi connectivity is not guaranteed, and is often disrupted, unavailable, and slower on board than you are accustomed to. You will not be able to download or stream movies or most videos. Onboard Wi-Fi will be best for emails and texting. In many cases, the bandwidth cannot support app calling services. To enjoy your overall experience on your entire trip we highly recommend paying the daily rate for cell service in Europe.

Q: How can I communicate with those back home?

A: Please check with your cell phone provider in regard to an international plan. Most major carriers have options that range from $5-$10 per day. This is a bargain as it will also include your existing data plan most likely.

Q: Are there laundry services on board?

A: Each ship is different. There may be laundry services onboard for an additional cost. If so, there will be a cost sheet in each cabin should passengers wish to use that service. See the ship page for specific information.

Q: Is there a fitness center on the ship?

A: Please see the individual cruise ship link on the top menu for specific information regarding each ship. 

Q: What is the dress code on board the ship?

A: The dress code during the day is typically “smart casual” clothing (including shorts, pants, jeans, skirts, etc.).  You may wish to bring items that do not wrinkle easily.  Bring a variety of clothing for the environments expected during your cruise, including light clothing for the hot weather, a sweater or jacket for cooler weather, and of course a raincoat and/or small umbrella. Please check the weather for your specific cruise countries, as the weather can vary quite a bit from day to day. Items you can layer like lightweight jackets/sweaters are ideal. Sunglasses, a sun hat, and sunscreen will also prove helpful. Depending on the season and destination, you may also want to add a warm coat, gloves, and water-resistant footwear. Don’t forget to bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes for sightseeing, which includes walking on rough and uneven terrain (i.e. lots of charming cobblestone streets). Many cruises no longer have “formal nights”, though most passengers still dress up more for special evenings (like the Welcome Aboard, Captain’s Gala, & Farewell Dinner dependent on the cruise). Recommended evening dress is “elegant casual” such as a dress, skirt, or slacks with a sweater or blouse for ladies; for gentlemen, trousers and a collared shirt. Ties and jackets are optional. Shorts are discouraged at dinner.

Q: Where are the berths(docking) in the ports?

A: Docking positions are also dictated by the local Dockmaster. Positions can change with every trip and often the ships change docking positions when in port. In some cities, the port authorities assign several ships the same berth because of the high traffic density. In these cases, the ships berth side by side, and the clear view from your cabin can be affected.

Q: I have a large group from my church/organization that would fill up an entire ship. Can you do an exclusive trip for our group?

A: We can negotiate a deal for your group and also customize an itinerary to your liking. You can reserve part of a ship or the entire sailing. Please email us for more details. 

Q: What happens if there is low water and the ship cannot sail our scheduled itinerary?

A: Our offered cruise ships’ policy is to sail as close to the intended route as possible. Each ship may have different capabilities in low water or high water. This is because of the weight and draft (“Draft” means the number of feet from the waterline to the lowest point of a ship’s keel) of a ship. The ship crew will do whatever possible to make the journey a great experience which may even include changing vessels or changing itineraries. Every high/low water circumstance will require a situation-specific approach.
For more information see our friend Ralph Grizzle’s page on this at River Cruise Advisor.  The bottom line is that no one can control water level issues and a large part of travel is being flexible to enjoy what comes your way. 

More Detailed info on Water Levels and Cruise Itinerary Changes

According to travel expert and Travel Weekly columnist, Richard Turen, with regards to water-levels, “There’s about a 6% to 10% chance that a river cruise itinerary will be impacted, depending upon who is doing the analysis.” He goes on to explain, “…that operations are often a matter of inches of water clearance or bridge clearance and that decisions, of necessity, are often made within hours of a scheduled sailing.”

Moreover, Roland Noordermeer, creator of the River Cruise App and with years of experience as a cruise director goes on to detail, “The local water and shipping authorities display actual water levels at different sections and also do forecasts, but these have become rather unreliable, as they continuously have to correct them this year…Water after rain travels in “waves through” the river and this can be observed when checking the important water level gauges. It is a question of a few hours, sometimes 24 or more that the level is high enough to sail through. The Danube can at times rise/fall 3 or more meters in 24 hours.”

We at Teeming River Cruises know the disappointment of having unexpected and disruptive events occur outside of our control (i.e. acts of God) and how they can affect our passengers’ vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes issues appear that are beyond our control and which require the ship to modify its itinerary. It is understandably disappointing to our passengers and to us, as we truly love being able to give our passengers their dream vacation.

Let us assure you of the following:

  • Ships will sail where they can, when they can, when possible.
  • When you are staying on the ship, there are many benefits as compared to becoming a land tour with daily busing & different hotels.
  • On the ship, crew are in control of the service and food quality which enables them to better deliver their standards. The value they provide can understandably not be sustained off the ship for the same cost.
  • Hotels with enough hotel rooms and amenities are difficult to secure with last minute ‘Force Majeure’.
  • Many ships elect to have passengers stay on board. By staying on the ship, guests do not have to pack and unpack every day as you would on a land tour changing hotels option. 
  • However, please be aware, at some point, you may need to be bused to your departure city for your flights. Similarly, passengers may have to be bused from their arrival city to the ship’s location.
  • Any tours purchased will be fully refunded if they are forced to be canceled. We advise you to contact your insurance company, once home, if you purchased a separate tour through a third party for which you were unable to attend.
  • Teeming River Cruises and our offered cruises do not give full or partial refunds for cancellations due to water levels or other bad weather issues.
  • Shipowners and Captain, have full authority to make decisions about changes in sailing times and itineraries.
  • For up to date GENERAL overview of water levels in Europe please visit http://riverinfo.eu/

Teeming River Cruises will always try to be transparent and informative. Please understand that every situation is somewhat unique with different ships, ports, water-levels etc. but the above information provides general knowledge and standard procedures.