The ban on sailing past Budapest’s iconic illuminated Parliament House by night, has been lifted. But not all river cruise lines are rushing to get back on the water.
The government ban was imposed after the tragic accident where a tourist sightseeing boat and a Viking River Cruises ship collided, resulting in the death of 27 South Korean tourists.
Lines like AmaWaterways with APT have halted the cruises at night while the investigation has continued.
Avalon Waterways have also stopped their evening cruises telling Travel Weekly it will “discontinue illumination sailings at this time.”
But lines like Crystal River Cruises have said they have resumed the cruises following the new rule, which was implemented in January this year. It requires ships to go farther beyond the crowded stretch of the Danube, before turning around.
Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge issued a statement saying, “Neither Uniworld nor U River Cruises offered illumination cruises or excursions before the incident. Uniworld changes docks in Budapest where guests can see the Parliament building illuminated when passing between the two dock locations. This route hasn’t been affected.”
But industry experts are questioning how important these illumination sailings are to passengers, and river lines are still trying to determine how to eliminate the growing tension between local thoroughfare on the Danube, versus customer expectations.
It’s believed that some river lines may have to look for land base tours and operators for cruisers to get the spectacular views of the parliament house if there are still issues around sailing at night.