Australian-owned river cruise line Scenic is back in court this week, facing a lawsuit in the High Court by passengers on at least 14 cruises in 2018 who allegedly suffered ‘distress and disappointment’.
The passengers claim that due to low water levels and the way Scenic altered their holiday experience, they didn’t get what they paid for.
This comes after Scenic lost its case in the NSW Court of appeal in 2018 and was instructed to compensate 1,000 passengers affected by flooded rivers in Europe in 2013.
Tim Somerville, the lawyer representing the case said: “The latest is that there is an appeal going to the High Court, to be heard on 11 February.
“The NSW Court of Appeal stated, in effect, that while the passengers can get their money back, they are not entitled to additional damages for distress and disappointment. We are asking the High Court to reverse that, so as to allow the additional distress and disappointment damages.”
At the time of that event, Scenic said in a statement to Cruise Passenger: “Extreme weather conditions in Europe in 2013 impacted on river cruise operations across the Rhine Main and Danube rivers and was the basis for the class action against Scenic which is currently before the High Court. Since 2013, Scenic has improved communication to ensure guests are more aware of extreme weather issues that may impact on river conditions and therefore more able to make an informed choice on their holiday. This includes the establishment of our bespoke compensation through River Cruise Cover.
“River Cruise Cover provides automatic cover once guests have commenced a cruise against certain delays or cancellations that occur due to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, mechanical breakdowns or strikes.”
However, the legal firm representing the passengers says despite their experiences with the 2013 cruises, Scenic again did not cancel tours and refund money to passengers. Lawyer Cameron Graham from Sommerville Legal says “They booked and paid for a luxury cruise and what they were provided with was something entirely different.
“They had gone to Europe expecting to receive what was advertised by Scenic Tours in their brochure, and what they instead got was a poor substitute.”
The company representing the passengers is calling on Scenic to produce documents concerning the cruises, and their knowledge of whether or not river levels were likely to be affected prior to the cruise.
Scenic told Cruise Passenger it could not comment on an ongoing legal matter.