Cruise

Scenic appeals court order following class action threats

Scenic is appealing a court order to provide documents in a legal battle with passengers whose cruises were affected by low water levels in 2018.

Passengers from 14 Scenic river cruises that were interrupted by drought in Europe last year have complained the cruise line offered a poor substitute to the luxury cruises advertised.

In October, the NSW supreme court determined passengers could have a case against Scenic Tours and ordered the company to provide documents to help determine how many Australian passengers were affected.

At the time, a Scenic spokesperson told Travel Weekly that no guests had come forward in relation to a class action for the weather conditions in 2018, but confirmed it has been asked to provide documentation for some cruises affected by low water in 2018.

The spokesperson also confirmed the cruise line is reviewing its right to appeal the decision, which it has now chosen to do.

This isn’t the first time Scenic has had a class action taken out against it, after flooding in 2013 disrupted cruises for more than 1,200 travellers who were also forced to travel via bus.

“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,” the Scenic spokesperson told Travel Weekly.

“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.”

According to Scenic’s website, River Cruise Cover is included on all of the company’s river cruises to provide compensation in the case of adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, mechanical breakdowns or strikes.

Depending on the tour, passengers are entitled to a maximum of $1,000 for each full 24 hours from the start of the delay or cancellation up to a maximum of $7,000.

It is not clear whether the bus replacements were considered a delay or cancellation.

Travel Weekly has reached out to Scenic for comment.

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