Search continues for missing after cruise boat tragedy on the Danube claims two lives

Search continues for missing after cruise boat tragedy on the Danube claims two lives
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Police continue to search for three men and two women missing in the Danube River cruise boat tragedy that has already claimed the lives of two people.

    Disaster response units, including 95 personnel, 25 vessels and drones were still searching for the missing along the Hungarian section of the Danube downstream from the crash location, police said in a statement.

    It is believed the Swiss-flagged Heidelberg, a 109m, 110 passenger river cruise ship collided with a smaller vessel carrying eight passengers on Saturday night. No passengers on the Heidelberg were reported to be injured.

    Built in 2004, the Heidelberg has been operating on the river for 20 years.

    Late on Saturday night, local time, a man was found bleeding from a head wound, on the shore of the Danube, near the town of Verőce, 50km north of the capital, Budapest. The bodies of another man and a woman were later discovered nearby.

    “Police talked to the man and from his initial communication they drew the conclusion that he was probably the victim of some kind of boat accident,” Csecsi said.

    Heidelberg has been sailing the Danube for 20 years.

    The body of a second man was recovered south of Veroce, while a woman’s body was found further downstream near a bridge on the northern outskirts of Budapest, where police also recovered the damaged motorboat, he said.

    The Danube at Verőce is roughly 460m wide and is in the centre of an area called the Danube Bend where the river makes a sweeping, nearly 90-degree turn to the south.

    The area is a popular recreational and boating destination and is on a route often used by cruise boats between Budapest and the Austrian capital, Vienna, some 230 kilometres upriver.

    A spokesperson for the Budapest police, Soma Csecsi, said eight adults were aboard the small motorboat at the time of the collision. Hours after police began their search, they discovered the damaged boat in the water, which was then towed to shore.

    Police are still searching for five adults — three men and two women — who they believe were on the stricken boat.

    Police later stopped the Heidelberg, which had a damaged hull, near the town of Komarom, 80km further upriver.

    The deadly accident comes five years after at least 27 people were killed in Budapest when a river cruise boat collided with a smaller tourist vessel, sinking it in seconds.

    The tourist boat Hableany, carrying 35 people who were mostly South Korean tourists, was overtaken from behind by the much larger cruise boat, Viking Sigyn, beneath Budapest’s Margit Bridge, in May 2019.

    The Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn was found guilty in 2023 of negligence leading to a fatal mass catastrophe and sentenced to five years and six months in prison. He has appealed the decision.

    Police have initiated criminal proceedings against an as-yet unknown party on suspicion of endangering water transport and causing the death of several people.

    Cruise captain charged over tourist boat tragedy

     

    Latest News

    • Cruise

    Cruise Traveller’s new Scottish Highlands cruise tour package

    Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, offers a 20-night land and sea holiday in the UK aboard the Lord of the Glens. The tiny cruise line’s 52-guest boutique vessel, Lord of the Glens, is purpose-built to explore the intricate waterways and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. It boasts a rich, traditional ambience with polished […]

    • Cruise

    Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

    Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings. At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent […]

    • Destinations
    • Tour Operators

    Globus unveils nine new independent tours for 2025

    Coach touring brand Globus has unveiled nine new independent tours for 2025, from Bangkok to Bali and Abu Dhabi to Nepal. “With Globus Independent tours, our guests are free to enjoy the many benefits of touring, untethered and unscheduled,” APAC head of marketing, Globus family of brands (GFOB), Chris Fundell said. “Providing hand-picked hotel accommodations, […]

    • Hotels

    Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group opens Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

    The Mandarin Oriental has opened a second property in London, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, in the heart of historic Hanover Square. Designed by internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, the hotel is the first new build in Mayfair in over a decade. Bringing a modern architectural approach to one of London’s most storied squares, […]

    • Hotels

    Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort unveils Coral Kids Club

    On top of its US$85 million (AU$150m) transformation, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s new Coral Kids Club provides an engaging activity centre for kids. Designed for keiki (children), ages 5-12, the activity centre offers daily cultural workshops with hands-on activities rooted around the Āina Guardian workbook. It was developed by Candes Gentry, co-author of Eat […]

    • Hotels

    Minor Hotels announces fourth franchised hotel

    Minor Hotels has added to its portfolio of more than 500 hotels in operation after signing Oaks Melbourne on William Suites as its fourth franchised hotel. The 220-room apartment hotel is the third Oaks property signed under a franchise model after the Oaks Toowoomba and Oaks Townsville Metropole. The proven success of these properties highlights […]

    • Destinations

    Phuket unveils cutting-edge medical facility

    Minor Hotels has announced Layan Life by Anantara, a world-class medical wellness facility that is set to elevate Phuket’s reputation as an international medical wellness destination. The new facility is set across 1,767sqm within the grounds of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and is set to open in Q3 of this year. It offers a blend […]

    • Events

    Out West Piano Fest comes alive in Bathurst

    The three-day symphony of the senses comes back to Bathurst, at picturesque Blackdown Farm, as Out West Piano Fest returns 25-27 October. Located just five minutes away from Bathurst NSW is a pastoral heritage, art, and culture. It was also once home to Australian artist, Tim Storrier. The extensive gardens in full spring bloom offer […]

    • Attractions
    • Cruise

    Japan in Bloom with Cruise Express

    Send clients out to experience the best of the Land of the Rising Sun with Cruise Express and their Japan in Bloom expedition, a 21-night adventure. As interest in Japan hits an all-time high, Cruise Express is pleased to announce its ultimate Japanese bucket list trip. This adventure is geared for Australians wanting to tick […]

    • Road & Rail

    Explore Uzbekistan with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

    Golden Eagle Luxury Trains presents an exclusive itinerary to Uzbekistan with ensuite cabins, a personal cabin attendant, and off-train excursions. Travelling aboard the opulent Golden Eagle train, with ensuite cabins, guests will dive deep into Uzbekistan’s spectacularly global cultural identity. A personal cabin attendant, all porterage and gratuities and all off train excursions are included […]