Holiday-makers take Scenic Tours to court after European river cruise turns sour

Hundreds of Aussie travellers claim to have been ripped off by a company that offered a luxury river cruise in Europe

Holiday-makers Take Scenic Tours To Court After European River Cruise Turns Sour

The holiday-makers were set to cruise down the Danube River and visit Budapest as part of the cruise. Picture: iStock

THREE years after heavy rain and flooding across parts of Europe dampened their spirits, more than 1200 holiday-makers have taken leading Australian travel company Scenic Tours to court.

A class-action lawsuit against the company began in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, with travellers who paid for places on 13 river cruise tours that were scheduled to begin in May and June 2013 arguing that they were forced to swap their luxe lodgings for substandard accommodation and bus travel. Alister Abadee, acting for the plaintiffs, told Justice Peter Garling that internal Scenic documents suggested that senior company figures knew in advance that the swollen state of the continent s rivers could interrupt tours, and considered the possibility of cancelling cruises and offering refunds to affected guests. But instead, Australian tourists who expected to travel by river between the sights and enjoy five-star on-board accommodation endured long coach rides and inferior hotels, he said.

The consumers did not pay for a backpackers Contiki tour, Mr Abadee said.

However, Scenic Tours has argued that the weather conditions were beyond its control, and that the terms and conditions to which passengers signed up when they booked their tickets included an acknowledgment that the company could vary cruise itineraries due to high or low water levels (or) flooding . Documents filed by the company show it also denies that it knew or should have known by about May 3, 2013 that the rising river levels would, or were likely to, substantially disrupt … the enjoyment of passengers scheduled to embark upon river cruises . In court on Tuesday, defence barrister Greg McNally SC admitted the majority of passengers were not given the option to cancel their trips.

Had the 13 tours been cancelled, he said, hundreds of passengers would have been stranded in Europe . The court heard that lead plaintiff David Moore and his wife had splashed out about $26,000 for what was to be a relaxing, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mr Moore, a Lake Macquarie high school science teacher, gave evidence on Tuesday that he was not broadly aware of the terms and conditions of his travel when he paid a $500 deposit for a Jewels of Europe cruise.

You must have understood that there would be terms and conditions in relation to any contract you entered into with Scenic Tours?

Mr McNally asked him during cross-examination.

Not at that time, Mr Moore replied.

At the time of booking … all we thought about was You beauty . The case continues.

Choose Halton for Family Day Fun!

One of the many things I love about Halton is the beauty of our natural surroundings and the wide variety of activities available to us in our own backyard. As we celebrate Family Day on February 15, 2016, you can experience so much of what our region has to offer. There is really something for your whole family to see, do and experience in Halton.

Choose Halton For Family Day Fun!Get outdoors and enjoy our stunning landscapes. Explore Conservation Halton1 for an active,fun day, from sleigh rides at Mountsberg2 to skiing and snowboarding at Glen Eden3. Try a family hike or snow-shoeing at Kelso4 or Rattlesnake Point5. These are only a few of the locations and activities Conservation Halton has to offer.

Bronte Creek Provincial Park6 also has family fun planned at the Nature Centre with live animals, crafts and displays. You can even bring your skates for outdoor skating at the rink.

In addition to the parks, each of Halton s municipalities has plenty of fun planned. For local schedules and events, as well as outdoor skating locations, visit your municipality s website:

Choose Halton For Family Day Fun!Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. It s also the perfect destination for your Family Day festivities. For a complete listing of all these winter activities visit halton.ca/tourism.7 Also as a reminder, all Halton essential services will remain available on the Family Day holiday. For more information, please visit halton.ca/closures8. As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at



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  1. ^ Conservation Halton (www.conservationhalton.ca)
  2. ^ Mountsberg (www.conservationhalton.ca)
  3. ^ Glen Eden (gleneden.on.ca)
  4. ^ Kelso (www.conservationhalton.ca)
  5. ^ Rattlesnake Point (www.conservationhalton.ca)
  6. ^ Bronte Creek Provincial Park (www.ontarioparks.com)
  7. ^ halton.ca/tourism. (halton.ca)
  8. ^ halton.ca/closures (www.halton.ca)
  9. ^