With dedicated onboard facilities and programs for wellness, shore excursions and healthful dining, river cruise lines are coming up with creative ways to help keep guests in top shape. And many treatments offered are designed to reduce stress – a primary goal for most vacationers.
Travelers who cruise the rivers will find companies bending over backward to meet dietary preferences and restrictions, from those with low-fat and gluten-free diets to those who are vegan. And most lines have layered shore excursions for various fitness levels, from demanding hiking and biking trips to relaxed walking tours led by naturalists.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s services include an onboard spa which combines elements of shiatsu, reflexology and Chinese massage. Exercise classes enable serious workouts, and suite guests receive a complimentary training session with an onboard wellness coach. Some Uniworld ships also have heated swimming pools.
The line also offers onshore biking and hiking, including Gentle Walking sessions for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. Guests can also strike off on their own with complimentary bicycles and Nordic walking sticks or stretch in yoga classes back onboard.
Tauck River Cruises is offering onboard yoga this year, and each vessel has a fitness center. In ports, guests can choose from a range of hiking trips, including challenging options. Tauck also maintains a fleet of bicycles onboard each ship for complimentary use, and Tauck Cruise Directors can help guests plan a route from ports.
Viking River Cruises provides healthful dining options, from freshly made muesli to multiple salads and designated heart-healthy meals. The culinary staff will meet with guests at the beginning of a cruise to discuss any special dietary requirements and can easily accommodate vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free diets and more.
Onboard concierges help guests with fitness options in ports with walking and jogging maps, bicycle rentals and even guest passes at local health clubs.
Like many lines, AmaWaterways also provides complimentary bikes for passengers. Ama also has a dedicated menu for vegans and an onboard kinesiology wall. Adventures by Disney’s six family-oriented Danube cruises (on AmaWaterways ships) will include a biking excursion in every port.
This year, Avalon Waterways will begin offering optional guided biking excursions in select European destinations. Depending on the cruise, riders can pedal in the Netherlands’ Waterland nature reserve, Austria’s Wachau Valley, the Kaiserstuhl region in southern Germany or along the Moselle River in western Germany.