Crystal River Cruises will be replacing e-bikes with regular Trek bikes on their fleet from July.
The amazing electric cycles, which can soar up to 40 kph and free guests to enjoy bank-side exploration and even city excursions, were hailed as the huge step forward for river cruises almost a decade ago.
Whatever your age, you can quickly ascend steep slopes and travel long distances.
The luxury line, which entered Europe’s river cruising market in July 2016, had e-bike rides as one of their shore excursion highlights.
However, it appears the bikes proved to be more than a match for Crystal guests – many of whom hadn’t ridden on two wheels for over 10 years.
Quite whether wobbly guests actually came to grief on the high tech machines isn’t clear.
“Crystal River Cruises will continue to offer bicycle experiences for guests with the opportunity to enjoy regular Trek bikes from July, following the removal of e-bikes,” says the line.
Walter Littlejohn, vice president of Crystal River Cruises told US trade site Travel Weekly that Crystal’s experience has been that many guests have not been on a bike for more than a decade, and don’t handle the e-bikes successfully.
However, other lines that offer e-bikes to guests like Scenic and APT do not have plans to remove them.
Scenic River Cruises, which has custom-made electric bikes across their fleet, currently does not have plans to change their e-bikes program.
Their bikes come with GPS devices that are also programmed with information that introduces attractions along the route.
“They are a very popular choice among our guests as part of the Scenic Freechoice program to get out and explore under their own steam. All guests are provided full instructions, safety briefings and correct equipment including helmets before setting out on any e-bike excursion,” says Scenic.
Full safety instructions and helpful hints briefing are provided by the professional and trained crew on board Scenic ships. According to the line, this also includes a detailed ‘hands on’ demonstration.
All guest are required to advise their competency on riding a bike and it is mandatory for them to each sign a waiver form stating their ability & confidence to use the e-bike.
On APT, there is a mix of e-bikes and regular bikes on their Concerto ships, which sail ‘Magnificent Europe’ cruises and ‘Amsterdam to Budapest’ itineraries.
“Guest are offered helmets and are provided with safety information and a waiver which they must sign prior to using the bikes,” says the line.
However, the line says the usage of the four e-bikes onboard is minimal as most APT guests have many other options when doing land touring. The e-bikes are also not available on APT’s French itineraries.
Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways also offer e-bike excursions that are run by trusted third party providers.