While river cruising might be perceived as a style of holidaying for older generations, baby boomers and beyond are fitter, healthier and stronger than ever.
They’re climbing mountains, going on long hikes and embarking on bike treks throughout Europe and Asia. And the demand for something different is increasing.
To cater for this trend, lines like Avalon, AmaWaterways with APT and Scenic are dedicating staff to curate shore excursions and experiences for the active cruiser.
They have different names on different cruise lines, but the dedicated staff member in general have the same mission: to help guests stay active on their holiday.
Evergreen Tours have Activity Managers, Avalon Waterways have Adventure Hosts and AmaWaterways with APT have Wellness Hosts to lead the line’s famed Wellness Program.
Read below to see what each line offers:
Evergreen Tours have Activity Managers on board seven of their Star-ships sailing the rivers in Europe. The Activity Managers have a number of roles onboard including coordinating the fitness classes, lead the onshore excursions and even organising the evening entertainment. They will also design and coordinate biking, hiking and canoeing instructions. Don’t worry though – they’ll always pick a route which best suits the group’s ability.
The fitness options onboard include yoga and Pilates classes, aqua aerobics in heated indoor pools and one-mile walks on the open-air Sun Deck track, all coordinated by the onboard fitness experts. The Activity Managers are also the go to person should you have any questions about active excursions or require assistance in planning an activity.
All of Avalon Waterways European cruises have both a Cruise Director and an Adventure Host. The line introduced Adventure Hosts on board just this year to help coordinate activities. They can help guests decide what activities they’d like to do and will also lead some of the active shore excursions. Local guides host the remainder of shore excursions. The Adventure Hosts help guests with bike hire, advise on which route to take and answer questions about the active excursions. Whether you’re looking for an optional kayaking excursion or a complimentary yoga class on the Sky Deck, your Adventure Host can make it happen, says the line on their website.
When they are not guiding tours, you can find the Adventure Hosts at the Adventure Center on board. The Cruise Director is also another option if guests have questions about the active excursions.
AmaWaterways with APT
AmaWaterways has expanded its Wellness Program to go fleetwide in Europe and Southeast Asia this year. The Wellness Program is led by Wellness Hosts who will lead group fitness classes, lectures on holistic wellness as well as active excursions like guided hiking, biking and running. Most fitness classes on board run about 30 minutes and they are designed to be able to be easily modified for all fitness levels. For active excursions onshore, the Wellness Host will be there to help passengers get set up on the bikes but the actual tour might be led by a local guide. In some cities, the Wellness Host might lead brisk walking excursions, which are focused on the activity rather than touring the city.
Each Crystal River ship has a Destinations Manager on board to assist guests in choosing their shoreside excursions as well as a ‘Design Your Time’ concierge service that plans private tours for a customised experience. Crystal has dedicated an ‘Exhilarating Adventures’ category in their selection of shore excursions for travellers who are looking for more active exploration and excursions that combine historical and cultural experiences.
This includes hiking the Mullerthal trail in Trier, Germany’s ‘Little Switzerland’, crossing Germany’s longest rope suspension bridge, the Geierlay Bridge, cycling adventures in Netherlands’ oldest nature reserve, Veluwezoom National Park and a Belgrade Kayak Safari in Serbia.
Onboard, guests can join a range of fitness classes offered at the gym, which are included in the cruise fare. Guests can also play paddle tennis when sailing on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.