There’s no excuse for not maintaining – or even starting – a fitness program when you’re cruising these days.
Gyms on river ships used to be token at best but are becoming better equipped, particularly on new vessels; passengers can join various wellness classes onboard; and while cycling and golf have been popular off-ship activities for a few years, you can now take guided hiking, running and kayaking trips in a variety of wonderful destinations.
Most river companies operating in Europe carry bikes on board, for independent use or group guided tours; Riviera Travel and Viking don’t, but Viking offers guided cycling tours with local operators at several ports.
APT’s AmaMagna, the supersized ship launching next May on the Danube, will have a Zen Wellness Studio that’s spacious enough for passengers to take group stretch, yoga, cardio and core-strengthening classes. The company says there’s a growing emphasis on health throughout the fleet and its new wellness program includes discussions about healthy eating and relaxation techniques led by an expert Wellness Host.
Crystal River Cruises, which christened its fifth ship Crystal Ravel in July, has installed state-of-the-art gym equipment on all its vessels. An in-house fitness instructor offers complimentary yoga, Pilates, stretch, boot camp and circuit classes. Postural analysis, assisted stretching exercises and personal training are also available for an additional fee.
Cystal runs Exhilarating Adventures, shore excursions designed for active passengers; they include plenty of walking and cycling tours as well as more challenging outings such as a 4.5-hour forest trek that includes crossing the Geierlay Bridge, the longest rope suspension bridge in Germany; kayaking Strasbourg’s canals; and horse-riding in Serbia’s Fruška Gora National Park.
Among Avalon Waterways’ themed cruises in Europe are Active Discovery itineraries. Shore tours include guided jogs around Vienna, Cologne and Amsterdam; canoeing from Krems in Austria and through France’s Gorges de l’Ardeche; and guided hikes along the Rheinsteig trails in Germany and through the Camargue wetlands in France.
At the very least, getting out and about will work off a few of those inevitable cruise calories – and it’s much more enjoyable than seeing the sights through a bus window.