Wednesday, July 24, 2019

River Cruising for the Young and Active Passenger?

The thought of a river cruise has intrigued me since the days when I would watch “Downton Abby” on PBS and Viking River Cruises was their sponsor.  However, I was apprehensive since my husband and I (60 years young) consider ourselves to be active travelers who likes to get out and about, hike, bike and be on the go from morning till night.

I remember a couple of years ago we were on a European cruise with Royal Caribbean and in several ports I crossed paths with a group from a river cruise shore excursion, moseying around the city, following a guide who was holding a flag high so as not to lose any participants. No way, we thought! This wouldn't be a good fit for us.  These passengers we're significantly older and the pace a bit slow. 

It seems like I’m not the only one who feels this way. While it’s true that the average age onboard river cruises skew higher than that of ocean cruises, the river cruise industry is now doing more and more to make the average age their cruiser come down.  Lately, AMAWaterways has really caught my eye. I’ve been following the social media stories posted by Samantha Brown, godmother of the AMA Magna, (remember her from Travel Channel and her new PBS series “Places to Love”?), as she sailed down the Rhine. The ship and everything about her cruise experience was amazing!

River cruises are revamping their excursions, amenities and the onboard experience to appeal to a younger and / or a more active traveler. AMAWaterways offers biking excursions (or just borrow a bike for the day and head out on your own), a hike or nature walk as well as a city sightseeing tour in almost all ports. There are kayaking trips too!  Some AMA ships offer spin classes out on deck, a Zen Wellness Studio with exercise and stretching classes, a juice bar, a large heated pool, and a platform at the rear of the ship for water sports.

Clearly, this is no longer the river cruise experience that I thought it was! Obviously, I need to experience a river cruise for myself!

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