River cruising is a wonderful way to meet like-minded folks and forge lifelong friendships.

So now that special interest cruises are booming on waterways across the globe, you’re sure to find yourself amongst your tribe when you select your next themed cruise… and you won’t believe how unique some of these special interest themes are.

The traditional themes are still alive and well… from cooking to beer tasting, wine appreciation, photography, history, active and discovery… but the theme cruises really making waves now range from Jewish heritage to Christmas markets, Passion Plays, golfing cruises, art lovers, big band jazz, politics and even gluten free eating.

Here’s a look at a the eight most unique theme river cruises now available.

1. Golf with AmaWaterways with APT

Imagine if there was a way to combine luxury river cruising on the iconic Danube with the opportunity to indulge your passion and play golf. AmaWaterways with APT have created the perfect package to enable you to do just that with their Exclusive Concierge Golf Program. Discover Europe, complete with award winning cuisine, top notch service and a choice of excursions in every port, as well as up to 5 rounds of golf at some of the leading championship courses on the continent.
AmaWaterways’ Exclusive Concierge Golf Program is available on select Romantic Danube and Melodies of the Danube cruises sailing aboard the AmaMagna.

So what are the benefits of combining your love of golf with your love of cruise?

Imagine golfing at world-class courses in different countries all on one trip. Imagine not having to organise tee times, transportation, club cleaning and so on. Imagine having your favourite luxury hotel follow you wherever you go with everything you need for the perfect vacation. AmaWaterways with APT has created a match made in heaven to enable you to do just that—luxury river cruising and golf.

Golf theme cruises are making waves

AmaWaterways’ Exclusive Concierge Golf Program includes 7 nights on board their newest and most innovative ship to date, AmaMagna, sailing along the iconic Danube and taking you to some of Europe’s most prestigious golf courses.

With this seamless golfing experience, guests are transferred from ship to course and back by private luxury Mercedes. Once on the course, you need only golf and enjoy—your tee time, practice balls and golf cart are prepared in advance, and after your round enjoy lunch in the course clubhouse. When it’s time to transfer back to the AmaMagna, your clubs will be cleaned and ready for the next course on your golf adventure.

In addition to the wonderful selection of experiences and amenities available during your river cruise, both on board and ashore, our Exclusive Concierge Golf Program provides a seamless golfing experience from the moment you arrive to the moment you bid farewell.

2. Oberammergau Cruise with Avalon Waterways

An opportunity that arises once every ten years is an opportunity not to be missed. A theatrical tradition since 1634, the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play is a much-anticipated reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ – from His entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection – performed only once a decade in the quaint Bavarian village of Oberammergau.

Passion plays are also on the rise

The Avalon Waterways river cruise has been uniquely designed to include the Passion Play experience, as well as the service and views that Avalon is popular for. On these special interest cruises, guests enjoy preferred seating at the Passion Play, accommodations in Oberammergau and a dedicated onsite office to help guests make the most of their stay in this charming city.

3. Jewish Heritage Cruise with Avalon Waterways

Step back into Jewish history on this adventure through Central Europe. Aboard your ship, a renowned expert conducts informative lectures about the sites and events that played roles in Jewish heritage. In Budapest, visit the world’s second-largest synagogue. Explore the Document Neupfarrplatz museum in Regensburg with its remains of a medieval Jewish ghetto and ancient synagogue.

In Prague, see the city’s Jewish Museum and cemetery, then travel to Terezin, one of Czechoslovakia’s largest concentration camps. Hear chilling stories about the daily lives of the Jews imprisoned there, and visit the poignant memorial.

4. Diana Gabaldon Cruise with Avalon Waterways

Join your exclusive host and author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, for a week on the Rhine River. With 35 million copies in print in 43 countries and 39 languages, Ms. Gabaldon’s Outlander series has added to the storytelling tapestry of the modern times while also inspiring travel with her literature.

Her award-winning series on STARZ has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France and Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. Join Avalon Waterways on this special interest river cruise, with an inspiring storyteller sharing an inspired cruise–and daily excursions–with an intimate group of her fans.

5. Christmas Markets with CroisiEurope

There’s nothing more bonding than the Christmas season with old friends and new – so it’s no wonder the Christmas Markets themed cruises are wildly popular. One cruise line that offers multiple Christmas Market theme cruise options is CroisiEurope.

Christmas markets in Europe are a fairy tale journey. Discover the most beautiful European cities decorated in style and beauty for the end of the year celebrations. For CroisiEurope, Christmas markets, Strasbourg and the other host cities have plenty of surprises in store, and will take you on a cruise to meet them.

The cheery themes are popular

Strasbourg and the wine route, Vienna, Budapest or Bratislava, all these picturesque cities and more.
For more than 400 years, the Strasbourg Christmas market has been welcoming many visitors every year. It is has now become the largest in Europe, the chalets with fairy decorations, traditional Alsatian houses and the many specialties to enjoy and live a magical moment.
It’s also an opportunity to find unique presents for friends and family to put under the tree …

6. Oktoberfest with Tauck

Celebrate the “real” Oktoberfest in Munich… although it’s in September, with Tauck.

There are “Oktoberfest” celebrations all over the world, but apparently until you experience the one in Munich, where it began, you haven’t really “done” the true Oktoberfest – a unique mix of beer consumption, Bavarian feasting, live brass bands, communal singing, and dancing.

It all started in 1810 when a royal couple invited the citizens to their wedding festivities on the fields in front of the city. Today Munich’s Oktoberfest – always held in September – is the largest festival in the world.

Tauck has reserved seats for guests in the centre of the action, in one of the exclusive brewery tents.

7. Floating Wellness Workshops with Uniworld

On board two sailings of Uniworld’s newest 2020 itinerary, Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden, a Wellness Program is offered with added classes led by Yoga coach Eva Monarrez. It’s a popular complement to the rise of wellness-focused cruises and Uniworld’s stop at the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden—a new destination for Uniworld in 2020 makes this cruise a crowd pleaser.

Three added classes with Eva include:

Sound Vibration Meditation

Guests enjoy the healing experience of a sound bath immersion. De-stress, clear your mind and enjoy the frequency that will course through your body to realign and restore your nervous system.

Sound vibration therapy on wellness cruises

The Power of Breathing Presentation and Practice

Guests learn about the science behind various breathing styles and put them to practice to observe how they have different purposes and effects on the body: cleansing, enduring, temperature regulation, energising or calming.

Meditation Presentation and Practice

Guests explore the following questions…what is meditation? How do you meditate? Why should we meditate? These topics and more are discussed before beginning the practice, with various options for the beginner to the advanced.