River cruises offer more shore activities than open sea cruises and more shore days too.

You’ll get a chance to explore different countryside and cities, so you won’t get bored. 

And while European river cruises are, perhaps, more famous for finer excursions such as wine tours, museum trips, or cultural performances, many cruise companies are now offering active excursions. 

Here’s the list of new active itineraries on European rivers. 

1. Active Discovery (Avalon Waterways)

Avalon Waterways offer active onshore excursions with its Active Discovery itineraries. 

Unique activities include a range of experiences such as canoeing, exploring an underground salt mine and archery lessons. 

Aside from athletic activities, guests can engage in interactive pursuits such as hiking along historical lines, visiting farmlands, and touring castles in Austria. 

All European bound ships are now added with bikes that you can use for free and are available for independent tours. 

Discovery lines offer optional guided excursions where biking is recommended, such as Moselle River (Germany) and Wachau Valley (Austria). 

2. Amsterdam and Brussels Bound (Uniworld) 

This eight-day river cruise from Brussels to Amsterdam is ideal for those who are looking for authentic adventures and a penchant for active fun. 

Uniworld promises that you’ll love this cruise if you enjoy meeting new people and you prefer walking or biking to riding a coach bus. 

The active tours are a great way to experience an authentic feel for the destination cities, and the walking tours focus on local culture and history. 

Uniworld can also arrange special tours designed by local travel experts and can be booked for an extra cost. 

3. Scenic Cycling Tours (Scenic) 

Scenic introduces a range of biking itineraries designed for guests who prefer more time on being active onshore. 

The European and French tours have specialised bikes available complete with biking guides, mechanics, and even a support transport that follows every biking group if you want to take a break.

Scenic will also transport the bikes from one location to another so you can enjoy the trip.  

The cycling guided tour includes the biking trip from Melk to Durnstein. You can bike alongside the Danube river, so you can enjoy the picturesque scenery while enjoying the company of your fellow cyclists.

Other beautiful European cities are included in the bike tours, such as magnificent Budapest and elegant Vienna. 

4. Golf Cruise (AmaWaterways) 

AmaWaterways introduces its luxury river cruising on the lovely Danube with the chance to play golf. 

The river cruise company has designed the perfect package to allow golfers to experience an elegant trip with its concierge program. 

The seven-night cruise features the top golf courses in Europe – Albatross Golf Club (Prague, Czech Republic), Quellness Golf Resort (Bad Griesbach, Germany), Diamond Country Club (Atzenbrugg, Austria), Penati Country Club (Senica, Slovakia), and Pannonia Country Club (Budapest, Hungary). 

The cruise package includes concierge service, club care, private luxury Mercedes transportation, a la carte lunch at every course, and many more. 

5. Wellness River Cruise (AmaWaterways) 

A pioneer in active cruises, AmaWaterways continues to offer wellness programs in its unique itineraries. 

The program features an onboard health expert who conducts classes, leads active walks, and offers wellness advice to passengers. 

Classes focus on yoga, stretching, Zumba, pilates, circuit training and other fitness programs that are doable even for beginners. 

AmaWaterways also packs enough bikes and helmets onboard its Europe based ships that you can use for free. 

A guide is also available upon request at no extra charge. Cycling tours of different ports are available, and there are also hiking excursions depending on the port. 

AmaWaterways also partnered with Backroads (a travel outfitter) to offer fully supported rides. Some of these rides are round-trip activities that originate and return to the river ship. 

6. Hiking Cruise (CroisiEurope) 

CroisiEurope teamed up with Club Vosgien of Strasbourg to offer a new form of leisure – combining hiking and cruising. 

The company said that the two activities are perfect for each other as rivers usually flow at the bottom of valleys bordered by slopes with spectacular views. 

“Vineyards and castles are the witnesses of human activity,” CroisiEurope said on its website. “It was, therefore, logical to combine the tranquillity of a cruise on the water with hiking, which adopts the same pace along the trails.”

Dubbed as the CroisiRando, the hiking cruise includes hiking excursions, supervision by licensed mountain guides, guided tours and other onshore excursions, and full board meals. 

Where to Next? 

European river cruising has indeed redefined itself with itineraries that are curated to different preferences. 

More river cruise companies now offer dynamic touring options and even recruit special personnel such as adventure hosts and wellness experts. 

Once Australians are permitted to go river cruising, where do you plan to go next? Share your cruise plains in the comments below!