Five ways to stay healthy on a river cruise

Post updated: 04/01/2019

Staying fit and healthy on holiday can be tricky. With so many sweet treats and tempting tipples around, it can be easy to forget about your healthy routine or morning jog. However, more and more river cruise lines are becoming aware of the need for healthier choices when it comes to excursions, on-board activities and especially dining.

Here are our top five ways to keep yourself healthy and happy while exploring the world’s waterways.

1. E-bikes

Ebike Active Excursion - Couple on Scenic River Cruise

As well as offering excellent on-board features such as fine dining and exceptional accommodation, Scenic caters well to active passengers and those seeking adventure and exploration. Electronically-assisted on-board e-bikes will help you explore the inner depths of each port and go deeper into the heart of every destination.

On Scenic river cruises, guests also have full access to a wellness area that is specially designed to instil relaxation. Trained therapists are on-hand to provide a little extra pampering – ensuring you remain calm and healthy on-board.

2. Paddle tours

Kayaking on a river past woodland - a perfect excursion for adventurers

Catering specifically to 21 – 45-year-olds, U by Uniworld is an active, immersive and exciting cruise line exploring the waterways of Europe. Take the cruise line’s Germany’s Finest voyage, where guests can embark on U Time excursions.

In Bamberg, take a canoe or kayak along the Main and Pegnitz rivers for an outdoor adventure through Germany’s natural beauty. Reaching Nuremberg, passengers can then take a guided bike tour of famous WWII sites before sailing to Kelheim for another canoe or kayak through the Danube Gorge, taking in the views from the water.

3. Wellness programmes

Woman sat in yoga pose - part of a wellness programme

After recognising the importance of maintaining wellbeing and happiness, AmaWaterways has launched their own wellness programme on all ships except AmaVida, AmaDouro and Zambezi Queen. The programme, led by an on-board wellness host, involves a variety of exercise classes such as yoga, core strengthening and circuit training, as well as morning jogs and stretches.

Guests also receive on-board lectures on healthy eating and relaxation techniques, promoting the ships culinary offerings and locally-sourced ingredients. Gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian options are available for cruisers, and the ship also features a Hydration Station with infused detox and gemstone water.

4. Avalon FreshSM

Dish of healthy food - promoted on-board Avalon ships with Avalon Fresh

Focusing on food and healthy living, Avalon promotes the Avalon FreshSM menu for guilt-free dining. Meals are prepared with the philosophy of procuring the freshest ingredients to create inspiring vegetarian and vegan dishes. Take your pick from vanilla-marinated apple and raisin aperitif, drizzled with pistachios or sage-sautéed spinach gnocchi served with fried beetroot.

These menus have been developed by brothers Leo and Karl Wrenkh, founders of the Wrenkh Vienna Culinary School. The imaginative creations celebrate regional traditions and honour how best to showcase the quality of each ingredient.

5. EmeraldACTIVE

Man hiking alone through the countryside

Emerald Waterways has also created its own spin on keeping cruisers moving and healthy, with their range of exciting experiences with EmeraldACTIVE. These activities are for more outgoing guests, including bike tours of Europe’s countryside and hikes beyond city limits.

Join your fellow passengers as you explore wondrous locations such as the banks of the Danube on a flat 23-mile bike tour, or take a guided walking tour to the Dürnstein castle ruins. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, the ship also offers unguided EmeraldACTIVE experiences where you can hire the bikes yourself to explore ports at your own pace.

With so much choice for classes, food and trips, it is easy (and even fun!) to stay healthy during river cruises. Pick up a new hobby with morning yoga on the deck as the sun warms your feet, sample a new food created by inspired chefs, or even get back in the bike saddle and witness the wonders of port towns and cities as you have never seen them before.

What’s your favourite way to stay healthy during a river cruise? Have you experienced any of the above during a sailing? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Emma Smith

Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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