Ships tie up right in town, so you can walk to local shops, a sidewalk café, meet locals, head off on the ship's organized tours to museums, monuments and other must-see attractions or simply explore the area on your own. Not rushed, allowing you to savor the experience.
All true, but what many new to river cruising don't realize is just how active it can be or is. As much or as little as you want it to be. If you are like me, I find it relaxing just to be away from my normal day to day life, away from the office, taking in new sites, but I do miss my workouts. Some level of activity on most days - walking, hiking, biking - adds to my overall experience. And I'm not alone in this thinking.
Most of the cruise lines already have walking tours for all levels of fitness, and some have complimentary bikes on board that can be used as part of a guided tour or on their own. Free time in town has always provided the opportunity to add an adventure or two. In Passau, for example, you can hike up to the Oberhaus Castle for a birds eye view of the town and river, or take walk/run along the Danube to the tip of the peninsula where the three rivers (Danube, Inn and Ilz) converge. In Rudesheim many take the gondola ride up to the top and hike back down through the vineyards. Some lines are even offering kayaking and canoeing.
"Avalon's latest addition to its menu of Special Interest Cruises truly energizes the river cruise experience. They're called Active Discovery cruises and that they are. In addition to cruising down the Danube, travelers can hike, bike and explore their way through the scenic and historic wonders of the world. On these exhilarating vacations, travelers don't just walk through time. They jog through it. They don't just float down rivers. They paddle down them.
And when they've rightfully earned a slice of Linzer Torte, they bake one themselves.
These action-packed itineraries include the chance to discover an ice cave, take an archery lesson, and even tend to a farm, its crops and its critters – keeping travelers moving and engaged.
From ascending a mountain on a guided climb to descending into an underground salt mine, travelers and their sneakers can expect full immersion on these Active Discovery cruises."