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River Sailings for Active Travelers

River cruise operators recognize that many of their guests want options for staying fit while traveling. These lines offer wellness programs and fitness amenities on board -- like gyms, spas and pools -- and provide unique and active ways to explore ashore.

Avalon Waterways includes guided active excursions on its itineraries, like a hike to Bratislava Castle in Slovakia or a morning run in the French town of Caudebec-en-Caux with the onboard Avalon Adventure Host. Active & Discovery itineraries provide even more immersive and active ways to take in the sights at every port of call, with hiking, biking, canoeing and jogging excursions.

The "Let's Go" shore excursions of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises highlight guided walking, hiking, cycling, kayaking and golfing tours. Bicycle to Claude Monet's home at Giverny or hike up to a 12th-century castle on the Rhine, for example. The line's Wellness on the Water amenities include yoga sessions, TRX suspension training classes with certified instructors, fitness centers and heated pools.

Uniworld's sister brand, U by Uniworld, offers some active excursions like bicycling through the Wachau Valley, with additional U excursions available for a fee. Wellness coaches lead morning yoga classes on the top deck.

As part of its program, AmaWaterways has wellness hosts fleetwide in Europe (except for ships in Portugal). They lead fitness classes like stretching, core strengthening and resistance-band training and also conduct hiking, biking and jogging excursions.

Emerald Cruises has the EmeraldACTIVE program, which might include a guided bike tour along the Danube or a hike in Germany's Black Forest. Its sister company mentioned above, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, has similar options, like cycling through the Dutch town of Veere or to a Bordeaux wine estate for a tasting.

Several lines also keep fleets of complimentary bicycles on their ships, so passengers can pedal along riverside paths or through cities and towns on their own.