River cruising isn't typically known for its heavy emphasis on fitness-based activities.
But AmaWaterways isn't a typical river cruise line. I sailed on the line for the first time on its brand-new boat, AmaViola, on the Danube and learned how much the cruise itinerary and offerings take into account travelers who like to focus on health and wellness.
I have found that most river cruises tend to appeal to people who are age 55 and older, and it is also obvious that these people are increasingly interested in staying active.
If you have ever thought about a river cruise but think it's just for "old folks," you might want to look into trying an AmaWaterways river cruise. I have been on a handful of river cruises and have always found a way to still get my exercise -- during voyages on the Danube, Rhine, Nile and Irrawaddy.
However, I typically have had to get creative to get in a run or workout, mainly doing stuff on my own.
AmaWaterways makes it much simpler (and more fun, too). They have designed ships and excursion programs to make it easy for passengers to keep up their active lifestyle, whether they are full-blown fitness fanatics or not. During my week on AmaViola, I was able to go on several active walks. AmaWaterways offers categories of each of its general walking tours of cities and villages: gentle, regular and active. The active options go at a faster pace, for a longer distance and might include climbs up steps and hills.
In Budapest, I did the city walk that crossed from the Pest region to the Buda side of the river and climbed Castle Hill to Fisherman's Bastion before heading back again to explore the Vaci (the bustling pedestrian shopping area) and the public market in Pest. This was a total of nine miles.
In Bratislava, a hike up to a castle and additional tour of the city yielded eight miles.
And so it went. In Durnstein, a group of us hiked to the top of a hill to the castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart had once been held captive. In Linz, a biking tour of the city piled up some more mileage.
I will be joining an AmaWaterways/Backroads sailing on the Danube on AmaSonata in August and will be able to tell you more about that experience.
But even the regular journeys for AmaWaterways are enough to keep me active and on my workout schedule. The boats also have a fitness center -- with a TechnoGym resistance machine, two stationary bikes and two treadmills -- and walking track on the sun deck. I find that the top sun deck, which has a soft turf surface, is also a wonderful spot to do bodyweight exercises and stretching while viewing the sights along the river.
"We want to make the ships more appealing to both the traditional cruiser and the younger ones," Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways, told me. "Lifestyles are changing in a way that our guests have become more health-conscious."
AmaWaterways certainly is providing a program to meet these needs.
Thanks for reading. Always travel fit!