A river cruise in Germany is an adventure that will test the willpower of anyone who generally intends to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
So, what's a traveler to do when sailing throughout Germany, visiting Franconia and Bavaria in regions of the world where you'll be constantly tempted by wines, cheeses, sausages, fries, beers, cakes, strudel and gelatos? And don't forget the pretzels! Oh, those pretzels.
During my weeklong cruise on the Moselle, Rhine and Main Rivers with Emerald Waterways, I was so tempted with all the mouthwatering fare I encountered that I had no choice but to implement my tried and true "Operation Mitigation" approach to eating and exercise.
The simple premise of this diet plan: If I was going to eat it, I was going to have to earn it!
It what is typically pure folly, I always head out for my trips with the idea that I will limit myself to a couple indulgences here and there, try the regional specialties and have a few beers and desserts during my trip to get a proper flavor of a destination. This is important, of course, to make sure I enjoy myself and connect in a nice way with the regions I visit.
Thus, it was the case on Emerald Destiny on Day 1 during my Emerald Waterways voyage. I particularly enjoy these cruises on the great European waterways because they provide the perfect environment for exploration. The small and comfortable ships feature crew members offering friendly and attentive service, and the Emerald Destiny staff was among the most upbeat and fun crew I have seen on dozens of these sailings.
We journeyed from Bernkastel on the Moselle River to Nuremberg on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, and over the course of a magical week, I would make special new friends and cherished travel moments that revolved around the entire spectacle of stunning scenery, immersive history, beautiful weather and delicious culinary delights.
Here is the plan I used that allowed me to step on the scale not one pound heavier after returning home, while allowing me to enjoy all the food, drink and dessert that I was helpless to resist. (I'm talking two desserts daily and ample glasses of German pilsners, smoke beers and kolsches).
The program also includes programming for the fitness-inclined cruiser, and we were able to take part in a guided bike tour of Bernkastel and special hiking excursions.
Tip: Bring along your camera or mobile phone and be ready to stop numerous times for pictures during your ride or run. Also, bring a credit card and a few euros because your route is bound to bring you past a quaint little pub or cafe by the river that will draw you in for a beer, wine or other treat.
The bottom line: You will feel the constant tug of temptation on these cruises in Germany, but Emerald Waterways gives you a good chance to burn off just as much as you take in.
Don't worry if you give in to the cravings, like I did. I find it's always lot easier to cut back on the calories when I'm back home. My appetite isn't as powerful when I'm the one doing the cooking.
Thanks for reading,