When I went on my first river cruise (a sailing of Europe’s Rhine), I was almost the youngest person aboard. And if you’ve seen a recent photograph of me, you will know what the average age of those passengers was.
In the past, river cruises were almost entirely booked by elderly people, many in their seventies and eighties.
That’s now changing. Led by AmaWaterways, the pioneer in revising that age level, nearly every river cruise company is frantically furnishing their ships to appeal to younger types.
And they are mainly succeeding in doing so.
The first youth-appealing facility to be added was swimming pools. Nearly all the newer ships now have open-air pools.
Water sports were then supplemented by bicycles. Every one of the riverboats now has a complement of bikes to be used free of extra charge by passengers. Some of the cruise companies actually schedule guided, group bike tours.
Physical fitness personnel have also been added by every line. Gyms and workout rooms have been installed by every such ship, and passengers engage in yoga and every kind of physical exertion.
Menus have been altered to appeal to younger tastes, and optional tour programs have been broadened to include hiking.
The results are now shown in a much younger group of river cruise passengers. At a recent travel trade show in which I joined my daughter in signing guidebooks published by us, our river cruise book was an obvious favorite among the young persons who attended that show. (You can find that book by clicking here.)
It’s an important new trend in travel. River cruises are now booked by young and old.