In theory, any river cruise can be an active one, given that shore-centric itineraries allow passengers to pursue all manner of land-based activities. Many lines, particularly those plying Europe's rivers, already provide bicycles for their passengers. (And if they don't, you can always rent one in port.) But as competition in this fast-growing segment of the cruise market heats up, some lines are seeking to attract a broader -- and younger -- clientele by offering a greater scope of active and adventurous pursuits. Here's a look at some best-bet lines for river cruisers who like to be on the move.
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Read to see if Uniworld is the river cruise line for you. If you're looking for luxe in a river cruise, Uniworld should be near the top of your research list. It's part of the same company that owns the upmarket Red Carnation Hotels -- which includes London's Chesterfield Mayfair and Rubens at the Palace, Palm Beach's Chesterfield and Dorset's Summer Lodge. This gives you an idea of both the quality and style of the brand. Uniworld has 19 vessels in its fleet -- including the new-build 'Super Ship' siblings Antoinette, Catherine and Maria Theresa -- which each feature a cinema, a swimming pool and a spa onboard. Uniworld cruises on all the popular European rivers, such as the Danube, Main, Rhine, Moselle, Rhone, Seine, Po and Douro, and further afield including Russia, Egypt and Asia.
An affinity for cruising, whether river or ocean, does not discriminate and has a diverse audience, but river cruise companies still lag behind ocean ships when catering specifically to the LGBTQ market. Perhaps it is because river cruise sailings put a stronger emphasis on ports of call than onboard amenities and activities or that river cruises are smaller, making them a more intimate experience that is already inclusive for everyone. Many cruise lines offer special training for onboard staff about the nuances of personal relationships, including LGBTQ couples. Other lines note that while they don't have specific cruises aimed at LGBTQ travelers, river cruising overall is very popular within the demographic. According to David Winterton, Head of Marketing and Global Brand Curator for Emerald Waterways, "We found that LGBTQ guests love our product and don't want to be restricted to just one cruise on one date." The company does have a page on its website that lists Pride events in different European cities. A common and pleasing theme we heard from companies is that river cruising should be a memorable experience for everyone no matter who is on board; we agree wholeheartedly. Here is a look at what some of the major players offer for LGBTQ passengers: