Our range of on board and onshore activities suit the more active guest, so if you love to explore during bicycle rides and walking excursions, or simply enjoy keeping fit, then look out for them on your chosen itinerary. 

Keep fit both on and off board

During your time with Emerald Waterways, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy our EmeraldACTIVE programme of excursions, encouraging you to stretch your legs, find your centre and keep active, whether you’re on board or onshore. This may consist of guided hikes to centuries-old castles, cycle rides from one spectacular town to the next, and a canoeing excursion, inviting you to get even closer to the river. 

From April 2019, we’ll be introducing an on-board Activity Manager to all seven of our Star-Ships sailing the Rhine, Main, Danube, Moselle, Rhône and Douro rivers in Europe. These dedicated members of the team will perform a varied role, from coordinating on board fitness classes and active onshore excursions, to organising the evening’s entertainment.

With at least one EmeraldACTIVE* activity included in all our cruise itineraries, you can look forward to yoga and Pilates sessions, aqua aerobics in our heated pool and our ‘walk-a-mile’ classes on the Sun Deck. And, on selected evenings, we’ll have karaoke nights, cards tournaments and gameshow-style quizzes.

As we continue to receive excellent feedback for our current programme, we’ll continue introducing new and exciting activities and adventurous excursions, with the guidance of our experts, both on land and on the water. We also provide unguided experiences, if you’d prefer to explore independently, allowing you to savour a destination’s highlights on a route of your making. To get you started, we’ve picked our favourite EmeraldACTIVE excursions on each of the European rivers we navigate.

*EmeraldACTIVE activities vary by Star-Ship and cruise itinerary. Call us for full details.

EmeraldACTIVE on the Danube

Running through delightful cities and stunning countryside for 1,780 miles; the Danube offers an amazing selection of excursions close to its banks.
Guided bike tour between Durnstein & Melk
A couple riding Emerald Waterways e-bikes
Enjoy a mostly flat 23-mile bike tour through rolling vineyards and quaint towns in the Wachau Valley. On this unique EmeraldACTIVE excursion, look forward to stopping for lunch on the banks of the Danube where you may even see your Star-Ship pass by which will later meet you at the next docking point. The duration of this guided bike tour is approximately four hours which you can look forward to on our Splendours of Europe, Danube Delights and Danube Explorer river cruises.
Hike the Cobbled Streets and Buda Hill in Budapest
With its 1,000-year heritage and web of cobblestoned streets, Budapest’s Castle Hill district is ripe for an immersive guided hike. Take up your walking poles and set forth up through the curious byways of Castle Hill in the company of an experienced local guide, who will provide intriguing insight into the history of the area. At the summit, Buda Castle astounds with its Baroque façade and offers a far-reaching panorama of the city – views which make all that effort truly worthwhile.
a train crossing Chain Bridge over a body of water

EmeraldACTIVE on the Main

The Main runs through the heart of Bavaria, perfect if you want to explore a world of half-timber houses and enchanting beauty.
A guided walk to Wertheim Castle
a castle with a clock at the top of a building
After exploring the medieval town centre of Wertheim, take a guided tour to the small town’s picturesque castle. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle is perched protectively overlooking Wertheim and is built with distinct redbrick. Learn more about the traditions of Wertheim and the history of the castle with an expert guide courtesy of EmeraldACTIVE.

EmeraldACTIVE on the Rhine

Fairy-tale backdrops illuminate the banks of the Rhine, producing a region absolutely ripe for exploration.
Guided nature walk through the Black Forest 
black forest
Available on our Jewels of the Rhine river cruise, you can enjoy a guided nature walk through the woods, starting in Breisach where your ship will dock. Lasting around an hour, this insightful tour will take place in the afternoon and is the perfect way to partake in a unique experience, whilst also working up an appetite for your evening meal on-board your Star-Ship.
An enriching hike to Altes Schloss in Baden Baden
a stone castle next to a brick building
Baden Baden’s Altes Schloss rewards those who hike to its charming hill-side location with eerie dungeons, enigmatic hallways and stunning views. Although largely a ruin, the site remains a wonderful place to explore on foot, and an EmeraldACTIVE guided tour will provide you with everything you need to know about its 900-year-long history.

EmeraldACTIVE on the Rhône

Meandering through some of the world’s richest wine regions, the River Rhône absolutely invites you to explore on foot or by bicycle. 
Hike the vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône
a close up of a yellow flower
Beyond the limits of medieval Tournon lies the terraced vine slopes of the Côtes du Rhône, one of France’s most esteemed wine-making appellations. It’s here, within sight of the weaving passage of the river, that you can enjoy an EmeraldACTIVE vineyard hike – taking in the fragrant grape rows, inspiring scenery and warm, Mediterranean climate. Climb from the river’s edge to the summit of the valley through these celebrated wine lands promises, and enjoy a post-walk tasting session.
On-board yoga lessons against a backdrop of Southern France
rolling up a yoga mat
A select few EmeraldACTIVE options don’t even require you leave your Star-Ship. The Sensations of Lyon & Provence with Nice river cruise offers you the chance to practice yoga with an experienced yogi as you pass through stunning Avignon. A great workout for body and mind, this class is suitable for beginners and those experienced in yoga, alike.
Take part in this EmeraldACTIVE experience during our Sensations of Lyon & Provence with Nice river cruise.

EmeraldACTIVE on the Douro

Running through the Douro Valley in beautiful Portugal, the Douro can be explored on foot, bicycle, or even by canoe.
Canoeing experience with expert guides
canoeing at sunset
If you long to get a little closer to the waters when exploring the Douro, EmeraldACTIVE gives you the chance to venture out on a canoe. With an expert guide teaching you the ropes and leading the way, you’ll soon be navigating these amazing waters in invigorating style.
Enjoy this EmeraldACTIVE excursion on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.
Guided Walking Tour of Porto
a castle like building in a city
Where the Douro meets the sea, Porto’s rich history and heritage opens up in all its splendour. A delightful mix of modern and ancient architecture, Porto provides a stunning setting for a walking tour. With an expert guide on hand, you’re bound to learn plenty about Portugal’s second city.