Your travel agent told you this is an active tour, right?”, our cruise director, Danielle, asks the group on Avalon Waterway’s inaugural Active Discovery cruise. There are groans from the passengers, by day three we are all weary, but all this activity on a cruise is a great way to counterbalance the French food and wine.
Avalon Active Discovery cruise has been running on the Rhine for a few years but the French version on the Rhone is brand new. Our voyage starts in urbane elegant Lyon and finishes in the south in roman Arles with its artsy Van Gogh vibe. Every day is different but follows a rough pattern of activity in the morning and cruising in the afternoon.
The focus is on outdoor activities with a choice every day of a hike, bike ride or canoe trip. There’s also an interactive cultural activity – think painting or cooking class to cater for those who might be pacing themselves or managing an injury.
The ethos behind these tours is that Avalon want to appeal to a younger clientele and also attract repeat customers who want to experience the Rhone River differently.
2019 was the first year for this cruise on the Rhone, though Avalon have been running them on the Rhine and Danube for a year or two. It looks like this type of cruising will become more popular, as passengers look for more immersive and active experiences.