Virtuoso Life - May/June 2017 - 97
In 2006, AmaWaterways was
the first rivercruise line to sail
with a fleet of
bikes, and it has
gone on to become the leading
cruise option for
cyclists. Co-owner Gary Murphy discusses
the difference a ride can make on the river.
Why cycle? Most European rivers have bike
paths along their banks that are separate from
highways. The roads will leave the river for
miles, but the paths continue. Along with being
an efficient way for locals to get from point A
to B, it's a great way to tour the countries.
Who's riding? Travelers who know Europe
and have a desire to see the river from a different perspective. Backroads passengers are
avid cyclists: Their daily rides go two to three
times farther than our guided bike excursions. On departures where Backroads is
operating their program, our bike tours fill up
quickly - the enthusiasm for biking though
the countryside is contagious.
KEVIN J. MIYAZAKI
How have bike programs changed
river cruising? Adding more-active excursions such as biking and hiking has brought
our average passenger age from 70 to below
60 in 15 years. We've also seen an increase in
multigenerational families traveling with lateteen/early-adult children: The grandparents
may want to go on a leisurely sightseeing
tour, the parents do a cooking class, and the
18- and 20-year-olds go hiking or biking. They
all split up in the morning, meet at lunch and
cruise together during the afternoon, then
maybe do another excursion separately in
the late afternoon.
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FO R M O R E D ETA I L S, CO N TACT YO U R V I RT U OSO T RAV E L A DV I SO R
Your favorite cycling route in Europe?
The Danube Cycle Path from Linz to Passau.
It's about 60 miles - 30 of that through a
national park - and it's spectacular.
M AY | J U N E 2 0 17
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