River Cruise Avalon expands Active Discovery cruises By Joe Rosen / April 14, 2017 Share 1 Avalon Waterways has expanded its Active Discovery program to the Rhine River, which includes activities such as biking, hiking, canoeing, painting classes, culinary tours, and dance lessons. -- Avalon Waterways' Active Discovery itineraries, which encourage river cruise guests to actively engage with each destination on their sailing, will expand to the Rhine River in 2018. The river cruise line introduced the concept with two nine-day Danube River cruises last July. On the Avalon Visionary this week, sailing from Amsterdam to Paris, Terri Burke, managing director of Avalon, said the goal of the Active Discovery program is to provide an opportunity for passengers to immerse themselves in local culture and to do, see and enjoy life as lived by locals."We believe the new program, with its increased personalization of choice, will attract a younger demographic," Burke said. "It is not a traditional river cruise."The activities may include active excursions like biking, hiking, canoeing or painting classes, off-the-beaten-path culinary tours, and waltz lessons. The two eight-day Rhine cruises will start in Amsterdam and conclude in Frankfurt (and reverse); the Danube cruises sail from Budapest to Linz and back.The Active Discovery programs on the new sailings will include archery lessons; wine tastings; biking on back roads; hiking; visits to an inactive volcano; a Roman games outing, togas included; culinary tasting tours with visits to local markets; and the opportunity to make the rounds with an 18th century "night watchman." "It's all about freedom of choice," Burke said.Traditional cruise options such as town walkabouts and visits to historic sites also will be offered.