River cruise lines tee up more options for golfing

Cruisers on Uniworld’s Paris and Normandy itinerary can now play a round in Etretat in Normandy.
Cruisers on Uniworld’s Paris and Normandy itinerary can now play a round in Etretat in Normandy.
A growing number of river cruise lines are adding options for passengers to play some golf while cruising the inland waterways of Europe.

For 2017, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection added golf excursions to its Paris and Normandy itinerary, which now includes the opportunity to play the courses Golf de Rouen Mont-Saint-Aignan in Rouen and Golf d'Etretat in Etretat, during an eight-day river cruise along France's Seine River on Uniworld's 128-passenger Joie de Vivre (starting at $2,799 per person).

Uniworld passengers interested in teeing up are encouraged to register at the golf courses in advance and to pair up by two to four players per group. Uniworld provides clubs for passengers who don't want to bring their own from home.

The new Uniworld golf options came on the heels of Avalon Waterways beginning to offer golf cruises last year. For 2018, Avalon's golf-themed cruise has been dubbed the Blue Danube Discovery for Golfers, a 13-day river cruise from Budapest to Prague starting at $3,509 per person. For this cruise, a golf expert is onboard to arrange tee times on three courses, and passengers have the opportunity to play rounds of golf while in Budapest, Vienna and Nuremberg.

European canal barge company European Waterways also offers the option to play golf on some of its cruises in Scotland, Ireland, England and France. Passengers who opt for a golf-themed sailing will be given the opportunity to play on a couple of courses with tee times prebooked by the cruise line and transfers to and from the courses. Clubs and golf cart rentals are not included.

The golf cruises are available for a supplemental fee to cover the cost of the prebooked tee times and are offered on about half of the hotel barges in the European Waterways fleet.

AmaWaterways this year introduced a concierge golf program to its U.K. passengers that is worth noting in the event the river cruise line expands the program to U.S. passengers. The designated sailings include up to five rounds of golf, including at some of the leading championship courses in Europe, and private transfers to the golf courses, where tee times, practice balls and pull trolleys are arranged in advance. There is also an included lunch at the course clubhouse while AmaWaterways staff cleans passengers' clubs.

Some of the golf courses AmaWaterways is offering include Albatross Golf Club in Prague, host of the Czech Open; Hartl Resorts Beckenbauer in Bad Griesbach, Germany, host of the Porsche European Open; Pannonia Country Club in Budapest, Hungary, host of the Hungarian Open; the Royal Haagsche Golf Club in Wassenaar, Netherlands; and Golf Club International Soufflenheim in Soufflenheim, France, among several others.

For those who are determined, golf vacation specialist Kalos Golf, based in Chapel Hill, N.C., has put together some golf-themed charter river cruises on AmaWaterways' ships, including a Bordeaux golf and wine cruise and a Danube golf cruise. More information is available at kalosgolf.com.
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