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Top Cruises for the Adventurer

Trips that appeal to travelers looking for active outdoor fun

Adults snorkeling near Cabo San Lucas, Baja CA

Getty Images

En español | You’re thinking: The convenience of staying in one place is great, but when you take time off, you want to get your heart pumping. That’s why many cruise lines now have options for active travelers like you, including sleek gyms and Zumba classes on the ship, and a range of off-ship adventures.


Budget

Holland America passengers riding horses during an excursion

Roger Paperno  

Cruise: Holland America’s 7-day Adriatic and Ionian Gems cruise, from Rome to Venice, Italy

Ship: Veendam; 1,350 passengers 

Price: Starts at $1,900 per couple (with a $350 nonrefundable deposit)

The big lines are catering to high-energy travelers, often 50-somethings and boomers, with affordable sails such as a weeklong journey from Rome to Venice on Holland America’s Veendam, which can cost a couple as little as $1,900. And you can choose from dozens of excursions (though most will require a per-person fee), including hiking along the rocky trails on Corfu ($90), bouncing through the hills above 

Dubrovnik in a two-seater buggy ($100) and biking in Croatia ($130). Another benefit of a ship like the Veendam for sportier passengers: It’s large enough to provide games and activities such as tennis and basketball, along with tai chi sessions and aqua aerobics.  


Midrange

Vineyard on the Rhine river

Alamy Stock Photo

Cruise: CroisiEurope’s 6-day Cruise ’n Hike on the Rhine River

Ship: La Boheme; 158 passengers 

Price: Starts at $3,340 per couple for a cabin on the main deck; all inclusive

River cruises tend to appeal to those who don’t want to be stuck on a ship; often there are many chances to be moving on land. CroisiEurope’s Cruise ’n Hike offering on the Rhine River (round-trip from Strasbourg), is geared to this group. The ship sails at night along French, German and Swiss riverbanks, so the day is free for guided land adventures. The hikes, most about three hours, skirt Blauenberg, a mountain by the French-Swiss border; go over the volcanic Kaiserstuhl hills of German wine country; and head to France’s medieval Bernstein and Ortenbourg castles. The best part is that everything’s included in the price: three-course classic French meals with paired wines; port fees; outings; and drinks.


Splurge

Un-Cruises Safari Quest cruise ship

UnCruise Adventures

Cruise: UnCruise Adventures’ 7-night Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands cruise, from Seattle

Ship: Safari Quest; 22 passengers

Price: Starts at $8,390 per couple

If you’re an active cruiser who wants to go way upscale, you won’t lack for choices. One that will certainly get your heart rate up by day, then reward your efforts with luxury, is UnCruise Adventures’ yacht cruise through Washington’s San Juan Islands. You’ll get a super-comfy cabin—heated bathroom floor, silky-soft sheets—and fantastic dinners with fine wine every evening. If you can swing the price (which is all inclusive), you’ll have a truly unforgettable experience.

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