Tauck's ms Sapphire

(3:52 p.m. EST) -- Continuing the trend toward more active river cruises, Tauck will offer an expanded range of shore excursions on its 2018 sailings, as well as onboard stretching classes.

"Not only does Tauck provide guests with a virtually all-inclusive travel experience, but in addition to all gratuities, meals, shore excursions, and more included in the cruise price, guests can now also choose shore excursions that fit their interests and lifestyles," said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. "We're thrilled to offer guests a second activity option and make their Tauck river cruise even more memorable because of the choice."

Examples of active shore excursions include a guided bike ride in the Black Forest on Rhine River cruises, a bike ride in De Hoge Veluwe National Park in the Netherlands, new hiking opportunities on various cruises and onboard yoga-inspired stretching classes.

Other enhancements to Tauck river cruises include exclusive pre-opening visits to Versailles and after-hours tours of the Louvre, a private Tauck dinner inside the German Parliament building and an included lunch at Alain Ducasse's newest restaurant, Ore, in Versailles.

Many river cruise lines have been improving their active shore excursions to attract younger passengers. Examples include AmaWaterways, which has developed a slate of wellness cruises; Avalon, which has Active Discovery itineraries on the Danube and Rhine rivers; Emerald Waterways, which has its EmeraldACTIVE program of biking, canoeing and hiking excursions; and Viking River Cruises, which is adding bike tours in 2018 for the first time.

--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor