There’s been a lot of buzz about the wellness offering at hotels and resorts, but there’s much effort being extended by some cruise lines to cater to the wellness traveler. We’re not just talking about a small gym on board or a yoga mat in the cabin, cruise ships are now offering everything from bikes to enjoy at local ports to healthy meal options. Excursions are getting away from bus tours and allowing for more active pursuits such as hiking and biking through local towns. There’s also some wonderful partnerships forming between traditional land packages and cruising. Here’s a sample of what’s in store with wellness cruises:
Seabourn offers a Mindful Living program created by Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned integrative medicine specialist who has pioneered research in physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing . The Motion Studio includes classes in yoga, guided meditation, sound bath, TRX, stretch and more. Each ship has a Mindful Living Coach who is a certified yoga and meditation practitioner and leads seminars during the voyage. There are also special wellness voyages with Dr. Weil himself providing lectures and workshops on how to enrich your life for better mental and physical health. In addition to what’s onboard, Seabourn has partnered with UNESCO to offer shore excursions which provide deeper insights for travelers while supporting conservation through sustainable tourism.
SeaDream Yacht Club has a Live Well program that not only includes sunrise yoga and tai chi but also the 1st certified spa and raw food menu at sea. They are known for their water sports marina which provides complimentary use of wave runners, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards and other water sports equipment. SeaDream also offers complimentary mountain bikes and the crew leads bike rides, hikes, and walks where you can learn more about the destination while getting active.
Ama Waterways river ships offer Wellness Hosts to lead guests through fitness classes onboard as well as active excursions on shore. They also offer lectures on integrating wellness into your daily life. Their river ships have bicycles for use at ports, a walking track, fitness room, pool and spa. Ama Waterways also offers active sightseeing including guided hiking and bike tours. They also partner with fitness companies such as BackRoads to offer a river cruise and bike vacation which gives you the best of both worlds. For golfers, their Concierge Golf Program allows you to sail the Danube and enjoy golf on some of the leading courses in Europe in up to 5 different countries on one trip.
Blue World Voyages, which is scheduled for its inaugural sailing in 2021, touts itself as the first in “active lifestyle cruising”. With a focus on sports, fitness and wellness along with farm-to-table fresh cuisine, Blue World plans to create an environment which caters to guests who “lead active lives and value self-awareness”. The first ship will have a full deck dedicated to sports, including batting cages, golf school, bike fitting stations and more. The spa and wellness deck will offer traditional spa services but also a mud bath, reflexology, aromatherapy and other treatments. On shore, the excursions will focus on active adventures and unique cultural experiences. In my mind, this is the cruise line to watch to see if it really delivers on these lofty promises. If Blue World can pull it off, I see a whole new world opening up for those active guests who are averse to traditional cruising.