Cruising to Wellness
Wellness themed holidays can be experienced in many forms but if you like fresh air, open skies, and the sound of waves on rewind, then take to the ocean or to the myriad of river routes for your prescribed dose of wellness.
The Healthcare Holiday has been searching the waters to see what is on offer from the ever-growing number of cruises for today’s health conscious cruiser or those new to this style of holiday.
For many, cruises are synonymous with endless buffet tables and a more sedentary type of holiday experience. Not true. Cruises today offer an exhaustive range of activities, a programme of excursions to suit every age as well as a selection of creative and mouthwatering menus designed for most preferences.
Cruise packages have been crafted to attract niche interests, and, on trend, a growing number are now available to appeal specifically to the health & wellness traveller.
The luxury small-ship cruise line, Seabourn, is offering its first-ever holistic spa and wellness experience at sea. Onboard, each programme will be led by a wellness guide, a certified yoga and meditation practitioner. The daily practice of meditation and yoga is central to the programme through a selection of complimentary sessions. On-board seminars will cover subjects such as anti-inflammatory food, healthy aging and meditation. This new venture is in addition to existing onboard spa services which include massages, facials, fitness and beauty treatments.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ wellness offering includes its onboard SPA Fitness Center with its state-of-the-art Life Fitness equipment and classes in Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. These facilities are supplemented by fitness & beauty seminars, ranging from Detox for Health & Weight Loss, Powerful Posture, and when dining, menus are clearly marked with “Healthy Options.”
Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering voyages in Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and the South Pacific that provide health and wellness opportunities for fitness-minded travellers. Wellness comes in the form a retractable watersports marina from which guests can paddleboard, kayak and windsurf. Wellness also takes a cultural form, with traditional Polynesian dance classes and sunrise Polynesian-inspired Zumba classes. Relaxing overwater massages are available on Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private islet paradise. For a revitalizing start, every morning, the Paul Gauguin’s La Palette offers a wellness bar with blended fresh fruit and vegetable juice drinks. Dr Sideroff, a healing, resilience and optimal performance expert, will offer insights into integrating the most advanced scientific and behavioural technologies with ancient traditions for optimal mind and body functioning aboard the Cook Islands & Society Islands sailing on 15th July 2017.
“Wellbeing on the Water” is offered by Uniworld Boutique River Cruise, promising to keep their guests fit and on track during their cruise. Staying active onshore includes excursions such as cycling and Nordic walking as well as gentle walking tours. Onboard a wellness coach will put them through their paces with exercise class or a relaxing yoga session. The Serenity River Spa offers the haven for wellness tailored treatments embracing the arts of Chinese massage, reflexology and shiatsu.
In January 2017, The Hungry Girl Cruises sails in the form of Holland America’s Eurodam, when Food Network’s Lisa Lillien (alias the Hungry Girl), hosts special activities such as a seminar on how to indulge on vacation without gaining weight, a “Swap Till You Drop” demo in which Lillien will exchange recipes and offer prizes, morning workouts by the pool and book signings.
Holistic Holiday at Sea will take sail away in March 2017. Experts in holistic living and natural health join together for the 14th annual Holistic Holiday at Sea on MSC Divina. Emmy Award-winning host of the TV series, “Christina Cooks,” Christina Pirello; pioneer of cardiovascular medicine and Olympic gold medalist, Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., M.D. and nutritional leader and author, Neal Barnard, M.D. are among the special guests who will be presenting onboard during the seven night Miami roundtrip.
According to CruiseCritic.com, cruising has become creative and very competitive!. For three dates in 2016, Marathon Expeditions” Running Cruise hosted a series of week-long cruises featuring themed workouts and 5k runs unique to the destinations of the Caribbean: aboard the Royal Caribbean”s Vision of the Seas, Alaska on the Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and on AmaWaterways’ AmaDagio in the South of France.
Happy sailing on your wellness journey.
Notes: Facilities mentioned may not be available on all ships within the fleet. Please check the individual cruise itinerary and programme for the most uptodate details.
Jane Wilson editor of The Healthcare Holiday www.thehealthcareholiday.com