Picture this. You’ve just boarded your favourite cruise ship after a fulfilling hike through Barcelona’s Parc de Les Aigües. As the ship sets sail for the next exotic destination, you head to the bar, not for a cold beer but for a health smoothie. Later, instead of snacking on some sloppy pizza and fries, you head over to the gym for an aerobics class, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
This is what the wave of travel through wellness cruises looks like.
Cruise ships have long been characterised by excessive lounging and binging. From laying back and lazing around by the pool, to feasting on the various buffet menus. Lately, various cruises have adopted several activities to promote an active lifestyle aboard their ships.
Blue World Voyages, a new company that promotes itself as the world’s first cruise line dedicated to active, athletic, healthy lifestyles, and personal discovery, advocates for “active lifestyle cruising”.
The landing page on the company’s official site reads: “An entire deck devoted to sports and fitness. Spacious functional training gym, bike-fitting station, batting cages, golf, soccer and hockey simulators; spinning and TRX studios, an onboard Hank Haney Golf School, and more (including a sea-water lap pool). Plus, another entire deck devoted to a state-of-art spa and wellness facilities.”
A couple of years ago, Lindblad Expeditions partnered with Exhale Spa to form wellbeing retreats at sea, through a series of three and four-day voyages. These voyages are designed to mesh the luxury of a Lindblad cruise with the wellbeing experiences Exhale is known for. From snorkelling to exploring the coastline by kayak, guests can enjoy these activities under the guidance of an Exhale fitness teacher or wellness specialist.
Elsewhere, luxury wellness lifestyle brand Canyon Ranch has broadened its catalogue to offer enriching health-centric experiences aboard cruise liners, such as Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Celebrity Cruises.
Health-oriented ships are also luring potential travellers, who were perhaps hesitant to travel due to their concerns of leaving behind a healthy lifestyle to vacation, where excessive drinking and eating may have been a put-off. Now, with increasingly focused wellness programming, the already trendy cruises look set to continue to grow in popularity.