Cruises offer a deluge of opportunities to overindulge, but cruise lines also increasingly cater to passengers who want to disembark in better shape than when they boarded. This means more than expanding gym space or updating exercise equipment. New programs to maintain (or even improve) health and wellness for mind as well as body are multiplying.
While buffet-and-booze cruises with Broadway-style shows and high-tech amusements are just the ticket for many holiday passengers, others seek more healthful alternatives. The “goop at Sea” cruise epitomizes this trend, as Gwyneth Paltrow brings her own health and wellness brand, goop, to a Barcelona-based Mediterranean voyage. The inaugural cruise — originally scheduled to depart in August but postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic — will sail aboard Celebrity Cruises’ new 2,910-passenger ship, Celebrity Apex. Talks and workshops will center on the wellness of mind, body and soul. Goop’s own staff will tailor healthful meals, and passengers can meet with trailblazing healers.
Likewise, Crystal Cruises’ massive 71-day sailing aboard Crystal Symphony from Athens to Auckland, departing Oct. 11, 2021, features a “Mind, Body & Spirit” theme. Experts on tai chi, yoga and Pilates will be on hand; the spa will utilize principles of feng shui to achieve stress reduction and rejuvenation; and passengers can employ weighted vests and walking poles for a “Walk-on-Water” on the 360-degree Promenade Deck. Meanwhile, Silversea Cruises also turned its spa and fitness facilities toward holistic and ancient wellness practices by adding programs in acupuncture and fat-burning nutrition. And Lindblad Expeditions now offers a wellness program on all its National Geographic ships with the philosophy that nature is revitalizing and the wilderness is its tonic. Certified Wellness Specialists lead morning stretching and exercise programs, aerobic shore walks and individualized spa and massage treatments.
Oceania Cruises makes wellness a major focus on its cruises worldwide, both on board and on shore. Its Wellness Discovery Tours feature some 50 shore excursion options, from mineral baths in Rome and reflexology on a rice barge to meditation with a monk and traditional dance therapy. Passengers can also practice beach yoga and tai chi or partake of Chinese traditional medicine remedies. All of Oceania’s ships serve gourmet “Vitality Cuisine” in the Grand Dining Room and raw juices and smoothies at Waves Grill. The cruise line also moved beyond lobster and caviar with plant-based health-and-wellness treats including “cheese burgers,” “ice cream” and “crème brûlée.”
Since 2016 Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in integrative medicine combining physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being, has presided over the wellness and spa programs of Seabourn Cruises. Each of Seabourn’s ships has a Mindful Living Coach certified in yoga and meditation to conduct seminars and classes. The new spa treatments (an Earth Grounding Massage and a Restorative Salt Stone Massage) flow from a similar mind-body perspective. Seabourn’s two annual “Voyages to Wellness” cruises, one in Arabia, the other in the South Pacific, are often led by Dr. Weil himself. The cruises offer daily morning meditations, yoga exercises and stretch and Pilates classes, as well as seminars on managing stress, anxiety and chronic pain; heart health; diet and nutrition; hypnosis; aging; vitality; laughter; and sleep.
Nearly every major cruise line now offers its own menu of wellness programs, including New Age spa treatments, alternative health workshops, mind-body exercise sessions, plant-based dining options and special shore excursions. The newest luxury at sea, it seems, is self- improvement rather than self-indulgence.
TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO DREAM
Experts concur a good night’s sleep is key to health and wellness, especially on a cruise where the setting is new, the pace of life is unpredictable and the bed is unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable.
To ensure sufficient shut-eye at sea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises goes the extra league. Exclusively for guests of the Regal Suite on the Seven Seas Splendor, the new “Restorative Sleep Ritual” should eliminate the need to count sheep (or dolphins). This wellness program begins with the Serene Spa & Wellness “Around the World Massage,” fusing a Swedish rubdown with treatments employ- ing bamboo stalks, heated volcanic rocks, coconut poultices, Moroccan argan oils and mind-soothing scents from India and Egypt.
The centerpiece of the ritual is a milk bath. Described as “transcendent” and “nourishing,” the milk bath is steeped in vitamins, amino acids and herbs designed to soften and rejuvenate the skin.
All that remains is a bed every bit as comforting as the spa treatment and milk bath, and Regent Seven Seas’ answer is a $200,000 Vividus bed, handcrafted in Sweden by certified bed artisans over a nine-week period, its many luxuriant layers handstitched together to create a zero-gravity, floating platform completely detached from all earthly cares.
With its “Restorative Sleep Ritual,” Regent Seven Seas believes it can deliver the “most natural, deeply relaxing sleep in the world.” Or, at least, at sea.
Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.