IT IS SAID SALT SEA AIR has profound curative powers, so what better place to immerse oneself in these healthful properties than on an ocean cruise? Spas have long been a staple on cruises, but many ships expanded their fitness and beauty facilities to embrace programs dedicated to promoting wellness of mind, body and spirit. This fresh focus on wellness and holistic lifestyles already spawned a wide range of alternative classes, exotic spa treatments, leaner cuisines and New Age activities from meditation to yoga, all designed to return passengers to shore in fitter and trimmer condition — enlightened, rather than bloated.
Not surprisingly, the number of specially themed wellness cruises is on the rise. Seabourn Cruise Line, for example, introduced Dr. Andrew Weil’s “Mindful Living” courses to its Steiner Spa lineup. The emphasis is on meditation; yoga; and achieving a more balanced, healthful lifestyle. A special 14-day wellness cruise with the doctor himself (Greece: Origins of Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil) sets sail Oct. 6.
Meanwhile, Lindblad Expeditions’ 62-passenger National Geographic Seabird serves as a floating base camp for wellness training each winter in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Power yoga classes on deck, stand-up paddleboarding at sea and nature hikes ashore are topped off by neck massages and group meditation sessions.
Nearly every premium and luxury cruise line launched its own wellness program. Regent Seven Seas Cruises conducts Seven Seas Wellness Tours at 10 ports in the Mediterranean, ranging from tai chi in Marseille to yoga in Corfu. Silversea Cruises mounts Wellness Expedition voyages featuring yoga; Pilates; water aerobics; nutritional meals; and holistic therapies focused on aromatherapy, music and art. Celebrity Cruises’ Mindful Dreams program offers healthy lifestyle classes and spa treatments, as well as shore excursions that promote wellness, including a yoga outing in the rainforest. Oceania Cruises also has its own wellness tours, complete with yoga classes and vegan menus for those wanting to jettison carbs and calories along the way. And UnCruise Adventures, staffed by personal trainers and nutrition experts, takes up the theme on its small ships in Alaska, Costa Rica and the Sea of Cortez.
This emphasis on wellness and fitness even spawned a new Miami-based cruise line, Blue World Voyages, which plans to acquire three 350-passenger vessels and retrofit them with lap pools with retractable roofs, sports medicine clinics and indoor basketball courts, creating the most comprehensive sports and wellness complex at sea. Blue World Voyages hoped to set sail this summer, but it may take another year to hit the open waters.
In the meantime, the world’s top luxury cruise lines already created a new age in ocean travel, with wellness cruises the high-water mark for health-conscious passengers.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
Anchorage-based Northern Pacific Airways agreed to purchase its first six aircraft — Boeing 757s — this week. This transaction meets part of its initial fleet requirements, and the first aircraft from this purchase will be delivered immediately. Northern Pacific Airways plans to offer service between U.S. points and Asia, via Anchorage, Alaska.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.