Wellness at sea

Whether it’s an indulgent spa treatment or a morning yoga class, wellness at sea is fast becoming a staple of cruising life. The trend is something we are seeing regularly across numerous industries, and it’s certainly showing no sign of slowing down.

Looking at various walks of life, we are all guilty of packing lots of plans into our busy schedules, working hard to reach our goals and constantly clinging to our smartphones. With all of this, it’s easy to forget to take some time out for our wellbeing.

Highlighted more so as CLIA’s (Cruise Lines International Association) focus for Cruise Month this September, lets take a closer look at wellness and why it’s important to put yourself first for relaxing while at sea.

Wellness is anything that focuses on yourself, integrating health and fitness activities with your own lifestyle to ensure you’re taking a ‘time out’ every once in a while. These activities could be a bike ride or a yoga class, a spa treatment or meditation, or even reading a book or enjoying a walk along the coast. It’s anything that makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

There are already many cruise lines which are offering these experiences on-board. Gyms, spas, classes and guest lectures are the norm on most ocean cruise ships and perfect for giving us a little boost on-board. While, some cruise lines even offer shore excursions for that added-extra wellness experience.

Aurea Experience with MSC Cruises

MSC Aurea Spa - MSC Yacht Club

The Aurea Experience with MSC Cruises is tailored to feeling relaxed during your time on-board. The experience provides free access to the exclusive adult-only sun deck, as well as relaxation amenities such as a reed diffuser, bathrobe and slippers in your cabin.

One of the main benefits is the Wellbeing Package which includes a massage of your choice from the spa; tanning shower; spa welcome cocktail; private MediSpa doctor consultation and access to the Thermal Area throughout your cruise. For that extra indulgence, the experience also includes 24-hour room service and breakfast in your cabin for those days when you want to relax with your balcony views. The Aurea Experience is available with Suite and Balcony cabins.

Celebrity Cruises’ AquaClass® staterooms

AquaClass Stateroom - Celebrity Cruises

These serene staterooms are ideal for those seeking restoration and relaxation, offering the signature modern luxury of Celebrity Cruises with a spa-inspired twist. Within your stateroom, you can enjoy a private balcony, custom bath products and your personal Spa Concierge to arrange your treatments. The serene experience continues across the ship, as you are offered unlimited access to the Persian Spa lounge. This peaceful oasis features a range of aquatic experiences such as steam and tropical rain showers. Those sailing in the Edge Class will instead enjoy unlimited access to the SEA Thermal Suite, a sensory relaxation space featuring eight distinct thermal experiences.

The AquaClass® staterooms also allow you exclusive access to Blu, Celebrity Cruises’ spa-inspired restaurant. This venue offers nourishing, healthy cuisine, pioneering natural ingredients with a contemporary twist.

‘Come Back New’

Lotus Spa - Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises promise that you can chart a course for body and mind renewal on-board – after all, their motto is ‘Come Back New’! Within your stateroom, the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed resides. Named the Best Cruise Ship Bed by Cruise Critic, the slumber space is the result of a collaboration with sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and now means you’ll get the ultimate sleep at sea.

The Lotus Spa is another award-winning wellness feature of Princess Cruises, named Best Spa on a Cruise Ship by Spa finder Wellness 365 ™. Choosing from a variety of treatments, the spa offers aroma stone therapy massages and detoxifying ocean wraps for a relaxing cruise activity. For a more active option, Princess Cruises’ ships also offer a range of Zumba classes to get your heart pumping! Selected voyages also include yoga or tai chi classes, perfect for making the most of relaxing moments.

Vitality Spa for virtuous visits

Voyager Spa - Vitality Spa - Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s Vitality Spa is available on-board every ship in its fleet, as well as the Fitness Center, complete with a line-up of services, massage therapists, fitness instructors and personal trainers. There are many ways to feel pampered and renewed when sailing with Royal Caribbean, from simple beauty treatments to a comprehensive nutrition analysis.

The spa offers a robust menu of services including hot stone massages, medi-spa treatment or detox wrap, while the fitness classes range from soul-rewarding yoga to exhilarating spin classes and even TRX suspension training. For those who like to start their mornings off with a jog or brisk walk, running tracks feature on most of the Royal Caribbean fleet (the largest are on-board Oasis-class ships).

P&O Cruises’ port experiences

Couple on balcony on P&O Cruises

Aside from the usual spa and wellbeing offering on-board, P&O Cruises also offers a range of excursions which are tailored to feeling at one with the natural beauty of the world. Cruises to the Norwegian Fjords offer the Scenic Flåm Railway excursion, where you travel along the Flåm River, 866 metres above sea level. The magical journey takes you through deep gorges, mountainside waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. It’s a spectacular example of nature stripped back to its most breath-taking.

Alternatively, head to the Canary Islands and toast the sunset 12,000 feet up Mount Tiede as you enjoy dinner designed by a two Michelin-star chef. After gliding by cable car to the mountain’s station, sip a glass of Canarian sparkling wine as you soak up the stunning panoramas of Tiede National Park. As night draws in and stars emerge, head back down to the base station and enjoy a menu created by Eriantz Gorotzia.

Wellness lecturers with Cunard

Planetarium - Queen Mary 2 - Cunard

Enrich your mind with a choice of guest speakers on-board selected Cunard cruises, focused on development, learning and pastimes. From October to November, Queen Elizabeth welcomes John Maclean from the Royal Astronomical Society; wildlife conservationist, Gavin Robinson and former tennis player and Wimbledon Referee, Andrew Jarrett on-board.

Meanwhile, you can celebrate both Space Week (26th September to 4th October) and the Literature Festival at Sea (10th to 17th November) on-board Queen Mary 2. The first includes visits from Dan Wilkins from the Royal Astronomical Society and Professor of Space Law, Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz. The Literature festival welcomes bestselling authors, journalists, novelists and award-winning writers such as Sebastian Faulks, Victoria Hislop, Robbie Millen and Elizabeth Strout.­

With so many options to relax, unwind and keep active on-board an ocean cruise, it shows how easy it can be for us all to take a moment to boost our wellness while on at sea. There’s no shortage of classes, gyms or spas during your cruise, so take the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and refresh on your very own wellness cruise.

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Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over a year. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in diary for 2020! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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