The concept of wellness on board is gaining plenty of traction. Here, we take a look at some of the best cruises for nourishing mind, body and soul.

Integrating goodness

Cruising the Mediterranean is, arguably, relaxing enough in itself for most people, but Seabourn’s Wellness Cruises add another dose of tranquillity and health benefits for guests. From 6-20 October 2018, the 14-day Origins of Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil – founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson – takes in the sights along and off the southern coast of Greece, including Mykonos, Crete, Naxos, and Rhodes, as well as Syracuse, Italy, and Valletta, Malta. The programme includes more than 25 complimentary workshops and discussions on integrative medicine.

Yoga time

In recent years, tall ship cruise specialist Star Clippers has been running complimentary daily yoga sessions on certain sailings. Passengers can experience these sessions, which are taught by a qualified yoga teacher, out in the open air on the top deck of the characterful ships. In the past, Star Clippers has hosted Ashtanga yoga – also known as power yoga. This is classed as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga and includes breathing and movement techniques.

For the remainder of 2018, the cruise line has a range of specific sailings available for yoga-loving guests, including the Western Mediterranean, Mediterranean and Thailand. There will also be a number of yoga-themed cruises in 2019.

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Yoga on board


Body, soul and fitness

Hapag-Lloyd has three distinct programmes aimed at wellness – Body & Soul, IN2BALANCE, and BE.YOU. The Body & Soul programme offers lectures and courses focusing on movement and nutrition, as well as relaxation techniques and the philosophy behind Pilates. The next Body & Soul cruise is a 10-day trip from Cape Town to Buenos Aires, departing 10 December 2018.

IN2BALANCE, like Body & Soul, includes relaxation methods, but combines them with yoga, burn-out prevention exercises, t’ai chi, shiatsu, nutritional advice and interval training. Meanwhile, BE.YOU, which is exclusively on the Europa 2, is presented by Olympic ski champion Maria Hö -Riesch. This is a tailored programme based on individual analysis and includes healthy eating tips.

O to be healthy

Holland America Line has partnered with O, The Oprah Magazine, to deliver a range of wellness activities designed to spread happiness and peacefulness. The most recent sailing, which departed in March 2018 on a seven-day Caribbean itinerary aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, included morning meditation sessions and classes on healthy eating, as well as beauty talk sessions. It has also been announced that Holland America will be bringing O’s Reading Room to all ships in its fleet.

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Holland America Line’s wellness programme


Waves and weigh-ins

Travelling the high seas is, of course, a fantastic way to enjoy delicious cuisine, but for those concerned that all that food might add a few inches to their waistlines, Weight Watchers cruises could come to the rescue. Working in partnership with MSC Cruises, the company has created an experience, labelled a ‘Voyage to Wellbeing’, that appeals to the calorie-conscious and those looking to lose an inch or two.

Cooking demonstrations are also provided, while a variety of classes – from cardio dance to Pilates – allow guests to work out while they cruise. Wellness seminars also make an appearance. The next sailing, on board MSC Seaside, departs 10 November, calling at Miami, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the Bahamas.

Happiness on the river

AmaWaterways provides a fleet of complimentary bikes, which guests can use on guided hikes and excursions in many cities. In addition to this, the cruise line has Wellness Hosts that hold a number of fitness classes – and also offers lectures – as part of its AmaWaterways Wellness Programme, which is available on the AmaLyra, AmaDante, AmaDolce, AmaCerto, AmaPrima and AmaSonata in 2018, and fleet-wide in 2019.

“Being active and healthy while travelling is something that is personally so important to me, and, as a company, AmaWaterways has been embracing active travel for more than a decade,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways.

Each ship in the fleet also features a massage room, fitness area, whirlpool or swimming pool, and a walking track.