Cruise holidays are the new go-to places for those looking to keep their mind, body and fitness on track. Jane Archer picks five of the best wellness cruises.
1. Feel good factor
Seabourn has teamed up with US integrative medicine guru Dr Andrew Weil to inject health and happiness into passengers’ lives through a mindful living programme. The doctor uses meditation, chanting and yoga to heal back and joint pain, banish headaches and generally make people feel good. He travels on Seabourn’s ships now and then; at other times wellness guides hold daily meditation and yoga sessions based on his teachings and educate passengers on the link between mind, body, environment and wellness.
Good to know: Mindful Living classes and seminars are complimentary but there is a charge for one-to-one sessions.
2. Expert advice
Relax, refresh and recharge with the help of experts in yoga, Pilates and tai chi on a 12-night Mind, Body and Spirit-themed voyage in the Med in May next year on luxury line Crystal Cruises’ ship Crystal Serenity. There’ll be health and wellness talks about nutrition and diet, fitness classes in the gym and you can even walk on water. Not literally of course. Strap on a WalkVest, add weights (anything from two to 16 pounds) and set out for a spin around the promenade deck - 3.35 laps on Serenity equals one mile.
Good to know: The cruise, from Venice to Barcelona departing 10th - 22nd May, 2020, visits Croatia, Montenegro, Italy and Monte Carlo.
3. Go with the flow
The wellness buzz has made it to the rivers, where Emerald Waterways will have full-time activity managers on all its seven European ships from April. Tasked to encourage passengers to stay in shape, they’ll be hosting free yoga and Pilates classes, holding aqua aerobics sessions in the ships’ heated pools, organising walk-a-mile sessions on the sun deck, and guiding cycling, hiking and canoeing excursions so folk can burn calories while seeing the sights.
Good to know: The indoor pools on Emerald Waterways river ships each have a swim-against-the-current feature for those into DIY keep-fit.
4. Yoga in the sun
Who needs a gym when you have a sun deck and yoga instructor to help you stay in shape? Star Clippers’ yoga-themed cruises offer keep fit with a difference – out in the fresh air on real sailing ships and with sea views to put a smile on your face while trying out some torturous moves. Yoga instructors Helen Noviello, Liliana Skinner and Catherine Derrow are hosting six cruises in the Mediterranean and Thailand this year and something similar is planned for 2020, although dates have not yet been released.
Good to know: Classes are complimentary and suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
5. Fitness on the Edge
With more than 1,200 fitness classes on offer, there is no excuse for not staying in shape on Celebrity Cruises’ new ship Celebrity Edge. The classes, available via video, are part of a enhanced wellness drive by Celebrity that also includes Hot Yoga where you bend and stretch in a heated space that tones the body while relaxing the mind, and Pulse Barre, a hip new body workout that combines Pilates, yoga and ballet.
Good to know: It’s not all about the burn. There are treatments to pamper and relax in the swanky new spa created by designer Kelly Hoppen.