Lonely Planet Writer

Indulge yourself this year with a 'wellness cruise' experience

Cruising has come a long way, baby. No longer pitched at the all-inclusive-package-market only, cruises have broadened their offering, and their target market, with a holiday for just about every demographic. The latest in cruising trends is ‘wellness’. Cue: health advice, fitness classes, and indulgent pampering options on cruises globally.

Indugle yourself this year with a wellness cruise
Massage room on the MSC’s cruise ship Divina. Image by: JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

In the Americas, MSC Cruises’ ‘Wellness Experience’ launched last year, where you get a health assessment and personalised fitness programme, ‘active’ shore excursions (anyone fancy jogging around the next port stop?), access to gym equipment on board, and healthy food and drink options. Their ‘Aurea Experience’ incorporates massages from a spa menu, a ‘tanning shower’ (sorry, we’re not sure what that is either), a private wellness consultation, and access to their thermal area during a 15-night cruise-fly trip through the Caribbean. Sail to Jamaica and come back a stone lighter.

Pamper yourself with a wellness cruise this year
MSC cruise liner Poesia anchored at Quintana Roo, Costa Maya, Mexico. Image by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG/Getty Images

AmaWaterways has a Wellness Host (job title of the year) on their Danube river cruise who delivers classes in yoga, core strengthening, circuit training, and stretch classes. The menu has been rehashed to include more locally-sourced foods, as well as gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian options. But fear not, for those of us who like to balance health with hedonism on a holiday there’s also a daily cocktail hour.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Azamara is incorporating spa-themed cabins onboard their cruises, plus personal trainers, pampering facials, and acupuncture sessions while you sail between Dubai. Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Doha.

And if, like for most of the sleep-deprived working world, getting better sleep is your next big wellness goal, you’ll be keen to hear that sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus has been commissioned to develop a new luxury bed for the Princess Cruise liner. The first dream-snoozing tour around Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick begins in September 2019.