Wellness Cruises Are Taking Over the Waters



a small boat in a body of water

In a not-so-surprising twist, cruise ships—already used to competing with top hotels in the areas of food and design—are now attracting wellness seekers. This past January, guests on Uniworld’s smart, boutique Ganges Voyager II sailed a new itinerary along India’s famous river in partnership with progressive Me to We, the socially conscious lifestyle brand. They spent the first leg of the journey exploring rural communities and working on a local sustainability project before sailing to the temple city of Kalna and Mother Teresa’s home city of Calcutta; on board, a resident yogi led daily classes and lectures, and met with guests for individual sessions.

Earlier this year, Seabourn announced two new itineraries with Andrew Weil, M.D., one of the founding fathers of integrative medicine. The cruise line’s Route to Ancient Wellness will sail from Greece to Dubai following age-old trading paths and include mindfulness-focused shore excursions; Wellness in the South Pacific departs from Auckland, exploring New Zealand’s coast before heading to Sydney. Weil is bringing experts in progressive areas like energy healing to round out lectures and group tours.

Meanwhile, AmaWaterways recently expanded offerings across its fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia, adding a dedicated “wellness host” on each ship to help passengers set and monitor personal goals for their time at sea. Luxury big hitters Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cunard, and Celebrity Cruises already have long-standing partnerships with the game-changing Canyon Ranch, whose famous retreats channel rigorous physical schedules alongside insightful health lectures. And then there’s that all-important component unique to a cruise itinerary: freedom and lack of physical restriction. Waking up to a fresh view every morning and starting each day somewhere new is a form of healing in itself.

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