Cruising in Health and Happiness

Canyon Ranch

No longer an afterthought, the ship’s spa is becoming a floating wellness center.

Once uninspired salon-spa-fitness-center combos with a few treatment rooms and maybe a pool, cruise-ship spas are finally getting the attention they deserve. Cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises (844-473-4368; rssc.com) are entering into partnerships with established wellness companies like Canyon Ranch, which most recently debuted one of its SpaClub at Sea facilities on the Explorer. The brand began working with cruise ships in 2004, first on the Queen Mary 2 from Cunard (800-728-6273; cunard.com). This represented a major shift for cruise spas at the time, as almost all the major lines contracted out wellness services to Steiner Leisure Limited, which in turn staffed and operated branded spas by Remède, Bliss, and more. Oceania Cruises (855-623-2642; oceaniacruises.com) and Celebrity Cruises (888-245-4254; celebritycruises.com) followed.

In addition to spa treatments on the new Explorer—using Red Flower products for scrubs, mineral soaks, and antiaging facials—the ship debuted an in-room Canyon Ranch SpaClub for guests staying in its penthouse Regent Suite and healthy-cooking classes with menus created in partnership with the spa.

In January, Seabourn (866-755-5619; seabourn.com) will launch a Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil program aboard the Seabourn Encore, its newest ship, and by the end of 2017 it will be available on the entire fleet. Each ship will have a wellness guide who is certified to teach yoga and meditation classes as well as advise guests on topics such as anti-inflammatory foods and Weil’s antiaging research. “We will deliver an even greater degree of mind-and-body programs that ensure guests can break away, relax, and rejuvenate while they travel with us,” says Seabourn’s president, Richard Meadows.

Aboard other lines, elevated spa experiences are also gaining momentum. Azamara Club Cruises (877-999-9553; azamaraclubcruises.com) joins the spa-suite brigade of Holland America, Norwegian, and Seabourn by adding 414-square-foot spa suites aboard its renovated Journey and Quest ships. The suites feature Frette robes and slippers, a soaking tub with a view out to sea, and a small veranda.

Silversea Cruises (888-978-4070; silversea.com) is introducing new Wellness Expedition Voyages for 2017, which will include fitness and yoga classes in its Technogym facilities, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and nutritional consulting, all while sailing through Southeast Asia, Australia, and India. Crystal Cruises (888-722-0021; crystalcruises.com) continues its wellness-themed Experiences of Discovery cruises with expert speakers such as Dr. Barbara Udell, previously a director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.