How to Have a Wellness Vacation—On a Cruise

Courtesy Oceania

The wellness revolution has spread to the high seas, from on-deck yoga to destination-specific spa treatments.

As more and more travelers approach wellness practices as a nonnegotiable part of a holistic lifestyle, cruise lines are taking note. Oceania is launching a new facility, Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center, on all six of its ships. On the menu: everything from restorative Himalayan-salt-stone massages and Dysport facial-wrinkle treatments to destination-specific seminars and tours (reflexology on a rice barge cruising Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, “apitherapy” presentations at a beekeeping farm in the Andalusian countryside). And come 2022, the company will add a new ship to its fleet with an even more elaborate wellness center. Regent is introducing Serene Spa & Wellness to its fleet. In curating its spa services, the line made efforts to reflect the culture of many of its 450 destinations. The standard mani-pedi, for example, incorporates frangipani oil from the South Pacific, and there’s a heat mask and massage that uses mineral-rich bladder wrack seaweed from the Baltic Coast. The onboard hydrothermal suite includes a multi-sensory aromatherapy steam room, chill room, infrared sauna, and experiential showers for pre- or post-treatment.

Courtesy AmaWaterways

Another well-being service that rivals anything you’ll find on land is AmaDara by AmaWaterways. Offering classes like yoga, Pilates, and meditation, the program is run by dedicated wellness hosts who lead lectures and discussions. The Mekong itineraries, in particular, include destination-specific options like a traditional tea ceremony and a Tai Chi session. Complementing their restorative offerings, all three companies have crafted menus with equally health-centric, plant-based cuisine.