So it turns out that offering a spa is not enough - people need to engage in a whole wellness journey of their own, and cruise lines are all set to help them with exactly that. Whilst certain specialist wellness destinations around the world have a specially developed, story-based specialist programme (complete with avatar guide), others sort of suggest that this is common sense.
Kristin Karst, co-owner of AmaWaterways, speaks of their onboard wellness programme as a natural extension of the modern lifestyle: "Staying active has always been an important part of my lifestyle and it has become essential to so many of our guests as well, who are looking for ways to remain healthy during their travels."
The company's Wellness Programme includes morning stretches, jogging, yoga, cardio/core strengthening, resistance band workouts and circuit training, complemented by discussion groups with a focus on healthy eating and relaxation techniques, and, of course, plenty of active time ashore with lots of hiking and bicycle excursions on offer.
Seabourn have taken this one step further with 'a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being'. The programme, created in conjunction with Dr Andrew Weil, is led by an onboard Wellness Guide, and includes yoga, meditation and Mind and Body seminars.
Even if you prefer a larger ship, you can easily incorporate a wellness focus. Celebrity's extensive spa facilities, complimentary to those who have selected Aqua class accommodation, include cutting edge technology and some of the most innovative therapies and experiences, which are taken to a new level on Celebrity's new Celebrity Edge, to be launched later this year.
Of course in all these cases, the wellness programme is something of an add-on to the core cruise experience. Plans are afoot for a completely new concept, a whole cruise line aimed at those who 'care about active living'. Start-up Blue World Voyages, with an impressive management team, has plans for a single focus cruise line, with ambitious plans for growth in its first five years.
Their first ship, a conversion from an existing vessel, will be the first in the world to be dedicated 100% to sports and good health, with an entire deck for sports and fitness, as well as a full deck for spa amenities.
Through strategic partnerships with sports and wellness media and service companies, the plan is to target a whole new group of consumers. Whilst they are by no means the first company committed to finding the holy grail of 'cruises for people who don't do cruising' (take a look at Virgin Voyages and Ritz-Carlton to see what we mean), actually this seems to us like a pretty good idea.
Offering the latest, highest-quality equipment and supervision needed to snorkel, scuba, surf, kayak, zodiac, paddle board, bike, hike or golf when ashore, Blue Water will be able to offer off-the-beaten-track itineraries with its smaller ships, later evenings in port, a focus on healthy local food, great sports facilities on board and so much more. So far so familiar? Indeed, but the difference is that with a total focus on this particular type of guest, the delivery should be spectacular. Watch this space for more news!