A typical cruise vacation is generally not focused on health. Indeed, there is often a suspension of concern for one’s health on a cruise vacation, considering that excess (with respect to food, alcohol, etc.) is at the center of many people’s holiday at sea. But there are healthy cruises (or simply “health cruises”), by which we mean cruises that not only offer healthy cruise experiences (by offering, say, healthy meals), but also focus on increasing passenger health. A health cruise, then, is one that places a healthy passenger experience at its center, or at least it must make health a large component of the cruise vacation. A health cruise can’t merely make it possible to be healthy on board – health must be in many ways the point of the cruise.
So, even though a person can of course be healthy on any given cruise, not all cruises are health cruises because of this fact alone. That’s what a health cruise is, so what are some of the types of health cruises you can take?
Health cruises come in many forms, and these various cruises are committed to health to different degrees. Some cruise vacations are exclusively focused on health. Cruises of this nature use the healthy on-board experience as their sole selling point. From what we’ve gathered, these cruises are actually quite rare. However, at least one prominent cruise focuses exclusively on health: the “Holistic Holiday at Sea.” This cruise – or “voyage of well-being,” as the promotional materials say – is offered on an annual basis. It departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and lasts for seven days. During the week-long cruise, the ship (the large MSC Poesia, for the record) stops at a few places in the Caribbean, including Honduras, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica. This sounds like a standard Caribbean cruise, except that the entire vacation is centered around health and fitness. Instead of indulging in all-you-can-eat buffets, you are instead treated to healthy vegan meals. Yoga and Pilates classes replace all-night benders at the casino. The list goes on. Moreover, you’ll be with a group of like-minded passengers on board, meaning you’ll be in the company of people who care as much about health and fitness as you do. When you return from a cruise like this, you’ll be healthier than when you left.
Perhaps the number of people who want to take healthy cruising to this level are relatively few, which explains why cruises that entirely focus on health are rare. However, if you merely want healthy living to be a large (but not exclusive) focus of your cruise, you have far more options to choose from. Many of the major cruise lines have ships with ample resources for maintaining your health on board. These ships offer enormous gyms (like 9,700-square-foot fitness centers on board the three ships in Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class) and dozens of fitness classes. Several ships also make stops at ports that are perfect for jogs on the beach, hikes in the forest, and other on-land activities. Finally, many cruises offer healthy eating options on-board, even though in some cases these options are integrated into a buffet. If a cruise ship has gyms, offers fitness classes and healthy meals, and in general makes a health a focus on their passenger’s experience, then these ships might be said to offer health cruises.
To conclude, you can go a cruise – even a regular cruise that isn’t exclusively focused on health – and not totally compromise your health in doing so. Indeed, thanks to health cruises, you can actually improve your health (and learn more about it) while sailing around the world.