As health and wellbeing goals remain front and centre in 2024, travellers continue to look for a wellness focus in holidays, including cruising. Global cruise lines are expanding amenities and offerings tailored specifically to holistic-minded travellers seeking restoration at sea.
“We’re seeing guests increasingly prioritise self-care with a more holistic approach beyond just diet and exercise,” says Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson Kevin Bubolz, Vice President & Managing Director Continental Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA). “Our ships, and especially our new builds, continue to innovate and prioritise on spa therapies, relaxation, nutrition, community and nature for a fully restorative experience.”
Here are the key wellness trends highlighted in the Mindbody + Classpass 2024 Global Wellness Report to check out in the new year – plus, how you can get onboard with them on a cruise!
Sweat More, Age Less
Strength training is vital for mobility and longevity as consumers age. According to the report, nearly 30% of consumers exercise for longevity and over one third strength train specifically for this purpose. Cruise lines have long offered gyms, often state of the art. But now, they’re increasingly swankier.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ships boast innovative gyms with extensive strength training equipment and classes. Their newest Prima Class ships, Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva, offer traditional fitness combined with captivating 270-degree ocean views. Walking and jogging tracks mean runners don’t need to miss out on their endorphin rush either.
Sleep Like a Baby
The report also highlights rising interest in sleep health, with the majority of those polled following a nightly routine and investing in products or services to improve sleep quality. At sea, sleep also remains a growing priority, with spacious accommodations ensuring a restful environment. Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest Prima class boasts the most spacious accommodations at sea. Norwegian Aqua, the third Prima Class ship launching in April 2025, will introduce the first three-bedroom Haven suites with ample living space and showstopping views. It will be huge!
If you’re travelling alone, you don’t need to worry either. For solo cruisers, NCL offers studios priced and designed for singles that contain thoughtful details like tranquillity lighting and cosy bedding to optimise sleep.
Heat Me Up, Cool Me Down
Wellness extends beyond fitness and sleep to therapies that boost circulation and immunity. Cold and hot therapies are on the rise as a trend for providing these benefits, with NCL’s ships offering both. The signature Mandara Spa incorporates a Snow Room, sauna, and thalassotherapy pool to alternate between heat and cold. The adjacent salt room’s halo generator also aids respiratory health and skin clarity while zero-gravity chairs and heated tile beds encourage relaxation in a restorative setting. Plus, step into the world’s first charcoal sauna at sea!
Food Is Thy Medicine
When it comes to wellness, it’s not just outer physical health that counts. The trend towards inner wellness is growing, with consumers becoming more aware of how food impacts wellbeing.
On board today’s innovative and premium cruise lines, forget about that unhealthy all-you-can-eat buffet.
For example, NCL’s Prima class offers an incredible array of global flavours at the diverse Indulge Food Hall. Plant-based, low-carb, vegan fare and smaller portion options promote healthy eating with more ‘food as medicine’ ingredients like turmeric, ginger and matcha featuring on menus. Those seeking sustainable drinks can visit the Metropolitan Bar, Norwegian’s first sustainably focused watering hole. Enjoy zero-waste cocktails prepared using surplus ingredients, eco-friendly spirits and biodynamic wines for guests seeking responsible indulgence.
New Meaning to Getting Some Fresh Air
They say fresh air can heal a multitude of problems. Well, add in a salty fresh ocean breeze and that fresh air becomes even more restorative.
The all-new Norwegian Aqua is going all out offering guests more wide open spaces than ever. The Ocean Boulevard, the outdoor walkway that wraps around the entire ship complete with Oceanwalk, a glass bridge that offers great photo opportunities, are favourites for soaking up that sea air. And if parents need a little quiet time, the kids will be all too happy in the kids’ club to notice that you’re whiling away the hours in the adults-only Vibe Beach Club.
Wellness Has Never Been So Easy
The all-inclusive, hassle-free nature of cruising eliminates holiday stresses. With dining, amenities, activities and gratuities included, guests can fully unplug. Port-filled itineraries also lend opportunities to immerse in nature and new cultures as part of a holistic escape.
“Immersing yourself in globally renowned historic ports and UNESCO sites inspires awe for humanity’s diverse cultural achievements,” says Bubolz. ‘A cruise holiday allows you to conveniently re-live history, whether wandering Ephesus’ ancient streets or exploring imperial palaces in Bangkok, whilst only having to unpack once during your holiday.”
Cruising allows balancing cultural discovery with personal wellbeing – while removing the usual holiday stressors you might not think of, such as navigation, packing and unpacking, travelling between destinations and mentally tallying up all the cocktails you’re drinking.
With oceanliners becoming the new sanctuaries for self-care, the ocean breeze has never felt quite as restorative.
ABOUT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has been breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for 56 years. Most notably, the cruise line revolutionised the industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes. Today, its fleet of 18 contemporary ships sail to nearly 400 of the world’s most desirable destinations, including Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas and its resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize. NCL not only provides superior guest service from land to sea, but also offers a wide variety of award-winning entertainment and dining options as well as a range of accommodations across the fleet, including solo-traveller staterooms, club balcony suites, spa-suites and The Haven by Norwegian®, the company’s ship-within-a-ship concept. For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional or visit www.ncl.com. For the latest news and exclusive content, visit the NCL Newsroom and follow NCL on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube @NorwegianCruiseLine; and Twitter @CruiseNorwegian.