The $3.7 trillion global wellness industry is impacting travel trends and making waves in the MICE market. Are you searching for easy, budget-friendly ways to add wellness to your meetings and incentive travel programs? You’re not alone! 

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) recently released The IRF Wellness in Meetings and Incentive Travel Study. Although the overwhelming majority of Planners and Organizations are enthusiastic about personal and corporate wellness, there is often a disconnect in program implementation.  So here’s an easy solution:

To add wellness to meetings & incentives…book a cruise!

Anthem of the Seas Fitness Center - add wellness to meetings & incentives

From wholesome culinary experiences to state-of-the-art fitness facilities and inspiring activities, today’s cruise ships are adding the wellness options and unique experiences your attendees desire. 

These elements are baked into your cruise to ensure your attendees are happy and energized. The result? Less stress for you and a healthier ROI!

5 New Ways Cruise Lines Are Incorporating Health & Wellness

1. Healthy Meals at Sea

Cruise lines are creating new menus to appeal to foodies, health-conscious guests, and other with special dietary restrictions. A few examples:

Avalon Waterways Avalon Fresh - add wellness to meetings & incentivesAvalon Fresh: Avalon Waterways partnered with famed vegan chefs, the Wrenkh brothers, to create a revamped menu using the freshest ingredients and locally sourced produce. Available during European river cruises, the Avalon Fresh menus include nutritious vegetarian and vegan options such as a quinoa vegan bowl made with coconut milk and sweet potatoes.

Oceania Cruises raw juices - add wellness to meetings & incentives

Fresh fruit and veggie juices on Oceania ships

Oceania Goes Vegan:  Vegan passengers sailing on Oceania ships now have a wider range of food options, thanks to new menus with more than 250 vegan dishes and the only cold-pressed raw juice and vegan smoothie bars at sea. The expansive plant-based menus will be rolled out across all six ships in the line’s fleet.

SeaDream’s Raw Food Menu: SeaDream Yachts offer the only “raw food” menu at sea, created in conjunction with the Hippocrates Health Institute. Guests can choose from an array of dishes prepared only with raw, organic and vegan ingredients, none of which are heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Holistic Wellness Programs & Partnerships

While modern fitness facilities and luxury spas are now the norm on most ships, some cruise lines are adding integrative programs that take a holistic approach to physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. For example:

Holland America Line partners with O Magazine

Holland America + O Magazine:  Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine announced an exclusive partnership to “unite the soul-stirring power of travel with O’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth”. From August 2017 through 2018, more than 300 North America sailings will offer a variety of engaging and stimulating activities that bring the magazine to life, including mindfulness meditation, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, an onboard book club and more.

Oceania Wellness Tours: Upscale cruise line Oceania has crafted a new series of shore excursions, Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch. The healthy-living tours, offered during Mediterranean voyages include:

  • Private vinyasa yoga class at a resort in Monte Carlo
  • Meditation, yoga, plant-based lunch and a tour around an organic vineyard and herb plantation at Ambelonas (from Corfu, Greece)
  • A laughter session, emphasizing the health benefits of laughing, at a farmhouse-hotel in Palamos, Spain
Canyon Ranch Spa Club on Seven Seas Explorer - add wellness to meetings & incentives

Canyon Ranch Spa Club on Seven Seas Explorer

Regent Seven Seas Wellness Excursions + Spa Pairings: Luxury Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new wellness program lets passengers pair wellness-themed shore excursions with a choice of spa treatments at the ship’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub.  Passengers who purchase a Seven Seas Wellness Experience have a choice of 10 specially-crafted shore excursions, such as a tai chi class in a 19th-century palace in Marseilles, or a hilltop yoga class in Greece. Participants can then choose one of five onboard spa treatments to complete their healthy-living day. 

Seabourn Partners with Dr Andrew Weil:  Seabourn created a holistic spa and wellness experience that is the first-ever of its kind at sea.  The new Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil program was designed to enhance creativity, mental focus and happiness by integrating physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Participants can experience mindfulness meditation and daily restorative yoga classes through a selection of complimentary sessions and seminars.

3.Wellness on the Waterways – Active River Cruising

River lines are adding more adventure-focused excursions and  nutritious, locally-sourced dining options on their European river ships – which is sure to please your active, health-conscious  attendees. For example:

AmaWaterways and Backroads active bike tours along DanubeUpscale river lines like Avalon Waterways and AmaWaterways have teamed up with world-renown adventure outfitters Backroads to create active excursions like biking through the Wachau Valley or a jogging tour of Viennaco. Luxury Crystal River Cruises also offers complimentary active excursions, such as a hike to the top of Linz’s Postlingberg or trek through Vienna’s vineyards — all accompanied by the ship’s fitness instructor.

4. Fitness & Fun At Sea

Large and mega-cruise ships from cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC, Princess, and Carnival offer the latest sports equipment, the hottest fitness classes, and challenging rope courses overlooking the sea. Here are a few of the heart-pumping activities offered on cruise ships:

Carnival SkyRide on Carnival Vista

  • Carnival SkyRide: Carnival Vista literally takes cycling to new heights with SkyRide.  Riders cycle around a suspended 800-foot track on hanging recumbent-like bikes 150 feet above the sea.
  • Flywheel Cycling Classes: The hottest spinning class trend offered on new Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean ships feature DJ music and “TorqBoard” giant screens to track cyclists’ progress.
  • Zumba: The popular Latin America dance classes range from high-intensity to low-impact AquaZumba, and are featured on Celebrity and other cruise line ships.
  • Kickboxing and “Fight Club” classes are offered on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Breakaway-class ships, respectively.
  • TRX Suspension Training: This Navy SEAL-inspired training program uses a suspended TRX cable strap system to allow for hundreds of body weight-resistance exercises. Instructors on Princess and Royal Caribbean ships lead participants in a variety of movements that increase range of motion and sculpt muscles.

Smaller ships and yachts from SeaDream, Windstar, Crystal, and Seabourn offer Yoga and Pilates classes on deck (or on private beaches) and a variety of complimentary water toys from their water sports platforms.

SeaDream Yacht Marina with complimentary water toys

SeaDream Yacht Marina with complimentary water toys

5. Outdoor Adventures

Destination-focused cruise lines like Azamara Club Cruises offer bicycle tours for destination immersion, fitness and fun. Designed for those seeking a more active alternative to casual sightseeing, these shore excursions are led by local experts and offer a unique perspective on some of the world’s most stunning locations. Take in the fresh air, meet the residents, and experience local culture while you cycle through picturesque Dutch villages and along winding country roads in Italy.