The Best Wellness Cruises to Book for 2020

Mindfulness is the new word in travel, and cruises are getting on board.

Silversea's Arctic and Greenland cruise, Zodiac boat tours
On Silversea's Arctic and Greenland cruise, Zodiac boat tours bring you to zen moments on Greenland's wild coast. Photo: Brad Ball/Silversea

Spas for Days

Soak Up the Sea

Cunard has had a long partnership with wellness trailblazer Canyon Ranch; their latest joint offering, the Mareel Wellness & Beauty spa, takes its cue from the ocean by way of seaweed baths and facials. For an itinerary that complements that aqueous philosophy, consider the Queen Elizabeth’s 10-day Alaska sailings in summer 2020, an adventure along the coastline that includes the fjords of the Inside Passage and the mighty Hubbard Glacier. (From $1,299,

Pick Up Steam

For next-level R & R, book a cruise on Princess’ newest vessel, Sky Princess, which is home to The Enclave, its largest thermal suite on a Princess ship yet, and includes a hydrotherapy pool, a Turkish hammam, a steam chamber, and a hot, dry chamber. Soak it all up on the 10-day Southern Caribbean Voyager in November 2020. There are three at-sea (spa!) days and activities like hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling in six ports, including Antigua. (From $1,229,

Scandi Spa

It’s no secret the Scandinavians know how to spa, which is why Viking rolled out LivNordic Spa & Wellness on its ocean vessels in 2015, featuring saunas and cold baths in the Nordic tradition. Take advantage of it during the 15-day Viking Homelands itinerary in April 2020 aboard their newest ship, Viking Jupiter. Sail from Stockholm to Bergen, Norway, and experience hygge in a legit home in Denmark or kayak through a Norwegian fjord. (From $5,799,

Menus with Balance

Virtuous food options, like grilled Alaskan king salmon with tomato, grape, and basil, are par for the course on Holland America's cruises
Virtuous food options, like grilled Alaskan king salmon with tomato, grape, and basil, are par for the course on Holland America's cruises. Julie Ellis/Holland America Line

Julie Ellis/Holland America Line

Plants at Sea

Oceania’s executive culinary director is Jacques Pépin, so it’s no surprise that they launched one of the most extensive plant-based and healthy menus at sea last year. The cruise line also operates wellness tours—on their nine-day Adriatic Awakening sailing in October 2020 on the Marina, guests can take a tour in Corfu, Greece, that includes yoga, meditation, and lunch in the 400-year-old Ambelonas vineyard. The estate’s owner is a chef and cookbook author who champions the inherent healthfulness of Corfiot cuisine. (From $1,599,

Clean Cuisine

For a more wellness-focused cruise experience with Celebrity Cruises, spring for an AquaClass ticket. AquaClass guests receive all manner of spa-themed perks plus access to breakfast and dinner at Blu, an upscale restaurant that focuses on mindful, health-conscious food. The Celebrity Solstice sails along the Australian, Tasmanian, and New Zealand coasts over 14 nights in November 2020 with optional excursions, including sea kayaking, white water rafting, and relaxing in mud baths or hot springs. (AquaClass from $2,449,

All the Choices

The number and diversity of Holland America Line’s dining options means that it isn’t hard to spring for a healthy meal. Its Nami Sushi restaurant is inspired by the line’s Culinary Council member chef Andy Matsuda, who emerged from a battle with cancer with a new appreciation for how food impacts health. The line also runs food tours in conjunction with Food & Wine; the Big Island Farm-to-Fork Experience on its 17-Day Circle Hawaii itinerary in October 2020 includes visits to organic farms, cooking classes, and more. (From $1,849,

Remote Resets

Active types have the option to climb a glacier as part of Cunard's Alaska-bound cruise
Active types have the option to climb a glacier as part of Cunard's Alaska-bound cruise. Rhiannon Taylor

Rhiannon Taylor

Mind-Blowing Adventure

The awe of nature can be simultaneously uplifting, energizing, and calming, and cruising can transport you to places in nature that no car or train can. Case in point: Ponant’s newest explorer ship, Le Jacques Cartier, will be sailing the west coast of Iceland in August 2020 on the eight-day Icelandic Mosaic itinerary. The nature-as-meditation philosophy is especially resonant on this ship, one of the new class to come equipped with an underwater lounge that captures sounds from the sea while you relax on a special vibrating sofa. (From $5,770,

Into the Wild

Crystal’s new polar-class expedition ship Crystal Endeavor, launching in August 2020, takes guests up close to some of the most remote and beautiful spots on earth. It comes equipped with a seven-person submersible for underwater adventures and two helicopters for sightseeing over inaccessible terrain. The 11-day Ushuaia Roundtrip spends eight days on the Antarctic Peninsula exploring seal and penguin colonies, glaciers, and icebergs. But rugged does not mean roughing it—the ship is a luxury vessel with some of the largest rooms at sea, butler service, and dining by Nobu. (From $15,449,

Glacial Getaway

Silversea’s Arctic and Greenland cruise visits some of the most far-flung settlements on earth, delivering a quiet remoteness that is good for the soul. Sailing from Churchill in Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland through small Inuit hamlets, whale and walrus habitats, nesting grounds for all manner of Arctic birds, and past ancient glaciers, the 16-day cruise offered in August 2020 on the Silver Cloud is an opportunity to disconnect from modern life. There’s nothing quite like sailing in the Ilulissat Icefjord (said to be the birthplace of icebergs) to help you forget work emails and deadlines. (From $17,910,

Mindful Excursions

The infinity pool on board the Viking Jupiter, where the Nordic spa is included in your fare
The infinity pool on board the Viking Jupiter, where the Nordic spa is included in your fare. Amanda Hollinger/Viking

Amanda Hollinger/Viking

A Themed Voyage

Integrative medicine guru, renowned health practitioner, and author Andrew Weil, MD, hosts an annual wellness trip with Seabourn, assembling an array of experts in the fields of integrative medicine, nutrition, stress, and anxiety. In addition to formal seminars, there’s a daily morning guided meditation, plus yoga and pilates. On the 16-day Wellness in Australia and New Zealand cruise in February 2020, cruisers will visit Hell’s Gate in New Zealand’s Rotorua, where thermal springs are revered by the native Maori for their soothing effect. (From $4,999,

Change Agent

Uniworld’s 12-day ME to WE and the Sacred Ganges river cruise from New Delhi to Kolkata is as much about social enterprise and community building as it is about improving your yoga practice. You can join a four-day pre-cruise program in Udaipur, working with special facilitators and a local community on a development project (building a much-needed facility such as a school). Once you join the cruise portion of the trip back in New Delhi, you’ll have the option to participate in the onboard complimentary wellness program led by a yogi. (From $6,999,

A World of Wellness

Regent Seven Seas is in the process of rolling out a new spa brand, Serene Spa & Wellness, on board its ships, completing in February 2020. In addition to spa therapies using ingredients inspired by global destinations (say, seaweed from the Baltic coast or sea buckthorn from the Mediterranean), the concept includes specialized Wellness Tours. On the 10-day Viva España sailing, a round trip departing Barcelona for the Canary Islands, take a tour to the curative mud baths of Mar Menor, the largest open-air mud therapy retreat in Europe. (From $8,499,

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