All-You-Can-Indulge Wellness at Sea
If your idea of taking better care of yourself involves any sort of austerity or deprivation, 2019 may be the time to rethink your wellness resolution: Some of the year's greatest getaways are as fun and indulgent as they are good for you—especially on one cruise line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
And while in and of itself, that list induces a certain serenity, wellness seekers will find a lot more to help them on their paths: a Canyon Ranch Spa, an array of fitness offerings (well-appointed gym, trainers, classes, running track, golf cages, putting greens)—and Canyon Ranch spa cuisine at Compass Rose. But Regent also offers some of the most blissful mind-body-spirit excursions at sea—especially around the Mediterranean, a region that's essentially synonymous with healthy living. Read on for seven standouts.
The Curative Muds of Mar Menor in Cartagena, Spain
Founded by the Carthaginians some two hundred years B.C.E., this port city really thrived under Roman rule. No surprise then that wellness—particularly of the soaking kind—is in the local DNA.
You’ll get a feel for why those ancient residents were so dedicated to their baths on this excursion (free on select Seven Seas Explorer sailings) that takes you north of the city to Mar Menor, home to the largest open-air mud therapy spot in Europe. Separated from the Mediterranean by a thin sandbar, this is a unique site where the convergence of volcanic reefs, natural sea channels and high levels of salinity and sunlight has resulted in a wealth of healing, mineral-rich waters and muds.
Stroll along the promenade as your expert guide explains what makes these elements so special—then feel the benefits for yourself with a soak and mud application.
Meditation in Motion in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
A favorite of artists, writers, and—more recently—luxury yachters and cruisers, the Balearic island of Mallorca is known for its dramatic limestone mountains, sandy coves, and deep blue waters, with stone-house villages and lush citrus groves dotted in between.
At the island's southwestern point sits the capital city of Palma, where Moorish forts and medieval castles overlook a stunning bay. And though this may not be the stereotypical Tai Chi setting, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better backdrop for your recharging session.
Actually, there are two possible backdrops: This complimentary class takes place on either the beach at Illietas Bay or the city-center Can Antoni Pere Beach (just beyond the main cathedral) and guides you through gentle movements and stretches that help with joint health, mobility, energy flow and balance.
Healthy Stroll Along the Cliffs of Bilbao, Spain
Considered the capital of northern Spain’s scenic Basque Country, this is a vibrant city full of inspired art and architecture—not least, the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The natural setting is inspiring, too—a blend of green mountains, rocky outcroppings and a river that flows into the Bay of Biscay.
One of the best ways to soak in the local scene? An invigorating, 4.4-mile guided walk (free on select departures). You'll begin on the volcanic cliff-backed Gorrondatxe Beach, then wind along coastal pathways, passing landmarks such as the 18th-century Aixerrota Windmill and La Galea Fort. You’ll also get a feel for the traditional Basque way of life—and have time to explore the old port and fishing village of Algorta, as well as the historic center of Getxo.
The Healing Effects of Aloe Vera in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
With its gorgeous volcanic landscape, secluded beaches, blue-green waters and year-round sunshine, the island of Lanzarote has an inherently healing effect on the body and soul. But locals have an additional healing secret: the "plant of immortality," aka indigenous aloe vera—a particularly high-quality, mineral-rich varietal used for everything from skin ailments to upset stomachs.
To experience the effects for yourself, take an aloe-themed excursion (free on select sailings) along the island’s east coast to the village of Punta Mujeres, where you'll find the Aloe Vera Interpretation Centre. Here, you’ll learn about the history, cultivation and therapeutic uses of the crop, then try your hand at making an aloe vera face cream or body scrub to take home—along with a selection of other nourishing samples.
The Greek Gods of Wellness in Corfu, Greece
Dubbed the “Emerald Island” for its lush, fertile lands, Corfu grows and produces an array of agricultural items, including olive oil and wine.
On the Greek Gods of Wellness Regent Choice Shore Excursion (this is a unique category that lets you take an extra-deep dive into local culture and history—and that comes with a highly discounted supplementary charge), you’ll head into the island's interior to visit the Ambelonas estate and winery for a day of nourishment of all kinds. After touring the property to learn about its centuries of history and organic farming, you'll have expert-led yoga and meditation sessions.
Epically relaxed and restored, you'll attend a chef-led cooking demo and amazing vegetarian lunch of fresh, organic local fare.
Yoga on the Terrace of Taormina, Italy
This seaside Sicilian beauty has enchanted everyone from poets and philosophers to Hollywood A-Listers. Overlooking a series of Ionian- and Mediterranean-fed coves and bays, the historic hilltop town is a lively mix of ancient ruins, centuries-old architecture, traditional trattorias, gorgeous gardens and romantic viewpoints.
For this Regent Choice Shore Excursion (also available on select sailings for a small surcharge), you'll venture to the heights of Taormina, where you'll have the most breathtaking possible backdrop for a yoga session. An expert instructor will lead you through a series of targeted movements, postures and breathing exercises—after which, you'll be treated to fresh fruits, juices and views that stretch from the town and sea all the way out to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.
The Wonders of Apitherapy in Cadiz, Spain
From farmer’s markets to hotel rooftops, beehives and the resulting artisanal honey are seemingly everywhere now. But apitherapy—a school of alternative medicine based on bee products—is actually an ancient art, as you’ll learn on this Regent Choice Shore Excursion (another wellness offering available on select sailings for a small surcharge).
Travel to the lush countryside outside Cádiz to visit the staggering hive collection at a family-run farm, where the resident apitherapist will school you on the harvesting of bee products and their benefits—both to you and the local ecosystem. You'll also get to see how some of the apitherapies work—not least, bee venom treatments. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to sample some of the products and pick-up an array of take-home wellness wonders.