BEST CRUISE LINES FOR FITNESS

Sara Thopson - Oct 15, 2012
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Cruises have taken on a new life in recent years with younger passengers wanting to enjoy the potential of a sea voyage and operators providing more exciting and entertaining facilities for their customers. One example of these modern cruises is the concept of the fitness cruise - a chance for people to enjoy sports, exercise and healthy living on-board and at specialized destinations. Tourism-review.com brings top 10 examples of the best fitness cruise experiences.

Royal Caribbean's Freedom and Oasis Classes

All customers can enjoy the extraordinary gym equipment and specialized classes in the 9,700 sq. ft. ShipShape Centre, with its boot camps, boxing rings, entertainment features and training machines, but this is nothing compared the high-tech options on-board Allure and Oasis of the Seas. Here passengers are spoilt with Gravity machines, a Kinesis Wall, Expresso Bikes and Activio Cycling.

Seabourn's Odyssey Class

With this line it is not just great facilities that are on offer - Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest all containing a similar Kinesis wall to Royal Caribbean - there is also the luxury of the surroundings. Here passengers are not treated to a gym; instead it is a two deck fitness center and spa with as many features for relaxation as exercise. Highlights are the Experience Shower with its sensory vibe and the clever pool that stimulates circulation and reduces stress.

P&O Cruises' Ventura

This UK-centric cruise is marketed to fitness fanatics that want to add a little fun to their challenging, on-board exercise. There are two main areas for exercise on this liner - cycling and swimming. In the pool you can test your strength and stamina against an extreme current machine right out on the deck while the bikes take virtual-reality cycling to a new level with computerized routes to follow.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America

Sometimes on-board fitness equipment and high tech spas just is not enough to satisfy the needs of holidaymakers and this is where Pride of America comes in. When the ship docks at the beautiful destination of Hawaii passengers are given the chance to indulge in extra pursuits a ship simply cannot provide from cycling down volcanos and hiking through forests to windsurfing and kayaking.

Thomson Cruises

This next example is ideally placed in this list because it combines great cycling equipment and fitness destinations to provide a unique holiday experience for cyclists. Rather than simply equipping the ship with state-of-the-art exercise bikes like other cruises, this company has actual mountain bikes that can be taken out on specialized excursions.

Crystal Cruises

Exercise bikes, gyms and other high-tech experiences are not for everybody and there is a cruise operator that is catering to an over-looked market in fitness cruises - walkers. Crystal's ships make good use of the promenades available by offering a series of walking programs designed to provide resistance training and alternative styles such as Nordic walking. Of course this is not the limit to the activities on offer and there are yoga and golf classes to add a little variety.

Carnival Magic and Breeze

If you are looking for a fitness cruise that offers familiar sporting activities with a twist then the facilities on these Carnival liners are ideal. No family holiday or resort would be complete without a bit of mini-golf and this cruise has its own course out in the open on the deck. The course is part of the versatile SportSquare, a center with diverse sporting options such as a jogging tracks, basketball, volleyball and rope courses, the latter being suspended a dizzying 150ft above the water.

Windstar

Water-sports and cruises should go hand in hand and there is no better company to offer these opportunities than Windstar. Passengers can sail to beautiful waters in the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Greek Isles on a masted sailing vessel and then hire a range of equipment including snorkeling gear, inflatable boats and windsurf boards at their own leisure. In addition to this, the crew also provides extra activities and expeditions.

Holland America Line

Fitness cruises are by no means limited to the young and sporty and the opportunities offered by Holland America are a fantastic example of this. The pace of the exercise may be gentler and focused toward relaxation and rejuvenation but there is still a great variety of activities. Older passengers can enjoy everything from promenade walks to aqua aerobics and yoga.

Celebrity Cruises

Last but not least there is Celebrity Cruises, an example that shows that not all fitness cruises are about the exercise. The appeal of their Millennium and Solstice class ships is that they provide luxury, healthy dining options through spa cafes. Their drinks and meals let passengers indulge in a different way with their menus of low-fat desserts, delicious smoothies and lots of other healthy treats in between.

Brought to you by Tourism-Review.com, the tourism news provider for the travel trade community worldwide. Visit www.tourism-review.com.

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