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“Just like cruising, shipboard spas have also evolved during the years,” says Michelle Fee, CEO/co-founder, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “I remember sailing in the 80s and there were one or two different spa treatments to choose from. Today, the choices are endless. Not only do the spas have different types of massages, but even treatments such as acupuncture, teeth whitening, Botox and more. Passengers live very hectic lives and sometimes don’t have time to pamper themselves, so while on a cruise vacation, they have the perfect opportunity to do so with the onboard spa services.”
But with “endless” choices, where to begin? We reached out to a few of the industry’s high-end cruise lines—from big ships to river cruise ships—to get the 4-1-1 on indulgent spa treats. Having this information at your fingertips helps your bottom line as it’s those extra perks, such as knowing whether a cruise has a beachside yoga option, or that while sailing along a Southeast Asia river, guests can opt for an indigenous treatment, that sweeten the pie and ultimately result in a cruise booking. It’s all in the details, right? And the first thing you need to tell your clients is that they have to act fast, because as Fee points out, “For spa-goers, this is one of the first appointments they make once they board…typically the most popular times sell out the fastest (sea days), so passengers should put this on the top of their list when boarding the ship.”
Sumptuous Crystal Cruises knows how to pour on the spa delights at its Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa and Salon. The spa offers guests high-end spa products and treatments—massages, acupuncture, body wraps and facial services—and has introduced Medi-Spa Cosmetic Treatments to its menu of services: Target Wrinkle Treatments, Dermal Filler Treatment, and the Thermage CPT. Guests can also attend informational onboard seminars on topics such as non-surgical facelifts and liquid facelifts, as well as the latest in facial rejuvenation and skin tightening.
Crystal has also unveiled a Quartz Crystal treatment bed, with warm crystals that mold and shape around the body to release muscle tension, detoxify and promote a deeper relaxation. Two new specialty massages make use of this technology—a hot mineral body massage and a poultice-powered muscle release massage. Rates for 7-day sailings aboard the Crystal Serenity or Crystal Symphony in a Crystal Penthouse start at $15,000 pp dbl, a Penthouse Suite starts at $8,000 pp dbl, and a Penthouse with Veranda starts at $6,000 pp dbl.
Haimark, which, as its tagline notes, offers luxury river expeditions, launched two new river ships featuring spas—the Mekong Princess and the Amazon Discovery.
The 22-guest Mekong Princess, which launched Sept. 17, sails the Mekong and Bassac rivers, and is home to the Princess Spa. The spa offers guests an extensive spa menu with Southeast Asian-inspired treatments. On board, Southeast Asian spa therapists offer guests a variety of locally inspired massages, facials, scrubs and body wraps, plus guests can customize any offering to fit their needs using all natural products indigenous to the area. Spa treatments that incorporate local traditions are nothing new, but it does, as Fee notes, “provide an authentic and immersive approach.”
Extra perk for those traveling on the Mekong Princess? Each guest receives a complimentary 1-hour Princess Spa treatment of his or her choosing during the sailing. Rates on the ship start at $3,499 pp dbl.
The 44-guest Amazon Discovery, meanwhile, sets sail Oct. 11, departing from Iquitos, Peru. The ship’s Rainforest Spa offers locally inspired treatments as well, such as the Yucamani Stone Massage and coffee-cacao scrubs, which promote wellness and rejuvenation. These offerings allow guests to experience treatments featuring the indulgent remedies often found in exotic elixirs throughout the Amazon rainforest. Rates for sailings start at $5,699 pp dbl.
holland america line
For true spa aficionados, Holland America Line’s new ship, the ms Koningsdam, which will debut in spring 2016, will feature the Spa Suites and Staterooms passengers have come to know on other Holland America ships, including ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and the ms Veendam. The Spa Staterooms and Suites, which are located near the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, offer guests easy access to the spa and feature in-room spa amenities such as yoga mats, an iPod docking station, and a plug-in water fountain that enhances in-stateroom serenity. These staterooms also facilitate exclusive spa treatments. Call for rates.
On board Ponant’s newest ship, the 122-stateroom and -suite—and very chic—Le Lyrial, which debuted this past year, guests relax at the 2-treatment room Ponant Yacht Spa. Included in its array of facial and massage treatments is the 3-hour Odyssey treatment, which includes an anti-aging Collagene Hyaluronique treatment, a customized peeling and modelling combined with an aroma of choice, a moisture treatment, and a hands beauty ritual. Guests can unwind before or after the treatment at the hammam.
Rates for Le Lyrial’s Privilege Suites start between $7,240 to $10,870 depending on the sailing.
regent seven seas cruises
Guests sailing aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 750-guest Seven Seas Explorer, which will debut next July in Europe, can take time to relish at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. The spa will offer a selection of ultra-luxurious treatments developed by Canyon Ranch in conjunction with beauty experts Red Flower.
Before treatments, guests can relax on heated loungers with seating surfaces contoured to promote ergonomic relaxation and warm the skin and tissue for a deep relaxation. Guests are then taken to one of eight treatment rooms where they’ll experience one of Red Flower’s signature treatments designed exclusively for the Seven Seas Explorer. Afterwards, guests can “soak in” the spa’s amenities: the thermal suite, where hot-to-cold experiences such as an infrared sauna soothe muscles; the aromatic steam room, which eases muscles into a sense of healing and relaxation; the cold room, with a constant temperature of 54ºF, mimics cold plunges thus stimulating circulation; and a soothing shower room that allows guests to choose from a menu of preset shower treatments with various distributions of water flow, and with chroma-therapeutic lighting and audio effects that resemble the sounds of thunderstorms or waterfalls.
Other spa amenities include a private deck with lounge chairs and an infinity-edge plunge pool. Guests looking for even more pampering can book the 2,917-sq.-ft. Regent Suite with a 958-sq.-ft. balcony, starting at $143,998 pp (currently has a wait list) or the Veranda Suites starting at $29,998 pp—both offer an all-inclusive experience; Regent Suite guests also receive complimentary unlimited in-suite spa services.
High-end Scenic Cruises offers a Wellness Center on its ships where guests can get a treatment while sailing some of the world’s most beautiful rivers. Guests can opt for the 30-minute River Breeze Facial; ideal for those on a time crunch, it includes a cleanse and exfoliation mask, followed by a massage. For those who have more time, there’s the 90-minute Diamond Signature Facial or the 60-minute full-body Aroma Oil massage.
The line has also added Vitality pools to its two new 2015 debuts—the Scenic Opal and Scenic Jasper—and will continue to include on future newbuilds.
Ultra-luxe guests sailing on a Seabourn cruise should opt for the Penthouse Spa Suites. The all-suite cruise line features these accommodations that provide complimentary full-day access to The Spa at Seabourn, plus each suite includes spa amenities, spa concierge services, a spacious full tub and shower, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with guest’s preferences, and 24-hour complimentary room service. The Penthouse Spa Suites also offer guests products from Molton Brown, L’Occitane, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo and Baudelaire. A 7-day sailing in a Penthouse Spa Suite starts at $9,399 pp.
In addition to a relaxing onboard oasis, some cruise lines offer wellness-focused programs, such as the one aboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Discoverer. The line’s Wellness Expedition voyages are offered on the ship’s 10- to 18-day sailings through Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. For these wellness-focused itineraries, Silversea partnered with Technogym to create a complimentary program that includes yoga and Pilates, both conducted on board or ashore depending on the location; water aerobics, stretch and tone sessions; gym sessions led by personal trainers; and a choice of a complimentary spa massage treatment. Guests can also participate in daily lectures and cooking demonstrations. Rates for the Wellness Expedition voyages start at $8,850 pp.
What travel professionals are saying…
“The spa-category suites, where a masseuse comes to their cabin daily for private treatments, is great for a high-end, luxury client who wants privacy and pampering at their fingertips.” —Michelle Fee, CEO/Co-Founder, Cruise Planners, and American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners: cruiseplanners.com
Crystal Cruises: crystalcruises.com or crystalcruises.com/agent/login
Haimark Line: haimarktravel.com
Holland America Line: hollandamerica.com
Ponant: ponant.com or en.ponant.com/travel-agent-centre
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: rssc.com or rssc.com/agent
Scenic Cruises: scenicusa.com or scenicusa.com/agent-portal
Seabourn: seabourn.com or seabourn.com/travel-agent-center
Silversea Cruises: silversea.com/expeditions/specialty-expeditions/wellness-expeditions or silversea.com/travel-agent-centre