Spas at the Sea Upping the Luxury Profile

Talk about following  your bliss. For your clients who equate the pleasures of upscale cruising with paradise found – and you know who they are – the bliss trail likely leads straight to the spa.

Indeed, the siren call of today’s seagoing spas—echoing loud and clear from cruise ships of varying styles and sizes—is seducing even the most ardent workaholics to leave laptops behind and pare down to a comfy robe and slippers. Enter these silken surroundings and the senses will soon be reeling with soothing scents and hypnotic music while the body sets out on the road to refreshment and renewal.

Where in times past a female traveler might have felt lucky to find a hairstylist and manicurist aboard to polish her up for dining at the captain’s table—similar services for men being then nonexistent—spa portfolios have upped the ante to an eye-popping degree. True, the salon services are as popular as ever, but now they’re but a single segment of a steadily evolving concept that extends beyond beautifying to focus on mind, body and spirit. The Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow treatment, anyone? A tai chi session at sunrise? Perhaps a touch of acupuncture?

Just when you think the cruise lines can’t come up with another thing…they do. And then they do it again.

silversea cruises Silversea Cruises is a stellar example. Last year the uber-luxury line kicked its sleek Mandara Spas up a noticeable notch, launching a sophisticated new approach to providing a more personalized and holistic experience. The result is The Spa at Silversea, a stylish silver-and-white sanctuary given over to the guest’s individual needs and lifestyle.

“We’ve just put the finishing touches on a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 298-passenger Silver Wind that includes a brand-new spa,” says Silversea spokesman Brad Ball, noting that the project added over 650 sq. ft. to the facility. “This is a further step in the evolution of our comprehensive Wellness Program that we introduced across the fleet last year. Being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle away from home is becoming increasingly important to affluent travelers and we want our guests to have access to a spa, beauty and fitness center that caters to their personal needs with an exclusive selection of innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technology.”

A Silversea guest might now begin an onboard fitness regimen with a cutting-edge body age technology that measures body fat, cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility to aid personal trainers in designing an individual plan—complemented by delicious onboard dining options developed especially for the Wellness Program. Specific concerns such as cellulite or poor circulation can be addressed and a program laid out for both the cruise and back home.

For the passenger who prefers to simply relax and be pampered, options are plentiful. One that’s earning current plaudits is the Elemis Visible Brilliance Facial; Silversea is the first cruise line to offer it. For men, there’s a new half-day regimen aimed at rejuvenating both the face and body. For couples, an irresistible ceremony starts with a sensuous in-suite massage.

Ball suggests that agents “leverage the spa to generate good will and loyalty with clients.”

He advises, “Instead of sending the usual ‘Bon Voyage’ bottle of champagne, agents can truly impress clients by arranging a rejuvenating spa treatment courtesy of their agent. The treatments can be purchased by obtaining a ‘Bon Voyage’ order form available at our website or by calling Silversea reservations and requesting a form.”

celebrity cruises Celebrity Cruises has made a mighty spa splash of its own (after being named, for the eighth time, Best Cruise Line for Spa in Recommend’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards), most notably aboard the 2,850-passenger Solstice, debuted in November 2008 as the first of four entries in the line’s new Solstice Class. (Others in the quartet are slated to sail in 2009, 2010, and 2011.)

AquaClass, they call it—a paean to the sweet life that begins with its own 130 verandah staterooms devoted to spa indulgence. Situated on Deck 11 near the AquaSpa, the staterooms come with rewards ranging from plush bedding and choice of pillows to Frette robes and slippers, from an invigorating 5-head shower to the delivery of daily canapes and carafe of iced tea. A dedicated TV channel serves up therapist-planned music said to enhance optimal learning, concentration, inspiration, relaxation and motivation, and a “Conscious Dream Enhancer” to encourage lucid dreaming said to bolster mental awareness when awake.