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Cruising for the health-conscious traveler

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Cruise Lines International Association shares the latest healthy cruise options.

WASHINGTON - October is National Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is sharing the best cruise travel tips for health-conscious travelers. From specialty cruises focused on wellbeing to rejuvenating onboard spa treatments, there has never been more options to stay fit and healthy while traveling on a cruise vacation.

"For years, there has been a misconception that going on a cruise meant leaving your healthy living regimen at home," said Cindy D'Aoust, Acting CEO of CLIA. "Cruise lines offer a variety of options that allow you to customize your experience, whether a guest wants to focus on health, relaxation, indulgence, or all the above."

Following is a sampling of the best healthy living offerings currently available on cruise:

1. Make a Healthy Plate: Today, there are more healthy cuisine options aboard a cruise than ever before. Travelers can opt for lighter plated choices to accommodate every diet from gluten-free and low-carb to vegan and buffets that are full of locally-sourced fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
  • AmaWaterways helps passengers stay healthy and hydrated with fruit-infused waters offered throughout their ships, helping travelers boost daily antioxidant intake.
  • Cruisers can opt for spa cuisine, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 offers a menu created in collaboration with Canyon Ranch that uses quality carbs, a balance of protein, healthy fats and is free of artificial sweeteners.
  • MSC Cruises offers diners lighter, healthful choices at every meal complete with caloric values so it is easy to stay mindful.
2. Get Moving: Cruise lines offer some of the best fitness programs and activities onboard as well as opportunities to experience land-based excursions to stay fit.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line brings some of the most sought after land-based fitness options to sea, including FlyWheel, boxing, yoga, TRX and bootcamp.
  • Those looking to step outside of the gym can make the most of cruise decks for morning walks or jogs, as well as find active ways to see the sights while in port. For example, AmaWaterways carries 25 complimentary bicycles aboard their European ships that cruisers can use to explore the scenes independently or on escorted bike tours, including rides along the Inn River in Passau, Germany, or Klosterneuberg Abbey in Vienna, Austria.
3. Soak, Scrub & Sparkle: Everyone deserves a bit of pampering and there's no better place to indulge than on a cruise where some of the most luxurious spa treatments can be found on deck.
  • Holland America Line's Greenhouse Spa & Salon (operated by Steiner) offers high-end treatments for hair, skin and body, including seawater hydrotherapy, ceramic lounges modeled after Turkish baths, and treatments that blend exotic cultures including Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Thai Herbal Poultice Massages.
4. Enlist the Experts: Many cruise lines have top healthy living experts and professionals available for passengers, ranging from personal trainers and spa specialists to chefs focused on healthy cuisine.
  • Travelers can surround themselves with experts on specialty wellness and healthy living cruises, such as Avalon Waterways' Wellness River Cruises that boast world-renowned health and fitness experts and outdoor activities like yoga. Passengers can also attend educational lectures with healthy living takeaways.
  • Carnival Cruise Line offers expert-led seminars on a variety of wellness topics, including Detox for Health and Weight Loss, Eat More to Weigh Less and Skincare for the Next Generation.
5. Relax! Relaxation is the key to overall wellbeing, and cruising offers travelers a truly stress-free experience. Cruising allows travelers to unpack their bags and settle in which means there's more time to meditate in the sunshine and breathe in the salt water air. Stress-free planning and all-inclusive travel make for a relaxed, at peace traveler. Vacations are best spent enjoying new destinations and loved ones, so relax. Soak in the sights, recharge and enjoy a cruise.
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