7 best cruise ships spas out at sea
In a world where everything and everyone is rushing forward at a furious pace, it’s important and essential to stop, take a deep breath and relax for a while. We all need to recharge our batteries, and it’s very important to take care of our own physical and mental well-being. Where better to do that than at a spa cruise?
A spa cruise offers the best of two worlds: a way to relax at the hands of experienced spa experts; combined with traveling to new places and exploring the world and everything it has to offer. In this article, we will present and cover some of the world’s best and most appreciated spa cruise ships out at sea, what they have to offer and some of our own tips on how best to experience them.
The list will be in no particular ranking order, since every spa cruise on this list is unique in it’s own way, all of them offering exceptional but wholly different experiences, and comparing them side by side would amount to nothing.
1. Canyon Ranch SpaClub | Celebrity Cruises
First up is the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, on board the ships of Celebrity Cruises. These are the spa cruises you want to book a spot on if you are looking for a luxurious and complete wellness package. Within a Canyon Ranch Spa, you will be able to experience some of the world’s best transformative wellness, fitness and beauty services.
Everyday is filled to the brim with a variety of enjoyable activities, where you can experience the relaxing treatment you deserve and need. To really give you the holistic experience of a spa cruise out at sea, most of their treatment room are equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you a view of the splendid deep-blue sea, adding another layer of tranquility on top of all the others.
Tip: Try out Canyon Ranch’s signature treatments Enhancing Vitamin Therapy facial, a powerful treatment that purifies, micro-exfoliates and rehydrates the skin, or the Stone Massage, where they perform careful pressure point treatment with warm, smooth basalt stones.
2. Liv Nordic Spa | Viking Ocean Cruises
Next in line is the Liv Nordic Spa on the Viking Ocean Cruise ships. These spa ship cruises tie every aspect of the experience back to Nordic roots and traditions. This is prominent in their spa offering, where they experiment with the balance between hot and cold therapies. Liv Nordic Spas’ most notable feature is it’s snow grotto/snow room. The snow grotto gives you the experience of standing in a light snowfall where snowflakes fall from the ceiling through chilled air, a cooler alternative to the traditional sauna.
The Liv Nordic Spa brand and concept is developed and directly managed by Raison d’Etre. It’s innovative thinking and fresh perspective bring out the most of the cruise ship spa experience and infuse both heart and soul into the cruise ship spa industry. From the success of the Liv Nordic Spa on the Viking Ocean Cruise ships, several other cruise ship spa operators have since approached Raison d’Etre to further develop their own branded spa cruises based on the same values of refined services, authentic wellness and passion for storytelling you can experience in a Liv Nordic Spa.
Tip: You HAVE to visit the snow grotto/snow room, followed by slipping into the hot sauna to warm up. This is an opportunity of a lifetime where the mix of hot and cold therapies are said to stimulate the circulatory system and can be repeated as many times necessary.
3. Mandara Spa | Norwegian Cruise Line
When you want some “me” time and want to unwind both in the mind and body, the Mandara Spa on the cruise ships of the Norwegian Cruise Line will not disappoint. It offers over 50 different specialty treatments on their spa cruises, ranging from classic to luxurious. It is one of the most innovative and accommodating spa cruises, which prides itself in its freedom and flexibility.
The Norwegian Cruise Line also has some of the most attractive spa cruise ships in the industry, with colorful, refreshing and unique hull designs we personally love.
Tip: Book a session with Mandara Spas’ signature treatment: The Mandara Four Hands Massage. Indulge in the luxurious treatment and experience having two professional massage therapists perform a synchronized massage, helping you relax in ways you’ve never experienced before.
4. Canyon Ranch SpaClub | Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
We once again return to the comfortable and relaxing embrace of Canyon Ranch SpaClub, but this time on board of the spa cruise ships of Cunard Cruises, specifically the spa cruise ship Queen Mary 2. In accordance with Canyon Ranch SpaClubs’ other spa cruises, this is a luxurious, royal white-glove experience, hence the ships’ name.
They offer distinctive treatments compared to the usual spa cruise, including everything from thermal therapy via mud and herbal streams, to exotic Thai massage and acupuncture.
Tip: Take part in Canyon Ranch SpaClubs’ Detoxifying Ritual. It is a relaxing, full-body treatment inspired by the traditional hammam bath house experience, where they create a heavily scented ritual using Moroccan mint tea, quince and orange blossoms and essences of cardamom, jasmine, amber, and clove. It strives to give you an experience as close to the original Turkish bathhouse as possible. The Detoxifying Ritual is concluded with a full-body massage.
5. Aurea Spa | MSC Cruises
Aurea Spa is, in their own words: “The Sea at its most Relaxing”. It offers a wide range of spa cruise treatments, including body treatments such as thalassotherapy and aromatherapy body exfoliation, different kinds of massages including Balinese, Thai, hot stone and Himalayan sea salt and much more. The spa-goers also get access to an impressive sun deck, with a whirlpool and outdoor cabanas where you can book a relaxing massage session.
In contrast to the all-in-one salon you usually see on a spa cruise, the Aurea Spa is instead divided into four separate sections for all their services including nail salon, makeup room, Jean Louis David hair salon and a barbershop for men. The spa cruise also features a high-tech gym with state-of-the-art equipment and machines, where you can hop on the spinning bike, partake in yoga sessions or practice Thai boxing, either by yourself or with a personal trainer.
Tip: We recommend visiting Aurea Spas’ impressive thermal suite area. It’s the ultimate place for relaxing and includes several features such as Finnish saunas, thalassotherapy pools, steam baths, snow grottos, salt rooms, aromatic showers, whirlpools and a relaxation room with a view of the sea.
6. Crystal Life Spa | Crystal Cruises
Feng Shui, the Chinese teaching about how the surrounding environment affects everything living, including us humans. It’s a teaching about bringing balance and harmony to one’s life and improving one’s physical and mental health well-being. It is the feng shui philosophy the concept of Crystal Life Spa cruises are based upon, where the Zen theme helps create the ultimate calming atmosphere to relax in.
The Crystal Life Spa on the cruise ships of Crystal Cruises offers a wide range of high-quality treatments such as salt scrubs, couples’ massage, acupuncture, medi-spa cosmetic treatments as well as offering an assortment of other services such as haircuts and styling (barber services for men), pedicures and manicures.
Tip: Ask them about their crystal quartz bed. It’s used during special massages and helps release the tension in your muscles and increases your relaxation during the massages. A unique and very fulfilling experience.
7. Lotus Spa | Princess Cruises
Last, but certainly not least, is the Lotus Spa on the cruise ships of Princess Cruises. Lotus Spa offers a wide range of different spa cruise treatments, where you can book each one either individually, or spoil yourself for a whole day. There’s a plethora of activities to take part in onboard the ships of Princess Cruises, where you can practice your golf put in the golfing simulator or their 9-hole golf court, exercise in their gym filled with state-of-the-art equipment and machines, play some shuffleboard, basketball or volleyball or just simply relax in the spa area.
Tip: The one place we highly suggest you visit when you’re in the spa on one of the Princess Cruise ships is their Scrub and Shine Bar in the Enclave, the home to Lotus Spas’ largest-ever thermal suite. In the Scrub and Shine Bar you can “order” a salt or sugar scrub from Lotus Spas’ spa mixologists where the scrubs are specifically tailored to your skin type, leaving it soft and smelling like what you’d imagine heaven smells like.