It’s official - no five-star holiday is now complete without a Spa experience- be it at land or sea. A massage, a wrap or a facial has now become as integral to one’s enjoyment of a cruise as the ozone-filled sea air, the fine foods and the glamorous ports of call. A Spa in-house or on-board is now the deciding factor between one resort and another, between one ship and another. And no longer is it acceptable to have just a couple of cabins on a lower deck to be primped and pampered, Spa aficionados demand sumptuousness and sensuality with silks and fine linens, incense and lotus blossom, Tibetan bells and sweet music, not to mention sea views while they are lying there being soothed and smoothed. There is something hyper-relaxing, even magical, about watching the waves while every knot in your tired and taut muscles is kneaded and eased.
Today’s Spa users are a sophisticated bunch and expect the very best in therapies, which is why the four corners of the earth are raided for the best ingredients and the best therapies. There is the Hot Stone canon from the American south-west where healing basalt stones from dry river beds are merged with oil for a massage to remember, some of the finest French skincare knowledge is brought on board for facials and cleansings, the traditions of the Javanese royal houses are on offer in Lulur baths and wraps while shiatsu and reflexology are brought from Japan. Ingredients come from the fruits of the earth and ocean with papaya and ginger used in wraps and scrubs, ylang ylang and jasmine used for massage oils while algae and minerals from the bottom of the sea are key components of detox therapies and hydromassage.
Spas are for all, with special treatments for men and exclusive therapies for jet-lag relief after long plane journeys such as dry floatation tanks and chakra balancing capsules. Many ships now offer massages for couples - a treat for honeymooners -,in-cabin, on-deck and occasionally on-beach treatments. And then there is yoga, pilates and meditation, therapies for the mind as well as the body. With this amount of well-being care why would anyone want to disembark? Ê
The Crystal Spa has been rated by the Conde Nast Traveller survey above Canyon Ranch in Arizona and Four Seasons in Hawaii.Ê The 5,000 sq ft spa on the Crystal Harmony has recently been re-designed using Feng Shui principles, by designers of Chiva Som in Thailand and One Health Club and Spa in Edinburgh.Ê The spa on the Crystal Serenity is stunning, and a huge circular porthole window looking out from the Sauna almost makes a visit to the ship worthwhile just for that.Ê The Asian-inspired spa includes treatments such as Japanese Silk Booster facials and Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wraps. In addition Cystal’s Spa’s include Swedish massage as well as aerobics, stretching, yoga and a host of other exercise classes in the spa and there is also a personal trainer available.
As a part of a $12 million refit taking place in mid-April the Crystal Symphony spa is due to be completely reconstructed and enlarged to an impressive 6,000 sq ft.Ê Similarly to the Harmony spa re-fit the new design will adhere to feng shui principles.Ê There will be eight treatment rooms as opposed to six, a new relaxation area, a new sauna, and manicure / pedicure areas with sunken foot bowls where one can indulge in the ‘Sole Delight Foot Ritual’.Ê A luxurious new dry flotation tank is suitable for singles or couples and will create a feeling of weightlessness ideal for ‘Aroma Spa’ and other treatments.”
HEBRIDEAN ISLAND CRUISES
The spa on Hebridean Spirit is designed to care for both your inner and outer health, offering individually tailored packages. There are at least 30 different treatments, including holistic back, face and scalp treatment, aromatherapy body massage, algea wraps and restorative mud envelopment. There are also a range of Hot Stone Therapy treatments designed to harmonise, cleanse and relax the body by being placed on specific energy points.
Not to leave the men out, there are also a range of treatments specially designed for men. For example the Men’s Tonic involves a relaxing back massage followed by an E’SPA luxury foot treatment which includes exfoliation, deep massage with an appropriate aromatherapy oil and envelopment of warm paraffin wax to relieve any aches and pains. The Aromatherapy Face Treatment is also specially formulated for the male complexion using natural balms and oils to help purify, hydrate and revitalise the skin.
Prices range from £130 for 3 hrs of ‘Pure Indulgence’ (an aromatherapy facial, followed by holistic hand and nail treatment and then a holistic foot and nail treatment) to £30 for a back, neck and shoulder massage or a herbal linen wrap.There are also a variety of eye treatments, manicures, pedicures and hairdressing available.
PETER DEILMANN CRUISES
Peter Deilmann Cruises’ Deutschland is considered one of the most beautiful ships in the world.Ê She reflects the 1920s and 30’s era for her 520 passengers when sailing on voyages worldwide.The Deutschland offers a variety of treatments including Thalassotherapy which is a medical treatment that uses hot seawater combined with mud or seaweed, massage and physiotherapy. In addition the Spa offers a selection of massages and guests can choose between a variety of spa days which range from one and five days.
RADISSON SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, in conjunction with Carita de Paris, launched the Carita Spas on board its entire fleet on 1st January 2004.Carita offer a wide selection of rejuvenating, moisturising, and re-balancing products from the different Carita ranges: Carita Le Visage, Renovateur, and the Progressif Face Care selection, the market leader for mature skin.Some of the more unusual treatments of the Carita Spa includeÊ - Renovateur Revitalisant Corps (a unique and sensual treatment using the ‘Renovateur’ technique capped by body wrapping and stone massage), and the Renovateur Cheveu Treatment (a highly personalised treatment for hair and scalp using exfoliating scalp massage techniques). The Carita spas on board Radisson are fully operated by Carita beauticians and massage therapists as well as a team of hairdressers from renowned Parisian salons.ÊRadisson Seven Seas is the only cruise line to offer the exclusive Carita brand which was founded by Parisian sisters Rosy and Maria Carita, better known as ‘magicians of beauty’ back in their day.
SEBOURN CRUISE LINE
Imbued with all the essential elements of health and beauty, The Spa at Seabourn is an ultra-inviting haven where body, mind and spirit are nurtured. For both men and women, The Spa offers everything from salon services to yoga classes, from revitalizing facials to a romantic private massage for two. The certified massage therapists combine the touches of ten exotic cultures, creating an a la carte menu of indulgent experiences that are unique and sensual. Discover the power of aromatherapy to soothe the senses or the Chinese art of reflexology to rebalance the body’s energies. Explore the healing properties of warm stones, seaweed wraps and Japanese shiatsu.
SEADREAM YACHT CLUB
The best ships at sea according to the authoritative Berlitz Guide, SeaDream I and SeaDream II each boast a state of the art Asian Spa where traditional and contemporary treatments whichÊcan be booked individually or pre-booked as part of a package. ÊAmongst the most popular treatments are the famous Papaya body polish and a traditional Lulur (a spice and yoghurt scrub). New for 2004 is the on-deck and on-beach massage option - surely the ultimate luxury for any exhausted traveller!Ê With some 88 guests per voyage, SeaDream promotes an active healthy lifestyle and that extends to the menus too, where daily well being menus are not only good for the body but great on the eye and the palate!
Windstar offers the luxurious Wind Spa on board the largest of its sail assisted ships -Wind Surf. For 2004, the spa has just received a major refurbishment including the gymnasium and the Nautilus fitness rooms.Ê The Wind Spa works in conjunction with Steiner of London, who are specialists of spas at sea and offer a mixture of products including Elemis, Aromaspa as well as many influences from around the world. Unique to a “spa at sea” is the Aromaspa Ocean Wrap which is a treatment used to withdraw toxins from the body whilst absorbing elements from the seaweed. ÊIn conjunction with Wind Spa, Windstar also offers pilates, Kai-Bo, body conditioning, cardio kick boxing as well as a zone consultation service, where guests can have a body composition test.Ê In addition Windstar also offers in-suite massages and couples massages - a must for any honeymooners!