Go with the flow

The best spas at sea for re­lax­ation and even a lit­tle re­ju­ve­na­tion

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Afloat - MAGGY OEHLBECK

WHAT do bam­boo rods, Bo­tox, boot camp and body sculpt­ing have in com­mon?

They are all spa rit­u­als avail­able on some of the most glam­orous ocean lin­ers. So too are di­a­mond­in­fused or 24-carat gold fa­cials, vanilla pod or cof­fee scrubs, hot­stone mas­sages and sea­weed wraps. But the Or­ganic Mer­maid’s Purse Wrap has me pon­der­ing. What does one look like af­ter­wards?

I’m also du­bi­ous about bam­boo mas­sage, a tech­nique that is all the rage; I’m a bit wary of cane and don’t fancy a lot of red stripes over my per­son. I am re­as­sured there is no can­ing in­volved. In­stead, warm, oil-soaked bam­boo rods are rolled across mus­cles to melt away ten­sion. Sounds bliss­ful.

Other new treat­ments afloat in­clude a pro­ce­dure to elim­i­nate spi­dery fa­cial veins (said to work in­stantly), a sun­less St Tropez tan with­out ex­po­sure to harm­ful rays and a ‘‘no chip’’ mani-pedi that lasts up to two weeks.

As for boot camp and body sculpt­ing? I think not for me. But I can see the value in the Ki­ne­sis Wall aboard Se­abourn ves­sels and I’m a vet­eran when it comes to Bo­tox. Detox, how­ever, is so much harder.

But if you want to re­turn from your cruise buffed, bronzed and beau­ti­ful, a lit­tle ef­fort is re­quired. A con­sul­ta­tion with a physi­cian at the medi-spa, then a per­sonal trainer is rec­om­mended.

Spas on cruise ships have be­come des­ti­na­tion health re­sorts de­liv­er­ing con­tem­po­rary treat­ments in line with those avail­able at shore-based spas. And there’s the added ben­e­fit of a cruise lifes- tyle where you can do things at your own pace in a serene en­vi­ron­ment. Spas are also im­por­tant ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures of ships. The de­signer-chic spas on Se­abourn’s new yachts, for ex­am­ple, are beau­ti­ful to be­hold, with their filmy draperies mov­ing gen­tly with the breeze while you lie on a ther­mal chaise. Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s stun­ning Nieuw Am­s­ter­dam has pri­vate ca­bana ar­eas where couples can re­lax af­ter treat­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to Jenny Lourey, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Car­ni­val Aus­tralia (which rep­re­sents P&O, Princess, Se­abourn and Cu­nard): ‘‘Pas­sen­gers who may not have the time in their day-to-day lives to in­dulge in treat­ments on land are find­ing that cruis­ing pro­vides the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to treat them­selves. All our cruise lines of­fer a range of spe­cial treat­ments to cater for vary­ing tastes. We have also seen an in­crease in couples’ treat­ments and book­ings for the medi-spa, while more holis­tic op­tions such as acupunc­ture are on the rise.’’ Medi spas of­fer oneon-one con­sul­ta­tions with a physi­cian be­fore pro­ceed­ing with any treat­ments, such as Bo­tox for tar­get­ing wrin­kles, fillers such as Resty­lane or Per­lane and holis­tic treat­ments such as acupunc­ture. Tooth whiten­ing is all the rage and fit­ness op­tions in­clude Pi­lates, Ki­ne­sis work­outs, yoga and stretch. Cos­metic surgery isn’t avail­able at sea yet but just imag­ine com­ing home af­ter a nose job, a breast aug­men­ta­tion or a facelift. You’d be look­ing ra­di­ant by the time you re­turned and all your friends would be won­der­ing if you did . . . or didn’t. Celebrity Eclipse: ‘‘What will it be to­day, madam? Our 24-carat gold fa­cial?’’ This is just one of the luxe op­tions on Celebrity Cruises’ new­est Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Eclipse. Also avail­able is Vein­wave, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary spi­der vein re­moval, and St Tropez Sun­less Tan­ning, whereby skin is ex­fo­li­ated then St Tropez’s paraben-free, aloe vera-based for­mula is ap­plied, re­sult­ing in a nat­u­ral sun-kissed glow. More: celebri­ty­cruises.com. Crys­tal Cruises: Crys­tal ships boast the only feng shui-in­spired spas at sea, so a bam­boo mas­sage is no sur­prise aboard Crys­tal Seren­ity and Crys­tal Sym­phony. Other op­tions are mani-pedi pro­ce­dures that keep fin­gers and toes chipfree, and a body sculpt boot camp workout and fit­ness pack­age with fol­low-up pro­grams af­ter your cruise. More: wiltrans. com. au. Di­a­mond Princess: Lo­tus Spas are a pop­u­lar draw­card on Princess ships, in­clud­ing Aus­tralian­based Sun Princess and Dawn Princess. Fre­quent visi­tor to our waters Di­a­mond Princess also of­fers a ‘ ‘ swim-against-the­cur­rent’’ op­tion as part of a spa treat­ment, then ac­cess to a child­free re­treat to re­cover from your ex­er­tions. More: princess.com. Ma­rina: Pas­sen­gers on Ocea­nia Cruises’ new ship Ma­rina can de­light in Canyon Ranch Spa’s sig­na­ture mas­sages and learn about nu­tri­tion and a healthy life­style, in­clud­ing cook­ing demon­stra­tions. Choose ei­ther stim­u­lat­ing or re­lax­ing her­bal essences then bask in fra­grant, 90 per cent-plus hu­mid­ity in a steam­room and re­lax with a ther­a­peu­tic salt­wa­ter mas­sage in open-air whirlpools. More: ocea­ni­acruises.com. MSC Orches­tra: MSC’s Aurea Spa was first in­tro­duced on MSC Orches­tra and will soon be avail­able on all this com­pany’s fleet in the Mediter­ranean. Spa guests en­ter a Zen-like en­vi­ron­ment for a Ba­li­nese mas­sage with lava stones, shi­atsu or re­flex­ol­ogy in treat­ment rooms strewn with petals. Bam­boo mas­sage ap­plies Cho sticks, which are used in slid­ing, knead­ing, rolling and fric­tion tech­niques. More: msc­cruises.com.au. Nieuw Am­s­ter­dam: Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s Nieuw Am­s­ter­dam takes this com­pany’s Green­house Spa to new lev­els with room-ser­vice spa break­fasts and in-suite treat­ments. There are pri­vate couples’ rooms for ex­otic Hawai­ian Lomi Lomi or Chinese Tui Na mas­sages. In the largest gym ever built for Hol­land Amer­ica, there are tread­mills, sta­tion­ary bikes, stairstep­pers, row­ing ma­chines, weights and weight ma­chines. More: hol­lan­damer­ica.com. Re­gent Seven Seas: For­merly known as Radis­son Seven Seas, Re­gent Seven Seas’ Voy­ager, Mariner and Nav­i­ga­tor ships also of­fer Canyon Ranch SpaClub ameni­ties, which in­clude mas­sage, body and skin-care treat­ment rooms, gym and weight room with car­dio and weight-train­ing equip­ment, a juice bar, tha­las­sother­apy, sauna and steam­rooms. Also avail­able are treat­ments em­ploy- ing Ayurvedic prin­ci­ples, mud, aro­mather­apy oils and sea­weed, plus fa­cials and masks fea­tur­ing Canyon Ranch’s award-win­ning Your Trans­for­ma­tion skin­care prod­ucts. More: wiltrans.com.au; rssc.com. Pa­cific Jewel: Aqua Health Spa Fit­ness on Pa­cific Jewel is Aus­trala­sia’s largest spa at sea, with 11 ocean­view treat­ment rooms, fit­ness cen­tre and ther­mal suite. The new medi-spa en­ables pas­sen­gers to ac­cess a range of cos­metic med­i­cal treat­ments such as Bo­tox and vo­lu­mis­ing pro­ce­dures as well as Elemis and La Ther­a­pie an­ti­age­ing prod­ucts. More: pocruises.com.au. Pa­cific Pearl: This Aus­tralian­based liner’s sig­na­ture fa­cial treat­ment is a di­a­mond-in­fused serum of es­sen­tial oils with a di­a­mond in each bot­tle. The serum helps brighten and en­er­gise the com­plex­ion so that pas­sen­gers can de­rive a bit of sparkle from such a lux­u­ri­ous in­dul­gence at sea. More: pocruises.com.au. Se­abourn: The new trio of Se­abourn yachts — Odyssey, So­journ and Quest — each has the largest spas of any ul­tra-lux­ury ves­sel. A high­light is the Spa Villa, large enough for duet treat­ments, com­plete with shower, bath­tub for two, pri­vate bal­cony for sun­bathing, dou­ble daybed for re­lax­ing, even a din­ing area for a healthy snack. A Kneipp Walk Pool en­hances cir­cu­la­tion and some pas­sen­gers do this with a glass of cham­pagne in hand. More: se­abourn.com. Sil­ver Spirit: Sil­versea Cruises’ sleek new Sil­ver Spirit was one of the first to adopt the medi-spa con­cept whereby a se­lec­tion of physi­cian-ad­min­is­tered, wrin­klere­duc­ing agents are avail­able. Af­ter your con­sul­ta­tion, the medispa physi­cian will rec­om­mend what suits you best; acupunc­ture and den­tal en­hance­ments are also op­tions. More: sil­versea.com. Queen El­iz­a­beth: Ap­pro­pri­ately, Cu­nard’s new Queen has a royal spa. Its cen­tre­piece is the Royal Bath House, a re­lax­ing cov­ered space that in­cludes a ther­mal suite with heated mo­saic lounges and hy­drother­apy pool. Also avail­able are Chinese medicines and Ayurvedic tech­niques, cel­lulite re­duc­tion and a Brazil­ian Blowout (for frizz-free hair). Pole-walk­ing (as dis­tinct from pole-dancing) is also on the menu. You are taught how to walk with a pole in each hand to im­prove stamina, pos­ture and bal­ance. More: cu­nard­line.com.au.

The gold fa­cial spa treat­ment is one of the lux­ury op­tions avail­able on the Celebrity Eclipse

The Canyon Ranch Spa on Ma­rina

Aus­trala­sia’s largest spa at sea is on Pa­cific Jewel

Spa aboard the Aus­tralian-based liner Pa­cific Pearl

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.