Planning an upcoming cruise? These ships make it easy to stick to your workout routine while you travel
5 Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise Ship
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There’s nothing quite like taking a good cruise—lots to see, lots to eat, and lots of ways to relax. But up until recently, cruisin' the high seas and breaking a sweat haven’t exactly been concepts that go together (unless, of course, you've been tanning topside). Thankfully, that’s all changing as more cruise lines and ships are making it easier than ever to stay fit while on vacay—and we’re not talking about lifting weights in a boring gym or running laps on the upper deck. In fact, you might actually be able to lose weight (or at least break even) by taking advantage of some of these super fun workouts, off-ship excursions, and healthy eating options. If you’re ready to book a spring vacay (and really, who isn’t in dreary January!?), get onboard with one of these fit and totally fab cruises. (Not a fan of cruises? Check out The 8 Best Hotels For Healthy Travel.)
Photo: Corbis Images
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Hankering for a major calorie burn? Once docked at Royal Caribbean's private islands of Labadee and Coco Cay, take a Beach Boot Camp class. Developed by NFL-star-turned fitness director for Royal Caribbean, Dhani Jones, Quantum of the Seas' Sports and Fitness Advisor, the bootcamp features kettlebells, battling ropes, and TRX (wrapped around palm trees!) right on the beach.
Want a workout that feels a little luxurious? Seabourn, the créme de la créme of cruise lines, will make you feel like you’re on a yacht when, on their signature Marina Day, the back of the ship drops down for paddle boarding, water skiing, swimming, and kayaking.
Spin (and Surf) at Sea
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Love a good spin class? You don’t have to put your obsession on hiatus while you’re travelling. Several Royal Caribbean ships, such as the brand new Quantum of the Seas, now offer FlyWheel classes. And if you want an intense ab and leg workout, check out the FlowRider surf simulator, also on board the Quantum of the Seas.
Meanwhile, pedal away to hot tunes in the first-ever “Black Light” Spin class at sea on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Breakaway ship. The room is lit entirely by black lights and neon graffiti art to up your rush. (Love spinning as much as we do? Check out 7 Fresh Cycling Class Trends.)
Photo: Norwegian Cruise Lines
Get roped in
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Whether it’s from fear of heights or from the physical endurance, your heart will certainly be pumping when you traverse an outdoor ropes course that’s 150 feet above the sea on Carnival's Magic and Breeze cruise ships.
The Norwegian Epic, on the other hand, has the biggest rock wall of any Norwegian ship, plus a new rappelling wall and a 24-foot-tall enclosed climbing cage called the Spider Web.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines
Go Ride a Bike
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Burn off the calories from your onboard wine tastings with an on-shore bike ride. AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line that carries more than two dozen bicycles and safety helmets, free for you to use throughout Europe. You have the option of joining a guided bike tour or explore on your own.
For something more strenuous, German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers mountain biking as an off-shore excursion option on its Europa 2 ship. The cruise line provides front suspension bikes and a guide for a five-hour tour past monasteries, castles and harbors in Greece and Turkey.
Go for a Run
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Ditch the jogging deck and go on a running tour. Ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises offers escorted 5-10k runs past historical sites and through parks with its Site Running program. Available in outposts such as Dubrovnik, Scotland, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, they include instructor-led warm-ups, guide-narrated sightseeing stops, reflective safety gear, bottled water and fresh juice, and power snacks. Breaking a sweat while getting an on-the-ground glimpse of St. Petersburg, Russia (pictured above)? Not bad for a workout. (Not going anywhere warm this winter? Check out Your Guide to Cold Weather Running)
Photo: Crystal Cruise Lines