The top cruises for sports and fitness come complete with personal trainers, glamorous dance halls, high-tech gyms and high-up rope courses. If you’re looking for lively activities, go for a mid-size to megaship with the best selection of gym equipment and other heart-pumping activities on the sports courts and simulators.
If a slower pace of keeping fit is for you, smaller ships still have facilities like walking tracks and yoga classes, as well as the option of fitness-focused excursions. Fitness-themed cruises are available on all sizes of ships, from dancing, to cycling and running or general fitness and wellbeing, there is something for everyone.
Our round-up covers the best fitness cruises, so you can choose the right cruise line or ship for your fitness preferences.
Don’t stop running!
Runners, we’ve got you! We understand running is not only pleasurable but its nonnegotiable at times too and simply just part of your day. Many ships now have running tracks around the deck so you need not give up your training for any big races you may have planned!
For those who suffer from motion sickness, trying to blast out your mileage on a treadmill, especially whilst at sea can be a bit of a worry, so we’ve looked into some of the best jogging tracks available to keep all your runners happy.
Marella Cruises have a spacious track on deck 10 of Discovery 2. Keen joggers can pound the track which encircles the entire deck with each fourth lap totaling one mile! Running continuous laps can be a bit mind numbing right? well don’t fret, whilst at sea you can enjoy those amazing ocean views and better yet wait until sundown when the track can be a little quieter and enjoy running under the stars.
To make things a little easier here’s our quick guide to some of the best cruise lines and their jogging track mileage.
Royal Caribbean® for fitness & recreation
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Royal Caribbean® does fitness and recreation well! With accolades going to Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, their huge three-level studios house free weights, multiple machines and stationary bikes, as well as fitness studios. One of the best classes is FlyWheel – a part-spinning, part-weights session. As interactive as it is competitive, you race against fellow FlyWheelers, with progress shown on a massive screen at the front.
If you prefer to get out on your own, you could pace the 0.69-kilometre, double-lane jogging track found on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas which is in a shaded, enclosed area on deck five. Run around 7.5 times and you’ll have completed 5K, with motivational quotes hanging from the ceiling, helping you along.
Quantum-class ships have now also added roller skating and ice skating to their activity repertoire, adding to the existing sky-diving and surfing simulators found on Quantum, Freedom and Oasis-classes and Navigator of the Seas. Use of the unique FlowRider surf simulator is included in your cruise fare, with no reservations required, but you can book private coaching for a fee.
Best onboard Gym
MSC Cruises comes out top for its gym, thanks to their specific Wellness Experience sailings, in partnership with Technogym. After your body scale consultation with a master trainer, you get a health check by the onboard doctor. Recommendations of fitness classes are then given that will be perfect for you and your goals, ranging from Technogym’s core and body-weight training or cycle classes, to Hula Fit, Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga. The settings for the classes will leave you feeling energised too, from poolside locations to open-air spaces on the adults-only sun deck.
Sail on MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview to experience these extremely well designed fitness centres! You’ll find the gyms stocked with high-tech and innovative weight machines, resistance equipment, ellipticals, treadmills, rowers and so much more. On top of the huge variety of equipment its the gyms thoughtful layout that helps win us over! With a vast amount of open space, there is plenty of room to enjoy a good stretch and perform some grueling floor workouts including those dreaded burpees!
Fancy going for a stroll?
For those who love to walk, be it around your ships top promenade track or as a way to see the sights in destination, Fred.Olsen could be the one for you with over 20 Cruise and Walk trips! In association with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, you can join a picturesque walk at each port, such as traversing glaciers in Norway or walking the Route of the Volcanoes on the Canary Island of La Palma.
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Dance the night away
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has the biggest and best ballroom at sea, so it stands to reason that the cruise line would excel at ballroom dancing. The Queens Room is the full width of the ship, with a 1,225-square-foot rectangular wooden dancefloor, high ceilings dripping with chandeliers and a resident orchestra. Perfect your waltz, tango or samba skills with a professional tutor and show them off at Royal Nights-themed balls.
For a more competitive dance-off, Holland America partners with US TV show Dancing with the Stars. There are free dance classes based on the show, regular celebrity guest dancers and you can compete for the chance to come back on one of the championship cruises.
Zumba and swim with Celebrity Cruises® and Princess Cruises
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Leading the way in Zumba, Celebrity Cruises® has a class for every level, available on all ships except Celebrity Xpedition. As well as regular classes, Zumba Gold is aimed at active older adults, while Zumbatomic is for bouncy kids and those who are least bouncy, can try low-impact AquaZumba. As if that’s not enough, there are also Zumba-themed nightclub parties. Or if you’re sailing with Princess, they hold classes beside the pool and in the dance clubs, which are run by licensed Zumba instructors.
While cruise ship pools aren’t always the biggest, Celebrity Cruises®’ solarium is an adult-only pool complex, under a glass atrium, with a pool long enough to do some decent laps in. And on larger Princess ships, you can swim against the current in the spa pool.
Go for a cycle with Marella Cruises
Though you can’t get on your bike on a ship, once you set foot onshore, there’s a world of possibilities for keen cyclists. Marella Cruises carries its own mountain and touring bikes and organises guided bike rides in many destinations, in conjunction with Star Bikestations. The up to five-hour rides cover different levels and include breaks for sightseeing and photo opportunities. Viking River Cruises don’t carry bikes, but they do stop at lots of destinations where it’s easy to hire them, such as cycle-friendly Amsterdam or Vienna, where you can grab a Citybike.
Find inner wellness onboard Celebrity Cruises® and Azamara Club Cruises®
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Celebrity Cruises®’ wellbeing offering provides personal training in niche areas including bone health, blood pressure or pregnancy. As well as seven different types of yoga, like ones for meditation or perfecting your breathing, you can also try more vigorous aerobics or indoor cycling. While you’d usually pay extra for wellbeing sessions, with Azamara Club Cruises® you get classes like core workouts, Pilates, sunset yoga, cycling and nutrition, for free. For an extra fee, they also offer a body sculpting boot camp and personal trainer.
Best top-deck activities
Step onto the top deck of Norwegian Cruises’ Norwegian Breakaway or Norwegian Getaway and you’ll be greeted with the largest multi-level rope courses at sea. Balance and zip line your way along and walk ‘The Plank’ if you dare, hovering 2.5 metres over the edge of the ship. The courses are all part of massive sports complexes that also include bungee trampolines, a climbing wall, sports courts and mini golf. Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sunshine also have the similar SkyCourse, although on a smaller scale, which sits beside their sports court and mini-golf course.
Staying with Carnival and Norwegian, another area in which they both excel is in the provision of unusual fitness classes. At Carnival’s TRX Rip Training, the instructor shows you the ropes, quite literally, by using tethered ropes to improve your range of motion and tone muscles. But for something unique, try SkyRide on the Vista ship where you pedal on aerial bikes suspended 45 metres above the sea on a 245-metre, hanging track. Over at Norwegian Cruises, you can also have a go at boxing, without the chance of getting hit. Their Fight Klub group classes utilise punches and kicks, as well as bag work, to give you a real cardio workout.
Go Seabourn for watersports
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While the majority of cruises will offer some kind of watersport excursions when you get to the shore, Seabourn’s onboard marinas mean you can head out on the water, mid-ocean, if the conditions are right. The retractable marina lets you try out kayaks, water skis, sunfish sailboats, banana boats, tubes or windsurfing in unusual and peaceful locations.
Ready to set sail?
If one of these fitness-based cruises has caught your eye, search for your next cruise deal by ship or cruise line here! Or simply call us on 0800 027 8302 to book today!
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