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10 Top Cruises for Health Nuts

Eat well and stay fit on these action-packed itineraries.

U.S. News & World Report

10 Top Cruises for Health Nuts

Woman stretching on a ship deck.
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(Getty Images)

Keep your fitness routine intact on these health-focused sailings.

When you think of cruising, images of zip lining through canopies or biking along the rivers of Europe probably don't come to mind – and for good reason. Long regaled as a leisurely way to travel, many cruise lines cater to families and retirees, which is why active types and millennial travelers haven't always been top cruisers. But the times are changing, and innovative cruise lines are offering diverse itineraries and onboard amenities tailored to health-conscious passengers. So, if you'd prefer a kayak tour to a coach ride, book one of these sailings where you can enjoy plenty of exercise and nutritious gourmet meals.
Avalon Waterways.
Credit

(Courtesy of Avalon Waterways)

Enjoy an active itinerary along the Danube River.

Avalon Waterways

Discover the mighty Danube like never before with Avalon's new active discovery cruise. On a nine-day sail from Budapest, Hungary, to Prague, you'll get ample opportunities to get your blood pumping with jogging tours of Vienna, bike rides through the breathtaking Wachau Valley or expert-led hikes to Pöstlingberg for panoramic views of the ever-changing city of Linz. Plus, Avalon Waterways now offers an Avalon Fresh menu, which was built by two vegan Austrian chefs and features lighter options, from quinoa salad to fresh granola, as well as gluten-free and vegan options.
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Keep your fitness routine intact on these health-focused sailings.

When you think of cruising, images of zip lining through canopies or biking along the rivers of Europe probably don't come to mind – and for good reason. Long regaled as a leisurely way to travel, many cruise lines cater to families and retirees, which is why active types and millennial travelers haven't always been top cruisers. But the times are changing, and innovative cruise lines are offering diverse itineraries and onboard amenities tailored to health-conscious passengers. So, if you'd prefer a kayak tour to a coach ride, book one of these sailings where you can enjoy plenty of exercise and nutritious gourmet meals.

Enjoy an active itinerary along the Danube River.

Avalon Waterways

Discover the mighty Danube like never before with Avalon's new active discovery cruise. On a nine-day sail from Budapest, Hungary, to Prague, you'll get ample opportunities to get your blood pumping with jogging tours of Vienna, bike rides through the breathtaking Wachau Valley or expert-led hikes to Pöstlingberg for panoramic views of the ever-changing city of Linz. Plus, Avalon Waterways now offers an Avalon Fresh menu, which was built by two vegan Austrian chefs and features lighter options, from quinoa salad to fresh granola, as well as gluten-free and vegan options.

Immerse yourself in striking Norwegian fjords.

Celebrity Cruises

Don't just sail alongside the snow-capped fjords that decorate Norway's epic coastline, dive into them on one of Celebrity Eclipse's eight-night Norwegian expedition voyages. The itinerary allows you to plunge into the chilly waters with a survival suit, mask and snorkel gear to get up-close and personal with the salmon as they migrate. After a long day on the water, you can nosh on healthier bites with Celebrity's spa café menu, which offers lighter fare options, or, if you have any lingering energy, join one of the ship's daily onboard fitness classes.

Sail through Southeast Asia.

Seabourn Cruise Line

There are fewer places as naturally beautiful as Southeast Asia, and on Seabourn's 14-day voyage aboard Seabourn Sojourn from Singapore to Hong Kong, you'll get the chance to uncover these wonders on and off the ship. With kayak tours in the picturesque Halong Bay, sea canoeing in Phang Nga Bay or guided hikes to Koh Som Poch Beach in Cambodia, you'll have plenty of chances to work up a sweat before hopping back on board. Plus, on the ship you can enjoy complimentary fitness classes, including Pilates and yoga.

Plan a trip to Tahiti and the Society Islands.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

It's nearly impossible to visit French Polynesian islands and not jump in the serene waters to explore its fascinating underwater creatures. Onboard Paul Gauguin's seven-night journey aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, you'll get a chance to snorkel the warm waters alongside rainbow fish and baby sharks, kayak alongside Tahiti's renowned palm-flanked beaches, participate in scuba adventures deep into the coral-speckled lagoons or enjoy guided runs on the soft, sandy beaches. Plus, the ship boasts a high-end spa and fitness center, along with Polynesian-influenced Zumba classes and morning walks.

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to Antarctica.

Quark Expeditions

For active types with an eye for adventure, Antarctica has long held an enduring appeal. And now, it's not only accessible to those brave enough for the elements. With Quark Expeditions, a small cruise ship operator, it's easy to plan an immersive trip to the Great White Continent. On the 10-, 11- or 12-day Antarctic Explorer: Discover the 7th Continent itinerary aboard Ocean Endeavour, where you can experience snow-covered wilderness like no other, with hiking trips, seasonal snowshoe journeys, mountaineering excursions and even overnight camping. And back on the ship, you can participate in yoga and stretching classes and indulge in soothing spa treatments before unwinding in the heated saltwater pool.

Plan an exhilarating Alaskan adventure.

Princess Cruises

As famous naturalist John Muir once said, "to the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world," and Princess Cruises' Alaskan voyages take you into the heart of this remarkable state like none other. They offer an array of active excursions, including heli-skiing outside of Anchorage, expert-led canoe adventures in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Kenai Fjords National Park, mountain bike rides, rappelling and even trail hiking through Fox Island. On Princess' Alaska-bound, including Coral Princess, Star Princess and Island Princess, you can also count on enriching wellness activities and amenities such as yoga classes, putting courses and a variety of pool and spa areas.

Take a trek through the Dominican Republic.

Fathom Cruises

The first cruise line of its kind, Fathom's Adonia doesn't just take you into a destination, it immerses you in it. The company's Dominican Republic itineraries take travelers deep into the heart of the country, with excursions that don't just help you stay fit (think: building water wells or pouring concrete), they give you a chance to give back. Plus, the chef of Ocean Grill, the specialty restaurant onboard, prepares light dishes using locally sourced ingredients that won't weigh you down, like shrimp ceviche with baked plantains and avocado.

Enjoy island-hopping through Hawaii.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Hawaii – with its inspiring landscapes and ample opportunities to embrace the great outdoors – beckons to adventure lovers from the world over. Norwegian's Pride of America, which sails to the islands of Maui, Kauai, Kona and Honolulu, offers adrenaline-pumping and culturally immersive expeditions that take you deep into the rainforests, up craggily volcanic peaks and along black-sand beaches. For those who prefer to see the world below the water, this cruise also provides snorkel gear, diving lessons and kayaks so you can absorb the area's magnificent natural splendors below sea level.

Take a tour of the Galápagos Islands.

Lindblad Expeditions

While exploring the natural wonderland that inspired Darwin's theory of evolution, your days with small-ship cruise operator Lindblad Expeditions will be filled with volcanic hikes, underwater explorations with sea turtles and walks alongside blue-footed boobies and iguanas. The best part? On Lindblad's 10-day Galápagos itineraries, shoreside excursions are led by world-renowned National Geographic photographers and Harvard-trained naturalists. Plus, all meals are included and are created to healthfully nourish you and prepare you for the beautiful, albeit high-energy days ashore.

Embark on a sail through Mexico.

Un-Cruise Adventures

If you want to explore off-the-beaten-path areas in Mexico, plan a trip with Un-Cruise Adventures. As you take in enchanting landscapes and outdoor adventures while cruising through Mexico's stunning Sea of Cortés you're sure to forget about your hectic everyday lifestyle. What's more, you can get your blood pumping on once-in-a-lifetime excursions, such as mule rides with local rancheros, snorkeling with sea lion pups, hiking, kayaking, whale watching and paddle boarding alongside the rugged cliffs.
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