For anyone who thinks medical tourism is simply about receiving healthcare overseas, let this be your epiphany: health-travel statistics indicate that it’s actually about receiving healthcare while you’re at sea!
At least in the case of one increasingly popular aspect of medical tourism, it is.
We’re talking about wellness cruises, which are “medical holidays” in the truest sense because they combine the health-promoting treatments that you’d expect from a state-of-the-art health spa, with the inspiring sea views, doting hospitality, and amazing cuisines of a cruise.
It’s the best of both worlds where you’ll partake of integrated wellness treatments like hydrotherapy, Swedish massage, and yoga, and then retire to the relaxing and usually luxurious amenities your cruise ship provides.
And just like the wide variety of health & wellness spa programs on land, the same holds true for what you’ll find at sea: plenty of options to suit whatever kind of holistic healing you’re after.
In fact, there are cruises with names like “Holistic Holiday at Sea” which gives you an idea that they truly aim for a trip that allows you to revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. It’s a 7-day sojourn that takes you to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Bahamas, and offers activities that include an array of different yoga styles, live blood analysis, Pilates, and more.
The meals are vegan, non-dairy, and, whenever possible, organic; the cooking classes delve into all sorts of natural-food cuisines; and the addresses from various wellness-health experts discuss everything from stem cell treatments to sound therapy to mindfulness meditation.
The latter is something you’ll also find on the “Zen Cruise,” another way to combine personal transformation with soothing sea breezes. Celebrating mindfulness, receiving world-class yoga instruction, and enjoying self-help spirituality, holistic healing, and sunrise gong meditation are some of the things you can expect on the journey from Miami to Mexico.
Other wellness-themed cruises include ones with Feng Shui-inspired spas, tai chi, and yoga; full-on yoga voyages which emphasize not only the physical benefits, but the healing ability and philosophy of this centuries old discipline; and fitness-oriented excursions that offer Zumba dance, ecstatic dance, running, sailing, and cycling.
You should note that the Caribbean is not the sole domain for health and wellness on water. Wellness cruises are setting sail around the world: on the Danube from Budapest to Prague, in crystal clear Southeast Asian seas, and of course all across the beautiful Mediterranean.
So while your average luxury liner likely provides numerous ways for you to rejuvenate – such as comprehensive fitness centers, instructor-led classes, jogging tracks, hot tubs, whirlpools, and healthy food – for a genuine health-promoting holiday experience, consider your options offshore.