Wellness plays a major part in holidays these days, with people seeking out relaxing retreats and leisure activities to keep us fit and healthy.

River cruise lines are stepping up to this trend with a range of cruises and wellness-inspired activities to keep guests happy and pampered on-board.

Which cruise lines have wellness facilities and spas on-board?

AmaWaterways’ wellness hosts

AmaWaterways’ offers professionally trained Wellness Hosts on-board most of the fleet (with the exception of AmaVida, AmaDouro and Zambezi Queen). These hosts lead a variety of fitness classes including core strengthening and circuit training, as well as occasional health and wellness-related lectures and discussions.

On top of this, AmaWaterways also offers a fitness room, whirlpool or swimming pool and a walking track to make guests feel at home with their health. The cruise line also incorporates healthy eating into its river cruising experience, using locally sourced ingredients in its culinary offerings. You can also indulge in various beauty and hair treatments, as well as massages on-board.

Hair Salon - AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways was the first river cruise line to offer complimentary bikes to guests, allowing them to cover more ground when exploring the cities and towns ashore. In many destinations across Europe, guests can join guided bike and hike excursions through grand cities, vineyards, scenic riverfronts and castles.

Avalon Waterways Active & Discovery cruises

These sailings with Avalon Waterways offer more choices for guests to explore the culture, sights and adventures beyond the shore. With fun and engaging excursions to choose from, these excursions offer a much deeper experience in each port of call.

At each stop, you can choose from Classic, Discovery and Active excursions, enabling you to personalise your itinerary just how you want to. From canal cruises in Amsterdam to cable-car rides to Ehrenbreitstein Castle – the choice is yours.

Featured on the following ships: Avalon Impression, Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Panorama.

Crystal Life Spa and Fitness Centre

The Crystal Life Spa is a well-appointed space with a private treatment room and team of experienced, highly trained professionals.

Supporting a product line favoured by celebrity clients and luxury lifestyle brands, guests can enjoy INSIDEOUT Beauty ™ by DANIELE de WINTER of Monaco. These products are combined with the spa treatment and in-depth knowledge to deliver health, beauty and anti-aging therapies.

Indoor pool on Crystal Bach - Crystal River

The cruise line also has Crystal Life Fitness which offers wellness activities which perfectly complement anyone looking to keep fit and healthy. These include an outdoor fitness area for yoga classes or the option to jog, walk or stroll on the open-air deck. You can also dive into the heated indoor pool, which also features a swim-against-the-current option to help burn more calories while taking a dip.

Crystal Life Spa and Crystal Fitness Centre featured on-board: Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Ravel, Crystal Mozart and Crystal Mahler.

Emerald Waterways Fitness and Wellness Area

Many of Emerald Waterways’ ships have a small spa and gym facilities for guests to use. The spa features a range of traditional treatments such as massages and facials, while the gym offers a selection of exercise equipment.

These areas are available on-board the fleet of Star-Ships.

Fitness and Wellness Area featured on-board: Emerald Dawn, Emerald Destiny, Emerald Harmony, Emerald Liberte, Emerald Radiance, Emerald Sky, Emerald Star and Emerald Sun.

Scenic’s Space-Ship spas

Scenic River Cruises offer full access to the wellness area, complete with massage services and a hair salon. For a little extra pampering, you can indulge in a range of treatments with trained therapists at a small supplement.

For those looking to keep active, there are gym facilities on-board for cardio, resistance and flexibility workouts, as well as the walking track on the Sun Deck.

Salt Room - Scenic River Cruises

There is also a Salt Lounge experience, where guests can indulge in the health benefits of salt therapy on-board selected Space-Ships which sail along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.

Salt therapy offers a non-invasive way to feel energised and healthier while relaxing. During treatments, negatively charged salt ions increase the efficacy of healing, improved respiration and skin conditions, and boosts the immune system.

Scenic’s Space-Ships which feature spa and fitness facilities: Scenic Jasper, Scenic Opal, Scenic Amber, Scenic Azure, Scenic Crystal, Scenic Jewel, Scenic Jade, Scenic Diamond, Scenic Sapphire, Scenic Gem, Scenic Pearl and Scenic Ruby.

You can also find the Salt Therapy Lounge on-board: Scenic Jasper, Scenic Opal, Scenic Amber, Scenic Crystal, Scenic Jewel, Scenic Jade, Scenic Diamond, Scenic Sapphire, Scenic Ruby and Scenic Pearl.

Wellness with Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel offers on-board hairdressing salons and wellness areas on-board selected ships in the fleet. These are the perfect place to relax and be pampered on-board, with nail salons also included on-board some ships.

Not all ships in the Riviera Travel fleet offer all of the same facilities, with some offering fitness centres and others only a hair salon. The following ships offer some of these features:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • William Wordsworth – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • Robert Burns – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • Thomas Hardy – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • Emily Bronte – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • Oscar Wilde – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a Nail Salon and hairdressing service
  • George Eliot – Hair salon
  • Douro Splendour – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a fitness room
  • Douro Elegance – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a fitness room
  • Lord Byron – Wellness area with sauna and steam room, hairdressing salon
  • Jane Austen – Wellness area with sauna, steam room and fitness centre, as well as a hairdressing salon
  • Charles Dickens – Wellness area with sauna and fitness centre, as well as a hairdressing salon
  • William Shakespeare – Wellness area with sauna and fitness centre, as well as a hairdressing salon
  • RV Century Sun – Well-equipped fitness area with mah-jong classes, beauty salon for hair styling, manicures and massage. Jacuzzi and sauna, with daily morning tai-chi on the sun deck
  • RV Mekong Prestige II – Spa and Wellness area, featuring a fitness room
  • MS Rossia – Fitness room

Wellness on the water with Uniworld River Cruises

Uniworld also lets you keep up with your fitness regime while on-board with a wide range of experiences both on-board and ashore. From yoga in the morning on the Sun Deck to TRX® Suspension Training classes with a certified instructor – you can wake up new with a variety of morning workouts.

Follow this with the Serenity River Spa™, where you can enjoy soothing treatments such as facials or massages to truly relax you.

Woman having spa treatment - Uniworld River Cruises

As for life ashore, Uniworld’s “Let’s Go” excursions feature guided walking, hiking, cycling, kayaking and golfing tours, as well as gondola rowing and more. Admire the Pont du Gard from your river kayak, trek through Europe’s lush vineyards in Germany’s Moselle Valley, or enjoy a bike tour of Budapest as you ride past the Parliament and Chain Bridge.

The cruise line also offers a Traveling Lite menu for those interested in healthier dining options. These dishes feature all of the flavour of the traditional menu, but with fewer calories. There are also vegetarian and vegan options, prepared just for you.

You can enjoy these Wellness on the Water cruises aboard: S.S. Bon Voyage, River Queen and Ganges Voyager II.

How do you like to relax on a river cruise? Do you prefer having a spa on-board your ship? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Emma Smith

Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.