It’s the opposite of what cruising is supposed to be – Blue World Voyages is the world’s first cruise line to be fully dedicated to sports and wellness.
Forget the buffet, lying by the pool and sitting at the bar.
Cruise Passenger spoke to the founders, and they think that the ship built like a fitness and wellness theme park for adults will be a big hit with Australians.
Their first ship, the Blue World is designed to be unlike anything else. The founders even delayed their first launch to the second quarter of 2021, and are currently finding a bigger ship that could fit all they wanted on board.
The ship has thrown out the buffet tables, slot machines and even the theatre and replaced them with two full decks of fitness equipment and spa facilities. And there are even residences on board, so you can permanently live in the ultra fit bubble.
“Picture a typical show lounge on board a ship. Since we’re not going to be doing shows, we can now take this space and convert it into a beautiful functional training area,” says Gene Meehan co founder of Blue World Voyages and an athlete with more than three decades of experience running multiple fitness and wellness facilities.
“We’re bringing on board some of the hottest boutique fitness brands internationally. The industry is moving in the direction of single purpose boutique brands that specialises in one element rather than big box clubs.”
The sports deck features a functional training and strength conditioning facility, state of the art TRX, boxing, yoga and pilates studios, bike fitting station, pro-style batting cages, multi-sport simulators and even a Hank Haney Golf School.
And the studios will be packed full with classes: “Our yoga studio would offer maybe heated yoga and six different types of yoga,” says Mr Meehan.
There are many fitness and wellness trends that come and go quickly but Mr Meehan says that he is confident about staying away from the fads and stick to what really want to do.
“I’ve been in the business for over thirty years. I have spotted all sorts of trends. When you see something new, with a little bit of experience you can if it is going to be around for or if it is just a fad.”
It is not just for the seasoned athletes
And before you get intimidated by all the ship’s sporting features, the founders assure that the cruise is for both seasoned athletes and people who are just starting out on their fitness journey.
“We’ll offer the support that people who are just started need. We have all the professionals on board to make sure that they leave the ship with a great program. All of our passengers will also be helping them to achieve their goals,” says Mr Meehan.
“There is a tribal mentality among people who are fit and they help other people get over the finish line. It will be a great motivational environment for people who are looking to get started.”
The ship will have a unique seawater lap pool that also provides docking for kayaks, the first ever for a cruise ship. It comes together in about six pieces and it can be installed in around 30 minutes whenever the ship is anchored and sea conditions permit.
“We’ll have very active people on board, triathletes, marathoners, pools on ships are always very small. If we put a pool down into the ocean, then we can make it as big as we want,” says Mr Meehan.
Guests will also be provided with the latest equipment to snorkel, scuba, surf, paddleboard, bike and more. The line is also aiming to lead the pack in bringing technology to fitness and wellness. From activity and health tracking to Electric Muscle Stimulation, where a 20 minute session is equivalent to an hour of strenuous workout.
Fitness focused shore excursions
The focus on health and wellness also goes beyond the ship. In fact, the itineraries are planned to facilitate sports and active excursions like biking, golfing, running, unique places for meditation and yoga, says Fredy Dellis co founder of Blue World Voyages.
There will always be a local guide who knows the best spots, the most scenic and safe routes to take in town leading the active excursions. There will also have different levels of intensity to cater to all fitness levels.
“The active excursions are highly organised. For example for a hike, there won’t just be one hike, there will be maybe three different levels of the same hike, cycling and running excursions,” says Mr Meehan.
It is not just all exercise, assures the founders. A regular day might start with a morning workout at seven or eight am but and you should be free to explore the towns at your leisure to soak in the local culture and sights. Or head back to the ship to soothe your aches at the generous spa, another highlight of the ship that claims to be the largest spa per passenger ever built.
The ship dining venues will also feature plenty of healthy fresh food at farm-to-table Italian to Asian fusion restaurants as well as natural juice bar.
Itineraries and cabins
They are now on track to debut Blue World in the second quarter of 2021 and the first itineraries are scheduled to launch in April 2020.
The first year itineraries are a series of seven-day cruises focused in Europe, the Mediterranean, the coast of the Atlantic going into the British Isle going into the Baltic Sea. The first winter itinerary is still in planning stages but they are looking at western coast of South America.
Mr Dellis the former CEO of the first ultra luxe residences at sea The World also managed to convince Mr Meehan to include 40 luxury one and two-bedroom residences along with 225 hotel suites. So there will be a mix of residents and holidaying guests on board at each time.
The standard passenger suites are priced at $5,075pp (US$3,500pp), with inclusions like all tips, meals in any of their four restaurants, complimentary beverages at lunch and dinner, laundry service, Wi-Fi, most group fitness classes, some shore excursions and three signature events per voyage.
Most of the suites will be balcony cabins and will sport a light modern colour palette and furnishings which is meant to offer “roomy, comfortable cruising”. They also feature spacious bathrooms with vitamin infused rainfall showers and the latest wellness developments like circadian lighting, aromatherapy, air and water filtration, natural bedding and other natural materials. You’d also be able to store your personal sport equipment in walk in closets.
The one bedroom residences (850 sq ft) are priced from $3,407,500 (US$2,350,000) and the two Bedroom split level residences (1200 sq ft) are priced from $4,857,500 (US$3,350,000). The price is for the purchase of a 25 years right of use for the residences.
The founders expect 75 per cent of US guests and 25 per cent of guests from Australia, UK and Germany. The line designed their cruises for 35 to 65 year old and do not recommend the Blue World cruise experience for children under 16.
Find out more at blueworldvoyages.com.