As much as we love a bulging breakfast buffet and getting the most out of an all-inclusive package, it would be nice to return from a cruise without having to uncomfortably squeeze into our jeans…
Opening our minds to a different way of exploring, Costa Cruises has revved up its wellness offering, by introducing Urban Nordic Walking tours aimed at discovering much-loved cities from a very different point of view.
Taking place on the line’s Costa Fascinosa, travellers will have the opportunity to take in the gorgeous Mediterranean hotspots Naples, Palermo, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona by foot, with excursions dedicated entirely to ‘Nordic Walking’.
Making a change from spending the day gorging on tapas, red wine and gelato, Urban Nordic Walking is a great way to zoom around a city, with travellers needing just a set of poles and their walking shoes – making it approachable for pretty much anyone.
Despite its name, the adventurous style of walking doesn’t require a high fitness level, and is reportedly great for weight loss, posture and promoting blood and respiratory circulation, allowing cruisers to work off some of that all-inclusive feasting and stretch their sea legs.
For Nordic Walking beginners, staff will be on hand to help cruisers adopt the correct pole position, posture and walking movement, with each walker supplied with professional poles, a snack and energy drink.
Until 29 September, those booking a one-week Med cruise onboard Costa Fascinosa will get to experience the new excursion, which is different in each of the five Spanish and Italian cities.
In Naples, the walk starts at the bustling harbour, before venturing to Porta San Gennaro, the Borgo dei Vergini district, the 16th-century Rione Sanità area and the verdant Royal Wood of Capodimonte.
Taking in the city’s narrow street, Palermo’s Nordic Walking tour will weave through the colourful Vucciria market, the Quattro Canti and stop at the Palazzo Pretorio and the church of Saint Catherine.
Also explored will be the historical Kalsa quarter, the gardens of Villa Giulia and arched seafront promenade of the Cala, surrounding the ancient port of Palermo.
In Ibiza, travellers will be able to appreciate the Balearic Island’s stunning, and often underrated beauty, crossing the Botafoc Marina to the white sands of Talamanca beach and hiking to see incredible views of the island at Cap Martinet.
For architecture lovers, Palma de Mallorca’s walking excursion includes a three-kilometre walk to the gothic Bellver castle, a stroll through many of the city’s green areas and tour of the historic centre.
While fellow travellers hit the beach or bustling mercados, Nordic Walkers can see Barcelona from a whole new perspective, climbing the city’s Montjuïc hill, – which stands 177 meters high – gliding through Plaza de España and finishing at picturesque Mirador del Alcalde viewpoint.
Wellness is a hot topic in the cruise industry, with many lines looking to expand their clientele and offer travellers a different way to enjoy their holiday, with many cruisers now looking to spend their holiday time improving their health and fitness.
Earlier this year, Seabourn introduced two new wellness-themed cruises bound for Arabia and the South Pacific, with each cruise having a special wellness programme curated by celebrated American doctor and physician Andrew Weil.
For more information, visit coastacruise.com.