Over the past 15 to 20 years, the cruise industry has experienced exponential growth. While ships have gotten larger and more jam-packed with a diversity of food establishments, activity centers and themed-sailings, blossoming under the radar have been small ship expedition cruises. And just as the growth of this new segment of cruising has commenced, a new cruise line is introducing an even more compelling and niche experience for a segment of the travel population yet fully tapped by the cruise industry.
It's made some circulation in the travel news circuits before, but Cruises & Beyond has just learned of a brand new cruise line called Blue World Voyages which will reportedly debut its first ship in May of 2019. The new cruise company will be bringing an immersive wellness and fitness experience on board their proposed 350-passenger vessels, fully dedicated to those who crave the active lifestyle. The line will be fully equipped with features which will include virtual reality baseball and golf, a basketball court, and jet skis, paddle boards and kayaks available off the deck of the seawater pool. It will head to ports that offer ample opportunities for cycling, hiking, golf, and watersports, as well as yoga, meditation, and cultural enrichment.
Led by health and fitness entrepreneur Gene Meehan and his assembled experts in the cruise, spa, marketing, and hotel industries, Blue World Voyages promises to be the antidote to the one-size-fits-all cruise blues. Their target audience: health conscious consumers.
“42 million people in the U.S. alone are considered ‘conscious consumers," offers Meehan. "They take care of themselves, eat well, stay active, and are in search of new experiences. Now, finally, they have their very own cruise line.”
One thing's for sure - Meehan's vision is certainly novel. Here are some features which will be firsts in the cruise industry (from Insider Travel Report):
The first full sports deck at sea: Whatever the sport, chances are it will available onboard so guests can play or practice it while cruising. One entire deck (not just a portion) is designated as the Sports Deck. This bow to stern space is outfitted with hi-def golf and soccer simulators, batting cages, a functional training center, yoga, spinning and TRX studios.
The first full spa deck at sea: Amenities include a hydro-therapy tub, spa pool, indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, and solarium. Twelve private Bali beds provide the option to sleep under the stars and wake up to a butler-served breakfast.
The first sea water lap pool: Seen only on a few private luxury yachts, this floating platform is available for open water swim training. For those who prefer kayaking, the platform has docking ports for watercraft. There’s also space for lounging and watching the ocean.
The first to offer residential/passenger hybrid ship: In addition to the double and single guest staterooms, 26 suites are reserved for purchase as owner residences. As interest in cruise-travel surges, travelers are looking to own a home at sea as well as on land (a concept already tried by a few cruise lines). By offering owner suites, Blue World Voyages provides an option for active, athletic and health-focused travelers to own their own space at sea while traveling the world with other like-minded individuals. This is an extension of the Blue World Voyages “Passengers as Partners” concept.
One of the first companies to down-size a cruise ship: By reducing the passenger capacity of a larger vessel, Blue World can offer staterooms that are twice the conventional size with large bathrooms, and walk-in closets designed for all kinds of active gear and equipment. That means luxury cabins for all passengers and much more activity space (though again, this concept has been seen before on such ships as Silversea).
Despite these grand plans to disrupt the cruising market, Blue Water Voyages has yet to announce official itineraries but is considering various routes throughout Europe and the Mediterranean and possibly Miami-Cuba and Costa Rica. As of today, the new cruise line is running a wefunder campaign, accepting investments from the public in exchange for first sailing discounts and "Founders Club" benefits. For now, we'll keep you updated on whether or not this novel concept becomes a reality.