Get on board with wellness

Freediving. Image: Cookson Adventures

Get on board with wellness

Freediving. Image: Cookson Adventures

Journeys

Get on board with wellness

Making mindfulness a priority at sea.

By Julia Zaltzman | 19 December 2019

The beauty of experiential travel is the opportunity that it presents to step outside of the box and do something extraordinary. But it’s also an opportunity to get back to basics. Living in a digital and industrial age, our personal wellbeing has never been more at the forefront of our minds, which is why wellness is climbing to the top of the superyacht owner’s wish list.

“Wellness is a global phenomenon but there is very little that offers a truly personalised experience,” says Adam Sebba, CEO of explorative travel specialist Cookson Adventures. “We know through our experts that to become truly mindful, you have to escape and disconnect from the modern world. That’s why we’ve developed experiences in the most exquisite destinations on Earth, a thousand miles away from the typical spa resort or group wellness retreat.”

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

Few things lend themselves to the concept of wellness as seamlessly as a yacht, and Cookson’s ‘Breathe’ programme combines the opulence of a superyacht with some of the most isolated and idyllic locations in which to experience holistic, exploration-led adventures. Presented as three initial concepts, each one focuses on the power of conscious breathing. The liberating freedom of freediving is explored in Breathe Deep. Set against the backdrop of an exclusive private island, guests receive one-to-one tutorship in freediving that leverages techniques from yoga and meditation.

Paul Migro and Jason Spence, the rotational captains of Driftwood are both adept at helping guests to partake in freediving, while Driftwood’s chef is renowned for creating healthy menus tailored towards clean eating and detox. Meanwhile, Nautilus has built a reputation as ‘the wellness yacht’ thanks to its dedicated wellness deck with Jacuzzi, massage room, wet/dry sauna, hydrotherapy room, cold dip bath, as well as a relaxation room and games room that, for extended charters, can be converted to a gym. Another yacht, Marybelle, offers customised health and wellness packages led by a board-certified holistic nutritionist and professional wellness chef. Guests can choose from detoxifying and nourishing menus, expert-guided yoga sessions, meditation and breathwork practices, as well as friendly beach boot camp fitness.

Get on board with wellness

Driftwood. Image: Y.CO

Get on board with wellness

Driftwood. Image: Y.CO

In fact, brokerage houses across the board are tailoring their offerings to experiences that look after mind and body. In collaboration with Royal Wellness, an exclusive holistic health and wellness agency, Camper & Nicholsons is in the process of formulating a range of holistic healing and breathwork experiences aboard its yachts paired with suggested itineraries that take in the healing mud baths and naturally-occurring hot springs in the Bay of Naples or a shore excursion to one of Koh Samui’s pre-eminent detox centres.

“Wellbeing is finally becoming a word that is not only said but is meant,” says Sacha Williams, director of charter marketing at Camper & Nicholsons. “Meant when companies, like ours, start thinking about the wellbeing of the ocean with Mission Blue, meant by our charter brokers who are constantly after the best wellness experiences aboard, and meant by our crew division, which is focused on scouting staff who can take a charter experience to the next level.”

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

For water babies who also like a challenge, Cookson’s ‘Breathe Ice’ takes breathwork submersion to a whole new level. Set in the freezing waters of Norway, this programme taps into the exhilarating health benefits of exposure to the cold, which include fat loss, muscle recovery and a fortified immune system. Core to this concept is the Wim Hof Method, a discipline that heightens oxygen in the blood to improve endurance.

In contrast, ‘Breathe Zen’ whisks guests off to Yakushima, a rarely-visited island off the southern tip of Japan to learn about martial arts techniques that delve into the body’s energy fields. Set in the mountainous, forested interior of the island, it also provides the perfect setting for ‘shinrin-yoku’ (Japanese for forest bathing), a scientifically proven restorative process of meditating and spending time in nature. Far from being a fad that simply exploits our desire to escape an urban lifestyle, studies on forest bathing show that a chemical released by trees and plants (called phytoncides) has been found to boost the immune system. It goes hand-in-hand with another relatively new concept – astrotourism – the desire to escape modern society’s light-polluted skies.

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

Get on board with wellness

Image: Cookson Adventures

“Excess light interferes with our natural circadian rhythms by stunting the normal ebb and flow of melatonin, increasing our risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression and cancer,” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of bespoke travel company Black Tomato. “With a nod to consciously immersing yourself in the natural atmosphere, astrotourism allows us to bridge the gap between ourselves and mother nature.”

Black Tomato’s bespoke itineraries promote forest bathing and astrotourism by way of falconeering, star gazing, trail hiking and overnight stays in remote, private mountain huts with clean air. And when the shore excursions are over and it’s time to return to the yacht, there is no better place to continue the wellness engagement and truly soak up the natural surroundings.

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