3 Unusual Ways to Break a Sweat on a Cruise

Hitting the gym used to be the only way to break a good sweat on a cruise vacation, but those days are over. As the health and wellness industry has embraced new disciplines, cruise lines have evolved, coming up with creative ways to make exercise feel like part of the adventure.

Here are some examples of unusual workouts to help you stay in shape while cruising:


Going for a spin through hills and valleys on a ship? A partnership between indoor cycling studio FlyWheel and several cruise lines made it possible.

FlyWheel classes have become a phenomenon in major U.S. cities (and Dubai) by combining technology with an instructor-led high-intensity interval training. Cyclists can see their performance on a screen, in real time, and track their overall performance with an app.

You can find FlyWheel classes on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, Celebrity’s Reflection, and Norwegian’s Breakaway and Getaway ships.

Another unusual way to ride a bike on board is SkyRide, available on the Carnival Vista. This ride challenges your lower body while giving you a bird’s eye view of the ocean and the deck, where the bike is suspended 150-feet above the sea. It was selected Best Onboard Thrill in our Editor-in-Chief Awards last year.

Exercise with City Tours

Those looking for a more familiar ride, on land, can hop on city bike tours. This type of tour has become popular among thousands seeking to experience new destinations in a different way.

Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin and Vancouver are famous for its city bike tours. You will certainly find bike rentals and even guided tours in these cities. But before, you might want to check with your cruise ship, as many carry bicycles on board that guests can use ashore to explore on their own.

Walking and running also make for great sightseeing workout tours. If you are more into running, check out the Site Running program on luxury line Crystal Cruises. An instructor will guide you on a 5-10k run through parks and past historical landmarks, not without warming up, hydrating and having healthy snacks. Some cities you can experience this way include Dubrovnik, Croatia; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Beach Boot Camp

Keeping the outdoor workout vibes, how about a beach boot camp for an extra challenge? Royal Caribbean provides such a challenge on its private islands Labadee and Coco Cay, to which you get aboard its ship Quantum of the Seas. Former NFL linebacker and Quantum Sports and Fitness Advisor Dhani Jones designed this boot camp, which features TRX suspension, battling ropes and kettle bells for a full body, sun-kissed workout.

Like these examples, there are many other ways to break a sweat on your cruise vacation. Research the cruise line’s fitness and entertainment offer after booking your cruise (or before, if this would be a deciding factor for you) to find exercise that motivates you. This will increase your chances of sticking with a workout routine without compromising fun on your trip.

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!