Shipboard Spas

Acquisitions put Steiner in control of spa brands, expanding services on more than 110 cruise lines.

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Shipboard spa facilities and services continue to evolve, but most of the developments can be traced to one parent company, Steiner Leisure Ltd.

Steiner is the mainstay of shipboard spas, but it has expanded its reach with the acquisition last year of two well-known brands Mandara Spa and Greenhouse Day Spas. Steiner’s other brands are Elemis and La Therapie.

Today, Steiner and its brands appear on well over 110 ships.

While Mandara had made the foray into shipboard spas before being acquired by Steiner, it has greatly expanded its lineup. Mandara’s Hawaiian- and Balinese-style spas are on Norwegian Cruise Line’s recently introduced Norwegian Dawn and the Los Angeles-bound Norwegian Star.

Greenhouse, meanwhile, made its debut on Holland America Line’s two newest ships, Zuiderdam and Oosterdam.

The Greenhouse spas feature glass-enclosed, 11-by-22-foot hydrotherapy pools that use heated seawater and high-powered jets.

Also new is thermal suite, which features gently heated lounge chairs perfect for an after-workout nap and heat-therapy chambers modeled on Roman baths.

There’s also an aromatic steam charmingly dubbed the Chamomile Grotto.

NCL was the first to sign up with Mandara, back in January 2001, and continues to feature those spas on its new ships.

The new Norwegian Dawn offers the El Dorado Spa, named for the legendary golden city sought by adventurers for centuries.

The 11,302-square-foot spa continues to feature treatments inspired by Eastern and Western philosophies.

Consider, for example, the Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap, which costs $115 for 50 minutes on NCL. A coconut mixture made from freshly grated coconuts gently polishes the skin and then the client is drenched in a milk bath. Sounds like something even Cleopatra would enjoy.

The most anticipated entry in seagoing spas will be unveiled in late December, when Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is scheduled for delivery

The QM2 will feature the first Canyon Ranch Spa Club at sea.

A staff of 50 will run the 20,000-square-foot facility, which is to include 24 treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with deluge waterfall, a whirlpool, thermal suite with herbal and Finnish saunas, reflexology basins and aromatic steam room. Stress-relief classes and workshops on diet and aging also will be offered.