Blue World Voyages introduces the world to the concept of ‘Active Lifestyle Cruising’
November 15, 2019
Gene Meehan, a 30-year veteran of the spa/fitness industry, an entrepreneur and someone who loves cruising has combined his three passions into a bold business venture that creates an entirely new niche within the global cruise industry.
Blue World Voyages is a revolutionary concept that brings together the worlds of fitness and cruising and offers a truly unique experience to its clientele. As Blue World Voyages describes it, the company is introducing “the world’s first cruise line dedicated to sports and wellness.”
“I recognized the need to create an active lifestyle cruise product targeted to the 42 million conscious consumers in the U.S., plus an equal or even larger number in Europe,” Meehan explains. “Our focus on Active Lifestyle Cruising is embedded into every aspect of our company and vessel, from ship design to menu items and amenities.”
Among those aspects are significant firsts such as one full deck for sports and another full deck for spa; new ideas like farm-to-table cuisine; and details such as vitamin-infused rainfall showers and natural bedding in every cabin. The concept extends beyond what passengers see on the surface.
“There has never been a cruise line with our total focus on wellness, sports/training and personal discovery,” Meehan explains. “We are sailing away from conventional thinking regarding what a cruise ship should be.”
In another break from convention, Blue World Voyages is introducing a unique hybrid-ship approach, the first in the industry. The first vessel, scheduled to launch in 2021, will have 40 private Owners Residences onboard in addition to the 200 double and 25 single passenger suites.
To bring this model to life, Meehan partnered with Fredy Dellis, a successful international business leader and the former CEO of The World at ResidenSea, the first and only residence ship afloat. Over their initial three years, as the product was being developed, Meehan built a strong team of executives, each with extensive C-level experience running some of the most successful brands in the cruise, fitness and hospitality industries. Not surprisingly, he points out, they also lead active lifestyles.
“We are a team of runners, bikers, hikers, kayakers, golfers, climbers, divers and squash players, and individuals who spend a lot time practicing yoga, Pilates, meditation and TRX.”
Active Lifestyle Cruising Explained
The concept is simple, Meehan explains. “Blue World Voyages is a cruise that makes you feel better when you get off the ship than you did when you got on.”
The ship’s target market is 35-65-year-old active adults who want to stay fit, as well as those looking to become more active and more fit. Meehan expects the passenger list to be a mix of nationalities. “The sports and wellness community is very much an international crowd,” he says. “Your shipmates will be from the U.S. and also Europe, Canada, South America and parts of Asia.”
It is certainly not a pina colada-drinking, sun-bathing, laying-on-the-beach crowd.
“People looking for that type of cruise are on the wrong ship,” Meehan is quick to point out. “Many of our passengers have already been there/done that on traditional cruises and are looking for a better, healthier experience.”
The goal of Active Lifestyle Cruising is to ensure passengers leave the ship feeling great and re-energized rather than bloated and tired from too much food and drink and too little physical activity. “Anyone who is serious about staying fit and in shape knows how bad they feel when they get out of their routine,” he adds. “On Blue World, your healthy routine travels with you. We will have everything those interested in wellness and fitness are looking for, and more.”
The On-Shore Experience
Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities for Blue World cruisers to enjoy the sights, activities and cultural experiences of the destinations the ship visits.
Arrivals and departures in and out of ports of call are timed for maximum advantage. On some days, the ship may not arrive in port until noon, allowing time for passengers to participate in programs on-board and then go ashore to explore or engage in planned activities like sunset yoga on a beach. The ship will remain in port until midnight, or perhaps even overnight, giving passengers ample time to experience the destination.
Alternately, the ship may arrive in the morning to give an early start to hiking, cycling, running, golf and other shore-side programs. “Like life, our itinerary planning will be a matter of balance,” Meehan says.
Blue World will be offering seven-day voyage segments priced at $3500 per person for a standard suite. All gratuities, all meals in any of the four restaurants, house beer and wine with lunch and dinner, some shore excursions, Internet access, self-serve laundry and three Signature Events – described as “once in a lifetime” social events – both on and off the ship are included in this fee. All fitness and educational programs are included, with the exception of some one-on-one personal services. Spa services will be extra.
Blue World’s first ship will sail in Europe in the summers and South America in winter. Warm weather itineraries will include destinations in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland, England, Scotland and the Baltics. Winter ports of call will likely include Costa Rica, Chile and Peru.
The Wellness Focus
Blue World Voyages believes that a cruise can be anything a passenger wants it to be and has specifically designed a ship to fulfill that premise. It is the first cruise line to have a VP of Wellness, Di Trieste, a leader in the U.S. spa industry for more than 25 years. Di will be responsible with integrating all spa, sports, nutrition and educational programs into one comprehensive product that offers a full range of choices for those who are already active, as well as for those looking to change their life in this healthy direction.
The Blue World Voyages concept is already receiving wide media attention with publicity from top-tier media in the US and abroad, including Forbes, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Travel, The New York Times, CNN Travel, Departures and BBC News. Most of the company’s marketing outreach will be through social media. For environmental reasons, it does not plan to be “that cruise line that sends you junk mail all the time.”
On the marketing side, the company is also working with key strategic partners who serve the sports and wellness communities, including Outside Magazine, Yoga Journal, Oxygen Magazine, Well+Good and Hank Haney Golf.
Meehan plans to expand to three ships within five years. “You may also see a riverboat in our future,” he says, but that’s as much as he will divulge. “Our other new concepts are top secret — sorry.”
The Boat Behind Blue World Voyages
Gene Meehan understands that a large number of active adults have a negative opinion of traditional cruising, and for good reason. They envision a cruise vacation with 3000 to 4000 people they don’t know who are all eating and drinking too much. Blue World Voyages is certainly not THAT cruise ship and its clientele are not THOSE cruisers.
“There is a tribal mentality amongst people who want to stay fit, regardless of their age,” he explains. “We are designing a ship to be exclusively designed for our market and not a traditional one-size-fits-all vessel. The market is already here — the product is on its way.”
Ah yes, the boat. When it makes its maiden voyage in 2021 among its amenities that will appeal to the fitness crowd:
- One entire deck dedicated to spa activities, including a pool, AFT therapy tub, solarium, salon, inside and outside treatment rooms and wet areas (steam rooms, sauna, etc.)
- The ship will have the highest ratio in the cruise industry of spa amenities per passenger.
- The same with sports/fitness. Another entire deck will be dedicated to functional training, medical wellness, sport-specific training and instruction and yoga/meditation. It will feature some of the hottest boutique fitness brands both in the U.S. and in Europe.
- Certainly not neglecting nutrition, the ship will have four themed restaurants — Farm to Table, Asian, Italian and Comfort Food. There will also be a chef’s table in the galley and a breakfast/lunch buffet restaurant.
- Rounding out the design are lecture rooms, theaters and many other public amenities.