Running on a Cruise Ship
Banish The Vacation Belly!by Nicole Rebeiro
When packing for your next cruise adventure, consider throwing your running shoes in with your swimsuit. Whether you're a keen running enthusiast or mentally brushing the dust off your laces as you read this, several opportunities allow you to run off the calories from those poolside Pina Coladas.All major cruise liners offer a jogging track on deck as well as the standard gym treadmill (with the addition of ocean views!) In addition more and more cruise companies are catering to novice and professional runners with running clubs onboard. Running themed cruises are also gaining in popularity. Why not explore the ports by taking a jog or joining an organised running event?
On board running clubs offer you the chance to pound the deck on a 3-mile track amidst the ocean breeze. One advantage is a motivational leader to set the pace and push you that little bit further. The small group environment also enables you to meet like-minded runners - the views aren't bad either!
Amateur runners need not be afraid; many running clubs offer different pace leaders to cater for the various levels of fitness. Make use of the free advice on offer too.
Once docked you are privy to some of the most spectacular scenery for running. Get off the beaten track and venture into one of the many tracks or trails just minutes from the port. If taking an Alaska Cruise you are likely to dock in Juneau, or Ketchikan where you can literally run off the ship and away into the wilderness.
Ketchikan is the second largest Alaskan port, nestling in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. It boasts several running or hiking paths that start from the centre of town. In need of a challenge? Try one of the many trails leading from Edmond St or 'street of stairs' as its aptly called for its uphill quests.
Or perhaps try the 3-mile Deer Mountain Trail starting in Deermount St that will give you stunning views of Ketchikan and its surrounds. Again starting from the centre of town it climbs up to a lookout point where you are rewarded for your efforts with the breathtaking scenery.
For the diehard runners amongst you, try a running cruise. These offer the chance to complete a full or half marathon over the course of a 7 night cruise. New day, new port, new running location. Be guided by expert runners on marked tracks and engage onboard with inspirational guest speakers to feed the mind. The entire cruise is running themed with the docking dates often coinciding with organised running events at that port such as a local 5 or 10 mile run.
Cruise holidays don't have to be about hangovers and buffet-induced food comas. If you are an eager runner or would just like to maintain your fitness whilst onboard, check out the running opportunities available when booking your next cruise.
• Nicole Rebeiro
Nicole is a London-based travel journalist, and whilst she is not telling tales of her travels to the people of the local home where she volunteers, she is out discovering the world and creating new ones.
To see other articles by Nicole Rebeiro about cruising see:
• Running on Cruise
• Photography on an Alaska Cruise
• Basics for an Alaska Cruise
• Avoiding putting on weight
• The real cost of cruises
• Maintaining mental health while cruising