4 Cruises for the Seafaring Vegan
Kristin | On 13, Jan 2014
THIS IS A GUEST POST BY GABY LUCIUS
Travelling can be stressful, and can sometimes be perceived as more challenging depending on dietary and lifestyle choices. Over the years, I’ve become a bit of a traveling-while-staying-healthy-and-true-to-my-veganhood savant (if I may say so myself). I have learned that if I get creative I can really find foods that I can eat anywhere, and I try really hard not to let local cuisines prevent me from visiting a new place or experiencing a new culture. Cruises, however, definitely seemed more daunting (if they don’t accommodate my needs on board, I can’t just hop off and hit a farmer’s market!) Here are some cruises that I have researched or experienced that are uber-vegan friendly and will hopefully encourage you to leave dry land and hit the seven seas, regardless of your diet.
1. Holistic Holiday’s Seven Day Vegan Cruise
This is more than just a relaxing cruise (although there is plenty of relaxation to be had, never fear!). Holistic Holiday At Sea focuses on more than just cuisine to create a vegan holiday—they also offer over 120 educational lectures and classes while you’re aboard as a way of promoting healthy living and healthy habits. They cover everything from fitness (yoga and Pilates) to cooking classes and meditation. Of course, their menu is entirely vegan—a macrobiotic smorgasbord for your pallet’s pleasure.
2. The Cruise to Nassau by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
The folks at Royal Caribbean do the best job at making sure there are vegan cuisine options during their luxury cruises even though they do not necessarily advertise as being “vegan.” In fact, the kitchen staff in so friendly that they’ve even made me special desserts so that I didn’t have to live on sorbet alone to satisfy my sweet cravings. Fancy AND delicious are my two favorite things.
3. Maple Leaf Adventure’s Cruise
These cruises offer particularly awesome travel destinations (umm, the Galapagos, anyone?!), and the trips are almost always multi-day trips with a personal feel. The food prepared certainly won’t be the stuff of a culinary nightmare: all food (including snacks) is prepared on board by a chef. It’s as beautifully presented as it is delicious. And the President and Senior Captain is a vegetarian, which may at least partially encourage the line’s consciousness of different guest’s dietary needs.
4. Sanctuary Retreats
Sanctuary Retreats specializes in trips that allow you to trek with gorillas, take lavish river tours, walk with elephants in Botswana, and take a number of other crazy, adventurous opportunities that most travel companies can’t (or don’t) provide. These trips are perfect for those who want luxury in the wilderness, and their cruises tour primarily around Africa.
Living vegan should not keep you in a pocket of the world. There are always ways to get creative about travelling without sacrificing meals be it on land or by sea, so get out there and have yourself an adventure.
Gaby Lucius likes to spend her time traveling the world with her long-suffering husband, Mike. Thankfully, their mutual love for food has kept their marriage alive over the years.
Gaby and Kristin,
Excuse the bit of self-promotion, but I recently put together a free online guide that deals with the topic of cruising when you have a special diet (e.g. vegan, celiac, etc.).
While vegan-specific cruises are indeed a treat, you can make it work on any mainstream cruise if you know what you’re doing, and know what pitfalls to avoid (and there are many). I’ve done cruises eating fully vegan and gluten free, and between my wife and I have more dietary restrictions than 99% of people we know!
The free guide covers everything from “a cruise, are you serious?” through planning, getting onboard, navigating the different venues, who to trust and not to trust, to pitfalls and common mistakes that happen again and again and how to avoid them.
You can find the guide at http://cruisespecialdiet.com
Hope you and your readers find this helpful!
I love that you spoke about cruises. My husband & I love cruising especially on Celebrity cruise line. They are owned by Royal so it makes sense they are also very accommodating to vegans. We have been on the holistic holiday at sea but it is a bit pricey for the ship. Our favorite part of that cruise was just chatting with other vegans and staring stories. We actually just booked a cruise and are trying to get other vegans to join us. We are not a business nor do we work for a cruise line. We just want to share the cruise experience with like minded people. If you would like to join us, we are traveling on the Celebrity Reflection leaving out of Fort Lauderdale, FL on 12/18. It’s a 4 night cruise to Mexico.
Royal Caribbean do the best job at making sure there are vegan cuisine. It is the world’s largest and most innovative cruise line.
Uh, you don’t even mention the food at Sanctuary Retreats. Are you sure they do vegan food? This blog post kind of looks like a quick rewrite of this much more informative and relevant article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charu-suri/the-traveling-oxymoron-lu_b_667230.html
My husband and I just returned from a Regent Seven Seas cruise. We spent 3 months on board the Voyager going from Sydney to Dubai. Our travel agent sent them a list of what we wanted to have on board – ground flax, chia, amaranth etc ahead of time. Our diet is a vegan, no salt, no fat no sugar diet to support treatments for prostate cancer and to reverse atherosclerosis. I was sure I would miss the lobster and caviar, but alas NO! The food was beautiful and delicious, and we returned home as healthy as when we left. The executive chef met with me often to make sure everything was in order. It was fantastic.
On Regent Seven Seas, in the evening we were sent a menu of what was being served the next day. Then, I could write the vegan, fat free, salt free, sugar free version of what I thought we would like, or write something entirely different.I would deliver our personalized menu a breakfast, and by lunch, it was ready! According to Executive Chef Kelly Cochrane, of the 700 passengers on board, there were 100 who requested special meals. I don’t know that there are other cruise lines that would do so much for special diet needs.
We just got back from the Royal Caribbean Cruise and found it NOT AT ALL veg friendly, despite letting them know months in advance at booking! 2 vegans and 2 vegetarians in our group had a very difficult time and very little to eat!! Please do not steer vegans to this cruise anymore! They will be hungry and disappointed!
In the past 2 years I have cruised on both Holland America and Carnival Cruise Lines. I cannot say enough positive about how well I was treated as a vegan. Both cruise lines went above and beyond to accommodate myself and my teenage daughter. The only negative experience was at Guy’s burger hut on Carnival (by the pool). I was told my veggie burger did not contain cheese, but my eyes became swollen almost immediately! Ah well.
The chefs and service managers really made those cruises pleasant. I am booking another on Holland America for this upcoming Spring Break.
i did the Holistic Holidays cruise….the food (vegan) was fantastic….for those not vegan, plenty of options available…….the presenters were the best…you are not seated with the same people at each meal so you have the opportunity to meet and chat with many interesting people….the ccruise was great and i highly recommend them
I need help planning a vegan retreat cruise for the end of july please