Cruises are generally synonymous with food. ALL of the food. Three trips a day to the all-you-can-eat buffet, mixed with cocktails a plenty, generally leaves one relegated to the stretchy pants for the first couple of weeks back at work post-holiday.
Enter Australia’s first vegan cruise: departing from Sydney on October 20, it’s turning cruising on its head.
A health retreat at sea, The Whole Connection is part of a nine-day South Pacific cruise on the luxury Celebrity Solstice. Guests get to feast on a delicious vegan menu and other dietary requirements can be catered to on request, including oil free, raw, coeliac, gluten free and no garlic or onion.
Adding to the wellness factor, the cruise also includes workshops, food and cooking demonstrations and yoga and meditation classes.
The Whole Connection is the creation of entrepreneur Paige Renshaw, who turned to a plant-based diet to tackle depression and chronic fatigue syndrome and believes that ‘food is medicine’.
Paige worked closely with the chefs on board to come up with a three course menu that’s healthy but tasty: think chilled mint pea soup with basil and lemon, vegetable and garlic calzone with yellow pepper coulis, or fresh papaya, mango and kiwi cocktail with chilled passionfruit syrup.
“Trying to source delicious vegan meals while on holiday can be difficult. The beauty of this health retreat is that it offers the perks of a luxury cruise, with the bonus of specially prepared plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well take-away meals for shore-based days,” says Paige.
And no worries if you want to travel with people who rather enjoy their all-you-can-eat buffets – The Whole Connection will share the cruise ship with standard cruisers.
“Being part of a cruise, our guests can also enjoy a holiday with extended family and friends who are not part of our retreat, both on the ship and during shore excursions. No-one is tied to us the whole time,” said Paige.
The Whole Connection cruise departs on October 20 and prices start at $2601 for a twin share cabin. Find out more at thewholeconnection.com.au.