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Archive for December, 2018

2019 Shore Excursion Offerings

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A Look at Our 2019 Shore Excursions

Maximize your time at our many amazing ports.

When it comes to cruising, we understand that the journey and the destinations are equally important. That’s why the itineraries we select for our vegan voyages include stops in some of the most heavenly oases. The 2019 cruise with Holistic Holiday at Sea brings you restorative and exciting excursions on the dreamy beaches of Jamaica, Aruba, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico.

And just like the cruise itself, our tour operators design excursions that integrate delicious, plant-based meals and snacks into their offerings– something you will definitely be craving on your sunny days of adventuring to new places!

Pick the perfect excursions, with options ranging from nature and culture tours, to more active and sports-oriented activities, perfect for the thrill seekers aboard.

We look forward to new experiences this March, and to seeing where our port excursions will take us!

Good Food, Great Adventures

Here is the roster of 2019 excursions offering vegan meals and snacks:

“‘Slip and Slide’, Jamaica, Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls” by Chris Ford is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday, March 5 | Jamaica


Visit one of Jamaica’s premiere attractions, the gorgeous Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios. After a drive to the Dunn’s River, your guide will lead you up the naturally terraced river bed as part of a human chain. The climb includes a short pause at the so-called “massage parlour,” where the cascading water offers soothing relief. As an alternative to the climb, there are

safe spots where you can watch others ascend the falls. Next up is a tasty vegan buffet lunch by the sea, after which a sightseeing drive around Ocho Rios rounds off the tour before you return to the ship.


Take a scenic drive through the town of Ocho Rios, which is known for its abundant rainfall, verdant landscapes and rolling hills. Stop at Green Grotto Caves, for a journey into the underground and a delicious vegan lunch.

Thursday, Match 7 | Aruba


Enjoy a bus tour around Aruba, followed by a ferry ride across the Spanish Lagoon on the remote southern part of the island en route to the private reef island, De Palm Island. De Palm Island offers it all: spectacular coral formations, a large variety of tropical fauna, including friendly blue parrot fish in the crystal clear waters. Enjoy white-sand pocket beaches, snorkeling, a water slide attraction, banana boat ride, zip lining, air-jumping, sunbathing, and a sumptuous, vegan, Caribbean buffet and open bar!


Board your open bus to the sights and sounds of Caribbean colors and music and prepare to see the sights that have made Aruba so popular. Enjoy the idyllic beach, relax, soak up the sun, and savor the ocean breeze. Beach chairs are included at the second beach stop. A vegan snack will be provided.

“#cartagena #colombia” by katiebordner is licensed under CC BY 2.0 CC BY 2.0

Friday, March 8 | Colombia


Explore the city of Cartagena on this guided bus tour, complete with a local folkloric performance and a vegan snack! Guests will visit the Santa Teresa Cluster Hotel for coffee tasting before passengers have free time to explore the old city and then return to the ship.


Your tour begins with a boat ride around Cartagena’s bay in the Sibarita Master boat, where you will enjoy a coffee tasting led by a local expert followed by a rumba (party) on board the cruise with ballerinas, a live band, open bar, and an animator to light up the party. We’ll visit the Old City, a marketplace where you will see palenqueras—local women in traditional dress offering a taste of Cartagena’s typical foods—specially prepared for our group, following vegan guidelines.

Saturday, March 9 |  Panama


Nowhere else in the world can you travel from one ocean to another, crossing the continent of the Americas in only an hour. This is what makes Panama an amazing country. This tour is an exotic cocktail of experiences and history all rolled-up together! A vegan snack and bottled water is included.

Monday, March 11 | Costa Maya, Mexico


Treat yourself to a few hours off the ship to visit one of the most popular beach clubs on the Costa Maya –the perfect spot to relax in style. Resort facilities include an open bar, a beach volleyball area, beach chairs, a beach party area and a chance to go kayaking. A vegan sandwich and fruit is included.


A complete tour offering Mayan history and a vegan beach buffet with open bar. After your meal, sunbathe, relax in a hammock, or take a swim in the ocean!


A sure way to fully enjoy your beach day at Costa Maya is by visiting the Private Beach Club, located about 40 minutes from the pier. You will find yourself surrounded by beautiful palm trees and the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. This tour includes snorkeling, a zip line, an open bar and vegan buffet lunch.

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

Tuesday, March 12 | Cozumel, Mexico


Experience the world famous, magnificent ruins of the walled city of Tulum…the only Mayan city built right on the crystal blue Caribbean Sea! A light vegan box lunch is included. Guests will have the option to continue the exploration of the ruins or take a swim at the beach.


A unique subterranean experience, this all-day outing heads straight for Río Secreto, an underground world credited to be “Mexico and Central America’s Leading Nature Reserve.” You’ll be taken on a guided tour of these breathtaking caverns, with walking, wading and even swimming along parts of the route. The water is crystal-clear, the rock formations are incredible and the stalagmites and stalactites look like long strands of molten candle wax. Once your guided exploration has come to an end, you’ll be able to enjoy some vegan options from the lunch buffet, as well as a drink. Lastly, you’ll pay a visit to Playa del Carmen and have a chance to do some shopping on Quinta Avenida!

Additional Excursions

Looking for more exploration or relaxation? Check out the entire range of excursion options for each port.

Please note: Excursions offered by MSC Cruises that are not designated as vegan do not offer vegan catering.

Booking Your Excursion

If you are lucky enough to be joining us aboard the March 2019 cruise, visit our Shore Excursions page with everything you need to know about booking excursions, including booking procedures and cancellation policies.

Please note that both shore excursions with and without a vegan lunch or snack are selling out quickly, so reserve your space today!

The Best Vegan and Plant-based Gifts for the Holidays

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Looking to spread the vegan cheer this Christmas season? Enjoy these 8 lovely gift ideas in support of healthy, compassionate living.

The holiday season can be fraught with anxiety; questions like “what should I get my sister?” and “how can I stay healthy this time of year?” are common; luckily, finding meaning and balance is easier than you think. Shower your loved ones with the gift of a healthful 2019, with presents ranging from amazing culinary gadgets, to books and magazines, to the best in organic skincare products! Here’s a round-up of our favorites.

1. Cookbooks with Substance

We’re big fans of cookbooks with substance, the ones that delve into the proven benefits of the plant-based diet. They offer short, concise chapters interspersed with delicious, healthy recipes and meal planning tools. The roster of presenters throughout Holistic Holiday at Sea includes several authors of such books; because they’re easy to digest (literally), these books are powerful tools in converting minds and bellies. We highly recommend Rip Esselstyn’s The Engine 2 Diet, which made the The New York Times Best Seller List and was endorsed by famous brands and people alike, including former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Whole Foods Markets. You might couple this present with Rip’s follow-up book, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet.

2. Vegan, Organic Wine from Frey Vineyards

Indulge in the best. Frey Vineyards offers artisan wines from their Northern California vineyards made in the biodynamic tradition. All of Frey Vineyard’s award-winning wines are organic and vegan. They’re easy to order and will certainly impress the wine mavens on your list!

3. Saladmaster Cooking System

If your gift recipient is excited to prepare more veggie-focused dishes to optimize their health, Saladmaster’s exceptional, stainless steel cookware couldn’t be a better gift. This time-proven, innovative cooking system allows for the creation of incredible, plant-based meals without the use of fats, oil, added water, and without the danger of overheating food. The technology maintains optimal amounts of vitamins and nutrients.

4. Essential Oils from EO

Pure essential oils can be blissful, medicinal, and replace traditional perfumes containing harmful, artificial ingredients. EO has a legacy of crafting the highest quality, plant-based body care products featuring essential oils, and their line includes sanitizers, deodorants, moisturizers, facial products, and perfumes. If you’re shopping for a vegan or a loved one with sensitive skin, you really can’t go wrong with EO’s range of divinely smelling products.

5. Vitamix

There’s no better tool for diving head-first into a healthy, plant-based lifestyle than a Vitamix! From smoothies to soups to sauces, the Vitamix is so much more than a blender; revolutionize your friend or loved one’s kitchen with the gift of the iconic Vitamix!

6. Magazine Subscriptions

Your new and long-time vegan loved ones will be delighted to receive a subscription to magazines Thrive, Origin, Vegetarian Journal, or VegNews! Help them stay on top of their plant-based game, discover new recipes, and share their passion for the vegan lifestyle with this gift!

7. Books, Foods, and Tools in Support of the Macrobiotic Lifestyle

For friends and loved ones intrigued by macrobiotic principles and concepts, we recommend HHAS presenter Jessica Porter’s The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics, written with humor, and packed with great information and recipes. Couple the book with a sampling of traditional Japanese macrobiotic foods such as miso, umeboshi, maitake mushrooms, and seaweed. Many healing macrobiotic foods can be found in natural foods stores or ordered directly from Great Eastern Sun, Gold Mine Natural Foods, or Eden Foods. These companies are HHAS partners, and offer healing foods in the Zen Buddhist tradition of macrobiotics.

8. Artisan Body Products

Select safe and natural products that support the vegan lifestyle with some of our favorite and most trusted body care brands. Browse the product lines of Goddess Gardens for a variety of natural sunscreens, check out South of France for exceptional soaps and handwashes, and discover rose water and rose oil based face and body serums, creams, and sprays by Rosense.

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