While we typically think of traveling as an opportunity for an adventure alongside friends and family, or a time to unwind from the stressors of work, Dr. Deepak Chopra says it can be much more.
Chopra, the world-renowned leader in medicine, preventative healthcare, meditation, and mindfulness, today announced his integrative health company and namesake’s multi-year partnership with Swan Hellenic, a luxury cruise company.
“When people are traveling, they have a lot of opportunity and time to explore meditation, yoga, exercise, breathing techniques, [and] diversity of diet,” he tells Fortune in an exclusive interview ahead of the launch.
The partnership marks Swan Hellenic’s first endeavor into wellness tourism. The luxury cruise line, born in the 1950s and relaunched in 2020, will combine its detailed trip itineraries and on-boat services with well-being education and activities created by Chopra and his team.
Called Explore & Restore, the cruise ranges in price from $4,394 to $9,422, and lasts between five and eight days. The wellness voyage capitalizes on consumers’ heightened interest in preventative health care like stress management and mindfulness—even on PTO. Welcome to the era of wellness tourism, an $814.6 billion industry expected to grow by over 12% each year for the next decade.
This type of venture is a first for Chopra, who recently sold his company, Chopra Global, for a reported $20 million to a conglomerate called the Healing Company. His multi-million dollar wellness empire also includes The Chopra Foundation, which focuses on mental health.
Though Chopra says he hadn’t considered the idea of setting sail on a self-care vacation before, “I thought it would be good to extend the distribution of what we teach and our services and products … and wellness tourism is very big right now.”
Practicing mindfulness can help regulate people’s nervous system, allowing them to be more present in their surroundings, which is crucial during travel and exploration to build empathy and understanding across cultures, Chopra says.
“A lot of conflicts occur in the world because we’re so unaware of the diversity of human experience, which is so rich, and the future is multicultural. Travel explores that more than anything else,” he says.
The program has six voyages planned for 2024, including trips through Panama City, Panama, Palermo, Italy, and Maputo, Mozambique. Travelers will engage in daily breathwork, meditations, yoga classes, evening wind-down workshops, self-discovery classes, and group excursions to engage with other travelers.
Chopra will accompany some of the trips to offer in-person classes. He will focus on giving people the tools to optimize sleep, manage stress, and increase emotional intelligence, he tells Fortune.
Crossfingers Studio for Chopra / Swan Hellenic
“When we combine all these strategies, we give people the experience of how it feels to have a joyful, energetic body, a loving compassionate heart, a clear mind, and a lightness of spirit,” he says.
The voyages will also include food based in the Ayurvedic diet, an ancient Indian medicine system and framework Chopra has long taught. He says the trips will serve a variety of plant-based foods—emphasizing the seven colors of the rainbow and the Mediterranean diet.
“The travel and wellness industries have become more inexorably linked … Today’s discerning consumer wants an experience that isn’t just confined to spa treatments and yoga sessions. They are in pursuit of enriching experiences that encapsulate—and expand—their mental, physical, and spiritual health,” Simon Belsham, CEO and Co-Founder of the Healing Company, tells Fortune. “Intentionally curated to foster self-discovery and cultural immersion, the Chopra ‘Explore & Restore’ well-being voyage is a complete re-imagination of what a wellness retreat by sea looks like.”
Chopra says there’s no better time to focus on yourself than vacation. And more, managing personal stress and leveling up on self-care can help people serve others.
“The only way to heal the world is to heal ourselves,” says Chopra, who hopes travelers take the wisdom they learn on their travels and apply them to their work and home lives. “The main emphasis here is on education. My hope is that people will have a good experience that they want to continue.”