Cruising through Europe on a healthy diet?

Europe has a great number of interesting sights, but what keeps travellers coming back time and again is the continent’s exceptional food.

Sure, most of us want to see the Eiffel Tower, but what really gets our heart racing is that delicious croissant in a French bistro in the morning. And, yes of course, everyone raves about the Colosseum in Rome, but are we secretly not all more excited about the prospect of a delicious gelato after a hot day in the sun?

As the epicurean centre of the world, it’s not only acceptable, it’s a must to indulge in the continent’s rich and lovely food. However, if you still want to fit into that lovely new outfit you bought in Milan, you might need to opt for the organic, farm-fresh, lean menu.

How to cruise through Europe on a healthy diet?

We chatted to experts at Norwegian Cruise Lines on how to eat your way from Amsterdam to Athens without gaining a pound around the waist. Here’s their advice:

1. Go Fish

Calamari, clams, mussels or eel… take your pick. The Mediterranean port cities offer some of the freshest fish you’ll ever taste. Try the Pesce Puttanesca when in Italy, the mussels with light garlic and wine broth in France, and of course, the paella with shellfish in Barcelona. On a Baltic Cruise to Europe, you must try the specialty of the region which is smoked fish such as herring, salmon and the typical lutefisk.

If you go with fish, you’ll be able to indulge in the local food with some of the freshest ingredients and finest wines without putting on too much weight and while staying healthy.

Go Fish

2. Eat Green

If you want to stay healthy, the best way is to not ignore your mother’s advice and ‘eat your vegetables’. Order the ‘pasta primavera’ – Spring Pasta – when in Italy. This appealing and delicious dish offers an exciting mixture of bright green and red vegetables. Or indulge in an arugula salad with dollops of light mozzarella or goat cheese that come from local dairy farms.

Eat Green

3. Water is your best friend

Sip water frequently and generously. We know it’s tempting to go and explore the local bars at your ports of call, or visit the cruise ship’s bars, but try and limit your alcohol consumption and drink water instead. A good trick to remember is to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage you consumer.

 Water is your best friend

4. Stay lean

Did you know that a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world?  The secret is that most Mediterranean restaurants will prepare their savory meals with lean meats such as chicken, veal or lamb.

When in Italy, try a chicken risotto, prepared with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and baby spinach. In France, enjoy your chicken or veal simmered with a delicate broth of wine, light butter, garlic and lemon. Greece is all about the gyro! It’s a spicy lamb served on a pita with shredded lamb and a cool cucumber and mint sauce called tzatziki.

 Stay lean

5. Get active

Do you feel you’re still overindulging despite these healthy eating tips?  Burn off your calories by participating on some of the cruise line’s many activities. You can hit the gym, go for a Zumba class, or simply take the stairs. With so many decks to explore, this can give you a serious work out.

Or, why not go for a refreshing outdoor run? Take in some of the most breathtaking ocean views and fresh sea breezes, when you step out onto the ship’s running track where you can run, jog, or just take a relaxing walk.

Get active


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