Wellness on the water: ocean-themed films to cure your January blues

Aside from state-of-the-art gyms, what does wellness look like on board? Luxury spas, a gourmet diet and, of course, the all-important cinema night. With that in mind, BOAT gives you full permission to kick back, relax and absorb the best kind of vitamin-sea – all in the form of film. We've compiled nine of the best ocean-themed films to watch on board, so you can live vicariously through some of the bravest (or perhaps naïvest) sailors, spies and singing-and-dancing protagonists to bat away the Blue Monday gloom...

The Mercy (2017)

When you want to feel inspired to sail off into the sunset

There are days when your inner seafarer will be yearning to pack up and embark on that sailing trip you've always dreamt of, and The Mercy depicts the real-life story of an amateur sailor who decided to do just that. Colin Firth plays sailor Donald Crowhurst, who entered the Golden Globe Race in 1968 with a 10-metre boat built from to own design. Throughout the competition, sailors were vying to be the first person to circumnavigate the world on a boat – critically, it had to be done alone, and without ever stepping foot ashore. The competition was testing for the most experienced of sailors, but Crowhurst certainly had his own challenges when at sea...

Mamma Mia (2008)

When you want to let loose with a singalong

Nothing cures the January blues quite like Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters singing Money, Money, Money on board the classic 71-metre yacht Haida 1929. The trio is depicted riding jet skis and drinking champagne in a dream world on board the superyacht, but there are also sea scenes aplenty throughout the movie, which is filmed on the Greek island of Skopelos. And if one Mamma Mia film didn't quite satisfy the karaoke crowd, there's always Mamma Mia 2 , featuring the 16.5-metre Tai-Mo-Shan teak ketch...

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Krupp Germaniawerft   71.1 m •   1929

Moana (2016)

When you want to entertain little ones

Moana is sure to inspire little explorers. The animated film is based on stories from Ancient Polynesian mythology and follows Moana Waialiki as she sets off on an epic adventure across the Pacific. She is chosen by the ocean itself to prove herself a master wayfinder and to fulfil the ancient quest of her ancestors to save her people. Consider it a geography lesson in itself – the Disney movie may be set on a fictional island, but it draws inspiration from the nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

The Little Mermaid (2023)

When you want a lighthearted family crowd-pleaser

Mermaids, sea witches and talking sea life –The Little Mermaid may be an obvious ocean-themed film choice, but it's also a failsafe when it comes to pleasing everyone on board. The 2023 live-action adaptation of Disney's 1989 animated film packs all the action and characters you love (and don't love). Princess Ariel's spirit for adventure leads her to life beyond the sea, where she visits the surface and falls for Prince Eric. The mermaid strikes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

When you want a relaxing night in

The best medicine for your January blues? Comedy of course, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty sets the tone for a relaxing night in. An adaptation of James Thurber's short story, the film follows Walter Mitty, who has been working at a magazine for 16 years, is lacking in confidence and faces potential unemployment. When his publication ceases to exist other than online, Walter is offered a chance to change that and is tasked with finding the missing cover photo that could save his company. He embarks on a comedic mission to track down the elusive photographer, travelling across land and sea – including the scene where he must fearlessly jump from a helicopter into the ocean...

Triangle of Sadness (2022)

When you want the 4D stormy night experience

Experience the ocean's wrath through the lens of influencers Carl and Yaya, the protagonists in the 2022 film Triangle of Sadness. The characters are invited to a luxury cruise ship with a group of wealthy guests, yet the trip takes an unfortunate turn when a violent storm hits the ship. What ensues is a satirical series of events – including an evening of food poisoning, an attack by pirates and being stranded on a remote island. Hopefully, a world away from your onboard experience. The 99.5-metre Christina O plays a starring role in the ocean-themed movie. 

Read More/The real story behind the Triangle of Sadness superyacht

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Canadian Vickers   99.15 m •   1943

The Old Man and The Sea (1958)

When you want to turn back the clock

For evenings when you want a true classic, look to 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. The movie follows an old Cuban fisherman who has not caught anything in 84 days. On the 85th day, his dry spell is broken when he hooks a legendary large marlin, which he then pursues and attempts to reel in, getting dragged farther out to sea. It is the story of one man's extreme journey out to sea to prove his worth.

Tenet (2020)

When you're in the mood for something action-packed

Sci-fi thriller Tenet is sure to get the cogs turning. An unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist, is recruited by an organisation under the name "Tenet" to stop a renegade Russian oligarch from starting World War III. The mission is no small feat – he must master the concept of time inversion in a literal race against time. The film, which spans seven countries, even features the 75-metre ice-classed explorer Planet Nine.

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Admiral - The Italian Sea Group   73.2 m •  16 guests •  €85,000,000

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Glass Onion (2022)

When you want to summon your inner detective

Put on your detective hat and see if you can beat Detective Benoit Blanc to uncover a murder mystery surrounding a tech billionaire and his eclectic crew of friends. The whodunnit romp is a follow-on from Knives Out and kicks off as the group steps foot on the 45-metre Mengi Yay motor yacht Aquarius. A tech billionaire invites a group of fellow “disruptors” to his private island with its domed Glass Onion building for a murder-mystery-themed party, but it soon turns sour. 

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Mengi-Yay   45 m •   2016

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Mengi-Yay   45.77 m •   10 guests • Price from €220,000 p/w

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