Finding one's "land legs'' refers to a condition where a person has an imbalance or rocking sensation after spending time on a boat. In its extreme form it is known as "mal de debarquement syndrome(MdDS)," which is French for disembarkation sickness. There is really no proven way to find one's land legs, other than to give it some time. However, some suggestions do exist to speed up the process, although the reports on whether any of these "cures'' actually work are mixed.

Keep Moving

Keep moving after you get off the boat and onto solid ground. The constant motion during the extended period of time that you’re on the open sea is what how you get your sea legs, and it’s what your body has gotten used to. Take a long walk to get your body reconditioned to being off the cruise line and to avoid this land sickness. Do some motion exercises like jumping jacks. Yoga exercises can also help.

Ride in a Car

Ride in a car to re-create the sensation of moving of your life at sea. This can help simulate the sense of balance you had on your cruise ship and can help prevent the sickness of disembarkment once you lose your sea legs!

Take Care of Yourself

Take care of yourself. Reduce stress and get enough sleep. Not enough sleep can enhance a motion imbalance because of too many stimuli impacting your physical and mental health.

Use Pressure Points

Push with your thumb against a pressure point on your body, such as right above your wrist. This also helps reduce stress, and might help control the motion sickness.

Take Medicine

Take a decongestant or Dramamine. There is no conclusive medical evidence these will work once you get off a boat, but some people have reported success with these products.

Consult Your Doctor

Consult a doctor and ask for help if the condition continues over a long time. Medications or supplements like Klonopin, which is related to Valium, have been known to help. But keep in mind there's no definitive scientific proof these medications will actually cure your condition.


Be patient. Except in rare cases, the condition will eventually cure itself.

Sometimes feeling better is largely a matter of your attitude. If you think something is making you feel better, then sometimes you will feel better just because of your mental outlook.


This syndrome affects predominantly middle-aged women.

Make sure you are not sick. If you are feeling wobbly, it's possible you are confusing something like the flu with mal de debarquement.