Waves of well-being.

Following the themes of our sea-inspired Mareel Wellness & Beauty holistic spa, found on board each member of the Cunard fleet, we explore how the ocean can bring health benefits to mind, body and soul.

No wonder we gravitate towards the ocean: the soul-soothing sounds of the waves, the healing sensations of the salty air, and the invigoration of the water when we're swimming in the sea all feel like a tonic.

"The sea is a powerful wellbeing prescription for both our physical and psychological health," says Jane Alexander, a leading holistic health expert and author. "As adults, around 60 per cent of our bodies are made up of water, so it's not surprising that we feel a kinship with the element outside our bodies, as well as inside."

Here, she highlights just some of the health benefits you can soak up while you’re on a Cunard cruise – whether strolling on deck or enjoying some of the many activities on board.

In addition, we present two delicious recipes from the Cunard kitchen to add some healthy highlights to your weekly dishes.

A nourishing start to your day: Cunard Bircher muesli

The perfect sunny salad: Heirloom tomato salsa with black olives and celery

Boost your defences.

"Our red and white blood cells - the latter are important for our immune system - can increase when we immerse ourselves in sea water," says Jane. What’s more, the colder temperature of the sea also has pain-relieving properties, helping to ease muscle and joint pain.

Lift your spirits.

Breathing in fresh, salty air is seriously good for us. "There’s a wealth of evidence showing that being in or near sea water helps us become calmer, more relaxed, happier, and even sleep better," says Jane. One of the reasons is that when the wind and waves break apart air molecules, they take on a negative charge. It’s thought that these negative ions increase levels of serotonin, our body’s feel-good hormone.

"As adults, around 60% of our bodies are made up of water, so it's not surprising that we feel a kinship with the element outside our bodies, as well as inside." - Jane Alexander, holistic health expert.

Try gentle meditation.

A Cunard voyage gives you an opportunity to simply observe the calming sensation of the dancing waves which can have a hypnotic effect. "Being in this kind of calm mindful state – in which the brain is relaxed by focusing – has a myriad of wellbeing benefits, from lower stress and anxiety levels, through to relief from mild pain," says Jane. "Just watch the waves, letting your mind follow their movement as they lap against the shore or ship."

Calm your brain.

Most of us only have to hear the sound of the waves for our shoulders to drop and to instantly feel calmer. Why? Because being by the sea affords the brain and our senses some vital downtime and solitude from their usual over-stimulated, go-go-go state. "The sound of the sea tells our minds that it’s okay to switch off – we’re safe," says Jane.

Jane Alexander is the author of The Holistic Bible: Over 80 Effective Treatments to Heal the Mind, Body & Spirit (£14.99, Carlton).

Ocean inspiration.

The extraordinary powers of the sea are reflected in Mareel Wellness & Beauty, our stunning holistic spa concept available on board the Cunard fleet.

Mareel guests can soak up the transformative powers of the ocean with exemplary marine-based treatments, while the Aqua Therapy Centre features everything from billows of aromatic steam to an ice fountain, aqua therapy pool, sauna and sensory showers. It's a spa experience like no other.

Cunard Bircher museli.

This breakfast is a real guest favourite in the Britannia restaurant and Kings Court, and effortlessly simple to make for yourself. You can customise it to your taste, with a variety of toppings, though many enjoy the deliciously light and soft recipe as it comes.


150g rolled or quick oats
200ml milk
1 small apple, cored and grated
½ a pear, cored and grated (skin off)
1-2 tablespoons honey
200g Greek yogurt
Sprinkle of cinnamon

This recipe serves four people.

Tantalising toppings.

Make this breakfast your own with a combination of toppings. Find a firm favourite or try something new each day!

Fresh or dried figs and banana
Raisins or sultanas
Dried cranberries and apricots
Toasted almonds or cocounut
Fresh berries
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds


1. Combine the oats and milk in a bowl and place in the fridge overnight.

2. In the morning add the apple, pear, honey, yogurt, and cinnamon and mix well.

3. Serve in your desired dish, and customise with your choice of recommended toppings.

"To make an even lighter version of the Bircher muesli, you can swap the milk for a dairy alternative, and the Greek yogurt for low-fat yogurt.” - Mark Oldroyd, Executive Chef.

A perfect start.

Watch our Executive Chef, Mark Oldroyd recreate the ideal muesli breakfast: with nutrient-rich oats to keep you full, and grated fruits to provide Vitamin C and fibre, this is a healthy and delicious beginning to any new day.

Heirloom tomatoes with black olive and celery salsa.

Part of a brand new plant-based menu served on board the Cunard fleet from 2021, this dish is light, flavoursome and refreshing; and sure to remind of you sun-soaked Mediterranean voyages. Head of Culinary Development, Gareth Bowen, shows how to make this simple and delicious dish – recommending that you use the freshest in-season tomatoes you can find.


  • 350g Heirloom tomatoes, some quartered some halved
  • 200g pitted black olives, preferably Kalamata or Niçoise
  • 80g green olives, preferably Picholine
  • 120g celery, washed and finely diced
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Half bunch of basil, leaves only
  • Half a lemon, juiced


1. Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and allow to drain.
2. Slice the green olives in half and add to a bowl along with celery, olive oil and lemon juice.
3. Pick the leaves from the basil and slice finely, and add to the olive and celery mix.
4. Mix together and season if necessary (being mindful of the saltiness that the black olives will bring).

5. In a small blender add the black olives and a little oil to purée (make sure all the olives have stones removed first).
6. Cut the tomatoes in various different shapes, halves, wedges, quarters etc.
7. Place the black olive puree on the plate and arrange how you wish.
8. Drizzle over the dressing and enjoy with an ice-cold white wine.

More to tickle the tastebuds.

Discover more exclusive Cunard recipes, from our signature scones to a delicious alcohol-free cocktail from our bartenders, all to be explored from home.

Classic Cunard scones.

Recreate the quintessentially British afternoon tea experience at home with this delicious recipe from our Executive Chef.

Find out more

The Bee-Dazzled.

Imagine yourself enjoying a refreshing beverage on board a Cunard Queen with this delicious recipe from one of our expert bartenders.

Find out more

Bakewell muffins.

Closely related to the traditional Bakewell tart, our muffins are the perfect sweet treat to lift the spirits: on a cruise, or at home.

Find out more