Waves of well-being.

As the sea-inspired Mareel Wellness & Beauty holistic spa is welcomed on Cunard cruises, 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 well-being prescription for both our physical and psychological health," says Jane Alexander, a leading holistic health expert and author. "As adults, around 60 percent 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.

Nourish your body with an exclusive recipe - try making Cunard Bircher muesli at home

Boost your defenses.

"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 ocean 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 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 well-being 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 OK 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 ($20, Carlton).

Ocean inspiration.

The extraordinary powers of the sea are reflected in Mareel Wellness & Beauty, the stunning new holistic spa concept co-created by Cunard and wellness trailblazer Canyon Ranch.

Mareel guests can soak up the transformative powers of the ocean with exemplary marine-based treatments, while the Aqua Therapy Center 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.

Nourishment for body and soul.

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

Ingredients.

6 oz rolled or quick oats
7 fl oz milk
1 small apple, cored and grated
½ a pear, cored and grated (skin off)
1-2 tablespoons honey
7 oz Greek yogurt
Sprinkle of cinnamon

This recipe serves four people.

Tantalizing toppings.

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

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

Method.

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

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

◆ Serve in your desired dish, and customize 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 fiber, this is a healthy and delicious beginning to any new day.

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