Due to the growing interest in all things culinary, cruise lines are heating things up and adding flavor to an already fantastic onboard experience, with a wide variety of food and wine theme cruises. Imagine taking a cooking class with famous master chefs and joining them to explore local food markets to find the freshest ingredients for their masterpieces. From preparation of signature dishes, to cooking and the best part, tasting the delicious cuisine, these special culinary theme cruises offer a different and fun learning experience. They are ideal for gourmands and novices alike, as well as for those seeking a unique travel experience.
A culinary cruise is something foodies dream about! Not only do these sailings offer the opportunity to cruise in luxury from one magnificent port to another and enjoy countless onboard amenities, but they also offer the rare chance to meet world-famous chefs and experience their creative magic first hand. For those who have always wanted to learn how to prepare gourmet cuisine, know more about wines and be taught professional chef techniques, culinary theme cruises are the perfect place to learn it all.
Culinary theme sailings offer many special features for guests. You will be provided with unique experiences, including exclusive shore excursions, private cocktail receptions, special dinners with master chefs and wine paring workshops, all enhancing the cruise experience.
Other gastronomic events include visiting chef selected local restaurants while in port and savoring local vintages while expert sommeliers explain the different wines from worldwide regions and how to best complement meals with the proper selection.
Another highlight of many of these sailings is that you may get the rare opportunity to accompany the chefs to the local food markets while in port, one of the special facets of your gastronomical adventure. You can learn first-hand how to select the finest and freshest produce, unique spices and other ingredients for that night’s dinner. Welcome to foodie heaven!
Cuisine and travel are inextricably connected. A destination’s unique flavors provide insights into local cultures and regional customs. On culinary theme cruises, world-renowned chefs, wine experts and mixologists share their special talents and knowledge to make the entire experience truly memorable.
Epicurean delights from all parts of the world can be sampled on a variety of culinary cruises. From Paris and Provence, to London, Rome and Brazil, to the islands of the Caribbean, a special feast awaits. Discover the culinary traditions of different regions of the world by way of their diverse cuisines and take your travels to a new level. Another benefit to these theme cruises is that you get to share your vacation with people who share your culinary interests. A great way to make new friends! These cruises can be a once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed.
Many cruise lines, such as Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, MSC Cruises and Silversea Cruises, offer a variety of culinary theme cruises. The highlights of these departures vary.
Celebrity Cruises, which has always emphasized the importance of fresh gourmet cuisine, is offering several of these epicurean sailings. There is a reason they are called “Excite the Senses Culinary Theme Cruises,” as they are expected to do just that, with a wide variety of food and wine experiences, such as special dinners prepared by master chefs, cocktail parties and wine tastings.
A special feature of these cruises is the opportunity to get a true sense of onboard culinary operations with a “behind the scenes” experience, including a rare private galley tour, offered on each of these sailings, a must see for any foodie.
Another highlight of these culinary theme cruises is that they are fun and interesting, with food and wine tastings, cooking classes and the chance to hobnob with the culinary team and world-famous chefs.
Kicking off these epicurean voyages is Chef Jacques Van Staden, nominated for “Rising Star of the Year” by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. Along with the culinary team, the highly acclaimed chef will headline tastings, demonstrations and dinners, where you can meet him, as well as partners from Celebrity’s “wine and spirits” program. Under their tutelage, you can pick up professional hints that you can use in the future, whether entertaining or preparing family meals.
Van Staden, along with Junior Merino, known as “The Liquid Chef,” will also be onboard the first theme cruise. The award-winning mixologist, earned the moniker for his revolutionary concepts, using a fusion of exotic and unexpected flavors. One such example is his signature “Coming up Roses” cocktail, which includes Merino’s special rose syrup and Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut. The two will host a “reservations only” cocktail party and a pairing dinner at Qsine, one of Celebrity’s chic onboard specialty restaurants.
These theme cruises will give you the special opportunity to meet a guest chef during a cocktail hour, attend cooking demonstrations and book-signings. The chef will also teach cooking classes and you can also participate in a “Star Chefs” cook-off competition or simply observe it. One of the best parts is getting to experience an exclusive food and wine pairing dinner onboard in the elegant and chic Murano Restaurant.
Other notable hosts on subsequent culinary cruise departures include Pastry Chef Thierry Houlbert, Executive Chefs W. Thomas Szymanski, Rufino Rengifo and Dominique Gamba, plus sommelier Chanelle Duarte.
Chef Steve van der Merwe will host a cruise that will feature activities themed around culinary exploration and the culinary traditions of Bermuda.
Crystal Cruises will be hosting the ultimate “foodie” cruise, called “Bordeaux and Beyond,” with celebrity favorite Nobu Matsuhisa, known to the world simply as “Nobu.” The famous chef, recognized for his unique Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, will be onboard the Crystal Serenity, where you will be able to taste dishes he has personally prepared. What an amazing opportunity!
While the famous chef is scheduled to be on this particular theme cruise, his culinary presence can always be felt onboard. His world-famous cuisine has been served onboard Crystal since 2003, and he has personally trained all chefs and designed the menus. Nobu also makes yearly ship visits to make sure everything is being done perfectly in his chic specialty restaurants, Silk Road and the Sushi Bar.
In addition to Bordeaux and Beyond, Crystal Cruises also has a number of departures that are part of their Wine & Food Festival. These culinary theme cruises will also include an intimate hands-on cooking class in an onboard kitchen, limited to just 10 to 12 guests, as well as autograph signings of “NOBU’S Vegetarian Cookbook” and “NOBU the Cookbook,” and photo opportunities, where you can have your picture taken with the star chef. Where else could you have this VIP opportunity?
Nobu will also make nightly appearances and mingle with guests at his onboard specialty restaurants. Additionally, there will also be an “Omakase” dinner, with sake-tastings, sake champagne pairings and Japanese hors d’oeuvres, hosted by Sake Master Fumio Hazu, the man behind Nobu’s exclusive Hokusetsu sake, plus explanations of each course.
Bon Appétit magazine to offer their “Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival” on the Marina. Culinary stars, such as award-winning Chef Ken Oringer, will host these special cruises. Oringer, a the recipient of the highly prized James Beard award for “Best Chef in the Northeast,” is owner of three highly acclaimed Boston restaurants: Clio, Uni and Toro, with Uni selected as “Best Sushi Bar” by Boston Magazine in 2008.
One of Oceania’s “Signature Sailings” is the “Jacques Pépin Cruise” held on the Marina. Jacques Pépin will lead Q&A sessions and demonstrate his cooking techniques in the ship’s “Bon Appétit Culinary Center.” This state-of-the-art hands-on kitchen studio, found only Oceania’s Marina and the Riviera, boasts individual cooking stations for guests to equally participate along with the chef, an exceptional opportunity for any gourmand.
Jacques Pépin, who has served as Oceania Cruises’ executive culinary director for several years, and was personal chef to Charles de Gaulle. He will be available to meet guests onboard in the lovely chic French bistro, Jacques, his namesake restaurant.
Additionally, wine experts and editors will be onboard for these palate-pleasing cruises. Book signings, workshops and other culinary activities provide a broad perspective to the gourmet enthusiast.
Luxury Silversea Cruises is featuring several Relais & Chateaux culinary cruises that will feature its prestigious cooking school, the first and only one at sea. The complimentary program features a special culinary curriculum, which includes hands-on instruction and entertaining events.
Designed exclusively for Silversea by Relais & Châteaux, a series of tantalizing culinary events await you. This unique epicurean program was designed by Chef David Bilsland, Silversea’s culinary trainer, who along with Chef Jacques Thorel, owner of L’Auberge Brettone in France, will host the program.
Witness culinary creativity up close with exciting “Cooking Demonstrations” and “Cooking Competitions,” where you can watch the chefs create their signature dishes, paired with wines selected by the sommelier. Both entertaining and educational, they showcase the very best in culinary techniques.
You can also join a limited group of fellow epicureans at “Lunch & Learn,” an event offering small groups the opportunity to sample a fabulous meal of specially prepared dishes.
At select ports, “Market to the Plate,” presents a unique and memorable experience, when you can accompany the chef with a limited group on a market tour to shop for fresh ingredients which will then be transformed into regional specialties.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
If you are looking to further your culinary interests in a tropical paradise, there is Paul Gauguin Cruises. Sailing year-round in Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific, is The Gauguin, the 5-star ship of Paul Gauguin Cruises. Parisian Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, owner and chef of the two-star Michelen-rated Restaurant Apicius in Paris will host a Tahiti and Society Islands culinary theme cruise. While his signature menu is feature on all of the line’s sailings, Vigato will also prepare gourmet dishes and demonstrate his techniques.
Once in a lifetime culinary experiences and epicurean delights await on these gastronomical adventures. Don’t wait to reserve a culinary cruise and bring out that chef within. Eat, drink and savor the world!
To book your amazing Culinary Cruise, visit Cruise.com or contact one of our cruise experts at 888-776-0659.