The Ultimate Cruises for Foodies
Written by: Amanda Bailey on June 24, 2016
Endless buffets and 24/7 dining has always been a draw for cruisers. But the rise and demand from foodies has inspired new dining programs, culinary-inspired itineraries and gourmet experiences on almost every commercial cruise line.
These ships and sailings offer even the most discerning food and drink fanatics something to relish, on board and off.
The line that brought cruisers the “Top Chef at Sea” program continues to wow guests with its gastronomic experiences. The Culinary Escape itinerary, launching in September 2016 features chef-inspired food and drink on board, along with the diverse dining opportunities found in the Mediterranean and Adriatic ports-of-call.
Along with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Celebrity culinary operation, guests get to enjoy several tasting events, a four-course luncheon and a Sommelier’s tour of the ship’s extensive wine selection.
Travelers intrigued by Asia’s culinary delights will find much to savor on this 15-day journey from the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City to historic Hanoi. Traveling through Vietnam and Cambodia on the Orchid, guests will find themselves absorbed in the spices, seafood, and other local edible favorites that connect cuisine with culture.
From the first toast at a treasured local restaurant, to tours of local candy-making shops and fish farms, a cruise on the Orchid highlights the exotic flavors of the region.
In 2015, Oceania was named the best cruise line for foodies by both Foder’s and Berlitz, and is widely considered the most food-oriented cruise line today. It’s Culinary Discovery Tours immerse travelers in the local cuisine, with chef-accompanied foraging trips, market tours, farm-to-table meals, and cooking lessons.
Oceania also established the first hands-on cooking school at sea, on the Marina and the Riviera which take place in state-of-the-art kitchens and are led by world-renown chefs. With the legendary Jacques Pepin heading up their culinary program, cruisers can expect an absolutely stunning gourmet experience.
Is there anything more enticing than a meandering cruise through Europe’s wine regions? AmaWaterway’s themed itineraries showcase the celebrated wine regions along the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine rivers. Guests will find themselves in the company of award-winning vintners from generations of wine-making families on each cruise.
The cruise line coordinators visit such esteemed wineries as Châteanueuf-du-Pape, Saint-Emilion, Sauternes, Medoc and Margaux. Onboard wine lectures and tastings are accented by optional excursions to olive farms, truffle farms and to the Cognac region, where passengers can blend their own brandy.
This collection of itineraries from the luxury line Windstar seeks to bring foodies closer to the cuisine of a region, through the perspective of a James Beard Foundation-selected chef. A wine expert joins the host chef onboard to educate and entertain guests with daily wine tastings.
The upcoming August itinerary will sail from Dublin to Lisbon, stopping in ports in France, Spain and Portugal. Along the route, guests can explore and savor visits to an oyster farm in Brittany, the Hennessy Cognac cellar, a traditional Asturian cider factory, and several famed vineyards.
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