Foodie Report: Culinary Cruise News

Culinary tour

It seems as if there is a never-ending selection of dining options that traveling foodies can choose from these days, and cruise ships are no exception. To help simplify the long list of offerings, we’ve compiled a roundup of the latest cruise news for foodie travelers to keep in mind when planning their next voyage.

Inside Oceania Cruises' New Culinary Discovery Tours

Oceania Cruises recently announced it is expanding its Culinary Discovery Tours in the Mediterranean for 2016, adding several new experiences. Available for the upcoming season onboard Riviera and Marina, the new tours are: 

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- Antibes, France - Provençal Olive Grove Luncheon
- Bandol, France - Provençal Lunch & Wine with Master Chef
- Casablanca, Morocco - Chef Tour & Moroccan Cooking Class
- Catania on Sicily, Italy - Chef Market Tour, Cannoli & Lunch
- Heraklion (Iraklion) on Crete, Greece - Cretan Food & Wine, with Farm-to-Table Lunch
- Palamos, Spain - Spain’s Trendiest Culinary Destination

Additionally, The Culinary Center will be holding classes led by a master chef instructor from the ship’s hands-on cooking school. During the program, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about local cuisine by exploring food markets, vineyards, restaurants and farms. Several of the half-or full-day excursions end with a destination-inspired cooking class at The Culinary Center.

The Antibes, France - Provençal Olive Grove Luncheon includes 45-minute drive to Domaine de la Royrie, an olive grove dating to the 15th century, and later a meeting with a neighboring winemaker for a tasting of regional varietals. 

The Bandol, France - Provençal Lunch & Wine with Master Chef itinerary takes guests to Master Chef Rene Berand's private stone cottage, with a cooking demonstration of classical Provencal dishes and a visti to his nearby restaurant, Le Bistrot de Jef. 

During the Casablanca, Morocco - Chef Tour & Moroccan Cooking Class, guests will visit the Central Market of Casablanca and the city’s olive market, and later participate in a cooking class focused on Morrocan cooking. The Catania on Sicily, Italy - Chef Market Tour, Cannoli & Lunch itinerary includes a tour through the Mercate del Pesci di Catania street market and a Sicilian-style lunch at the Ostier Vinoteca.

There is also the The Heraklion (Iraklion) on Crete, Greece - Cretan Food & Wine with Farm-to-Table Lunch, which takes groups on a tour through the Old City, while guests opting for the Palamos, Spain - Spain’s Trendiest Culinary Destination program will visit the Forallac farm-shop, which is known for its 100 percent extra virgin olive oil soap and creams. 

New “Taste of Bordeaux” Sailings From AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways has announced the debut of its "Taste of Bordeaux" sailings onboard the AmaDolce, traveling along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. 

The new seven-night roundtrip Bordeaux itineraries include visits to famous châteaux and vineyards, a stop at Cadillac’s Roquetaillaide Castle, a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting in Pauillac, and an excursion at Château de Montaigne in Libourne. Guests can also opt for pre- and/or post-cruise land extensions, which include city tours in Paris and additional château visits and wine tastings in the Loire Valley. 

In addition, ten of AmaWaterways’ 24 “Taste of Bordeaux” sailings in 2016 will be wine-themed voyages, led by top wine experts.

Onboard the AmaDolce, guests will enjoy accommodations and amenities including French balconies, marble bathrooms, a fitness room and sauna, walking track and nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge. Also, complimentary unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks are available with lunch and dinner during the voyage.

AmaWaterways Cooking Class

Silversea to Launch "Exclusively Yours - Enriched Voyages" Collection 

Silversea has announced the latest details on its upcoming "Exclusively Yours - Enriched Voyages" collection of themed cruises, set to take place this summer and fall. 

The new itineraries will allow guests the opportunity to experience the opera, ballet and the culinary arts through a variety of special programs onboard several sailings from August through November.

Several sailings throughout August, Spetember and October will include a visit to Accademia Teatro alla Scala, where soloists from the Academy of Lyric Opera and a piano accompanist will perform a selection of librettos for Silversea guests aboard the Silver Spirit. Voyages include:

- August 22 - 31, Venice to Athens, with calls in Koper, Hvar, Kotor, Corfu, Zakinthos, Nafplion, Crete, and Santorini. 
- September 9 - 19, Monte Carlo to Venice, with calls in Livorno, Olbia, Trapani, Porto Empedocle, Valletta, Dubrovnik, Split, and Trieste.
- October 10 - 19, Athens to Venice, with calls in Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Katakolon (Olympia), Argostoli (Cephalonia), Corfu, and Dubrovnik

Russian ballet soloists Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov, will perform onboard Silver Spirit's August 31 Mediterranean cruise, sailing from Athens to Monte Carlo (Voyage 5625), while guests on onboard Silver Cloud’s September 16 Voyage from Monte Carlo to Barcelona will take part in culinary demonstrations, apéritif tastings and vineyard strolls. 

Also, during Silver Spirit’s Relais & Châteaux Gourmet Cruise on October 1, guests will travel from Istanbul to Athens while enjoying a culinary program created by David Chauvac. Chauvac is the head chef of the Michelin-starred Le Candille restaurant at Le Mas Candille hotel in Mougins, Provence, France.
Onboard the Silver Whisper’s October 24 sailing from New York to Barbados, guests will participate in a program of cooking demonstrations and enjoy gourmet dinners by Jason Joseph, head chef of the Camelot Restaurant at Cobblers Cove hotel in Barbados, as well as Jacob Jasinski, chef de cuisine of the Seasons restaurant at the Ocean House hotel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; Gunnar Thompson, executive chef at the Glenmere Mansion hotel in Chester, New York; and Louis Pacquelin, head chef of the Panache restaurant at Québec, Canada's Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel.

Silver Spirit’s Barcelona to Barbados sailing will include a wine enrichment program led by top sommeliers Gennaro Buono and Giuseppe. Also, the Silver Spirit’s voyage on November 21 from Barbados to South America will include coffee and chocolate tastings, lectures, and cooking demonstrations hosted by award-winning pastry chef Francesco Boccia.

During the November 26 Hong Kong to Singapore itinerary onboard the Silver Shadow the Ronnefeldt tea company will host a special tea-themed program in partnership with etiquette expert and tea lover Tatyana Polyakova, complete with an introduction to premium varieties and exploration of the drink’s history. 

In addition to the new culinary itineraries, Silversea has also created a special experience for bridge enthusiasts. On Silver Wind’s November 15 transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale guests will have a chance to compete for prizes in the first-ever Silversea bridge tournament. The Bridge Cruise will include appearances by American Contract Bridge League life masters and guests can earn ACBL master points and attend seminars. 

New Whisky Trail Cruise From European Waterways

European Waterways has announced that it is offering a Whisky Trail cruise in Scotland onboard the hotel barge, Scottish Highlander

The cruise will take guests along the Caledonian Canal between Fort William and Inverness, with visits to at least three historic distilleries along the way. The barge will also travel across deep-water lakes, including Loch Ness, and visit famous castles and historic sites. 

During the sailing, guests will tour several distilleries along the Whisky Trail, including Benromach Distillery near Forres, a family-owned business founded over 100 years ago, complete with a tasting of the distillery’s Benromach Speyside single malt. Other stops include the Glen Ord distillery, the last remaining single malt Scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle, as well as the Dalwhinnie distillery in the Cairngorms National Park. Here guests will sample aged single malts paired with a variety of chocolates.

For onboard dining, the eight-passenger barge’s master chef will serve Scottish fare such as line-caught wild salmon, fresh scallops and locally sourced saddle of venison

The new Whisky Trail cruise aboard Scottish Highlander is available to book on a per cabin basis for the June 5 and October 9 sailings. All other departures are charter only.

Whisky Trail Cruise

New Dining Options From Seabourn and Chef Thomas Keller

Seabourn has joined forces with American Chef Thomas Keller to launch a variety of new culinary offerings aboard Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest

The line now offers a range of dishes, ranging from first courses to main courses to desserts, in multiple dining venues aboard all three ships. Chef Keller, his staff and Seabourn's executive culinary team all collaborated in order to create the new program. Seabourn has also acquired Homage by Thomas Keller in Checks pattern, the white porcelain dinnerware used in his restaurants.

New culinary offerings include special theme nights in the Colonnade that pay homage to Chef Keller's childhood, serving classic comfort dishes such as BBQ ribs. At the poolside Patio Grill dishes include the chef’s signature Napa Burger and artisanal "Yountwurst” while formal French-American style of cuisine is offered on select evenings in The Restaurant.

In addition, Seabourn now uses ingredients provided by some of Keller’s long time purveyors including Elysian Fields Farms; Rancho Gordo; Hobbs Applewood smoked Meats; Marshall Farms Honey; Snake River Farms; Newport Meats; True Foods; Sonoma Poultry; Gourmet Attitude; Le Sanctuaire; and Cowgirl Creamery/Tomales Bay Foods.

Also launched recently is Seabourn’s new restaurant onboard Seabourn Quest. The restaurant will eventually be launched across the entire fleet, including the line's two new ships, Seabourn Encore, launching in late 2016, and Seabourn Ovation, scheduled to debut in early spring 2018.

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