It’s a known fact that cuisine is an important part of any cruise and the quality of it is a key factor for potential passengers come booking time. Celebrity chefs running restaurants aboard, accolades from world-renowned culinary organisations and menus inspired by those of iconic restaurants; these are just some of the cruise food selling points we’ve now come to expect.
The luxury cruiser in particular will want gourmet cuisine to come as standard and no matter what their culinary fixation, they’ll expect it to be catered for or at least, be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what to eat.
That said, many luxury lines have taken the focus on food a stage further by offering food-themed cruises, where the choice of destination is often influenced by the dishes you can expect to find there. With that in mind, here’s a look at what some of the six star lines are offering.
Crystal Cruises is a line dedicated to delivering an authentic taste of the East thanks to its established partnership with Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, whose restaurants Silk Road and The Sushi Bar are exclusive to the line. Summer 2013 sees him join cruisers on the line’s Rome to Istanbul voyage, where he’ll be teaching, dining with and cooking for guests.
Joining him will be Fumio Hazu, the Saki master behind Nobu’s own brand of the iconic drink. Throughout the cruise, there will be sake-tasting sessions, cooking demonstrations, book signings, photo opportunities and a special dinner invite for 70 guests, who’ll be able to sample some of the chef’s signature dishes.
Oceania Cruises certainly take its food seriously and is keen to share the culinary experience by way of its Culinary Discovery Tours, which are designed to bring to the fore the culinary highlights of each port which passengers visit.
Accompanied by a chef from the ship’s own food studio, the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, you’ll explore local markets, farms and vineyards, and then bring your haul back to the ship for a hands-on cooking demo where the ingredients you’ve bought will be expertly used to create an authentic regional dish.
The Bon Appétit Culinary Center features 24 work stations so plenty of passengers can get involved. You don’t have to be a master chef to join in either, as classes are offered at all levels of expertise.
Bringing a culinary experience to the world of luxury tall ship sailing, Star Clippers is introducing gourmet food-themed cruises on selected sailings, which will showcase the talents of celebrity chefs, who’ll offer demonstrations, wine-tastings and lectures and share their expertise with passengers.
The Star Clipper will host demonstrations and talks by the likes of journalist Dagmar von Cramm and chef Volker Drkosch from Dusseldorf’s Michelin-starred Victorian Restaurant. On the Star Flyer, you can expect demonstrations from Timo Bobzin and Holgar Voelsch of Hamburg’s Pluto restaurant and Martina Kompel from Paris’ Lucas Carton restaurant.
Silversea Cruises is offering a number of Culinary Arts voyages, where world-famous guest chefs will share their know-how by presenting special menus, cooking demonstrations and a grand gourmet dinner on-board, on two distinctly different itineraries; a Caribbean round trip from Barbados and a Hong Kong to Singapore voyage.
The line also operates a number of Cooking School Voyages, operated by the respected Relais & Chateaux L’Ecole des Chefs cooking school, where you’ll be able to witness expert cooking demonstrations and competitions , and be able to join in on shore market tours in search of ingredients to be used on-board.
By Simon Brotherton