By: Ilona Kauremszky, Ships Ahoy
If you can’t seem to stop craving local delicacies during your travels, consider taking a foodie cruise which is hotter now more than ever.
Major cruise companies are stepping up to the plate with unique pairings on the culinary scene. While most major cruise lines offer culinary-themed voyages hosted by celebrity guest chefs, there are other foodie cruises that are big with on-board cooking classes or offer special menu items to yes, even taking guests on incredible market tours .
Here are 8 Foodie Cruises on the Menu:
1. Oceania Cruises
This upper premium cruise line, says The Cruise Guru (http://thelasvegas.guru/the-cruise-guru/) takes their unofficial ‘foodie cruise line’ moniker so seriously, they even own a Maine lobster farm to supply their vessels. “Outstanding gourmet cuisine is in fact Oceania Cruises’ raison d’etre during every voyage,” says travel journalist David Yeskel. Watch for the annual foodie cruise with Master Chef Jacques Pepin and explore Oceania’s Culinary Center revered as the first hands-on state-of-the-art cooking school at sea led by a master chef.
2. Windstar Cruises
This small ship cruise line is the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation and has really rich culinary-themed cruises. Included in each James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection sailing: hosted dinners with a top chef, cooking demonstrations, chef market tours, fine wines, spirits and beer tastings.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s Connoisseur Collection is perfect for foodies and oenophiles sharing the best of cuisine that France has to offer on specific departures. The Connoisseur Collection sailings take guests on exclusive excursions to famous restaurants, vineyards, orchards, truffle farms and other wine and culinary hot spots.
4. SeaDream Yacht Club
Revered for its cuisine, the luxury boutique line which won “Best Dining” in the luxury category at this year’s Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards has ample culinary-rich reasons to book a cruise.
5. Tauck River Cruise
This boutique river cruise line has a triple threat culinary themed cruise for gourmet lovers. A unique 10-day itinerary, “Savoring France: Paris, Lyon and Provence,” guests start in Paris for this epicurean feast. Think a culinary-themed walking tour and a pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu. In Lyon, visit the famous Les Halles market. In Grignan, venture to a truffle farm, enjoy private wine tastings in Beaujolais and get an exclusive cooking class with Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic.
6. Maine Windjammer Cruise
You don’t have to board a huge cruise ship to enjoy a foodie experience! Aboard a historic schooner you’re treated to fine dining and amazing comfort food. The Maine Windjammer Association vessels serve meals cooked in tiny galleys in wood burning stoves. Just the process of cooking in these tight quarters is a sight to behold. Enjoy an authentic Maine lobster bake too.
7. Carnival Cruise Line
This major cruise company has a hefty menu of dining experiences across its entire fleet. In 2020 Carnival Cruise Line’s very own CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Shaquille O’Neal will open the Big Chicken on Carnival Radiance. Other tummy pleasers: Food Network Star, Guy Fieri has dishes ready for you to try at Guy Fieri’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse. For those special occasions, book a table at the Steakhouse for an unforgettable evening.
8. Girolibero’s Ave Maria
This unique barging holiday tour operator’s culinary offerings on the Ave Maria vessel are so popular for their bike-barge tour of Northern Italy, the company created a special cookbook due to popular demand. “The Ave Maria barge cuisine offers local recipes from the Waterways of Venice,” says a Girolibero rep. Ave Maria guests can bite into famous eats in this Venetian hinterland from Mantua to Venice with an award-winning chef and veteran guide.