Cooking at Sea

For those Epicureans out there, cruising is a great way to experience different luxurious tastes and flavors from around the world. Here are a few of our favorite cruise lines that offer culinary classes and experiences while at sea.

Crystal Cruises offers classes with tastings and occasional market shopping in various ports. Learn about Spanish tapas in Barcelona, Turkish meze in Istanbul, honey-sauteed prawns and feta cheese stuffed calamari in Dubrovnik and French flower-based dishes in Cannes.

At many of the ports, Crystal offers wine tasting in Tuscany at a 700-year-old estate owned by the family behind Vespa scooters. In Spain, passengers can explore medieval and underground wine caves.

The newly redesigned Crystal Serenity sails this August through December from the Canary Islands to Israel and the Ukraine. Three wine-and-food theme cruises on Aug. 2, Oct. 1 and Oct. 24 will offer complimentary shipboard classes with regional guest chefs and wine experts.  

Holland America Cruise Line passengers may participate in a Culinary Arts program presented by Food & Wine magazine. Holland America’s Master Chefs or culinary guests teach the classes. Passengers receive recipe cards and wine tasting notes to take home, as well as participate in a question and answer session. Classes are usually specific to the cruise region. Passengers cruising to Alaska might learn how to prepare fresh salmon, while jerk dishes are popular on the Caribbean cruises.

Sailing on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s ship, Freedom of the Seas, guests have the opportunity to attend a chefmakers cooking academy to give kids, families and adults of all skill levels a hands appetizing cooking class. Classes are taught in the galley onboard for a fee. After each class, students enjoy a delicious meal, take home recipe cards and are offered the opportunity to purchase some of the tools necessary to recreate each masterpiece.

Viking River Cruises offer classes in cooking specialties like apple strudel and Alsatian flammkuchen on most of the Viking ships. Passengers may also participate in a culture curriculum with multimedia talks about the wines and cuisine of southern France with tastings of local cheeses, coffees, liqueurs and other delicacies.

Celebrity Cruises offers a “Savor Your Destination” food and wine specialty cruise for those with a fine appreciation of wine and food. A renowned guest chef or wine maker is invited onboard selected cruises offering cooking demonstrations, meet and greet cocktail parties, book signings, and an exclusive food-and-wine pairing dinner in the Murano restaurant.

The Celebrity Solstice is offering two of these special cruises on June 7 and October 11, 2011. Sail on the Celebrity Eclipse on December 10 for a special gourmet cruise or make reservations for the Celebrity Equinox for the December 11 cruise.

Sometimes it’s not only visiting exciting new destinations that make cruising so fulfilling. The culinary experiences you encounter while at sea, offer enrichment opportunities that can be used later when you arrive back at home. Bon Appetite.

 Published in Not Born Yesterday.


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