No single component of a cruise generates more comments than the food and wine served on board — and those comments usually run the gamut from groans to ovations. Passengers expect exceptional dishes and vintages while at sea, and cruise lines know this. In recent years, nearly all vessels expanded their menus and wine lists, with some reaching into truly gourmet realms. Luxury lines such as Silversea and Seabourn provide the most consistently savory offerings. The price of a cruise often includes superb meals designed by well-known chefs and premium wines selected by certified sommeliers. Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs frequently put their brands on the top luxury lines. Jacques Pepin, executive culinary director, Oceania Cruises, devised some contemporary interpretations of Asian classics for Oceania’s Red Ginger restaurant. Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, a master chef renowned for his fusions of Japanese, European and Peruvian cuisines, personally trained the chefs at Crystal Cruises’ Silk Road restaurant. Silversea Cruises runs the sole Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea, Le Champagne, with a six-course French-inspired menu.
So which cruise line serves the best food and wine? Palates vary too widely to declare a winner, but passengers seeking something special might consider a culinary-themed cruise. Crystal Cruises offers Culinary Arts & Wine Voyages across the Mediterranean. Windstar Cruises adds James Beard Foundation award winners Matt and Kate Jennings to its Aug. 9 European sailing this year. SeaDream Yacht Club, renowned for its cooked-to-order meals and gourmet beach barbecues, presents no fewer than nine Mediterranean wine voyages in 2017. Silversea Cruises conducts special wine series voyages around the world featuring private tastings from Bordeaux to Barossa. American Queen Steamboat Co. cruises through the Pacific Northwest wine country routinely partner with local vintners such as Waterbrook, a family operation which produced more than 100 wines garnering scores of 90-plus. Meanwhile, less luxurious cruise lines are catching up. Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Grill, boasting fresh Northwest seafood, stages An Evening at Le Cirque weekly, with dishes and wines from Sirio Maccioni’s New York City restaurant. Celebrity Cruises, one of the first non-luxury lines to offer shore excursions led by onboard executive chefs (a concept pioneered by Seabourn) enables passengers on European cruises to accompany its chefs to local markets to gather the fixings for fine dining aboard. Disney Cruise Line hardly “Mickey Mouses around” with its culinary offerings, either. Disney’s Remy, billed as the most expensive specialty restaurant at sea, is presided over now by two award-winning chefs whose French cooking kicks off in grand style with a Taittinger Champagne cocktail. No matter where you drink or dine at sea these days, bon voyage becomes bon appétit.
Recently renovated Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa launched its Halona Kai Beer Garden pop-up series, bringing Maui brews to meet Maui views and celebrate the summer season. Sip a cold Maui beer or seltzer while taking in the breathtaking views of the island. The beer garden will be offered three times a week, 5–9 p.m.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.
A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville announced the launch of a new resort brand, St. Somewhere. The brand will embody the carefree escapism of the Margaritaville brand, with a luxury twist. Slated to debut in fall 2021, the property will be located on Isla Holbox, Mexico, with other locations to open subsequently.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.