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.
The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.
European hotel brand Kempinski is expanding into the Americas with a new luxury property in Dominica. Slated for an Oct. 14 opening, the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski will be Dominica’s first 5-star hotel on the island and the brand’s second in the Caribbean.