FINE CRUISES ARE SYNONYMOUS with fine cuisine, and luxury cruise lines fine-tune dining programs with that in mind. From visits to local farms and markets to cooking schools where passengers fix their own repasts, the latest culinary trends at sea promise passengers a deeper immersion in what’s behind the menu.
Silversea Cruises provides a case in point. Silversea already offers up to 10 special culinary cruises a year, each featuring an onboard Relais & Châteaux L’Ecole de Chefs cooking school at no extra cost to passengers, but the cruise line is set to introduce an even more comprehensive culinary program. With the launch of the 596-passenger Silver Moon in August 2020, a new restaurant will hoist the flag of a new culinary program called S.A.L.T., which stands for “sea and land tastes.” S.A.L.T. enhances the experience of fine dining by focusing on local food production, procurement and preparation. Passengers will trace regional cuisines back to the source on shore excursions to the fields and markets where key ingredients are raised and bartered. Guests then savor the dishes of a just-visited destination in the S.A.L.T. restaurant and participate in lectures and cooking classes at the S.A.L.T. food lab, with local chefs on hand.
While Silversea uses shore excursions and a new restaurant to bring guests to the nexus of regional cuisines port by port, other luxury lines help passengers get an inside view of food preparation at sea. Seabourn, for example, offers a Shopping with the Chef program, limited to 30 participants, with market tours at select stops, where the ship’s chef writes up recipe cards for the dishes he will prepare. Windstar Cruises also offers its guests the chance to join chefs as they scour the local produce stalls, provide shopping tips and dish out ample fresh samples along the way.
Cruise lines have also begun to tailor their cooking school programs to foodies hungering to cook up their own meals at sea. The Culinary Arts Kitchen on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer now features 18 cooking stations for passenger use, with instructions on preparing regional dishes and more (such as how to brew a proper British tea). And on two of its ships, Riviera and Marina, Oceania Cruises invites passengers to shop with its chefs in port and then prepare dishes themselves at fully equipped state-of-the-art cooking stations — a shore-to-galley tour de force for DIY foodies.
As luxury cruise lines expand their cooking classes and culinary shore excursions, they give their guests the means to transform any cruise into a culinary one that goes well beyond the usual treasure trove of specialty cafés, caviar and free-flowing Champagne.
New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.
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Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.