Food travel has exploded in recent years, so it’s no surprise that many cruise lines are tapping into this special type of traveler who wants to experience the gastronomy of the places they visit. Whether you’re looking for a culinary-themed cruise, a ship with a food-centric program or special event cruises, here are several culinary cruises every foodie should consider for their upcoming travels.
Windstar Cruises James Beard Foundation Collection of Culinary Cruises
Windstar Cruises has launched a series called the James Beard Foundation Collection of Culinary Cruises. They bring together James Beard Foundation chefs and beverage experts and include cooking demonstrations, market tours and unique beverage pairings. Itineraries vary, and include Asia, the Mediterranean and the west coast of the United States. Each Windstar culinary cruise features a different chef or beverage expert on board.
Silversea Culinary Voyages
Each season, Silversea offers a selection of hand-picked culinary voyages. These specially-tailored cruises include market tours, cooking demonstrations, special hosted dinners and more — both onboard and on shore. Itineraries vary, and include ports in Europe, the United States, Canada and South America.
Viking River Cruises
Many Viking itineraries are focused on culinary-rich regions, like the Chateaux, Rivers & Wine cruise that explores the Bordeaux region of France. Excursions include options to visit wine chateau, hunt for truffles and blend your own Cognac. During the holiday season, look for special itineraries that focus on the Christmas markets of Europe. Dining will be reflective of local cuisine and feature signature dishes from the places you visit.
Celebrity Cruises Moveable Feasts
Celebrity Cruises also offers special culinary-themed sailings that are called Moveable Feasts in partnership with Fine Cooking Magazine and the PBS series Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking. Itineraries include meet-and-greets, cooking demonstrations, private cooking classes, pop-up restaurants, chef-hosted shore excursions and a Moveable Feast night. Note that some of the activities are for-purchase and limited, so you will want to book early if you hope to visit one of the pop-up restaurants or attend the chef-led excursions in various ports.
Crystal Wine and Food Festival
Crystal offers a series of cruises under the Crystal Wine and Food Festival category that celebrate the culinary arts. They bring in wine experts, top mixologists and the world’s best chefs. Each cruise will feature different experts, and past guests have included chefs like Nobu Mastushisa and Alexis Gauthier.
Avalon Waterways offers river cruises to some of the most delicious destinations in Europe, including several culinary themed cruises. Consider an eight-day itinerary through Burgundy and Provence, or 15 days on the Rhine and Rhône Rivers. If you are interested in cruises that are specifically themed toward beer and/or wine, Avalon offers several itineraries there as well. Beer lovers can choose from some incredible beer-themed itineraries like a 19-day cruise between Budapest and London, while oenophiles might opt to book a 16-day cruise from Côte d’Azur to Paris.