Gourmet cruises for foodies

06 October 2017

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures – and holidays are definitely the time to fully indulge your taste buds! Forget the slightly sad sandwiches you might have encountered on ferries in years past, the culinary world aboard today’s luxury cruise ships is at the cutting edge of cuisine.

Whether you’d like to dine in restaurants brought to you by Michelin-starred chefs, embark on a specialised culinary voyage, or sample the finest wines from around the world, there are some fantastic gourmet cruise experiences for even the most discerning foodies!

Five-star dining

Picture the grand ocean liners of the 1920s and you probably imagine decadent dining with passengers dressed to the nines, string quartets, and chandeliers hanging in grand dining rooms. While things may look more contemporary now, you should expect the same sense of occasion when you dine in the top restaurants of modern luxury cruise ships. Take Crystal’s Silk Road restaurant, created by none other than globally renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. The creative genius behind the world-famous Nobu restaurants cleverly fuses Japanese and Peruvian flavours to bring you gastronomic delights such as lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce and Wagyu beef with jalapeño salsa.

Also delivering world-class fine dining are Cunard’s Verandah restaurants, where Michelin-starred chef Jean-Marie Zimmerman brings diners a culinary homage to France. Originating in different regions around the country, you can take a foodie journey around France with dishes such as monkfish bouillabaisse from Provence or magret of duck with orange and rhubarb from Gascony. 

Celebrity chefs

Marco Pierre White

Cruise ships are increasingly enlisting the help of our favourite celebrity chefs to bring passengers the best dining experiences. P&O have partnered with a range of Michelin-starred chefs including the infamous Marco Pierre White and the inventive Atul Kutcher, who brings his unique take on modern Indian food to on-board fine dining restaurant, Sindhu.

Royal Caribbean ships work with everyone’s favourite cheeky chappy, Jamie Oliver, to bring you Jamie’s Italian at sea, with delicious dishes such as spicy prawn linguine. But for a real taste of sophistication, Oceania Cruise’s Jacques Bistro is a must. Accurately modelled on the restaurant of famous French master chef, Jacques Pépin, expect elegant surroundings, classic French ambiance and exquisite dishes including molten goats cheese soufflé, sautéed scallops with morel sauce, and delicate millefeuille for dessert.

Culinary voyages 

Luxury cruise ships may have achieved spectacular dining but some are beginning to take things a step further and offer specialist culinary voyages for their gourmet passengers. Silversea offer some of the most indulgent, with private tastings, demonstrations from top chefs, and the exclusive L'École des Chefs cooking school. Designed by the highly exclusive Relais and Chateaux brand, a network of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and restaurants (including Silversea’s on-board restaurant, Le Champagne), this is an inspiring opportunity for food-lovers to soak up some serious gastronomic knowledge.

And don’t forget the wine…

Wine rack

All great meals deserve to be paired with great wine. Many cruises now cater to wine-lovers with just as much care and attention as they do the foodies, with top sommeliers advising on wine list choices, matching wines with menus, and creating interactive wine tasting experiences. P&O, for example, bring in the skills of flamboyant celebrity wine expert, Olly Smith, to create ambient wine bar, The Glass House.

As with culinary voyages, there has also been a rise in wine-focussed cruises, allowing you to sample the best wines of each region you cruise through. Silversea’s wine voyages offer private tours of exclusive wineries in Australia’s Barossa valley, while Viking River Cruises offer fabulous wine cruises through Bordeaux, allowing you to sample plenty of the region’s legendary wines and learn wine tasting and pairing skills from master sommeliers. Cheers!

Contact your Travel Counsellor today to discover the mouthwatering dishes you could be sampling on your next cruise!

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