Whether you’ve decided to go on a cruise to relax and get away for a few weeks, see some exotic new places, or simply enjoy the traditional cruise ship environment, there’s one thing that just about all of us value on holiday: good food. There are some people who decide upon their cruise ship and destination on the strength of the culinary possibilities, and whether this is you or not, if you have an interest in food it can be helpful to know what’s out there. See our guide for some great foodie inspiration for your next cruise.
Cruise Ships with Top Chef Restaurants
Many cruise lines have affiliations with famous and world renowned chefs, some of whom might make special appearances onboard, and some of whom have collaborated with the line to create superb menus. Our favourites include:
• Royal Caribbean – you’ll find Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian onboard
• Oceania Cruises – offer the culinary stylings of Jacques Pepin
• Crystal Cruises – the incredible Sushi Bar from famous Japanese chef Nobu
• Costa Cruises – boast chef Ettore Bocchia-approved Italian cuisine
Meet and Greets with Celebrity Chefs
P&O Cruises are true pioneers when it comes to celebrating and promoting what us Brits love, and that includes food and wine. With this in mind, they have partnered up with some of our best-loved gastronomic stars:
• James Martin – our favourite Saturday morning TV chef
• Eric Lanlard – French Patissier famed for his incredible desserts
• Atul Kochar – cooking show regular, Britain-based Indian chef
• Marco Pierre White – Leeds-born chef, considered the ‘original celebrity chef’
• Ollie Smith – TV wine connoisseur famed for his enthusiasm!
Cookery Classes and Gastronomic Experiences
Considering all these amazing onboard features, it will come as no surprise to learn that many cruise lines offer some fantastic interactive opportunities in which guests can learn from the greats.
• Viking Ocean Cruises’ Kitchen Table. Join fellow passengers in an exclusive venue, where you will see world-class chefs prepare your meal made with ingredients purchased locally.
• Holland America Line’s America’s Test Kitchen. Watch 45 minute cookery demonstrations onboard, which will be aired on popular US cookery show, America’s Test Kitchen.
Not only can you make the most of all these fantastic opportunities while on your ship, but you’ll also have the chance to explore the local cuisine at your cruise destinations. While just about every port town will have a certain dish they’re proud of, or cocktail to show off, depending on your own taste you might prefer one to another. If you’re struggling to decide just where to try next, here are some of our own top foodie spots you can cruise to;
• The Mediterranean – From succulent paella and freshly made pizza, to mouth-watering churros and baklava, the countries of the Mediterranean have such a diverse and incredible selection of food that all visitors will struggle not to over-indulge!
• Japan – Fans of Asian rice and noodle-based dishes will find that Japan offers simple yet stunning food that’s undeniably moreish. Beyond sushi and sashimi, be sure to try a local katsu curry, nikuman (steamed buns), and ramen (noodle broth).
• North America – many people are guilty of dismissing American food as simply large and easy. In fact, the USA is home to some amazing dishes such as barbecue, gourmet burgers, pancakes, steaks, deep-dish pizzas, clam chowder, the list goes on and on . . .
• Scandinavia – The cuisine of North Europe is often forgotten, but with such unexpected ingredients and interesting concoctions, it will leave you thinking about what creations you could devise in your own kitchen! The pies and pastries here are especially delicious.
These are just some of the food-focussed cruising opportunities out there. Research has shown that more and more cruisers believe food to be of the utmost importance on their holiday, and cruise lines are listening to this and constantly upping their game. Because of this you’re likely to find some fantastic speciality restaurants and buffets onboard the majority of ships, and more attention on the culinary aspects of destinations. Take a look at these amazing worldwide food markets for more inspiration about where to see next.