Holidays are for relaxing, sightseeing and, of course, enjoying delicious meals. In recent years cruise lines have most definitely upped their game, and now you can enjoy food from some of the best chefs in the world on the high seas.
Forget mass catering with all of its connections to soggy vegetables and overcooked meats. The moment that Crystal Cruises announced it was introducing gourmet cooking on its cruise liners, everyone started to follow their lead. Its relationship with Nobu’s Nobuyuki Matsuhisa led to the restaurant’s innovative, world-class cuisine making itself known through the cruise company’s own ‘Silk Road’ and ‘The Sushi Bar’, and soon other cruise providers followed suit with their own partnerships with leading chefs and restaurateurs.
Queuing for honours
The popularity of fine dining on cruise ships has most celebrity chefs queuing around the block to add their name, logo and skills to an onboard restaurant. For example, if you book a cruise on P&O cruises you might even bump into international Michelin-star chefs Marco Pierre White and Atul Kochhar. Name a chef who’s appeared on TV in recent years and you may very well find them running a gourmet restaurant, teaching a class or simply adding their name to a fine dining franchise at sea.
The very best in dining
It’s now the case that excellent cooking is to be found on board most cruise lines. In 2015 Seabourn partnered with Michelin-starred Amerian chef Thomas Keller, and his signature restaurants will soon be seen across their entire fleet. Costa Cruise have teamed up with Fabio Cucchinelli, another world-renowned chef.
Cruisers tend to be well-travelled and have high standards when it comes to food – CEO of Regent Seven Seas Jason Montague pointed out recently, cruise lines need “to develop truly unique and ultra luxurious culinary experiences”. If you take a trip with Regent Seven Seas you can sample cheese making in Sorrento or wine tasting in Monte Carlo as well as enjoying some fantastic dining on any of the companies cruise ships.
Meals to remember
All the major cruise lines have hooked on to the growing foodie craze. Even the Disney Cruise line introduced a 3 Michelin star chef to complement its growing list of attractions. The internationally renowned chef, Arnaud Lallement, designed the menu for Disney’s adult-only restaurant, Remy. Passengers are in line for a treat when dining here. Dishes include scallops with black olives and wild turbot with wild mushroom bread pudding. You can select your cruise according to which chef you follow, if you wish – which is quite an ingenious way to plan any holiday.
Fine wines, too
Alcohol always plays a big part in any cruise. You can either opt for a specialist wine tasting cruise led by a wine expert or you can rely on the ship’s own cellar. Celebrity Cruises have a dedicated wine bar where you’ll be able to sample some of the world’s best wines and they have 200 trained sommeliers working across all of the line’s ships.
For the very best in food and drink it might be time to take a cruise, sit back and enjoy the best gourmet experience of your life.