Some of the most alluring aspects of traveling the world – particularly traveling the world aboard our Crystal ships – are the delectable cuisines and flavors that expand your palate and understanding of global cultures. It’s for this reason that our annual Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery voyages have long been among the most popular sailings, combining our own culinary teams’ expert talents with those of guest chefs, sommeliers and masters from around the world. Our guests enjoy onboard cooking demos, hands-on galley instruction, tasting and pairing sessions, and specially crafted menus that showcase the signature dishes of the guest experts. With selections of small bites and snacks changing daily, multi-course feasts, and indulgent desserts that highlight the regions the ship visits, it’s arguably the most enjoyable method of studying a new destination.
This year’s Wine & Food-themed cruises aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity offer specialized programming that will focus your appetite for the art of Norwegian cuisine; the craft of microbrews; and the famed dishes of Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
July 17, Round-trip Vancouver (10 days) – Chef Nobu Matsuhia, the mastermind behind Crystal’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar will return to Crystal Serenity to mingle with guests and host multi-course omakase (or chef’s choice) dinners in Silk Road, as well as other feasts and special menus. In addition to the inherent adventure that Alaska offers, there are several opportunities ashore to taste the local fare, including a crab feast in Ketchikan, a salmon bake in Juneau and a traditional English tea in Victoria, British Columbia. The “Grandeur of Alaska” sailing visits Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka, Alaska, as well as cruising Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage and calls to Victoria and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.
November 22, Round-trip New Orleans (14 days) – This specialized itinerary effectively replaces the “wine” in our Wine & Food programming with beer, as Stephen Beaumont, prolific contributing columnist and one of the world’s top authorities on all things beer – from production to education – joins the voyage. Stephen will lead presentations focusing on the art of creating, pairing and tasting rare craft beers. The cruise also capitalizes on its route to and from the Big Easy through the Caribbean, with experiences ashore including Creole cooking lessons, exploration of local rum production and special tastes of Puerto Rican specialties. In addition to three total days in New Orleans, the “Flavors of the Caribbean” voyage sails to Mexico, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, San Juan, St. Kitts., St. Barts and Key West.
December 9, Papeete to Auckland (11 days) – Two acclaimed guest chefs bring unexpected flavors to this Pacific Islands itinerary, with combined decades of cooking accolades, including the coveted Bocuse d’Or medals. The 2015 gold medalist, Ørjan Johannessen, and 1997 bronze medalist, Odd Ivar Solvold, will bring their considerable talents together to showcase the art of Norwegian cuisine. Complementing the Nordic fare will be wines of the itinerary’s acclaimed wine region, as New Zealand’s own wine expert, Cameron Douglas, joins the cruise for pairing and tasting sessions. Ashore, dive into plates of the local cuisine in Nuku’Alofa, Tonga and Lautoka, Fiji. Other calls include Aitutaki, Cook Islands and Waitangi Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
*BONUS! October 23, Venice to Dubrovnik (7 days aboard Crystal Esprit) – Crystal Yacht Cruises presents its first-ever Wine & Food themed sailing. Guest aboard the sailing will be joined by guest chef John Pisto of Monterey, California, whose Mediterranean specialties suit the itinerary perfectly. Chef Pisto will conduct al fresco cooking demonstrations, along with leading guests in a shore-side truffle hunt and other culinary inspired activities. Calls along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia to Rovinj, Sibenik, Trogir, Vis, Hvar and Korčula will certainly provide some inspirational flavors.
Of course, there are countless cultural, active, musical, historical and nature-bound experiences to pursue on board and ashore during these stunning voyages. But first, breakfast.