Upscale line Oceania Cruises is expanding its Culinary Discovery Tours to more Mediterranean destinations for the 2016 season aboard the Riviera and Marina cruise ships.
“From private tastings of regional varietals to jaunts through bustling fish markets, each Culinary Discovery Tour enables guests to experience firsthand the authentic flavors that define the local cuisine of the destinations we visit,” says Kathryn Kelly, Director of Culinary Enrichment for Oceania Cruises. “Cuisine is a significant part of a community’s culture, and we’re excited to bring to life the rich culinary traditions found in new destinations for our guests.”
Accompanied by a master chef instructor from the ship’s hands-on cooking school, The Culinary Center, guests can explore local food markets, vineyards, restaurants and farms. Many half-or full-day excursions conclude with a destination-inspired cooking class at The Culinary Center, featuring ingredients selected during the tour.
Here’s a sampling of the new epicurean tours:
Antibes, France – Provençal Olive Grove Luncheon
Guests will enjoy a scenic 45-minute drive to Domaine de la Royrie, an olive grove dating to the 15th century, near the village of Grasse. The owners will guide guests on a walking tour among the olive trees and explain the artisanal methods for making extra virgin olive oil. Joined by a neighboring winemaker, the group will discover the authentic flavors of Provence during a luncheon complemented by a tasting of regional varietals.
Bandol, France – Provençal Lunch & Wine with Master Chef
This tour takes guests to the private, stone cottage home of Master Chef Rene Berand, where guests will stroll through his gardens brimming with herbs, lettuces, fruit trees and grape vines. Following a cooking demonstration of classical Provencal dishes, guests will be escorted to his nearby restaurant, Le Bistrot de Jef, and sit down to lunch in the restaurant’s glass-enclosed rooftop dining room. The Mediterranean-inspired lunch will be paired with local Bandol wines.
Casablanca, Morocco – Chef Tour & Moroccan Cooking Class
This tour focuses on Moroccan cuisine, with guests and their chef taking an exotic journey through the Central Market of Casablanca and the ancient city’s olive market. The Central Market sells fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers – such as preserved lemons and breads that will be purchased by the chef and used later for a class back on the ship focused on modern Moroccan cooking.
Cruise fares vary by itinerary and departure date.