Dinner with a sea view (Picture: Oceania Cruises)
If your first port of call on a cruise is unequivocally the ship’s buffet, then these epicurean odysseys are precision-crafted for the discerning palate.
With celebrity chefs and avant-garde 4D dining experiences, these voyages redefine the very essence of gastronomic exploration on the high seas, making them the epitome of culinary excellence that’ll satisfy any gourmet traveler looking to live deliciously.
A train aboard a ship
A new locomotive-themed dining concept is on track to debut on Royal Caribbean International’s Utopia of the Seas next July.
According to the website Cruise Critic, this as-yet-unnamed space will draw inspiration from the allure of classic trains and their dining cars and take diners on virtual train rides throughout the world as they enjoy cuisine from those destinations flashing past them on screens.
Once the ship launches, it will exclusively offer three-night weekend and four-night weekday itineraries from Orlando, Florida, to RCI’s private island in the Bahamas and back.
A new locomotive themed immersive dining experience will debut on Royal Caribbean’s new Utopia of the Seas (Picture: Royal Carribbean)
Three nights from £468pp, full board.
Michelin starred chefs
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Cunard has recently announced an exclusive partnership with Michel Roux Jr, whose soon-shutting London institution Le Gavroche has two Michelin stars.
For the formal line’s forthcoming ship Queen Anne, which is due to launch on May 3, he is creating a gala menu for its Queens Grill restaurant along with a fresh list of offerings for the vessel’s Golden Lion pub, the latter menu will then roll out to the rest of Cunard’s fleet later in 2024.
You can also sign up for Queen Anne’s 14-night circumnavigation of Britain that departs on May 24.
Cunard has recently announced an exclusive partnership with Michel Roux Jr (Credits: Andy Paradise/REX/Shutterstock)
From £2,229pp, full board.
According to the most recent World Cruise Awards, dished out on October 15, no ship offers better onboard dining than Celebrity Edge.
The Fine Cut Steakhouse aboard the Celebrity Edge(Credits: Michel Verdure)
A 4D dining experience aboard the Celebrity Edge (Picture: Celebrity Cruises / Le Petit Chef)
This 2,908-passenger vessel offers a whopping 29 food and drink experiences. Among its offerings are Tuscan and Cypriot restaurants with nightly changing menus.
As for speciality dining, available at a supplement, the options range from the Fine Cut Steakhouse through a raw bar and the 16th-deck, once-per-sailing ‘Dinner On The Edge’ experience.
Most unusual is Le Petit Chef, where 4D animations and family-friendly food are combined in a storytelling-style gastronomic adventure.
Get involved by signing up for a six-night voyage to Alaska, departing from Vancouver on May 11 and culminating in Seattle.
From £692, full board.
Some honorary dining mentions
Princess Cruises has an annual Culinary Stars jaunt. Hosted by Sky Princess along the French and Spanish coasts in September, this year’s version saw chefs Ainsley Harriott, Si King and Jean-Christophe Novelli give live demos and workshops between Q&A sessions. Details of next year’s follow-up should be unveiled in December.
If a foodie river cruise is preferred, try Avalon Waterways, whose series of themed voyages include a seven-night French float through Burgundy and Provence that incorporates onboard cheese tasting, a pastry demonstration and a special wine-pairing dinner. It departs from Arles on April 2. From £2,602pp, full board.
This is cruising for the culinary connoisseurs.