GOURMET TRAVEL: Oceania Cruises For Foodies
Sail the epicurean seas when the Marina debuts in 2010.
|The Love Boat was the cruise ship for those seeking love (at least in the fictitious world of TV). If you’re looking for a great food experience, head for Oceania Cruises’ Marina, the new Regatta-class flagship, when it launches next year. You’ll be able to cook in the state-of-the-art Bon Appétit Culinary Center, receiving hands-on cooking instruction under the guidance of master chefs. Working at your own fully equipped work station, complete with an induction cook top, this is no passive, “watch the demo” from the audience, experience. It’s like going to culinary school, and is a first at sea.
The cooking curriculum, designed in part by Bon Appétit magazine, will cater to all levels, from beginners to master chefs, and will encompass all types of cuisines. Classes will range from 45 minutes to 3 hours, and will include shore tours to shop for ingredients at local markets.
|If you don’t want to take daily cooking classes, a host of premium cruise activities is available to you (for example, artists-in-residence will teach fine arts in The Studio, a new enrichment center). Or, you can just eat. A ship for food lovers, the new Marina has 10 dining venues, in addition to elegant bars and lounges. Don’t worry—there’s a full-service spa and a spacious fitness center and outdoor swimming pool where you can burn off the calories.If, like us, you can’t get enough Asian food, opt for the five-course tasting menu at Red Ginger, which will feature Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine (you can have sushi a la carte, or anything else from the ample menu). Other dining venues include restaurants well known to those who have sailed the cruise line’s other ships: Polo Grill, Toscana, Terrace Café, The Patio and the Grand Dining Room. There will also be a French bistro, Jacques (named in honor of the great chef Jacques Pépin, a consultant to the culinary program), and the Yacht Club for enlightening wine and food pairings. You can gather at Biscottos Coffee Bar for gourmet coffees and snacks.
The maiden voyage of Marina is in Winter 2010. You can register to receive Marina updates and become part of the Priority Reservation list. An epicurean cruise will make a memorable holiday gift for someone special.