Food and Wine Cruises

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By ,   November 25, 2015 ,   Themed Cruises

"Food and Wine Cruises" are themed cruise deals well appreciated and looked for mainly in Europe (including on riverboats and hotel barges) and Australia. This is not because the general "eat and drink" vacation experience. "Food and Wine" themed voyages provide enhanced "gourmet dining" experience for connoisseurs and lovers of expensively special (limited edition) premium wines and exquisite cuisine prepared to perfection by celebrity chefs.

If you are inspired by culinary stars, there are big chances to find a hobbyists voyage just for you. Due to increasing number of top luxury cruise ships (including many newbuilds), there is also a rise in food themed cruises. Before you book, research the type of theme that would suit you- cruise ship operators have options for everyone.

For your convenience, the following links jump down directly to CruiseMapper's food--themed cruises schedule (listing companies, ships, departure dates, homeports) and shortbreak NYC cruises.

"Food and Wine" Cruise

Food and wine cruise deals are aimed to the diversity and variety of signature dishes and deluxe wines. They enable travelers to discover different cultural and social aspect of ports of call. Everything that includes local food traditions, wine appreciation and dining etiquette is included in the gastronomic adventure.

 Food and Wine Cruises - CruiseMapper

The experience features local dining etiquette, wine appreciation and food traditions on gastronomic adventures. Cookery courses, tasting sessions, tips and recipes for creating authentic flavours allow travelers to experience different cultures. Le Cordon Bleu Chefs are always on hand on food-themed cruises to offer instructions and help uncover inner cooks.

Wine is the ideal accompaniment to any cuisine. Wine pairings became a culture of their own. Sommelier recommendations provide passengers with the needed knowledge to pair the perfect meal with the perfect wine. Wine is always an excellent topic, whether discussing a particular variety's notes or identifying the wine which is ideal to pair a specific dish. Expert tasters are also on board to guide "gourmet travelers" through grape varieties, discuss and teach the wine tasting art. Fine dining or feasts, these types of cruises will reawaken your exquisite tastes.

Drinking age limits on cruise ships

All major companies define whether you are allowed to drink on ship cruise, or not allowed to have alcohol due to your age. Each of them sets own drinking limits.

  • Drinking alcohol onboard is permitted if you are 18 years or older on Carnival, Holland America, Oceania, P&O, Fred Olsen, Regent Seven Seas, Star Clippers, Uniworld, Viking, GAP Adventures.
  • Minimum age 21 years is required for onboard alcohol consumption on Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Crystal, Disney, Holland America, Azamara, Hurtigruten, MSC, NCL Norwegian, Princess, Seabourn, SeaDream, Silversea, Star Clippers, Uniworld, Viking, Windstar.
  • On "Food and Wine Cruises" departing from South American and European ports, parents traveling with children between 18-20 years old must sign a waiver which allows them to consume alcohol. The drinking rule is implemented in the areas where legal drinking age is under 21 years.

Food and Wine Cruises 2018-2019 schedule

The following table shows wine-themed cruises in the regions of Alaska, Australia, Europe (Mediterranean and river cruise deals), Caribbean. The list of most popular wine-themed activities includes pairings with dinners on the ship, as well as land tour based tastings. Traditionally, all themed voyages are hosted by special guests from this business, like winery owners, premium wine makers, wine judges, etc.

 Food and Wine Cruises - CruiseMapper

Note: In the following table, all links are CruiseMapper (internal). They lead to the ship's cruise itinerary schedule where you can compare all dates and prices per person).

Cruise Companies / Ships / Themes Departures Dates Itineraries

SeaDream Yacht Club

"Wine Cruises" 2018

  1. 2018, Jan 13
  2. 2018, May 12
  3. 2018, May 28
  4. 2018, Jun 16
  5. 2018, Aug 14
  6. 2018, Sept 1
  7. 2018, Oct 6
  8. 2018, Oct 20
  9. 2018, Nov 17
  1. 7-day Barbados to St. Thomas
  2. 7-day Nice to Civitavecchia-Rome
  3. 5-day Roundtrip from Monte Carlo
  4. 10-day Civatavecchia -Rome to Venice)
  5. 7-day Athens (Piraeus) to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  6. 7-day Civitavecchia (Rome) to Athens-Piraeus
  7. 7-day Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice
  8. 7-day Barcelona to Malaga
  9. 7-day St Thomas roundtrip

Silversea

  1. theme "Silversea Culinary Voyages"
  2. Silver Whisper - theme "Cass Winery Hosts Bordeaux & Slversea Cruise"
  3. Silver Wind - theme "FETE DU VIN CRUISE ON SILVERSEA"
  4. Silver Shadow - theme "Silversea Cruises: Culinary & Wine Voyage - Asia"
  1. various departures 2018-2019 (2019, Apr 26 - 15-day Dubai to Athens; Jul 20 - 11-day British Isles; Sept 26 - 15-day Transatlantic, Canada & New England; Oct 11 - 11-day Canada & New England)
  2. 2018, Jul 17
  3. 2018, Jun 10
  4. 2018, Nov 24
  1. various itineraries
  2. 10-day Mediterranean
  3. 13-day Lisbon to London
  4. 9-day Asia

Star Clippers

  1. Star Flyer - theme "Star Clippers Food Cruise in the Caribbean"
  2. Royal Clipper - theme "Star Clippers Food in the Mediterranean Sailing"
  1. 2018, Mar 17
  2. 2018, Jul 14 & 21
  1. 7-day round-trip from St. Maarten
  2. 7-day round-trip from Rome

American Cruise Lines (paddle riverboats and small ships in USA)

  1. Queen of the Mississippi - theme "Mississippi River Culinary Cruise"
  2. new river ship - theme "Mississippi River Culinary Cruise"
  3. America - theme "Mississippi River Culinary Cruise"
  4. American Pride - theme "Pacific Northwest: Food & Wine Cruise"
  5. American Constitution - theme "Grand New England Cruise"
  6. American Constitution - theme "Crabfest Cruise"
  7. American Star - theme "Crabfest Cruise"
  8. MS Independence - theme "Crabfest Cruise"
  1. 2017, Oct 28; 2018, Nov 3
  2. 2018, Oct 6; 2018, Nov 24
  3. 2017, Nov 11; 2018, Nov 3
  4. 2017, Sept 30; 2018, Jun 20; Sept 29
  5. 2018, May 20; Sept 11
  6. 2018, Apr 28; May 5 & 12
  7. 2017, Oct 29; Nov 4; 2018, May 26; Oct 28; Nov 3
  8. 2017, Oct 29; 2018, May 5; Oct 28
  1. 7-day Mississippi River
  2. 7-day Mississippi River
  3. 7-day Mississippi River
  4. 10-day Columbia River
  5. 10-day New England
  6. 7-day Chesapeake Bay
  7. 7-day Chesapeake Bay
  8. 7-day Chesapeake Bay

American Queen Steamboat Company (paddle riverboats in USA)

American Queen

  • 1 - "Southern Culinary Experience"
  • 2 - "Bourbon Cruise: Memphis to Louisville 2018"

American Duchess

  • 3 - "Bourbon Cruise: Cincinnati to Memphis"

2018-2019

  1. 8-day Mississippi River
  2. 8-day Memphis to Louisville
  3. 8-day Cincinnati to Memphis

Aqua Expeditions (riverboats in Asia and South America)

  1. Aqua Mekong - theme "Aqua Expeditions with Award-Winning Chef David Thompson"
  2. Aria Amazon - theme "Aqua Expeditions with Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino"
  1. 2018, Jun 22; Aug 3
  2. 2018, Sept 24; Oct 29
  1. 4-day Mekong River
  2. 4-day Amazon River

Azamara Cruises

  1. Azamara Quest - theme "Cruise with David Glancy & San Francisco Wine School"
  1. 2018, Jul 7
9-day Rome to Venice

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Ecstasy - theme "2018 Country Cooking Cruise"

2018, Feb 21 5-day Nassau & Princess Cays Bahamas

Crystal Cruises

  1. Crystal Symphony - theme "Crystal Wine & Food Festival - Polynesia"
  2. Crystal Symphony - theme "Crystal Wine & Food Festival - South Pacific"
  3. Crystal Serenity - theme "Crystal Wine & Food Festival"
  1. 2017, Mar 3
  2. 2018, Mar 18
  3. 2018, Apr 26
  1. 16-day Polynesia
  2. 19-day South Pacific
  3. 20-day Egypt, Israel and Italy

Cunard Line

Queen Victoria - theme "Cruise with Will Lyons, Wine Writer from the Sunday Times"

2018, Jun 1 7-day round-trip from Southampton

Princess Cruises

theme "Premium Chocolate Experience"

  • Princess Cruises introduced Chocolate Journeysâ„  in November 2014, an industry-first, premium chocolate experience onboard its ships, including: chocolate drink menu, chocolate love pops, premium chocolate and wine tasting experience, chocolate cooking demos, chocolate spa treatments.
various departures 2018-2019 various itineraries

Holland America

  1. theme "America’s Test Kitchen"
  2. ms Veendam - theme "America's Test Kitchen"
  3. ms Zuiderdam - theme "America's Test Kitchen"
  4. ms Westerdam - theme "America's Test Kitchen"

 

  1. various departures 2018-2019
  2. 2018, Sept 22
  3. 2018, Jul 7
  4. 2018, May 6
  1. various itineraries
  2. 7-day Canada & New England
  3. 14-day Norway
  4. 7-day Alaska

Oceania Cruises

  1. theme "New Culinary Discovery Tours"
  2. Oceania Riviera - theme "Cruise with Chef David Paul & Katherine Louie from Kona, Hawaii"
  1. various departures 2018-2019
  2. 2018, Oct 24
  1. various itineraries (Mediterranean / Europe)
  2. 8-day Pireaeus to Venice

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Solstice - theme "The Whole Connection" (vegan dining)

2018 Oct 20

9-day "South Pacific Islands" roundtrip from Sydney NSW, organized by Paige Renshaw

visits New Caledonia and Vanuatu (Noumea, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou Island)

Tauck River Cruises

MS Emerald

theme "Tauck: A Taste of France"

various departures 2018-2019

various itineraries on Rhone River (France)

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin - theme "Cruise with Chef Giuliano Hazan"

2018, May 26

11-day Papeete, Huahine Island, Rarotonga Island, Aitutaki, Bora Bora, Moorea Island, Tahaa

AmaWaterways (riverboats in Europe)

  1. AmaLyra - theme "Abacela Romantic Danube"
  2. AmaKristina - theme "Adventures by Disney (Adults Only!)
  3. AmaCello - theme "Lombardi Wines & Coursey Graves Rhone River Wine Cruise"
  4. AmaCello - theme "Gary Farrell Vineyards Color of Provence"
  1. 2018, Apr 5
  2. 2018, Sept 24; Oct 8
  3. 2019, May 2
  4. 2019, Mar 21
  1. 7-day Vishofen to Budapest
  2. 7-day Rhine River
  3. 7-day Lyon to Arles
  4. 7-day Lyon to Arles

Best cruise lines for "Food and Wine" themed voyages

In 2017, there were 100+ different wine-themed voyages with planned activities on 20+ ships. The best among the "wine cruise lines" are Oceania, Cunard, Silversea, SeaDream and the river cruise companies Uniworld, AMA, Avalon and Viking.

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line

Introduced in 2017, "Meet The Winemaker Cruises" are a new selection of wine-themed NCL cruises on the ships Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Escape.

  • Passengers can wine and dine with top experts of winemaking. The Winemaker Dinner series is hosted at "The Cellars" - onboard Wine Bar via partnership with Michael Mondavi Family and other beverage partners (including Moet Hennessy).
  • In 2015, Michael Mondavi Family partnered with NCL to introduce company's first at sea branded wine bar on Norwegian Escape. The serves feature curated wine list and service by certified sommeliers. The wine bar allows passengers to participate in various interactive and educational wine-themed activities, such as seminars, wine and food pairings, workshops, wine tastings.
  • The partnership was expanded in 2016 when "The Cellars" opened on Norwegian Dawn.

SeaDream Yachts

  • SeaDream Yacht Club offers opportunities for cruisers to visit over 20 wineries at boutique ports of call along the Mediterranean coast. SeaDream's Wine Voyages offer complimentary tastings of exceptional wines and visits to renowned vineyards. Among them are Bartulovic and Korta Katarina wineries, Allegrini Wines, Benanti Winery, Cantine Lunae, Cava Recaredo, Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, Chateau de Cremat, Chateau Gassier Wines, Fattoria dei Barbi, Clos Canarelli, Finca Valpiedra Wines. Also featured are Louis Jadot Wines, Mazzei Wines, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, Niepoort Wines, Sorrentino Winery, Panizzi Winery, Taittinger Champagne, Weingut Groebe Wines, Weingut Wittmann Wines, Tenuta San Guido Wines, and local wines of Cartagena, Domaine Souviou and Le Castellet Village.
  • Examples of Wine Voyages include a 9-day Lisbon to Barcelona sailing, that visits Gibraltar, Portimao, Puerto Banus, Cartagena, Ibiza, Malaga, Menorca and Palma de Mallorca. A week-long round-trip from Rome, June 10, visits Bonifacio (Corsica) overnight, Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri.
  • Another week-long Rome round-trip visits Portovenere, Portoferraio, Marina di Carrara, Portofino, Saint Florent, Porto Vecchio.
  • Further Wine-themed cruises offer destinations like Dalmatian Coast (Adriatic Sea), Greek Isles, Italian Riviera, French Riviera. Fares start at USD 4,199 per person, double occupancy, including ocean-view accommodations, gratuities, gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner.

Cunard Line

Since January 2017, Cunard Line (subsidiary of Carnival Corporation) offers shipboard wine education courses via partnership with the world's largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications WSET ("Wine and Spirit Education Trust").

  • WSET courses were initially available only on QM2’s westbound Transatlantic crossings and world cruises, but were later offered fleetwide and on all voyages.
  • The 5-day course gives WSET Level 1 in wines and covers the basics (wine types, styles, sight, smell, taste, storing, serving, food pairing).
  • The 12-day course gives WSET Level 2 in wines and spirits and explores grape varieties, styles of wines, produce, wine regions, classifications, labelling terminology, categories of spirits and liqueurs.
  • Classes are led by professional sommeliers and educators from Cunard Wine Academy. Each course finishes with an exam. In addition to the globally recognised WSET qualification certificates, passengers also receive lapel pins.
  • The first wine cruise was the crossing Southampton-NYC (December 15, 2016). The first world cruise with WSET courses was on QM2 (January 10, 2017).
  • WSET's qualification program is offered to enthusiasts and wine professionals. It ranges from Level 1 Award (Wines, Spirits and Sake) to Level 4 Diploma (Wines and Spirits).

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises' "Wine Country Coastal" voyages (along US west coast) provide passengers with the opportunity to taste and pair wines and also to participate in wine-themed onboard activities. Maitre D's are available to explain more and help with vinrages and wine-food pairings. Among the destination ports in the region are:

  • From Santa Barbara CA are offered wine tasting tours in Santa Ynez Valley.
  • From San Francisco can be visited 2 -renowned wine regions - Napa and Sonoma.
  • From Astoria (Oregon) are offered tours to Willamette Valley (pinot noir wines) and The Cellar on 10th wine shop (Pacific Northwest wines).
  • From Seattle WA are offered tours to Woodinville (over 117 wine tasting rooms and wineries.
  • From Victoria, BC (Canada) is operated theButchart Gardens tour for wine pairings (with tapas and hand-made chocolates) at Blue Poppy Restaurant.
  • From Vancouver BC (Canada) can be visited Fraser Valley - home to around 30 vineyards and 15 wineries.

Dream Cruises tea-themed voyages

In 2018, the luxury Asian company Dream Cruises started on MS World Dream world's first Matcha-themed cruises. Matcha is finely ground powder of specialty tea leaves.

  • In the period April 29 through June 14 (2018), passengers booked on 2- and 5-night itineraries enjoyed authentic Japanese culture experience. The tea-themed voyages were via partnership with Nakamura Tokichi Honten - one of Japan's finest tea houses.
  • The scheduled unique onboard events included Kimono masterclass, tea expert-led workshops, Japanese tea tasting lessons, Tea Kabuki (traditional quiz game), meet-and-greets with Okinawan celebrity illustrator, Awamori (alcoholic beverage) tasting, limited-edition Matcha delicacies (cream roll, cream puff, cheesecake) traditionally served with steeped Matcha tea latte.
  • Shipboard dining included Okinawan food and drinks, such as Wagyu beef, Agu pork, seasonal vegetables and fruits.

June through November 2018, MS World Dream offered "Taste the Dream" – Wine and Dine at Sea". The event featured collaboration between 6 Asian celebrity chefs (Michelin-starred) and the company's culinary team.

  • Passengers booked in "The Palace Suites" had the chance to enjoy limited-edition food and wine pairing menus ("4-hand" / created by 2 chefs). Note: "The Palace" is a ship-within-ship concept (exclusive complex) consisting of 154 premium suites with exclusive dining and lounge areas, butler service, perks.
  • The limited tasting menus were included in the complimentary dining options for "The Palace Suite" passengers on World Dream. The program also included interactive cooking workshops (led by the chefs) and exclusive "Chef’s Table" throughout the voyages.
  • The 6 celebrity chefs were Alvin Leung, Chan Kwok Keung, Christian Yang, Martin Yan, Vicky Cheng, Wan Tat Kong.

Vegan cruises

Cruise itinerary October 20-29 (9-day "South Pacific Islands" roundtrip from Sydney NSW) became Australia's first ever vegan-themed voyage. It was available for booking on Celebrity Cruises ship Solstice and featured a special vegan dining menu.

  • The voyage was organized by Paige Renshaw and as onboard pre-scheduled events featured daily food demonstrations, workshops and professional presentations, as well as meditation classes, yoga and pilates, various group activities and documentary movie nights.
  • The itinerary's call ports were in New Caledonia and Vanuatu (Noumea, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou Island).

Dinner Cruise NYC Harbour

"Dinner Cruise" is an affordable short-break deal and an unique experience in New York City. If you add the nightlife and romance, the NYC skyline at night and party-loving friends - it becomes a must for bot hcitizens and guests of the metropolis. Locals often book harbour cruises in NYC to celebrate birthday parties, anniversaries, family events, business dinners, classy dates.

Before 2017, from NYC were also offered Cruises to Nowhere. Dinner cruises generally last 3-4 hours and no cabin booking is required. The experience features fine food and theme music. NYC dinner cruise deals require advance reservations (minimum 72 hours pre-booking).

  • Prices on "Brunch Cruise" on a luxury yacht (duration 2 hours) start from $80.
  • PP prices on luxury yacht dinner cruise are as follow - Friday and Saturday ($120), Sunday through Thursday ($105), Holiday sailings - Mothers Day, Valentines Day and Thanksgiving ($120), 4th of July and New Years Eve ($350), and Weekends (January through March) $105.
  • "Spirit of New York" prices for NYC Harbor cruises are Friday ($120), Saturday ($125), Sunday through Thursday ($105), Easter ($85).
  • "Spirit of New Jersey" prices - the ship is in Newark NJ, departing year-round from Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken NJ) - Friday ($120), Saturday ($125), Sunday through Thursday ($105).

NYC dinner and harbour cruises are operated April through December. Next table shows themed harbour shortbreaks as duration, package inclusions and prices per person.

Dinner Cruises NYC Price (USD) Duration Package Inclusions
"Luxury Yacht Cruise" $160 3 hours Welcome aboard premier NYC dining cruise and indulge in beautiful music, fun dancing, outstanding cuisine and attentive service. Walk along the spacious luxury yacht's decks and enjoy the view of the dazzling NYC skyline, including the outstanding Statue of Liberty! The best way to see the romantic side of New York! Two options are available for this NYC dinner cruise: Premium Harvest Gold Menu and Harvest Gold Menu.
"Bateaux Cruise" $170 - An elegant harbor NYC dinner cruise event - Bateaux NY is a real inspiring dining experience. Its innovative design of glass ceiling and walls helps viewing the magnificent skyline. The vessel is London & Paris Bateaux sister ship- Bateaux NY Celestial offers both sophisticated music and fine food. Required minimum 72-hour advance booking.
"Spirit of New York Cruise" $120 - All that you love about NYC is provided here - the NY harbor Manhattan's floating bistro offers unique three levels of enjoyment including dancing, dining, live floorshow, and spectacular sightseeing. Required minimum 72-hour advance booking.
"Spirit of New Jersey Cruise" $120 - Celebrate aboard a hip attitude floating bistro including a dance lounge and live floorshow. This dinner cruise NYC departs from Weehawken, New Jersey and offers really much - a floating New York Harbor bistro with two levels of enjoyment including dancing, dining, dancing, sightseeing!
"Weekend Cruise" $120 - Come aboard a NYC dining cruise yacht and enjoy the fresh four-course dinner that is set to sparkling NY skyline views. Live entertainment for romantic dancing and spacious decks for taking in the marvellous scenery will remind you that life is beautiful! An option for upgrading the evening is an Open Bar Premium Package.
"Themed Entertainment" $85 - The chic private yacht departs from NY Skyport Marina, providing 3-hour NYC dining cruise with different entertainment options - choose the so popular Zumba, Belly Dancing, Salsa, Samba, Jazz, Magic, or Stand-Up Comedy.
"Valentine's Bateaux Cruise" $120   Celebrate this special Valentine's day with a NYC dinner cruise aboard a sophisticated vessel. Ultimate indulgence and distinctive cuisine, wow-views and live entertainment, could you wish for more? Show someone special person how much you care for her/him and make this Valentine's the one you two will never forget. Romantic memories aboard will not fade away - treat to the bountiful buffet, enjoy the DJ show and dancing beneath the stars. Two options available for this dinner cruise NYC: Gold Menu and Preferred Gold Menu. (including open bar upgrades).
"Mothers Day Cruise" $160 3 hours Come with moms for a luxury NYC dinner cruise experience and they will be really flattered this evening - make them feel special, they deserve it! Relax in the pleasant atmosphere of musical entertainment, elegant dining, dazzling views. Special champagne toasts included - for Mom, of course! Two options are available for this NYC dinner cruise: Gold Harvest Menu and Gold Premier Menu (with an upgrade of soda, beer, and wine served at the private table of yours).
"Fourth of July Cruise" (on luxury yacht) $350 5 hours Take part in a dazzling celebration of US independence, while enjoying a five-course superb dinner, music & dancing, open premium bar, and amazing fireworks display. This premier dining cruise NYC will help you indulge in attentive service and outstanding cuisine!
"4th July Fireworks Cruise" $350 6 hours Make this Independence Day different! Join a special NYC dinner cruise and celebrate the Birthday of America with 6-hour event- 5-hour dinner cruise and one-hour party dockside. Celebrate the 4th of July cruising around Manhattan Harbor and enjoy the views of 4th of July Macy's Fireworks Show on Hudson River. This very special NYC dinner cruise includes a cash bar and casual dinner menu for purchase. A DJ show with your favorite tunes is a plus. For the 6-hour dinner cruise NYC three packages available to choose from: Standard, Gold, Platinum.
"Thanksgiving Cruise" (on luxury yacht) $190 3 hours Make Thanksgiving an extravagant feast and enjoy a traditional four-course Thanksgiving dinner, dancing and music, dazzling everchanging views of NYC skyline and the majestic Statue of Liberty.
"Christmas Eve Cruise" $160 4 hours Christmas Eve on a NYC dinner cruise aboard luxury yacht can come true. Indulge in a four-course sumptuous dinner prepared right there, onboard, with local ingredients, and enjoy music & dancing. Two options are available for this NYC dinner cruise: Gold Harvest Menu & Gold Premier Menu (with an upgrade of soda, beer, and wine served at the private table of yours).
"New Year's Eve Cruise" (on luxury yacht) $350 4-5 hours Travel from Midtown to Hudson River for views of George Washington Bridge, East River and Battery Park, and all around NY Statue of Liberty, Verrazano Bridge, Ellis Island.