Crystal Cruises has set four new Wine & Food-themed luxury cruises for 2014. New to the program next year will be new guest chef-prepared Vintage Room dinners on each of the four sailings — in Asia, the South Pacific, Trans-Atlantic, and the U.S./Caribbean – as well as a new microbrew theme on the last of the voyages.
All of Crystal’s culinary Experiences of Discovery voyages includes complimentary hands-on cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, mixology lessons, and a guest chef dinner for all guests in the Crystal Dining Room. In addition, in 2014, each culinary-themed cruise will feature an optional intimate, guest chef-created dinner for 12-14 in Crystal’s Vintage Room, with seven courses featuring local flavors of the region and extraordinary wine pairings selected by the guest wine expert. Building upon the success of Crystal’s recently-added Connoisseur Beer menu, the new microbrew-themed cruise will offer beer pairings, instead of wine, for the dinner, as well as craft beer enrichment and sampling throughout the voyage.
“Our Wine & Food cruises have been one of our most successful, and longest running themes,” says Toni Neumeister, vice president, hotel procurement & food and beverage operations. “With our new program expansions, guests now have even more to love: more beverages, more flavors, more enlightenment about foreign cultures, and more intimate experiences with our culinary experts.”
Held on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, the cruises will feature local tastes of:
- The South Pacific: Sailing January 20 from Papeete to Bora Bora, Rarotonga, Tonga, Fiji, and Auckland (overnight).
- Asia/China: Sailing April 9 from Hong Kong (overnight) to Xiamen, Shanghai (two overnights), and Dalian, with three days ashore in Beijing included.
- Atlantic, including Iceland and New England: Sailing September 5 from London’s port of Southampton to the Channel Islands, Waterford, Dublin, Belfast, Reykjavik (overnight), Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Boston.
- The U.S. East Coast, South, and Caribbean: Sailing November 5 from New York (overnight) to Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Turks & Caicos, Curaçao, Aruba, and Miami.
While exact programming details are still being finalized, food experts scheduled thus far include Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson, recent Icelandic Chef of the Year and Bocuse d’Or finalist; Stephen Beaumont, co-author of The World Atlas of Beer; Aldo Sohm, Wine Director at New York’s Le Bernadin restaurant and the first-ever representative from America to win “Best Sommelier in the World”; Shailesh Naidu, the only native five-star executive chef in Fiji; and Serge Dansereau, Australian celebrity chef, fresh food movement pioneer, and owner of the iconic Bathers’ Pavilion restaurant in New South Wales.
“Book now” fares for the Wine & Food cruise series start at $3,515/person, and are only guaranteed until October 31.
Extraordinary culinary experiences are a hallmark of every Crystal vacation. Crystal’s extensive, innovative choices for dining include the ultra-luxury line’s coveted cheese and wine cellars, overseen by onboard sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified); fresh, chef-like cocktails served by certified mixologists; and gourmet dining options at every meal, whether in the Crystal Dining Room, at afternoon tea, or in Nobu and Piero Selvaggio’s specialty restaurants.