Epicurean travelers this summer and fall have an abundance of opportunities to savor the Mediterranean in the most literal sense, as luxury cruise leader Crystal Cruises unveils an extensive menu of culinary experiences ashore, with 12 brand new options added this year. In total, three dozen Crystal Adventures in 2015 are specially designed to highlight the local flavors and signature cuisine of Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Malta, Portugal and Greece, including hands-on cooking instruction, wine tasting and pairing, and exploring local marketplaces for the freshest ingredients.
“Like many of our guests, we feel that food, drink and the dining experience are among the best ways to intimately acquaint oneself with a destination,” says Crystal’s CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “It’s only natural that the immersive culinary programs that travelers relish aboard our ships should continue ashore, allowing guests to expand their palates while learning about new cultures.”
Among the mouthwatering shore-side Mediterranean excursions this year are:
- NEW Meandering through the Tuscan countryside to Verrazzano Castle, in a small village within Chianti, for an extravagant wine-pairing meal (from Florence, Italy in June, August, October and November)
- NEW Roaming the local marketplace to select fresh ingredients, then use those ingredients to create a feast of traditional Turkish delicacies with hands-on instruction at a local family farm (from Ku?adasi, Turkey in September and October)
- NEW Crafting, bottling and labeling one’s own wine in Spain’s renowned Vera de Estenas wine region, led by an expert winemaker and oenologist (from Valencia, Spain in June and November)
- Wine tasting and dining on world-famous Ston oysters in Dubrovnik, Croatia in June, September and October
- Hands-on cooking instruction from the head chef of Faggera Restaurant in the charming village of Megalochori, creating appetizers, entrees and desserts using traditional local ingredients (from Santorini, Greece in September and October)
With an impressive onboard culinary program that comprises a bevy of globally-inspired delicacies, from Nobu Matsuhisa’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar and regional Italian comfort food in Prego to internationally-themed selections in the Lido Café, tastes of the world have always been an integral part of the renowned Crystal Experience.
Crystal’s 2015 Mediterranean voyages range from seven to 12 days, with all-inclusive cruise fares starting at $1485 per person when booked by the June 30 “Book Now” deadline.