When Oceania Cruises initially developed plans for the line's newest ships—Riviera and Marina—they wanted to focus on culinary activities to complement its renowned fleet-wide dining options. Oceania dreamed up the concept for a hands-on cooking school at sea and teamed with Bon Appétit magazine to make it happen. Today, travelers can look forward to their time spent in the Bon Appetit Culinary Centers—each outfitted with 24 fully equipped work stations—aboard both of these ships.
This October, Oceania Cruises takes the emphasis on gastronomy one step further with two special Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festivals. The events combine cooking demonstrations with hands-on lessons, market tours in select ports, wine tastings, and dinners.
The first event takes place aboard Riviera's October 14, 2012 Ancient Grandeur itinerary, which visits Athens, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Monemvasia, Cephalonia (Argostoli), Taormina, Sorrento (Capri), an overnight in Livorno (for Florence, Pisa, and Tuscany), Marseille (Provence), Monte Carlo, and Rome.
Chef Ted Rozzi of Myriad Restaurant Group will host the festival aboard Riviera. As a corporate chef, he's responsible for maintaining excellence at diverse restaurants, like Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Next Door, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, the two-Michelin-starred Corton, Centrico, Crush Wine & Spirits, Acela Club at Citi Field, and Daily Burger at Madison Square Garden.
Marina's Temples & Palaces voyage, embarking Athens on October 22, will also feature a Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival. That cruise will call upon Patmos, an overnight in Ashdod (for Jerusalem), Haifa, Limassol, Rhodes, Kusadasi (Ephesus), and an overnight in Istanbul.
Bostonians will immediately appreciate the choice of festival host on the October 22 voyage. It's James Beard award-winner Chef Ken Oringer of the city's Clio restaurant, one of "America's Best New Restaurants" according to Esquire magazine. (It was new at the time.)
These two festivals for foodies are part of Oceania's Signature Sailings series, which are themed cruises featuring guest speakers and special events. Other Signature Sailings are devoted to music, wine, and fitness.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Oceania Cruises