Category: Captains Log

Canaletto’s New Menu is Amore at First Bite!

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 27 0

In Italy, there’s nothing more important than coming together to celebrate the joy of great food, which is what you’ll discover at Holland America Line’s Canaletto — a specialty dining venue that brings people together with delectable dishes, designed to be shared family-style.

Our popular Italian restaurant recently debuted a new menu that features an authentic selection of outstanding dishes. To make the experience even more exceptional, Holland America Line is now making fresh pasta on board our ships! Continue reading below for a taste of what’s on the menu.

THE INTRODUCTION

To start, whet your appetite with a variety of delicious small plates including Beef Carpaccio, Grilled Calamari, and Melanzane Ripiene — eggplant roulade filled with ricotta, basil, Parmesan, wilted spinach and chunky arrabiata sauce. Additional selections include tasty Salumi All’ Italiana, Veal and Sage Polpettine and Mozzarella Di Bufala!

 

THE MAIN EVENT
Hungry for more? Canaletto’s new menu features a variety of mouthwatering entrees that include Italian classics like Lasagna Bolognese, Branzino Alla Siciliana, Gnocchi Carciofi E Antara and Scaloppine Alla Caprese, and that’s not all! Each day of the week Canaletto features specials that are sure to wow guests.

Sunday: Chicken Parmigiana
Monday: Osso Bucco Milanese
Tuesday: Beef Short Rib Brasato Barolo
Wednesday: Veal Liver Veneziana
Thursday: Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romano
Friday: Chicken Curry – Cipriani Style
Saturday: Gamberi Alla Griglia

Don’t forget to compliment your meal with a delicious cocktail, like the restaurant’s refreshing Aperol Spritz.

 

THE EPIC FINALE

“Save room for dessert!” This familiar saying is advice we strongly recommend to our guests when dining at Canaletto! The new menu offers everything from Tiramisu, Gelato and Affogato to Torta Caprese Al Limone — an almond lemon tart with limoncello, Mascarpone cream and fresh berries! Trust us, these sweet treats are not be missed!

Whether Italy is on your itinerary or not, enjoying a meal at Canaletto will have you feeling as if you’ve been magically transported there. We guarantee this is a dining experience your taste buds will thank you for. Buon appetito!

Canaletto is available at dinner for a nominal charge. Reservations are recommended but not required.

 

 

Post shared from Holland America’s Blog April 15 2019
Original Blog post can be found here

Travelling with Kids on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 25 0

A model on a Paul Gauguin Cruises photo shoot, Elke enjoyed her shipboard experience so much, she returned as a guest—twice. She shares some of the moments that made the voyages so special for her now 11-year-old son.

What comes to mind for you when you think of French Polynesia? Visions of stilted bungalows nestled over the crystal-clear waters of Bora Bora and Moorea? Honeymooners holding hands and strolling under swaying palm trees? For me, it’s the image of my son frolicking in sun-warmed waters, giggling, with a huge smile on his face. As a seasoned traveler, I’m always surprised when people tell me, “We always leave our kids at home when we take a vacation.” I get that couple time is important. To me, though, the amazing life lessons kids learn from travel and the enrichment they receive from local culture stay with them for a lifetime and shape who they become as adults. So, for me, the question is: why wouldn’t you take your kids?

My husband, son, and I have taken the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin twice, and to me, The Gauguin is truly the best way to experience French Polynesia as a family. So many choices filled each day! The only question is: where to begin? I think the easiest way to way to explain how wonderful French Polynesia and The Gauguin are for families is to describe our experiences and adventures in each port.

Huahine

My son loves history, and Huahine is a great first stop to take in the history of French Polynesia! Starting from the port town of Maroe, we took a tour around the island. From the dock, we stopped at Fare, a sleepy fishing village, where you can see the mountain whose ridge gave the island its name (literally, pregnant woman). At Maeva, there is Fare Pote’e, a replica of an open, traditional house that is a museum with historical and cultural information. Fare was the seat of local power for the island, so there are a host of marae (religious sites built from stone) scattered along the shoreline. This stop was very interesting to my son and transported us back in time to how life was lived here so many moons ago.

If you are interested in how pearls or vanilla are produced, you can easily visit farms for each here and be amazed by their elaborate production processes. My son was fascinated by both! The small boat ride out to the pearl farm was also a lot of fun.

Another stop that fascinated him was our visit to Faie, where you can see and even feed sardines to Huahine’s famous and sacred blue-eyed eels. My son was mesmerized by these friendly and curious creatures swimming around his feet.

Motu Mahana

French Polynesia is a water playground for all ages because of its calm waters, beautiful sandy beaches, and gently sloping shores. Motu Mahana, The Gauguin’s private islet, is just the place to dip in and enjoy some great snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Or you can just lounge on the sandbar or build a sand castle. My son gladly participated in all the motu has to offer! Throughout the day, The Gauguin’s troupe of Tahitian ambassadors, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguin, provided entertainment, demonstrations, and storytelling. The fascinating legend of how the coconut tree came to be was one that children and adults could enjoy equally. And everyone gets a fresh coconut to drink from while lounging under the dappled shade of coconut trees. What could be better or tastier than that?

Bora Bora

When we were on Bora Bora, my son the history buff appreciated the stories of World War II and how Bora Bora played a strategic role in the conflict.

And here’s something else he appreciated about Bora Bora: the beautiful coral reefs that make the island an ideal place to snorkel and dive. The Gauguin offers an onboard Discover SCUBA Diving class that can count toward PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. My son took the class on both voyages so that we could all dive together as a family. The ship’s dive team is very knowledgeable, nice, and thorough, and they put my son right at ease.

Bora Bora and Moorea both have wonderful shallow dive sites for beginners (under 30 feet) where beautiful coral and fish are abundant. The clarity is wonderful to the point that you forget you are underwater! I think I have hundreds of pictures of my son giving me underwater OK and hang-ten hand signals, he enjoyed it so much. He especially loved the blacktip sharks, giant turtles, slews of colorful fish, dynamic coral, little underwater Christmas trees, and blue-lipped clams that closed up as if by magic when he waved his hand over them.

The Gauguin also has a private beach on Bora Bora—a restful spot to lounge in shallow waters with Mount Otemanu in the background. My son played a little trick on me with a coconut that looked like an eel coming out of the water. I guess he WAS paying attention when Les Gauguines told the Polynesian legend of a prince becoming the first coconut tree. If you look at a coconut shell, it really does look like an eel’s face. Uncanny!

Moorea

Moorea was our favorite island! In fact, we loved it so much, we spent another week there both times after our cruises. We loved visiting the little idyllic motus and snorkeling until our fingers and toes turned into little prunes, which was forever since the water is so warm. My son spent so much time underwater petting the gentle and graceful rays. And what little boy wouldn’t be over the moon to be face to face with blacktip sharks? He definitely had some interesting and adventurous stories to tell his buddies back home!

On our last trip to Moorea, we kayaked out to a little motu and gathered little hermit crabs along the beach and had hermit crab races, ending in a rainbow over the water. Great memories!

By land, make sure you make it up to the Belvedere lookout point, where there are lush and gorgeous vistas of Opunohu and Cook’s Bays and Mt. Rotui. Just before you get there, you can stop at Marae Titiroa to wander among the many preserved marae platforms linked by a walking track. My son loved this trek through the cool dense forest of chestnut trees that shelters these pieces of history. There are lots of signs marking and explaining everything, and the trail is easy for families to follow. The archery platform was his favorite.

Tahiti

Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. Need I say more? My son, the little shopper, loved le Marche de Pape’ete to buy friends, family, and himself beautiful black pearl and shell jewelry, monoi (coconut oils) and fragrant tiare soaps, and colorful island-y trinkets.

Aboard ship

Of course, you don’t have to be visiting an island to have a great time! Life aboard ship fleshed out the experience for our family. On each voyage, we were blown away by the kindness of the ship’s crew and how especially sweet they were to my son—always joking with him and genuinely looking after him. I don’t think there was a staff member who didn’t know my son’s name and what he liked to eat and drink.

Their attention to detail is simply incredible. My son has a severe peanut allergy, which can be very stressful when you’re eating out, especially when you’re abroad. Hernie from the dining staff went way beyond the call of duty to make sure my son was safe AND enjoyed the amazing culinary creations on board. My son has broadened his palate, developing a taste for pâté and brie with baguettes, and he ate desserts with abandon. We definitely all tipped the scales a little heavier when we departed the ship!

There’s a lot more to life aboard than just the gourmet-quality local and French foods. We enjoyed interesting lectures about the history, culture, and the environment of the region by very knowledgeable speakers. My son loves the ocean and was very interested in hearing about coral reef restoration by one of the lecturers. We also learned local stories and legends and listened to beautiful songs sung by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins along the way.

My son and I also had so much fun immersing ourselves in creating crafts with local materials, making several different types of bracelets (shell bracelets, local bean bracelets, and textile bracelets), hand-painted bookmarks and postcards on tapas (paper made from hibiscus bark), and leis (fragrant floral necklaces) with the local mamas of Moorea.

You can also go on land/sea excursions—or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the lush green islands surrounding you, as you listen to Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins strumming ukuleles as you sit on the pool deck or paddle around the pool.

My son made a friend on board, and we found that our voyage gave us a good mix of family and new-friend time.

It was with heavy hearts that we departed the ship. My son loved The Gauguin, the ports, the activities, and the crew so very much! The amazing people and places we visited linger in our hearts and minds with the melody of the islands, and we are all forever changed as a family by our experiences there. So, yes … definitely take your kids on a trip of a lifetime!

 

 

Post c/o the Paul Gauguin Cruises Blog April 12 2019
Original content can be found here

Seabourn Venture Premium Suites

First Glimpse Of Premium Suites Onboard Seabourn’s Expedition Ships

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 43 0

As the world of Expedition cruising expands it also get more and more luxurious. Seaborn Cruises announced in March the name for their first ultra-luxury Expedition ship will be the Seabourn Venture, which is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022.

We were then treated to a peek at the designs for select public spaces. Seabourn has now unveiled the premium suite images, designed by Adam D. Tihany.

The Wintergarden, Signature, and Owners Suites are masterfully designed spaces that will provide beautiful and relaxing luxury accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship along with a number of enticing amenities only available to guests who book the Premium Suites category.

 

To learn more about these stunning premium suites read on …

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn Venture experience.

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn wool blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious bronze fittings. The ship’s art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship’s all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany’s product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

“Each of these stylish suites offers a warm, welcoming environment and features thoughtful design touches that create subtle memories of the experience on their own,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “After a full day of activity, perhaps off the ship with our expedition team taking in nature’s splendor, guest suites will be the perfect place to rest or relax before the evening’s insightful recap or the next big adventure.”

 

Specific details on each of the Premium Suite categories revealed include:

Two-story Grand Wintergarden suite: Perfect for extended families and friends looking to share their travel experiences, the Grand Wintergarden provides the ultimate in accommodations. A brand new suite layout for Seabourn, this expansive apartment-style suite stretches over two decks and is located midship. Two suites in this category are available on Seabourn Venture, with the entry on Deck 7 opening to seamless double height views and a generous lower level living area that is large enough for entertaining with a dining table for four, separate guest bath, and pantry with wet bar stocked with a customized selection of spirits including a bottle of coveted Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey, which is based on the spirit supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition, expertly crafted using a selection of the finest Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. The lower level also features a second bedroom and bathroom with separate tub and shower.

sculptured staircase leading to the upper level takes guests to the master bedroom with a queen-sized Duxiana Axion 15 adjustable high-performance sleep system positioned to face expansive windows, allowing guests to soak in the abundant scenery and vistas beyond. The upper level also features an expansive wall of closets, along with advanced technology including a roll-up LG OLED TV that tucks away to preserve the views to the world outside. Guests will find a separate walk-in closet adjacent to the five-piece bathroom complete with a whirlpool spa tub and separate shower.

Wintergarden suite guests will also be able to enjoy wildlife and vista spotting using a Swarovski ATX Interior spotting scope. The tripod-mounted scope, with its 25-60×85 lens capability, is offered for use in-suite while onboard and provides a unique perspective to the world outside via tried-and-tested optics.

The entertainment experience in the Wintergarden suite features a high-end Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5 speaker system and Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth headphones for guest use onboard.

Total space – Grand Wintergarden: 1,397 sq. ft. (130 sq. m.) including two verandas totaling 206 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

 

Wintergarden Suite: The Wintergarden Suite includes the same features as the Grand Wintergarden without the additional bedroom and full bathroom on the lower level.

Total Space – Wintergarden Suite: 1,042 sq. ft. (97 sq. m) including veranda of 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m.)

 

Signature Suite: The Signature Suite is the perfect accommodation for the adventurer who prefers an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Each of these two available suites, located on Deck 8, features a foyer entry opening to an inviting living area with a high-definition TV, dining table for four, guest bath, and pantry with wet bar, while a series of large windows wash the suite with natural light.

The separate bedroom features a queen-sized bed, makeup vanity, generous closet space, and a glass door leading to a large curved veranda that includes its own canopied whirlpool spa tub, sun loungers, sofa, and chairs. A five-piece bathroom with a separate shower and tub rounds out the suite.

Total space – Signature Suite: 1,382 sq. ft. (128 sq. m.) including veranda of 595 sq. ft. (55 sq. m.)

 

Owners Suite: Located on Deck 7 forward, each of the two Owners Suites on Seabourn Venture offers commanding views of the ship’s course and the world beyond. As guests enter, a large closet provides the perfect place to store gear and personal belongings. The suites embrace expedition travelers in a comfortable living area with high-definition TV, writing desk, and dining table for two, perfect for meals in-suite at any time of day. A glass door leads to a curved veranda with sun loungers and a table for four, making it an ideal place to share stories with fellow guests.

The separate bedroom with queen-sized bed has its own high-definition TV, a large window, makeup vanity, and a walk-in closet. The five-piece bathroom is designed with multiple doors that can create a half-bath, and also features a separate shower and bathtub.

Total space – Owners Suite: 1,027 sq. ft. (95 sq. m.) including veranda of 484 sq. ft. (45 sq. m.)

 

All Suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship include amenities such as a personal suite stewardess, walk-in closets, interactive entertainment, and use of Swarovski binoculars.

Premium Suite amenities include all of the above plus:

• A complimentary private car airport transfer of up to 50 miles*
• Complimentary internet service throughout your voyage
• Enhanced in-suite bar setup with additional wines or spirits for entertaining
• A welcome bouquet of fresh flowers on embarkation
• Customized display of fresh fruits
• Daily newspaper of choice delivered to guest’s suite or to the PressReader™ app
*Not applicable to upgraded occupancy

 

More details about public spaces and suites on the new expedition ships will continue to be revealed in the coming months. Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in mid-2019.

 

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Silver Shadow to undergo extensive refurbishment

Silver Shadow Set For Major Refurbishment

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 26 0

Silversea’s all-suite, 388-guest Silver Shadow is set to undergo an extensive refurbishment in November 2019, to enrich the ship’s comfort further still for the cruise line’s guests. The renovation will include the creation of a new Atrium area on deck 5, and major enhancements to all guest suites, corridors, and many public spaces—including a remodelling of the ship’s La Dame restaurant, Connoisseur’s Corner, and the Casino.

Part of Project Invictus—a long-term plan to grow and enhance Silversea’s already ultra-luxury fleet of ships—the comprehensive refurbishment will be inspired by the design of Silver Muse. The numerous upgrades to Silver Shadow will include:

 

Suites: The ship’s spacious guest suites and corridors will undergo a floor-to-ceiling renovation, inspired by the elegant design and color palette of Silver Muse. Vista and Veranda suites will benefit from a full renovation of all fixed and loose furniture, in addition to new lighting, carpets, and headboards. Bathrooms will also be upgraded with new sinks and Silestone material. Silver Shadow’s Medallion, Silver, Grand, and Royal suites will be upgraded with a new color scheme and new materials, as per Silver Muse, while bathrooms will also undergo refurbishments. The ship’s Owner’s Suite will be entirely renovated too, with a full refurbishment of the bathroom.

New Atrium & Arts Café: The space currently occupied by the Lobby, Boutique and Casino will be redesigned as a new Atrium. A social hub featuring an updated interactive guest reception area, the open-plan Atrium will comprise boutiques and, as its centerpiece, the Arts Café—a Silver Muse-inspired space where guests can relax amid sophisticated artworks, as they enjoy coffees, pastries, sandwiches, and other delicacies during the day, or cocktails during evening hours.

La Dame: Offering the highest expression of excellence in French dining, the hugely popular La Dame restaurant will be refurbished and enlarged to accommodate 40 diners to ensure every guest has the opportunity to experience its chic style, exceptional service and sophisticated cuisine.

Connoisseur’s Corner: A rich and luxurious lounge, offering fine cognacs and premium cigars, the Connoisseur’s Corner will be moved to Deck 8 (in the space formerly occupied by the Library and Internet Café), where its complete reimagining will include the addition of a new outdoor smoking area with comfortable seating.

Casino: A complete redesign of the ship’s ever-popular Casino will entail moving it to Deck 8, and placing it adjacent to the relocated Connoisseur’s Corner. The new setting for its 11 slot machines and two gaming tables will be highlighted by a beautifully updated décor.

Observation Library: Formerly the Observation Lounge, this quiet space for reading and reflection, which is set at the fore of the ship on deck 10, will be known as the Observation Library. Here, guests will enjoy access to a carefully curated collection of books. Its panoramic ocean views will be complemented by new carpet and furniture.

Zagara Beauty Spa & Fitness Centre: The top-to-bottom renovation of the Zagara Beauty Spa and the Fitness Centre will encompass new steam and sauna rooms, fully refurbished treatment rooms, new furniture and flooring, updated state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and more.

Refreshed Public Spaces: Also scheduled for comprehensive renovation are The Restaurant, La Terrazza, Panorama Lounge, The Bar, The Show Lounge, and Card/Conference Rooms—each of which will benefit from décor upgrades, from new furniture to new upholstery, carpets, and wall/window treatments. The pool area will boast new outdoor furniture, refurbished teak flooring, a new canvas awning with inserted lighting, and new outdoor heaters, while the jogging track will benefit from new teak resin.

“We are committed to maintaining the impeccable standards of the Silversea experience, and this major refurbishment of Silver Shadow represents a significant investment for the benefit of our guests,” said Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s CEO. “Whether relaxing in the new Atrium or sipping a cognac in the expanded Connoisseur’s Corner, our guests will notice not only a revitalized look but also greater choices and flexibility as a result of this project’s enhancements.”

Silver Shadow’s first voyage following the transformation will enable guests to travel deeper into the Caribbean on a seven-night itinerary, departing from Fort Lauderdale for San Juan on December 3, 2019.

Europe River Cruise with Viking

Exploring the rivers of Europe with Viking

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 46 0

Are you charmed by the idea of exploring Europe but do not want a traditional coach tour? You want to be right in the heart of the towns and villages but still want the comfort of having a guide? Then a river cruise sounds just about perfect for you! Immerse yourself in the Old World as you sail Europe’s most iconic rivers. Discover Danube gems like Vienna and Budapest. See storied Rhine castles. Trace French history along the Seine. From the Main to the Moselle, the Douro to the Dordogne, the Viking experience is unsurpassed.

Why Cruise the Rivers of Europe with Viking?
Viking takes you to the heart of Europe via its grand waterways, providing you with boundless insight into the continent’s cultural and historic treasures. Immerse yourself in the storybook villages, vibrant cultural centers and picturesque landscapes of The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland, and unlock a whole new world of discovery. Here is a sample of what you will see on one of their European river cruises:

  • Culinary delights in Lyon, France
  • Medieval Prague, “City of a Thousand Spires”
  • The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
  • Historic Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther
  • Fairytale windmills of The Netherlands
  • Wine tastings in the quintas of Portugal’s Douro Valley
  • Budapest’s regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
  • Vienna’s inspirational legacy of classical music
  • France’s famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond

 

The Viking Difference

Award-Winning Viking Longships – Viking’s Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined Scandinavian design with understated elegance, and provide you with unprecedented levels of comfort designed to connect you to your destination.

Unparallelled Staterooms & Suites – with their exclusive patented corridor configuration, Viking is able to offer a variety of stateroom choices that include spacious Veranda and French Balcony staterooms. As well as Veranda and Explorer Suites.

Destination Focused Dining – Menus include regional cuisine and always available classics enhanced with locally sourced ingredients, so you can explore new cultures through food.

Award-Winning Service – Viking has over 7,000 staff members worldwide devoted to making your stay on board as memorable as possible. And with 90% of their staff returning year after year, you can expect the same quality service, cruise after cruise.

Onboard Enrichment Programs – While sailing you’ll want to take advantage of Cultural enrichment programs to supplement your onshore experience such as Guest Lectures & Port Talks, Destination Performances, Craft and Cooking Demonstrations and Destination Insight films available right in your stateroom.

Onshore Experiences – You’ll enjoy an included guided excursion in every port, plus The Viking Way® of exploration.

 

THE RIVERS OF EUROPE

Danube River Cruises
Coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea, the Danube is the soul of Central Europe. Join us along these culture-rich banks, whose scenic vineyards, ancient monasteries and elegant cities have inspired travelers for centuries.

Rhine River Cruises
Raise a glass of Riesling to our acclaimed Rhine River cruises through Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. See how the Rhine, Main and Moselle river systems unfold to create a spellbinding display of storybook villages, Dutch windmills, German vineyards and Gothic cities.

Elbe River Cruises
Sail the Elbe to reaches seldom seen in Germany and the Czech Republic. Insights greet you at every bend as you explore majestic Berlin and Prague, delve into Wittenberg’s religious history and contrast the delicacy of Meissen porcelain with the rocky brawn of Saxon Switzerland.

Main River Cruises
Winding between Mainz and Bamberg, the Main passes through 34 locks—16 more connect it to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal. While this engineering feat enables river travel across the entire length of Europe, it also unlocks a trove of unspoiled landscapes and historic towns.

Seine River Cruises
The Seine meanders on a serpentine path through the Norman countryside, an historic region of great pastoral beauty. Drift along dreamy apple orchards and medieval ruins. Explore elegant Paris. See Monet’s Giverny home. And honor World War II heroes on Normandy beaches.

Moselle River Cruises
The romantic Moselle winds through an enchanting landscape of castles, picture-book villages and terraced slate hillsides that form one of the world’s richest wine regions. With a settled history that predates the Romans, it is yours to discover on one of our Moselle river cruises.

Saône River Cruises
Cruise the Saône with Viking, as gentle countryside and historic cities unfold before you. Savor Lyon, France’s traditional gastronomic capital. Taste ruby-red wines in the lush vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy. Join us to experience this rewarding corner of France, up close.

Rhône River Cruises
Enjoy the diverse pleasures of life along the Rhône with Viking. Savor Lyon, France’s gastronomic heart; the Beaujolais wine region; quaint Provençal villages; and historic Avignon and Arles. For those who love fine food, beauty and riveting history, Rhône cruises are pure bliss.

Douro River Cruises
Our Portugal cruises uncover one of Europe’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. Cruise the Douro River through ancient wine estates, passing barcos rabelos laden with casks en route to Porto and Lisbon. A sublimely scenic corner of Europe, with equally sublime food and wine.

 

And although not traditionally “Europe” river cruises through Russia and the Ukraine are not to be missed!

Russia River Cruises
The Viking fleet is the finest operating along Russia’s rivers today, delivering eye-opening experiences in historic Moscow and canal-laced St. Petersburg. Beyond, see the domed churches of Uglich and Yaroslavl, and witness the seldom seen rural tranquility of this enigmatic country.

Ukraine River Cruises
Uncover Europe’s best-kept secret as you sail Ukraine’s Dnieper River through a maze of whisper-thin tributaries and village-studded bays. Colorful folk traditions, hearty cuisine and rich culture lead the way from the Golden Gates of Kiev to the Odessa Steps of the Black Sea.

 

Destination focused. Culturally enriching. Carefully curated. Isn’t it time you discover what makes Viking the world’s leading small ship cruise line? Check out Vikings current offers here

3 Mediterranean Cruises Not To Miss

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 33 0

Still seeking a summer Mediterranean getaway? It’s not too late to plan your perfect summer escape to the sun-drenched shores of Italy, France and Spain. Here are three of our top late-summer Mediterranean picks – and even better, all are aboard Riviera so you’ll be able to enjoy her chic new upgrades and surprises from her April dry dock.

Eternal Glamour | 7 Days – July 26, 2019: Rome to Barcelona
A TASTE OF THE RIVIERAS | On this voyage, you’ll savor every moment of a full week sailing along the French and Italian Rivieras. In Portofino, learn the secrets to perfect pesto and other Ligurian specialties from a local chef or perhaps cruise to nearby seaside villages for a unique look at life on the Italian Riviera. From Monte Carlo, explore some of the most enchanting villages on the French Riviera such as Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Eze and while in Cannes you might shop designer boutiques on La Croisette. A day in Provence brings about the opportunity to spend the afternoon with a Michelin-starred chef at her cookery school at a classic Provençal property or visit elegant Château Val Joanis for a wine tasting and luncheon. These are but the beginning of the alluring experiences at your fingertips during this Mediterranean cruise.

Regal Riviera | 12 Days – August 2, 2019: Barcelona to Rome
A VOYAGE FIT FOR ROYALTY | You will be treated like royalty as you explore the gems of the Mediterranean from the islands of Spain to the French Riviera to the storied shores of Italy. From Palma de Mallorca, visit Valldemossa’s sprawling monastery or take a vintage train to the picturesque town of Soller, a longtime summer retreat for artists and writers. In Provence, explore the setting for some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings in the classic village of Saint-Remy de Provence or travel back in time with a visit to UNESCO-protected Avignon, a walled city home to the largest Gothic palace ever built. With two full days in Livorno, you’ll have time to explore more of Florence, Tuscany and Pisa. Perhaps visit the galleries and palaces of Florence on one day and the celebrated vineyards of Tuscany or the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa the next.

Classic Connoisseur 14 Days – August 14, 2019: Rome to London
THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE | This unique journey combines the colorful coasts of Italy and the Mediterranean with coveted calls on the Iberian Peninsula and along the western coast of France. You might begin your voyage with an exquisite lunch at a villa in Tuscany or by visiting Andrea Bocelli’s vineyard and amphitheater. In Spain, delve into the local culture by tapas hopping in Barcelona, attend a flamenco performance in Málaga and explore Andalusia’s enchanting white villages from Cádiz. Further north, two overnights in Bordeaux give you ample opportunity to visit some of the region’s top vineyards and châteaux for memorable tastings and tours. In Saint-Malo, you might close your voyage with a unique Culinary Discovery Tour featuring a special dégustation lunch prepared by Escoffier trophy-recipient Chef Julien Hennote at the grand Castelbrac hotel.

 

Inspired? Let us help start planning your Mediterranean escape now.

 

 

Apr 30, 2019 – Originally Posted by Oceania Cruises in Mediterranean

Crystal Cruises Features Perth’s Black Truffles in Culinary Journeys Series

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 43 0

Perth’s Black Truffle Delicacies Star In Episode 5 Of Crystal’s ‘Culinary Journeys’ Video Series

Black Périgord truffles are among the most expensive edible mushrooms in the world, and Western Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of them. When one thinks of black truffles, images of the eponymous Périgord region in France and Italy’s Piedmont region come to mind. But in Perth, even in summertime – considered “off season” for the fine fungus – restaurants across town feature truffle-accented dishes on their menus, creatively incorporating their earthy flavor into signature entrees, from seafood to potato salad.

But it’s a classic Italian specialty that takes center stage in the latest episode of “Crystal Cruises Presents: A Culinary Journey Hosted by Jon Ashton,” which takes Jon to some of Perth’s local foodie hubs in search of the best iteration of black truffles. Through his explorations, Jon is inspired to bring the truffles of Western Australia back to Crystal Serenity, where he works with Prego’s Chef de Cuisine Alfred Napotnik to create Italian gnocchi prepared in the Old-World style – a rich, creamy comfort food of the most elegant kind.

And where better to serve such a decadent, yet uncomplicated, dish than Prego?

In the words of Chef Alfred, whose parents would take him to Italy for weekend lunches during his childhood, “Simple is always good.”

 

Watch the full episode here 

Seven Seas Explorer Regent Suite master bedroom

Why We Can’t Wait for Regent’s Seven Seas Splendor

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 37 0

When the Seven Seas Explorer debuted in 2016, it was christened “the most luxurious ship ever built.” Now, Seven Seas Splendor, its highly anticipated sister ship, aims to take everything that works about Explorer and dial in the luxury even more. Is that possible? Here are six reasons we’re looking forward to Splendor’s debut next February.

1. There’ll be more Explorer-style cruising to go around.

When Joan Novack boarded Seven Seas Explorer for its preinaugural sailing three years ago, the Virtuoso travel advisor was blown away. “As I walked onto the ship, the most magnificent lobby surrounded me,” she says. “From that point on, I was in awe of how beautiful this ship is. The amenities are lavish in the suites, the dining venues, the spa, and all the public rooms.” A longtime fan of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Novack has since enjoyed three – soon to be four – additional voyages on her favorite ship. “Until someone builds something to top it, Explorer truly is the most luxurious ship ever built,” she says. And that someone, she adds, “will probably be Regent, with the Splendor.”

2. When Regent strives, opulence wins.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO Jason Montague described the approach to creating Splendor as “obsessing over large and small details.” Those large details likely include the 46,000 square feet (we’re talking more than an acre) of Italian marble that will adorn Splendor’s interior – including the posh bathrooms in the 375 suites. As for those small things, look for specially commissioned original artwork throughout the ship and thoughtful touches such as lined jewelry drawers and designated spaces for designer handbags in the Penthouse Suite.

Like Explorer, the 750-guest Seven Seas Splendor will offer the maximum space and an emphasis on service, boasting one of the highest space ratios and lowest guest-to-crew ratios among cruise lines. Guests will also have plenty of room to stretch out in the fresh air, thanks to nearly 52,000 square feet (larger than a football field) of balcony space.

3. Regent Suite shatters records in a big way.

Palatial doesn’t begin to describe the Regent Suite, the largest suite ever constructed on a luxury cruise ship. Commanding the 14th deck, above the bridge and overlooking the bow, this splurge-worthy accommodation offers more than 3,000 square feet of interior space and a 1,300-square-foot wraparound veranda, complete with a hot tub on the forward balcony. (This is where you’ll catch those gorgeous sunsets, a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand.)

Expect sweet dreams while sleeping on the custom, handcrafted, $200,000 Vividus bed; the king-size mattress took over 18 months to complete to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ exacting standards. Splendor’s Regent Suite boasts a master bath and spa 30 percent larger than its predecessor on the Explorer in order to incorporate a floor-to-ceiling ocean-view shower.

“The Regent Suite, for those lucky enough to experience it, is over the top,” Novack says. “Guests never have to leave, as meals and spa services are available in their plush surroundings at all times. This suite even comes with a private car and driver in every port on the sailing.”

Ready to indulge? Don’t hesitate. The Regent Suite is already sold out for nearly all of Seven Seas Splendor’s 2020 inaugural season sailings.

4. The captain, too, is breaking records.

Someone we can’t wait to meet: Captain Serena Melani. The first woman in cruise history to captain a new cruise ship at launch, she’ll helm Seven Seas Splendor when it debuts next year. Melani joined the cruise line in 2010 and has led Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Navigator since becoming the company’s first female master captain in 2016. “Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries,” Montague says. “She is an international role model and admired by our guests and crew.”

5. Regent’s all-inclusive amenities are still around and still awesome.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has made a name for itself by offering guests an unrivaled, all-inclusive, luxury cruise experience. That includes complimentary business-class air on international flights for all guests, regardless of suite category.

6. Stellar onboard dining is paired with exclusive, hands-on culinary excursions.

Please your palate and expand your culinary knowledge while exploring the world’s top foodie destinations. Chef-led Gourmet Explorer tours, available for Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor passengers only, invite you to experience a region’s culinary culture with market visits, winetastings, cooking demos, hands-on classes, and meals at acclaimed local restaurants.

In Bilbao, Spain, tour Mercado de la Ribera; back on board, don an apron for a tapas and pintxos cooking class. During the call at Taormina, Italy, learn how to prepare cannoli with a Sicilian pastry chef. Experience an extra-virgin olive oil tasting in Barcelona, followed by lunch at Michelin two-starred restaurant ABaC. And in Saint-Malo, in Brittany, France, sit down to a meal prepared by chef Julien Hennote, recipient of the prized Escoffier trophy.

Regent currently offers 19 Gourmet Explorer tours as part of the Regent Choice Shore Excursion program.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Recipe: Princess Cruises Fettuccine Alfredo

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 58 0

If you are lucky enough to have the Princess Cruises cookbook by Master Chef Alfredo Marzi you may already be making this classic pasta dish at home to relive your cruise dinners.

Who doesn’t love a bowl made of crispy Parmesan Cheese?

Ingredients:

1 lb egg noodles

4 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

For Parmesan cheese baskets:

2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

 

Fettuccine Alfredo preparation:

• Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

• Boil ¾ cup of the cream and remove from heat. Combine egg yolks with remaining ¼ cup cream to form a liaison. Add ¼ cup of the boiled cream to the liaison. Stir and then combine liaison with the rest of the cream. Add Parmesan cheese, adjust seasoning.

• If necessary, reheat pasta in boiling, salted water. Pour sauce over drained pasta.

 

Parmesan Cheese Basket preparation:

• Place a non-stick omelet pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan evenly with approximately ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cook until the color changes to golden.

• Flip the cheese over and cook until golden. Remove the cheese from the pan and place over a mold form or over the bottom of a bowl to create a dome shape. Let cool.

Unlimited Dining Package

Royal Caribbean’s Unlimited Dining Package

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 58 0

When you cruise with Royal Caribbean, be sure to bring your appetite for adventure — and for incredible cuisine. Because with the all-new Unlimited Dining Package, everything is on the table. You’ll be able to dine in any specialty restaurant on your sailing as many times as you like!* Enjoy lunch at Jamie’s Italian and then dinner at Chops GrilleSM.

The possibilities are endless but deliciousness is guaranteed.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
• For one low price, you can enjoy meals at onboard specialty restaurants as many times as you’d like, based on availability.
For instance, if you want to eat at the same restaurant twice in one night, go ahead!

• For specialty restaurants with a la carte pricing, the Unlimited Dining Package provides a $35 food credit per person for each visit.

• Chef’s Table and culinary activities are excluded.

• Package does not include beverages, but does provide 40% off bottles of wine under $100, and 20% off bottles over $100.

 

Packages are available as follows

3 – 5 NIGHT CRUISES 3 Night Package Unlimited Package
Quantum Class, Oasis Class and Amplified Ships

N/A

US $29 per day per person
All other ships N/A US $27 per day per person
6 – 9 NIGHT CRUISES 3 Night Package Unlimited Package
Quantum Class and Oasis Class US $99 per person US $29 per day per person
All other ships US $79 per person US $24 per day per person
10+ NIGHT CRUISES 3 Night Package 5 Night Package Unlimited Package 
Quantum Class and Oasis Class US $99 per person US $139 per person US $20 per day per person
All other ships US $79 per person US $119 per person US $20 per day per person

 

And, Kids Dine For Less
Kids ages 6-12 dine at specialty restaurants at discounted rates. Ages 5 and under eat Free! Plus, little cruisers get their very own menu – a round-up of kid friendly favorites from the “grownups” menu. Reserve before you sail, and prices will be adjusted for kids once you are onboard, and reflected on your final account statement.

 

When you book your package you will need to select a time for your dinner the first night in a specialty restaurant chosen for you. Once you embark an on board representative will contact you to help arrange the rest of your reservations. Or you can choose to do this yourself in person at the specialty restaurant.

 

 

 

 

*Prices are per person for the full sailing. All selections are subject to change. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to verify eligibility upon arrival to the activity. Specialty Dining Packages must be booked at least two days prior to boarding and may not be available for every sail date. One reservation will be automatically created for the first night of the sailing. All other reservations must be made onboard and are subject to availability. Packages include service charge and food portion only for dinner and, when available, lunch service. For restaurants with a la carte pricing, you’ll receive a $35 food credit. Beverages not included. For Dining Packages, children ages 12 and under are excluded from offer; children ages 6-12 can be added to reservation for a $10 cover change once onboard. Not available on holiday sailings. Not valid for Chef’s Table, or Culinary Experiences/Activities. Offer provides discount off wine selections at specialty dining restaurants with the purchase of a qualifying dining package. Offer provides 40% discount off bottles of wine priced at $100 or less; 20% discount off bottles of wine priced over $100. VAT will be added to the price where applicable. Offer valid only with the purchase of 3-night, 4-night, 5-night, or Unlimited Dining Packages; other Dining Packages excluded. Terms of Royal Caribbean’s Alcohol Policy apply, including a minimum drinking age, which varies by itinerary. Offer is not transferable, not redeemable for cash, and expires on the final night of the cruise. Terms of Dining Packages apply. Features vary by ship. All itineraries are subject to change without notice. ©2019 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 19067456 • 4/8/2019