Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Recipe: Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 842 0

This quintessential Thai chicken coconut soup is a deliciously aromatic accompaniment to any meal with an Asian flair or a complete meal on its own. This soup is served in Red Ginger, Oceania Cruises Asian restaurant on board, and you can learn this recipe and other Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese favorites from this restaurant during their “Most Requested Red Ginger” class at The Culinary Center on Marina and Riviera.

According to Chef Kathryn Kelly, Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Enrichment, Thai cuisine is best characterized as complex, balanced, fresh and spicy – and this classic chicken and coconut soup brings that description to life with fresh lemongrass, lime juice, coconut milk, Thai chilies and galangal – which is also known as Thai ginger and is in the ginger family, but the flavor is markedly more citrusy and earthy.

 

Serves 6

16 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 stalks lemongrass, mashed
1 cup coarsely chopped galangal
8 kaffir lime leaves
2 Thai chilies
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 cups straw mushroom pieces
18 cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of 3 to 5 limes
18 cilantro leaves

In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine the chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and chilies and simmer until the stock reduces by half, about 1½ to 2 hours. Decrease the heat to low, add the chicken and poach to an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. Remove the chicken, let cool and shred. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.

Return the stock to the stockpot over medium heat, reheat the stock and add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Divide the shredded chicken, mushroom pieces and cherry tomatoes among 6 bowls. Just before serving, stir the lime juice into the stock, adjusting the amount to taste. Divide the stock among the bowls, garnish each with cilantro leaves and enjoy!

Oceania Recipe

Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 369 0

A sweet twist on the Spanish classic, this watermelon gazpacho recipe is perfect for hot summer days and dinners on the patio. The delicate sweetness of watermelon is the perfect complement to savory tomatoes and avocado and spicy serrano pepper in this refreshing recipe. For an extra boost of flavor, try replacing olive oil with our special basil oil, recipe also below.

WATERMELON GAZPACHO – MAKES 4 CUPS

1 onion, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1 red bell pepper
1 serrano pepper
1 head garlic, roasted, peeled and mashed
3 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced watermelon
1 English cucumber, peeled
Flesh of 2 avocados
8 ounces spicy vegetable juice, preferably V8
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or Basil Oil (see recipe below), plus more for garnish

 

Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to high and grill the onion and peppers until charred and softened. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stem, seed and skin the peppers.

In a blender, pulse the grilled vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, avocados, vegetable juice, lime juice and vinegar until blended to a paste. With the blender running on low speed, slowly add the oil in a thin, steady stream, blending until the soup is creamy. Add cold filtered water as needed to adjust the consistency.

Chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve slightly chilled with a drizzle of basil oil.

 

BASIL OIL – MAKES 2 CUPS

4 cups tightly packed basil leaves
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Place the basil in a strainer and blanch it in the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Transfer the strainer of basil to the ice water, swishing the basil in the water to ensure it is well chilled. Remove the strainer of basil from the water and squeeze the basil gently to release excess water. Chop the basil.

In a blender, combine the chopped basil, olive oil and salt. Blend until the basil is pureed and the mixture is frothy. Let rest for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, pressing gently to separate the oil from the solids.

 

 

Jul 19, 2019 – Posted by Oceania Cruises in Recipes and can be found here

The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 397 0

Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.

Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.

 

Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.

 

1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine

Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.

Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.

 

2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow

Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.

 

3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In

You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.

 

4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat

There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.

 

5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat

Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.

 

6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut

Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.

 

7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony

Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.

Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.

 

8 – Spend All Day At The Spa

Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s

 

9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat

Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.

Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.

 

10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces

Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.

Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.

 

11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi

The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.

Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.

 

12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River

From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.

Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.

 

13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef

The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.

 

 

Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue

3 Mediterranean Cruises Not To Miss

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 252 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

Estonian Creamy Fish Soup

Recipe: Estonian Creamy Fish Soup

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 294 0

Oceania Cruises Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly share this yummy fish soup recipe along with her thoughts and tips for exploring while on a Baltic Cruise.

Over the years as we have traveled and explored the markets of the Baltic and Scandinavia, our chefs have developed a love of earthy Nordic food, ingredients, techniques, and traditions. One of our most popular chefs, Karlis Celms, came to us from Riga, Latvia as our local chef host leading our Culinary Discovery Tour through the Riga market.

This excursion, Chef’s Market Tour & Latvian Cooking Lesson, takes you on an insider’s tour of Europe’s largest market and bazaar, Riga Central Market. You have the chance to taste local specialties such as smoked herring, local cheeses, traditional rye breads, and regional sweet treats — plus we shop for ingredients for your cooking class. You’ll have ample time to take in the unique atmosphere and architecture of this bustling UNESCO World Heritage site. You also get a great panoramic tour of Riga as we travel to and from the market – keep an eye out for the famed Art Nouveau Street, where you can really get a good look at the stunning architecture of this city.

Back on board at The Culinary Center, we dive into a true farm-to-table cooking experience as we prepare traditional dishes such as Latvian meatballs in a cream gravy and root potato mash as well as seasonal berries made into a chutney or perhaps spring mushrooms for a duxelle tart. It all depends on what we find in the market! We top it all off with a delicious lunch paired with artisanal beers we specially select – a true celebration of all that makes Nordic cuisine so special.

So start planning your next culinary adventure with us and cook up a Nordic feast with this delicious fish soup – one of my favorites from Latvia’s neighboring country, Estonia.

ESTONIAN CREAMY FISH SOUP
Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, cold
  • 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups 1-inch red new potato cubes
  • ½ pound salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ pound halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Coarsely ground white and pink peppercorns, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh dill and chopped chives

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the onions with the allspice, bay leaves, and thyme until onions soften and aromas bloom, about 6 minutes. Add the cold stock, cream and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are al dente, about 10 minutes. Add the fish and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes. Taste and add fish sauce and cracked pepper to season.

Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with dill and chives – and enjoy!

Oceania To Offer New Plant-Based Menus

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 348 0

Bold and flavorful plant-based dishes aboard all of our ships – that’s the latest in OceaniaNEXT innovations for us. We’re thrilled to unveil the most extensive and creative plant-based menus at sea with more than 200 new healthy dishes available on each of our beautiful ships. Remaining at the forefront of culinary development, our talented culinary team is turning out these healthy menu selections in The Grand Dining Room and Terrace Café at breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to our already expansive gourmet offerings. You will also have plant-based options available upon request during dinner service in each of our specialty restaurants.

Evolving Palates & An Eye on Wellness
Not only are our plant-based options mouthwatering and colorful, these dishes now provide you with an innovative menu of choices whether you’re seeking healthier options to balance our more indulgent options (our new Dom Pérignon Experience, anyone?) or you’re increasing your focus on overall wellness as you travel the world.

The plant-based dishes have been developed by our culinary leadership team in concert with world-renowned chef, culinary instructor, and author Christophe Berg. These vibrant new menu offerings are in addition to our renowned vegetarian and Canyon Ranch selections and will be available on all of our ships by this August. Our new plant-based dishes are currently available on Riviera, and will be available on Regatta beginning May 1st, Marina beginning May 17th, Insignia beginning June 19th, Sirena beginning July 15th and Nautica beginning August 4th.

Global Flavors, Power Bowls & More
The range of cuisines spans the globe, including Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian, Malaysian and more. You can choose from healthy Power Bowls and Poke Bowls, hearty pastas and pad Thai, light and refreshing salads and soups and even a variety of surprisingly decadent items to choose from including an Impossible Cheeseburger, Truffle Mac and Cheese, an Apple-Oatmeal Crumble with plant-based Vanilla Ice Cream, and Coco-Vanilla Cashew Crème Brûlée. Below are some additional menu highlights to pique your palate before your next voyage.

Plant-Based Menu Highlights

Breakfast
– Banana-Oatmeal Pancakes with Berries and Maple Syrup
– Green Apple Müesli with Pistachios, Pecans, and Yellow Raisins
– Avocado Toast on Rustic Farmer’s Bread

Lunch
– Chilled Melon Soup with Port
– Korean Kimchi Soup
– Wakame Sesame Salad
– Hawaiian Poke Bowl
– Penne au Pistou with Broccoli and Sundried Tomato

Dinner
– Som Tam Green Papaya Kelp Noodle Salad
– Roasted Butternut Squash with Arugula, Mango, Black Radish and Hearts of Palm
– Sweet Potato-Oat Tarte with Forest Mushroom and plant-based Truffle Cheddar Sauce
– Falafel Fritters with plant-based Harissa Mayo, Cucumber, Mint and Capers
– Crespelle alla Fiorentina with Spinach, Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce
– Green Curry Stir Fry with Eggplant, Oyster Mushrooms, Green Peas and Thai Basil

Desserts
– Plant-based Vanilla Mango Ice Cup, Crispy Granola
– Vodka-Marinated Strawberries Romanoff with plant-based Vanilla Ice Cream
– Summer Berry Pudding Chantilly
– Shortbread with plant-based Orange Cream Cheese and Raspberries

 

 

 

Original Post: Apr 09, 2019 Posted by Oceania Cruises in The Finest Cuisine at Sea™
https://www.oceaniacruises.com/oceania-experience/post/finest-cuisine-seatm/new-plant-based-menus-aboard-our-ships

Are You a Cruiser? Ten Questions to Ask

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 1023 0

A floating hotel has something for everyone. Don’t believe it? Just consider these ten questions.

Cruising. Perhaps you long ago slammed this particular porthole shut, with vague ideas about buffets, crowds, and tired cabaret shows. But lately you’ve been hearing friends rave about their recent cruises, and you’re getting curious.

Whether you’re interested in glacier trekking or pool lounging, exploring secluded islands or city streets, spending days on vineyard tours or in spas – if you can name it, there’s a ship for it. And the best parts of cruising remain the same, regardless of sailing style or destination: You only need to unpack once, and the views are ever-changing.

Not quite convinced? The following questions will help you determine whether you should set sail. (The answer is yes.)

1 – Are You a Foodie?

Top chefs have expanded their empires to include the world’s waterways, and new ingredients await discovery in each port. Here’s a taste of what’s on board.

Wine lovers will savor Uniworld’s eight-day Bordeaux vineyard cruise aboard the 130-passenger River Royale, with cellar tastings in Saint-Émilion, a Sauternes-paired lunch, visits to farmers’ markets in Libourne, and bicycle rides through the back streets of Bordeaux.

Crystal Cruises’ annual Food & Wine Festival sailings feature guest chefs and sommeliers, cooking classes, and more. A roundtrip Los Angeles journey aboard the 980-passenger Crystal Serenity takes in the flavors of Mexico with stops in La Paz, Ensenada, and Mazatlán.

 

2 – Do You Want to See It All?

Sailings that encompass vast regions and whole seasons can write your life’s next chapter.

Spend nearly five months aboard Silversea’s 382-passenger Silver Whisper. In 2019, the line’s 132-day world cruise takes in 31 countries and 52 ports. From snorkeling on Moorea to sampling wonton soup in Hong Kong and strolling San Sebastián, Spain’s historic Old Town, this is one trip that truly earns the moniker “voyage.” (Have less time? Select one of its roughly two-week routes that’s right for you.)

Also for 2019, Crystal Cruises’ 85-day journey on the 980-passenger Crystal Serenity will visit more than 15 countries. Explore the natural wonders of Australia and Africa, isles of the South Pacific, and top cities such as Sydney and Barcelona.

 

3 – Do You Prefer to Venture Off the Beaten Path?

Set sail to ports at the edges of civilization, and cruise rivers deep within Land Rover country.

Game-spot from the comfort of your stateroom during four days with AmaWaterways aboard the 28-passenger Zambezi Queen, as you navigate Botswana’s Chobe National Park.

 

4 – Are You a Night Owl?

Stay up late for chic theme parties, people-watching, and fun shows.

Azamara Club Cruises throws a White Night Party on its sailings, transforming outdoor decks into glamorous dancing and dining venues.

 

5 – Do You Like to Spread Out?

The most lavish and lovely accommodations come with endless blue views.

Cunard’s five Duplex and Grand Duplex suites on the 2,961-passenger Queen Mary 2, on two levels joined by a sweeping staircase, feature two master baths and a private gym. To go all out, combine all five into one 9,000-square-foot mansion.

 

6 – Do You Like the Great Outdoors?

Natural encounters let you heed the call of the wild.

Join wildlife icon Jean-Michel Cousteau aboard an Aqua Expeditions vessel on the Amazon and Mekong rivers. Take guided kayak tours along quiet jungle routes to talk conservation and ecosystems, and enjoy relaxed onboard chats about Cousteau’s top photo and videography tips.

 

7 – Is Vacation Actually a Perfect Time to Get Healthy?

Superior spas, mindfulness, and wellness menus for self-care at sea.

Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil program takes health at sea to a new level. Meditation and yoga programs address physical, social, and spiritual well-being; seminars cover topics such as anti-inflammatory foods, healthy aging, and mindfulness. Dr. Weil himself joins some sailings each year.

 

8 – Are You Seeking Cultural Immersion?

See destinations through the eyes of locals and respected experts

Explore Madeira’s capital of Funchal on an exclusive Virtuoso Voyages excursion on board Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Riviera during a round-trip Barcelona sailing. Ride a cable car to the hilltop village of Monte, where you can take in the churches and palaces before trying out the carros de cesto, wicker toboggans that zoom you down the hill to Livramento. You’ll also visit a wine cellar to savor the nuances of the island’s famous sweet elixir, and relax over a wine-pairing lunch at Belmond Reid’s Palace hotel.

Sail French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises to delve beyond its beautiful shores. Onboard hosts include an archaeologist who specializes in the ancient ceremonial structures of the Marquesas and an art historian with no fewer than seven books published on the cruise line’s namesake.

 

9 – Are You a Thrill Seeker?

Sky-high adventures via new technologies and old-fashioned daredevilry.

Star Clippers’ 227-passenger Royal Clipper is still the world’s only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship – and you can climb one of those masts, with a provided safety harness, of course, to take in the views over the vessel’s 42 billowing white sails.

 

10 – Do You Appreciate the Finer Things in Life?

From white-tie evenings to well-dressed breakfasts in bed.

Renowned for its commitment to the golden age of cruising, Cunard’s 2,961-passenger Queen Mary 2 has a formal dress code in the main dining venues – which most guests are eager to embrace. Each sailing typically features three formal nights, such as a masquerade ball or Roaring Twenties–style dance.

On Silversea’s ships, each cabin has dedicated butlers who are trained through the Guild of Professional English Butlers.

 

 

 

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Virtuoso Traveler. 

Cinque Terre, Vernazza

Port of Call: Navigating Italy’s Cinque Terre

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 536 0

When the ship docks, a crowd-dodging plan is key in these coastal Italian postcard villages.

Briny sea breezes carry the scent of sun-warmed lemons and fresh basil along the Riviera di Levante on Italy’s northwestern coast. A favorite holiday destination, this 80-mile stretch of the Italian Riviera begins east of Genoa and ends just beyond the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the “Poets’ Gulf,” for the number of writers its beauty has inspired. This warm-weather paradise, which I’ve called home for more than a decade, is now a popular cruise destination due to its proximity to the Cinque Terre, five ancient fishing villages perched amid wave-battered cliffs on a rugged stretch of coastline. A UNESCO World Heritage site and fragile natural treasure, the Cinque Terre is largely car-free, but easily accessible by train or boat, and on foot. To avoid the tourist crowds and delve deeper into this fascinating region, arrive with a strategy and sturdy sneakers. An extensive network of hiking trails links the villages, while ferries ply the glittering coastal waters, making for an easy day of outdoor exploring from smaller Portovenere or La Spezia, where larger ships dock.

9 a.m.
Whether you arrive by boat or train, make Vernazza your first Cinque Terre stop. Arguably the most beautiful of the five villages, it fills early with day-tripping visitors, so enjoy the morning calm on a stroll through the narrow lanes and arched porticoes, past the lemon-hued church, and along the tiny harbor, where bobbing turquoise-and-white dinghies line the stone quay. Sip a cappuccino on the seaside piazza, or join tanned retirees wading into the crystal-clear water for their first swim of the day. Then climb the narrow staircase up to Castello Doria, an ancient seaside fortification with spectacular coastal views.

10 a.m.
Fill a water bottle before leaving the tourist masses behind for the two-mile hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost Cinque Terre town, along the popular Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail). The ascent is moderately strenuous along a dusty trail, but your effort will be rewarded with stunning bird’s-eye views of Vernazza. Continue through the lush landscape, past citrus groves and terraced vineyards equipped with rickety monorail cars that haul the handpicked harvest up vertiginously steep slopes. After a hike of about an hour and a half, Monterosso will come into view.

Noon
A promontory divides Monterosso, the Cinque Terre’s largest town, into two parts, old and new. Begin exploring the Old Town, nestled between green hills, with its multicolored houses, pebbled beach, and medieval carruggi (ultra-narrow alleys). Stop at Focacceria Il Frantoio for a snack of pan fritto (fried pizza dough stuffed with cheese), then admire a collection of artworks that include a van Dyck painting inside the bluff-top monastery. A tunnel leads to the newer part of town, known as Fegina, where rows of sun loungers and colorful parasols line the long sand-and- pebble beach. Cool off with a gelato or a dip in the Mediterranean, then join locals taking a relaxed passeggiata along the beach-side promenade.

2 p.m.
The most pleasurable way to see the Cinque Terre is from the water. Whether aboard a private yacht or public ferry, the views are the same: stupendous. The easiest route is to hop on the hourly ferry departing from the quay beside Monterosso’s Old Town (look for signs for Consorzio Marittimo Turistico), and sail down the coast admiring the unparalleled panorama of postage-stamp-size villages tucked amid sheer cliffs. Along the way, spy hidden coves, lone hilltop chapels, acres of olive trees, and vineyards climbing the hillsides. Admire Vernazza from new angles, spotting the hilltop town of Corniglia (the only Cinque Terre town without a harbor), before arriving in Manarola.

4 p.m.
Alight in Manarola for an afternoon aperitivo at Nessun Dorma, a clifftop café that serves spritzes in an outdoor garden overlooking the town harbor and its cluster of pastel houses perched above the turquoise sea. If you’re eager to tick off one more village, take the train a stop south to Riomaggiore and climb the steep steps above the station to A Pié de Ma, a wine bar situated on rocks jutting above the water, where you can sip rare natural wines from local producer Walter De Battè on the terrace as waves swirl and crash below.

6 p.m.
As charming as any of its northern neighbors, Portovenere deserves a detour for its impressive historic sights, including the hilltop Castello Doria; the striped, twelfth-century Chiesa di San Pietro; and a wave-battered grotto dedicated to the English poet (and legendary swimmer) Lord Byron. Those returning to ships in La Spezia should head into the city center for farinata, a thin, pancakelike local specialty made from chickpeas. At La Pia Centenaria, a farinata specialist since 1887, giant copper pans pulled from the wood-fired oven yield pancakes that are sliced for take-away orders; try the savory version slathered with pesto or creamy stracchino cheese.

 

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Virtuoso Life. Written by 

Gratuities

Guide to Cruise Line On board Gratuities

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 605 0

Figuring out how much to tip and who to tip while on a cruise can be confusing, even if you are a seasoned cruiser. Some lines automatically charge gratuities to your onboard account, others include them in your cruise fare, or have a special promotion where you get FREE gratuities. It seems that every cruise line has a different amount they charge and where those gratuities go.

Here is a break down of cruise line on board gratuity charges with some of the top cruise lines

Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara Club Cruises includes gratuities in its fares.

Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line charges $13.99 per person per day for guests in standard rooms; and $15.99 per person per day for guests in suites.

All of the gratuities collected go to Carnival’s shipboard staff. According to its website, the amount is spread between its housekeeping team, dining team, and alternate staff.

Carnival recently announced that it would start charging 18 percent, up from 15 percent, on the automatic gratuity it charges for onboard beverages and a la carte dining outlets.

Celebrity Cruise Line
Celebrity charges $14.50 per person per day for those in standard accommodations; $15.00 per person per day for Concierge Class and AquaClass guests; and $18.00 per person per day for those in suites.

On its website, Celebrity says that collected gratuities are shared between stateroom attendants, dining services staff, and housekeeping staff.

The cruise line also adds an 18 percent gratuity to all beverages, spa, salon, and minibar purchases.

Cunard Line
Cunard automatically charges $11.50 per person, per day, to passenger shipboard accounts in Britannia accommodations. For passengers in Grill Class accommodations the charge is $13.50.

An automatic 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar bills. A 15 percent charge also applies to spa treatments and services.

Crystal Cruises
All of Crystal Cruises’ sailings are all-inclusive, so gratuities for its staff — housekeeping, restaurant, bar, and Penthouse butler staff — are already included in the cruise fare.

Holland America Line
Holland America increased the cost of its automatic gratuities in October, announcing that it would start charging $14.50 per day per person for all guests staying in standard rooms; and $16.00 per person per day for suite guests, starting in 2019.

Holland America states that 100 percent of gratuities go toward compensating onboard crew members.

Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL is increasing its gratuities starting on April 1, 2019. For all sailings after that date (excluding guests booked before on sailings before April 1), Norwegian guests sailing in any stateroom category up to a mini-suite on most ships will be charged $15 per person per day. Those sailing in any suite, Concierge, or The Haven stateroom will be charged $18 per person per day.

Standard guests on Norwegian Sky and Sun, two ships that sail with an all-inclusive price, will be charged $20.50 per person per day. Suite guests will be charged $23.50 per person per day.

Oceania Cruises
Oceania automatically adds $16.00 per person per day for standard guests; and $23.00 per person per day for suite guests.

Oceania also adds an 18 percent charge to all beverage purchases, spa services, and specialty dinners.

Paul Gauguin Cruises
All onboard gratuities are included in Paul Gauguin’s all-inclusive fare.

Princess Cruises
A discretionary gratuity of $15.50 per guest for suites, $14.50 per guest for mini-suites and club class, and $13.50 per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms. This gratuity will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet.

A 18% gratuity is added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts, and Lotus Spa® services. This is shared amongst the beverage staff, their support staff and Lotus Spa® personnel.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Gratuities are included in the cruise fare for all of Regent’s sailings. The line also offers another option for guests who want to go above-and-beyond for their crew: donations to the Crew Welfare Fund, which is used for crew events, are welcomed at the Purser Office onboard.

Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean’s automatic gratuity is $14.50 per person per day for standard guests; and $17.50 per person per day for suite guests.

Gratuities are shared among dining, bar and culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

Seabourn
According to Seabourn’s website, “Gratuities are neither required nor expected on Seabourn ships.”

Silversea
All gratuities onboard, including all service gratuities except spa, are included in Silversea’s all-inclusive fare.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
When it officially launches in 2020, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer a fare that includes onboard gratuities for all restaurant, bar and housekeeping services, along with multiple dining venues, 24-hour in-suite dining, beverages such as beer, select spirits and wines, soft drinks, coffee, tea and bottled water in-suite and throughout the yacht, onboard entertainment and enrichment, use of the marina-style platform with access to watersports, and Wi-Fi.

Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking adds a discretionary hotel and dining charge of $15.00 per person per day to shipboard accounts. Those charges are shared among the waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff, and others.

That fee does not include Viking’s 15 percent gratuity for bar and deck service.

Virgin Voyages
As part of the lead up to the 2020 launch of its first ship, Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages revealed that all of its onboard gratuities will be included in the cruise fare.

Windstar
Windstar raised its daily gratuities in January of this year — now, the luxury line charges $13.50 per person per day for gratuities for all guests.

Windstar also adds a 15 percent service charge for bar service.

 

While it’s important to recognize that gratuities are a primary way of rewarding on board crews that make the experience of sailing special, most cruise lines allow guests to adjust (either increase or decrease) the amount paid in gratuities by going to guest services during the cruise. So you can feel confident that you are paying what you feel is fair.

 

 

Gratuity and service fee amounts valid at time of publishing 
Oceania Cruises to Eliminate Plastic Water Bottles

Oceania Cruises To Eliminate Plastic Water Bottles

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 412 0

Oceania Cruise to eliminate plastic water bottles in pioneering green initiative – Partnership with Vero Water will save more than three million plastic bottles per year.

Miami, FL, January 31, 2019 – Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, announced a ground-breaking sustainability initiative to eliminate millions of plastic water bottles per year through a new partnership with Vero Water. This pioneering green initiative is the newest facet of the brand’s OceaniaNEXT enhancements and the company’s larger Sail & Sustain environmental program.

“By introducing Vero Water to the Oceania Cruises experience, we are not only taking a quantum leap forward environmentally, we are providing our guests with the gold-standard of still and sparkling water,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises. As part of its OceaniaNEXT initiative, the line’s ships will be outfitted with Vero Water’s acclaimed still and sparkling water distillation systems starting in April. Installation of the Vero Water systems will ultimately eliminate an estimated three million plastic bottles per year.

The Who’s Who of the Hospitality World
Vero Water, is the world’s leading purveyor of premium water distillation systems and is used around the globe by leading luxury hospitality brands such as Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Kimpton, MGM Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt, Fisher Island Club, Sea Island, and at the crème de la crème of restaurants including James Beard Award-winning Saba New Orleans, Eleven Madison Park, Meadowood at Napa Valley, Farmhouse Inn, Saison, Tribeca Grill, Blue Hill, and too many others to name.

Vero Water’s environmentally friendly approach to great-tasting distilled water utilizes dishwasher-safe glass bottles which can be used over and over again, eliminating up to three million plastic bottles per year. Vero Water’s proprietary purification system which utilizes Nano-Filtration and five separate layers of filters delivers delicious, crisp, perfectly chilled water.

Vero Water Onboard and Ashore
Vero Water service will be implemented in two phases during the coming year. Phase One focuses on implementing the onboard water service in suites, staterooms, restaurants, lounges and bars which will start in April and is expected to be completed by mid-June. Phase Two will marry the Vero Water service with the guest experience ashore. All guests will be provided with their own re-useable Vero Water bottle which will be theirs to keep and to take home with them. This phase-in is expected to start in the second half of 2019.

Implementation Schedule
Riviera – April 2, 2019
Marina – April 19, 2019
Regatta – May 1, 2019
Sirena – May 19, 2019
Nautica – May 30, 2019
Insignia – June 19, 2019

 

 

About OceaniaNEXT
OceaniaNEXT is a sweeping array of dramatic enhancements so transformational, they are inspirational. The Regatta-Class re-inspiration is the first in a line of exciting announcements and enhancements to come in 2018, 2019, and beyond. This ambitious brand initiative will elevate every facet of the Oceania Cruises guest experience to new levels. From thoughtfully crafted new dining experiences and reimagined menus to the dramatic re-inspiration of the iconic Regatta-Class ships, guests will savor The Finest Cuisine at Sea™, be pampered aboard intimate and luxurious ships, and be enriched through in-depth destination exploration.

About Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises is the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line. The line’s six intimate and luxurious ships which carry only 684 or 1,250 guests offer an unrivaled vacation experience featuring the finest cuisine at sea and destination-rich itineraries that span the globe. Expertly crafted voyages aboard designer-inspired, intimate ships call on more than 450 ports across Europe, Alaska, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, New England-Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Tahiti and the South Pacific and epic 180-day Around the World Voyages.

About VERO WATER®
Vero Water is a healthy lifestyle choice for Inspired Living. VERO WATER® is a leading provider of luxury still and sparkling water to the hospitality industry and is served to over 50 million consumers a year in six countries and in the United States from coast-to-coast in over 40 states. Vero’s proprietary purification and bottling process enables hospitality and business clients to purify, chill, fill and serve Vero still and sparkling water on-premise and on-demand. Served perfectly chilled from a luxury branded bottle with every pour, Vero’s signature taste is pure and crisp – noted by a distinctively luxurious mouthfeel and a light and refreshing finish. A profile that cleanses the palate, enabling the taste of the food and drinks to be at the center of the dining experience. The exceptional water taste 01and quality, combined with the unparalleled level of concierge service provided to its clients, has propelled Vero Water into many of the most acclaimed restaurants worldwide, firmly establishing it as the water brand proudly served by the most demanding and successful chefs, restaurateurs and owner operators in the hospitality industry. verowater.com

About Sail & Sustain
We remain committed to being a responsible corporate citizen by fostering a culture of awareness and respect for our world’s resources. Our core company values extend beyond our ships and encourages the preservation of the precious natural resources that are integral to our success. Our ability to offer extraordinary guest experiences relies on the clean and healthy marine environment and well-being of the destinations we visit.