MIAMI — Widely recognized for its culinary enrichment experiences both aboard its ships and ashore, Oceania Cruises is expanding its epicurean exploration with a collection of multiday pre-, post- and mid-cruise land tours called Culinary Creations Land Tours.
Available starting in spring 2016, the new Culinary Creations Land Tours will be offered in Rome, Barcelona, Provence (Monte Carlo), Tuscany (Rome/Civitavecchia), Greece (Athens), London and Argentina (Buenos Aires) during select sailings aboard Nautica, Marina, Riviera and the newest ship in the Oceania Cruises fleet, Sirena.
Exclusive to Oceania Cruises, the Culinary Creations Land Tours provide guests with epicurean interests an opportunity to interact with local culinary experts by exploring local food markets, cooking schools, restaurants and attractions. Ideal for guests in search of a more immersive exploration of the world’s most fascinating culinary destinations, the Culinary Creations Land Tours range from two to three nights and are available as pre-, post- or mid-cruise options.
“This is a natural extension for the Oceania Cruises brand, and leverages two of our greatest strengths: developing rich shore experiences that bring the incredible destinations we visit to life, and creating the most engaging culinary enrichment programs at sea,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer of Oceania Cruises. “As destination experts we recognize that many cultures around the world are often defined by their culinary traditions, and the new Culinary Creations Land Tours we designed are perfect for guests seeking a more in-depth exploration of those traditions.”
Highlights from the new Culinary Creations tours include:
Provence (Monte Carlo)
Guests will discover the culinary treasures of Provence as they travel into the countryside for a three-night stay at the Château de Berne. Each guest will help prepare a traditional Provençal lunch at the château using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients from the chef’s vegetable and herb gardens. After sampling wine and local delicacies between tours of traditional villages, guests will discover the historic charms of Le Thoronet and Cotignac, and learn about local olive oil production and regional specialties in Moulin de Pascaline. In addition, guests will gain insight into the distinct wines of Provence during a tasting and tour of a private wine cellar.
Toasting in Tuscany (Rome/Civitavecchia)
Throughout a three-night stay in Tuscany, guests will experience the charms of the region and discover the secrets to preparing authentic Tuscan cuisine by participating in a hands-on cooking class at Villa Pandolfini, the magnificent estate dating back to the 1200s.
On a half-day walking tour of Florence, guests will visit legendary attractions such as Michelangelo’s David at Galleria dell’Accademia and Ponte Vecchio. During an independent visit to the Square of Miracles in Pisa, guests can savor the architectural masterpieces of the city’s Golden Age, including the iconic Leaning Tower, the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Camposanto.
Guests will experience the history, culture and gastronomy of Greece during a two-night stay in Athens, where they will visit an open-air Greek market and sample locally made cheese and olives. Following a visit to the market, guests will learn how to prepare traditional Greek dishes alongside a top Greek chef and attend wine and ouzo tastings. With an entrance ticket to the Acropolis included, guests can embark on a self-guided tour before enjoying a guided visit to the new Acropolis Museum. In addition, guests will be treated to a food and wine pairing lunch at Varoulko, home to Greece’s top-awarded Michelin star chef.
Brigade of London
During a three-night stay in London, guests will explore English cuisine through historical food markets, gourmet shops, traditional lunches and a hands-on cooking class. While at Borough Market, London’s most renowned food market, guests will sample cheeses, fruit, pies, beers and other local treats. Guests will enjoy Prosecco and canapés before taking part in a Master Class at Brigade Cook School, where they will prepare a three-course lunch featuring seasonal and classic British dishes. In addition, guests will sample delights from one of the oldest wine and spirits shops in St. James, a storied aristocratic quarter.
In addition to new Culinary Creation tours for the 2016 season, Oceania Cruises recently debuted a new innovative program called OLife Advantage, offering additional amenities for guests who book their 2016 voyage early. The program provides booking incentives such as free shore excursions, unlimited Internet and pre-paid gratuities to guests who book a veranda stateroom category or above before Sept. 30, 2015.
Fares for the Culinary Creations Land Tours start at US$1,399 per guest based on double occupancy.