Here, we give you a brief rundown of some of the most popular food, wine and beer theme cruises. This information, with specific dates, offers a glance at some of the options, but it's not meant to serve as a comprehensive list. Refer to each company's website for updates and bear in mind that some cruises sell out quickly.
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Windstar Cruises' James Beard Foundation Culinary Collection Cruises
As part of its partnership with the James Beard Foundation, luxury small-ship line Windstar offers annual culinary-themed cruises -- and two late 2018 dates are still available for booking. Choose from a 10-night French Polynesia cruise departing on November 26 (pricing available upon request on Windstar's website) and a weeklong Southern Caribbean cruise departing on December 15 (starting at $1,499 per person).
Each cruise will welcome a James Beard Foundation-selected chef or wine/beverage expert onboard, and feature two culinary demos; a hosted dinner with wine pairing; wine, spirits and beer tastings; and chef-hosted shore excursions, including one that takes passengers shopping in a local market.
Dates: November 26–December 6 and December 15–22, 2018
American Cruise Lines' Seafood Festival Cruises
Savor some of the best seafood in the U.S. with American Cruise Lines' Crab Fest and Lobster Bake cruises. Crab lovers have their choice of three Crab Fest Cruises: a weeklong cruise around the Chesapeake Bay, round trip from Baltimore; a 10-night Chesapeake Bay itinerary with a focus on Civil War sites; and a 14-night cruise down the East Coast Inland Passage, from Baltimore to Jacksonville. All sailings begin in Maryland, home of the Blue Crab Capital of the World, and offer the opportunity to experience an authentic crab fest.
Meanwhile, lobster lovers can select one of three Lobster Bake-themed New England itineraries that allow cruisers to experience a traditional lobster bake while sampling other local delicacies: a weeklong cruise round trip from Providence, Rhode Island; a weeklong cruise round trip from Portland, Maine; and a 10-night cruise round trip from Boston. See the individual links for itinerary and pricing breakdowns.
Dates: Various dates in 2018 and 2019
Jacques Pepin Cruise
Celebrity chef and Oceania Cruises partner Jacques Pepin will be onboard Marina for a special 12-night cruise from Amsterdam to Lisbon. Foodies can indulge in specially designed lectures and demonstrations, as well as custom dining menus and other themed extras. The ship will stop in iconic destinations such as London, Paris and Bordeaux, as well as more "off the beaten path" ports throughout France, Spain and Portugal. Fares start at $3,199 per person, for an inside cabin, based on double occupancy.
Dates: September 17–29, 2019
Food & Wine Trails Cruises
Sip your favorite red, white or rose while soaking up views of the Mediterranean, Australia and New Zealand, Portugal, the South of France, Northern Italy and Greece. Food & Wine Trails is offering a series of chartered wine cruises -- all of which include private events on and off the following high-end ships: Oceania's Sirena, Riviera, Marina, Regatta and Nautica, and various Uniworld Boutique River Cruises' boats.
Each cruise will feature a different special guest host, such as Sonoma Magazine, various regional wineries and even the presidents of Food & Wine Trails for two select sailings. For a full list of themes and details on dates, itineraries and fares, visit the Food & Wine Trails website.
Dates: Various dates in 2019
Avalon Waterways' Beer River Cruises
Prost! Avalon Waterways is hosting a series of beer-themed European river cruises in 2019. Onboard activities will vary but generally include tastings, historic brewery tours and lectures on European beer-brewing techniques. Among the itineraries on offer are 10 nights from Amsterdam to Paris; 10 nights from Basel to Munich, with an emphasis on German ports; 14 nights from Budapest to Amsterdam; 15 nights from Basel to Budapest; and 18 nights from Budapest to London, with two nights in Paris and two nights in London. Check out Avalon Waterways' breakdown of beer cruises for itinerary details and starting prices.
Dates: Various dates in 2019