Are you hungering for more in your cruising? We're talking local market tours, onboard cooking schools, chef's tables and theme cruises with celebrity chefs. You can get all that and more -- if you choose the right cruise. That's what we're all about, so let's dig in for a look at the best foodie cruises.
Best Market ToursThere's nothing like a local market for getting close to the soul of a city's food scene. Here are the cruises that offer them on a regular basis. Sign up early because space is limited.
Windstar CruisesWhenever possible, and depending on what's available in the destination, Windstar's chefs lead interested passengers on a market expedition (free of charge). The chefs actually shop for the ship, so you'll have the added fun of seeing vendors boggled by the big purchases. If you're a diehard foodie, you can even ask to go along at any port, since the chefs hit markets as often as possible. Chefs hand out tastes as they shop, so you might sample pate, cheese, an unusual tomato variety you've never seen before or a red-ripe strawberry.
Viking Ocean CruisesViking's Kitchen Table program takes you to a market, then follows up with dinner onboard using the local ingredients -- and you get to help cook. You'll dine in a special area with the rest of your Kitchen Table group. Viking offers this extra-fee shore excursion and dinner one or more times per cruise, depending on the itinerary.
Seabourn Cruise LineSeabourn invites passengers to roam the markets on its Shopping with the Chef days. Chefs shop for the ship, and stop to share how various ingredients might be used -- even talking through a recipe or offering a taste of what he or she is buying. After the tour, the chef can provide the recipe of dishes prepared with local ingredients upon request.
Best Onboard Cooking Schools
Used to be, we went on cruises to escape the kitchen. These days, onboard cooking schools are one of the hottest trends at sea. Here, we tip foodies to the best of the bunch.