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Culinary excellence: The best chef partnerships on board luxury cruise lines

Cruise Advice

Whether you prefer locally-inspired fare or refined, fine-dining menus, there's no denying that one of the best parts of a luxury cruise is the fantastic culinary experiences that come along with it - which are often all included in the price. Whether it's dining at Chef's Tables, taking part in cooking workshops or sampling farm-to-table cuisine curated by Michelin-starred chefs, read below to discover the most impressive chef partnerships with luxury cruise lines - and how you can experience their menus for yourself.

Crystal Cruises: Nobu Matsuhisa

Dining was key to the Crystal Cruises experience, and with the relaunch of the line set for later this year, we were thrilled to hear the news that this also means the return of Nobu Matsuhisa and his iconic UMI UMA by Nobu Matsuhisa Restaurant and Sushi Bar. Available on board both of Crystal's newly-refurbished ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, UMI UMA offers guests a range of classic dishes created by the legendary chef, served in an elegant, modern setting. Think black cod, Chilean sea bass, wagyu beef fillet steak and the finest sushi.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Alain Roux

Regent's all-inclusive culinary experience has long been among the most impressive in the industry, and the line's new Epicurean Spotlight Voyages showcase different cultures and culinary niches both on board and ashore with chefs lead small-group experiences, from local markets tours and spice farm visits to foraging, cooking classes and wine tasting. A stand out is the special August 2023 sailing on board Seven Seas Mariner that will include an appearance from world-renowned British Michelin-starred chef Alain Roux on board. The son of the late Michel Roux OBE, Alain is Chef Patron at The Waterside Inn in Berkshire which holds three Michelin stars - an accolade they've held longer than any other restaurant in the world outside France.


Seabourn: Thomas Keller

Seabourn's ships include a dazzling array of included dining options, and their Culinary Partnership with Thomas Keller is a showcase of the world-renowned chef's most creative yet traditional European menus. American chef Keller is chef and founder at famed eateries The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery and Per Se - and is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple Michelin three-star ratings. Seabourn's The Grill by Thomas Keller, available on board all Seabourn vessels, offers such delights as Lobster Thermidor and creamed spinach alongside a specialised cocktail programme.


The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection: Sven Elverfeld

Ritz-Carlton's first foray into the sailing world has brought with it all the luxuries that you'd expect from the five-star hotel chain, and their dining offering on board ship Evrima is no different. Three-Michelin star chef Sven Elverfel of Aqua - the three Michelin-star restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany - has designed European-inspired tasting menus, available only at onboard restaurant S.E.A., for a specialty dining experience in an ultra-contemporary setting.


Windstar: Anthony Sasso

Windstar offer a whole host of food-focused delights including culinary shore excursions, regional onboard cuisine and local market tours, and with the addition of their Spanish restaurant Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso three years ago on board Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, their culinary experience sits among the industry's best. Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso partners with chef Sasso, one of the youngest Michelin chefs in the world, who uses his experiences and travels across the Iberian Peninsula to create modern and innovative Spanish menus - think jamón ibérico, pulpo gallego and Galician-style octopus - with a chef's counter and communal tables for small-plate and family style dining.


Aqua Expeditions: David Thompson

On board the luxurious Aqua Mekong that sails the Mekong River, Cambodia and Vietnam, Aqua Expeditions offer a locally-inspired dining experience on board curated by Michelin-starred chef and restauranteur David Thompson. Australian-born Thompson originally gained his star at Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, focussing on South East Asian flavours, and now creates exciting, seasonal menus for Aqua guests, with flavours like coconut, lemongrass, coriander and turmeric used heavily. Intriguing dishes such as lamb curry with Khmer spices and Vietnamese sugar cane prawns are generally served in an authentic, communal dining style, and guests can take part in on-board cooking demonstrations and chef-led shopping in buzzing local markets.

Aqua Expeditions-cruise-chef

Silversea: Mauro Colagreco

Silversea Cruises has just announced its collaboration with the three-star Michelin restaurant Mirazur (ranked as the world's best restaurant in 2019) and its founder, celebrated chef Mauro Colagreco, as part of the line's Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) programme. The experience - offered on French Riviera cruises in summer 2023 and 2024 - will include shopping at the market in the beautiful Old Town of Menton, a visit to Colagreco's sustainable bakery, learning about the research being undertaken at the restaurant's five biodynamic vegetable gardens and finally a nine-course tasting menu in Mirazur's private tasting kitchen. Available only on calls to Menton and Monaco on board Silver Moon, Silver Dawn and, once launched, new ships Silver Nova and Silver Ray.

Explora Journeys: Mauro Uliassi

Brand-new cruise line Explora Journeys is set to make waves in the industry when they launch in July, so it comes as no surprise that their dining offering is set to be top-notch, too. Offering an impressive 11 culinary experiences on board, the stand out is the appearance of three Michelin-star Italian chef Mauro Uliassi, who'll be curating the menu as guest chef in Explora I's Anthology restaurant as part of the ship's inaugural journey that begins on the 17th July and ends in New York on 25th September 2023. Chef Uliassi is known for his inventive approach to Italian cuisine that reflects his passion for the sea and the environment, with unique takes on fish and seafood as well as game meat earning him his three Michelin stars at restaurant Uliassi in Senigallia on the Adriatic coast in Italy.

Meet the author

Claire is Marketing Manager at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for nearly a year and in travel for over 8 years. Most recently she's cruised on Seabourn and has also sailed with Ponant and Uniworld. Her favourite destination is Sweden however she's also enjoyed cruises in the the Galapagos, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Northern Europe, Greek Isles and the Far East. When she’s not travelling she loves weekends away in the countryside.

More about Claire

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