Learn to Cook Like a Local with In-Home Culinary Tours In Ports Around the World

Learn to Cook Like a Local with In-Home Culinary Tours In Ports Around the World

While Holland America Line cruises are about relaxation and indulgence, they’re also about providing guests with an enriching travel experience. We want our guests to gain a deeper understanding of each destination’s unique culture so everyone can truly savor their journey.

One undeniably authentic and enjoyable way to get to know a culture is by tasting its unique cuisine. Select ports around the world offer the rare and intimate opportunity for guests to enter the home of a local and enjoy a traditional meal. Stretching from Alaska to Sri Lanka, these are some of the best in-home culinary Journeys Ashore shore excursions.

Experience Italy’s Enticing Flavors

While cruising the Mediterranean, a call at Palermo, Sicily, offers an incredible tour to feed your soul. A Taste of Sicily: A Cooking Lesson takes you into the heart of the Sicilian countryside to an ancient farm called Antica Masseria.


You’ll visit the 18th-century baglio, a country house, where the charming Baroness Di Salvo will welcome you inside for a cooking lesson. Don an apron and join in as she prepares some typical Sicilian dishes.

At the end of the course, enjoy the delicious dishes you create for lunch. Take some free time to relax in the garden of old palms, weeping willows, climbing roses and wisteria. The atmosphere of the farm and the house truly captures the essence of Italian nobility and the charm of a bygone era.

Sample Sweet, Spicy and Savory Sri Lanka

On the Cooking with Color tour at Colombo, you’ll meet Mohara Dol, a remarkable woman who has stood at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s food industry for 30 years. Join her in her home to cook up a delightful array of traditional Malay and Sri Lankan dishes.

Drawing inspiration from her Malay heritage and the rich traditions of her Sinhalese and Tamil friends and neighbors, she has devised a repertoire of rice, curry, sambol and salad dishes that are distinct in taste, aroma, color and flavor. You’ll watch a demonstration on the terrace, during which she shows you how to prepare a range of delicious Sri Lankan dishes. Her no-fuss approach means that the art of curry making is made simple and is easy to replicate at home. After cooking, sit down together to enjoy lunch accompanied by fresh fruit juice.

Mexico’s Memorable Morsels Won’t Disappoint

A visit to Mazatlán calls for a Shrimp Feast! A short drive from the port will take you to the exclusive private residence of Villa de la Cruz, a beautiful property by the Sierra Madre mountain range. Sit back and enjoy an unlimited buffet of fresh-caught shrimp, traditional taquitos, and chips with salsa and guacamole.


Dip your feet in the refreshing pool, listen to the live music, and enjoy an open bar of margaritas and Mazatlán’s very own Pacifico Beer. This is the perfect opportunity to unwind and relax, while also soaking up some authentic Mexican culture!

Find No Fuss With Food At Finland

On the Helsinki Highlights & Country Home Visit tour, arrive at Hommanäs Manor & Estate founded in the 15th century. This home oozes with history. In the 17th century it was owned by the noble Wrede family and in the 18th century became the home of the renowned Finnish partisan leader Tapani Löfving. The oldest part of the manor house you will visit was built in Empire style and dates back to the 1750s. The traditional yard has 19th-century outbuildings.


The hostess will greet you into her home – the manor. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the sitting room and taste homemade baked goods in this serene and beautiful seaside environment. Finish off this tour with a brief nature walk through the Finnish countryside before boarding a coach to return to the port.

Australia’s Cuisine Is Especially Appetizing

Begin the Exclusive Aussie Homestead & Tree Planting tour at Melbourne by meeting the Thomson family as they delightfully welcome you into their home with morning tea and pastries. Next, head out to the family’s woolshed to learn about sheep shearing, wool production, sheep herding and more.

Hungry yet? Good, because you’ll return to the homestead to enjoy a meal you’ll never forget! Enjoy a delicious three-course traditional Aussie barbecue lunch featuring organic farm produce and a glass of Australian wine, beer or soft drinks.

Since this tour is part of our Cruising With A Purpose Collection, it’s time to give back! After you’re done enjoying lunch, you’ll help plant an Australian native tree on the property. Your effort enhances the natural environment, reduces soil salinity and promotes the well-being of wildlife in the area. Remember to keep your eyes peeled, as you may have the chance to see a wild kangaroo!

Heavenly Hawaii Is Not To Be Missed

What is it like to live in paradise? Find out at Hilo on the Culinary Hawaii Home tour in the homes of three Big Island residents for a delicious island progressive brunch.

On this exciting and personalized tour to three kama’aina (local-style) residences you’ll gain an insider perspective of the various island lifestyles, both mauka (mountainside) and makai (seaside). The three homes visited will be carefully selected from a repertoire of more than a dozen homes. At every stop, another delicious course packed with fresh, local ingredients will be served.

This tour is an exclusive insight into life beyond the main streets, hotels, shops and luaus — a glimpse of true island life through private homes and gardens.

Titillate Your Tastebuds in Alaska

The people of Alaska love to live with the land. While the Alaskan Fish Camp tour at Ketchikan may not be inside someone’s home, it takes place in a setting that’s as authentic as Alaska gets – the great outdoors!


Start this tour by experiencing an authentic fishing excursion in the unspoiled wilderness of Alaska’s coastline. Your group of five (or less) will be lead by a professional guide who customizes each excursion to fit your interests and skill level. Glide into a breathtaking landscape aboard a stable, open-air, 20-foot skiff. Cast a line, and what you catch will become the fresh basis of a gourmet campsite meal.

A crackling fire awaits you at a wilderness campsite among cedars and spruce. Enjoy a gourmet meal of your freshly caught fish served atop a saffron-infused, bouillabaisse-inspired, shellfish-free stew served with sourdough rolls, garlic-aioli spread, signature rhubarb and blueberry bread pudding, and steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate.

These authentic and localized culinary tours are the perfect way to indulge in a region’s unique culture and truly savor your journey with Holland America Line. And remember, all of your tours can be pre-booked so you don’t miss out on your dream shore excursion. Click HERE to book now!

Have you ever tried an interesting traditional food unique to a certain culture? Tell us about it in the comments below!


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