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Guest Chefs on Sip, Savor & Sail Cruises Showcase Local Cuisine

On every Holland America cruise, tremendous importance is placed on the culinary experience. From the exclusive Pinnacle Grill to the casual Lido, from the Dining Room to Canaletto, there are a variety of dining options to tempt every palate.

Part of food- and wine-focused experiences on each ship is the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine. Here, visiting guest chefs and the ships’ own experts showcase their talents in a show kitchen at sea that rivals the finest show kitchens ashore. Through demonstrations, hands-on classes and question and answer sessions, guests are able to observe and learn from the finest.

The Culinary Arts Centers on the 15 ships in the fleet are incredible show kitchens that host some of the finest experts in the world.

The Culinary Arts Centers on the 15 ships in the fleet are incredible show kitchens that host some of the finest experts in the world.

Now Holland America Line has elevated the culinary experience to entice the most die-hard foodies and even novice chefs to set sail. Guests looking for a more immersive culinary cruise can book one of Holland America Line’s “Sip, Savor and Sail” itineraries in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Alaska. On these seven special voyages, guests will be introduced to the finest local cuisine, beverages and specially developed shore excursions. Guest chefs and local vintners, mixologists and brewmasters will share their expertise — and their creations — during classes, demonstrations and tastings in the Culinary Arts Center, while specialized menus will be featured in the dining room and alternative restaurants. Exciting shore excursions with a special Sip, Savor and Sail focus will be available to complete the memorable experience.

The 2015 Sip and Savor cruises in the Caribbean are Nieuw Amsterdam’s March 8 voyage, Eurodam’s March 15 cruise and Maasdam’s April 17 voyage. The May 4 Mediterranean sailing on Ryndam features the program, and in Alaska guests can join Westerdam’s May 2 departure, Statendam’s July 13 sailing or Amsterdam’s Aug. 16 voyage.

Exotic Flavors Spice Up Caribbean Cruises

Come on a Sip and Savor cruise in the Caribbean and learn about local delicacies.

Come on a Sip and Savor cruise in the Caribbean and learn about local delicacies.

In addition to demonstrations and tastings on the Caribbean voyages, the guest chefs will all host a Calypso Brunch in the Pinnacle Grill, and during the call at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, they will host a shoreside event featuring beach appetizers, libations and steel drum music.

Sip and Savor shore excursions in the Caribbean include “History & Cuisine of San Juan on Foot” at San Juan, Puerto Rico; “Caribbean Culinary Experience” at Basseterre, St. Kitts; and “Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch” at St. Johns, Antigua.

On Nieuw Amsterdam’s March 8 seven-day Caribbean voyage, Chef Wayne Johnson — executive chef/owner of Shuga Jazz Bistro in Seattle, Wash. — will be onboard to bring the Caribbean’s exotic flavors to life. Award-winning Bar Chef Ryan Magarian also will be onboard to craft some delicious tropical concoctions.

Eurodam’s March 15 cruise features Chef Brian Lumley, the creative visionary behind 689 By Brian Lumley, one of Jamaica’s most-loved restaurants. Lumley will show guests why he was named Caribbean Chef of the Year during the seven-day cruise.

On Maasdam’s April 7 10-day voyage, Chef Natacha Gomez will delight guests with her flavorful and unique culinary creations. Gomez is the catering manager of Kokiyaj Bar and Grill and owner of Chef T in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

Master the Flavors of Spain and Portugal in the Med

Wine and cuisine from Portugal is highlighted on Ryndam's Mediterranean cruise.

Wine and cuisine from Portugal is highlighted on Ryndam’s Mediterranean cruise.

On Ryndam’s May 4 sailing roundtrip from Harwich (London), England, guests will have 12 days to become immersed in the flavors of Spain and Portugal. Wine and port are paired with specially prepared appetizers and presented by the guest chef and wine experts on three evenings during the voyage.

Guest Chef Antony Bennett from La Tasca and Spanish independent concepts La Vina and Bar Y Tapas also will give a tapas cooking demonstration. Rebecca Lamont, head of Wine School at Berry Bros. & Rudd, will present a “Lunch and Learn” session, while Spanish Wine Buyer and Master of Wine Simon Field discusses the intricacies of fine Spanish wine. Together Lamont and Field will host a wine tasting.

Five shore excursions will highlight the region’s culinary and cultural contributions to the world, including “A Taste of Northwest Spain,” “Flamenco & Traditional Spanish Meal” and “Panoramic Cadiz & Jerez with Sherry Tasting.”

Alaska’s Unique Cuisine Comes to Life on Sip and Savor Cruises

In Alaska, guests learn about regional favorites like salmon from local guests chefs.

In Alaska, guests learn about regional favorites like salmon from local guests chefs.

On the three Alaska voyages, guests can savor local fare — from the freshest salmon to local vegetables and fruits — all paired with select wines from Northwest vintners and brews from Juneau’s Alaskan Brewing Co. During a “What’s in the Bag?” competition, the guest chefs will go head-to-head, preparing chowder from mystery ingredients.

Alaska cruises feature a total of 16 Sip and Savor shore excursions in Juneau, Homer, Kodiak and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. Examples include “Glacier View Bike and Brew” and “Alaska Salmon Bake” at Juneau, “Exclusive Mountaintop Flightseeing & Crab Feast” at Ketchikan, and “Corks and Canvas” and “Off the Beaten Path: Aviation Museum & Cider Tasting” at Victoria.

Westerdam’s May 2 seven-day departure will feature Jeff Maxfield, executive chef at the acclaimed SkyCity Restaurant, a revolving dining room atop the Space Needle in Seattle, and Drew Johnson, executive chef at Kincaid Grill in Anchorage, Alaska. Wendy Stuckey of Chateau Ste. Michelle winery located outside of Seattle will be onboard to impart her knowledge during several presentations.

On Statendam’s July 13 cruise, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti of Tulalip Resort Casino near Seattle, and Al Levinson, chef and owner of Kincaid Grill in Anchorage, will be onboard the 12-day voyage, along with Bob Betz, founder and winemaker at Betz Family Winery.

The Aug. 16 Alaska cruise on Statendam features Kristen and Mandy Dixon, chefs at both Tutka Bay and Winterlake Lodge in Alaska, along with Chef Roy Breiman, culinary director at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle. Along with the chefs, Matt Oakley, winemaker at Long Shadows winery, will present a special collection of premium wines during the seven-day cruise.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine
Holland America Line’s industry trend-setting Culinary Arts Centers are featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. A world-class show kitchen at sea, the Culinary Arts Centers presented by Food & Wine Magazine resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for cooking shows, wine tastings, hands-on cooking classes and mixology presentations. All events are taught by highly skilled culinary and beverage staff during every Holland America Line voyage.

Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large video screens and a large cooking display counter. Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program on select sailings to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute classes.

Are you joining a Sip and Savor cruise? Which local cuisine would you like to learn more about? Tell us below!

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