Celebrity Cruises is taking its Celebrity Life onboard programme to a new level. “Savor,” the popular culinary-and-wine/spirits-focused pillar of Celebrity Life, is expanding to include a line-up of special interest cruises aimed at celebrating the onboard culinary experience by inviting guest chefs and other food and wine experts to enhance selected sailings. Celebrity Cruises new “Savor Your Destination” themed cruises kicked off today when Celebrity Cruises newest ship, Celebrity Eclipse, set sail with Australian chef Benjamin Christie onboard.
“Our guests are always looking for new ways to celebrate their love of great cuisine, which is why an outstanding culinary experience is one of the key aspects of a Celebrity Cruises holiday,” said Jacques Van Staden, Celebrity Cruises Vice President, Culinary Operations. “By expanding the already robust ‘Savor’ series of our Celebrity Life programme to include the ‘Savor Your Destination’ themed cruises, we are not only giving our guests a unique opportunity to interact with exceptionally talented chefs, but also celebrating the fact that, from a culinary perspective, our ships and the restaurants onboard are destinations in themselves.”
During each Savor Your Destination cruise, guests will have the opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet-style cocktail hour where they will be able to interact with the chef. Each guest chef will lead a cooking demonstration in the ship’s theatre, where he or she will highlight the techniques, ingredients and flair specific to their individual style. Guest chefs who have published cookbooks may hold book signing events. On every Celebrity Cruises sailing (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the 90-guest mega-yacht that sails year-round in the Galapagos Islands), the Celebrity Life Savor series includes a “Star Chefs” competition in the ship’s theatre.
During the event, guests are selected from the audience and then guided by the ship’s own highest-ranking chefs to compete in a cook-off judged by a panel of selected guests. When possible, guest chefs participating in Celebrity’s Savor Your Destination chef-focused cruises will take part in the Star Chefs competition. Most of the events are complimentary; the hands-on cooking class and food-and-wine-pairing dinner will require reservation fees, and space is limited. Guests who attend the class or dinner will receive a special recipe booklet featuring the chef’s own creations.
Guests who wish to improve their own culinary knowledge can participate in hands-on cooking classes led by the chef in the ship’s main galley. There, under the guidance of the guest chef, with assistance from Celebrity Cruises’ own award-winning culinary operations team, guests can gain invaluable hands-on experience that will help them gain new insight into the joy of cooking, while experiencing the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes into the galley. Each guest chef will design and present an exclusive food-and-wine-pairing dinner in Murano, Celebrity Cruises spectacular gourmet specialty restaurant, sharing insights into the inspiration behind the ingredients, the menu, and the specific pairings.
Savor Your Destination kicked off today with Chef Benjamin Christie sailing on Celebrity Eclipse on an 11-night Canary Islands cruise roundtrip out of Southampton, England. Christie is an acclaimed television host, author, online food personality, and unofficial culinary ambassador based in Sydney, Australia.
“We are thrilled that a rising star like Chef Christie is our first official Savor Your Destination chef,” Van Staden said. “He is incredibly innovative and tends to celebrate indigenous Australian ingredients such as yakajirra, or bush tomato, paperbark, and wattleseed in his cooking, and we are delighted to give our guests the experience to expand their culinary imaginations by tasting these unique ingredients.”
Celebrity Cruises has confirmed UK-based chef and author Adam Byatt, head chef at London’s award-winning Trinity in Clapham Old Town, to sail on Celebrity Eclipse on 21 August, for the first seven nights of a 14-night Spanish Mediterranean cruise roundtrip out of Southampton.
On 2 September, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Cruises’ second Solstice-class ship, will serve as the stylish backdrop for Puerto Rican chef and Food Network television personality Daisy Martinez, on a seven-night Western Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona, Spain, to Rome, Italy.
On 31 October, Zach Bell, Chef de Cuisine at Palm Beach’s Café Boulud and recipient of the 2008 South Florida Rising Star Chef Award, will sail on Celebrity Solstice on a seven-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.
Sailing a 10-night Caribbean voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Equinox on 26 November will be Puerto Rican chef and recent “Top Chef Masters” participant Carmen Gonzalez, former sole proprietor of Miami’s Carmen The Restaurant, where she became renowned for innovative modern American cuisine with Puerto Rican influences.
American chef John Currence, a star in the U.S. Southern cuisine arena will be joining a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Solstice on 5 December from Fort Lauderdale.
Celebrity Cruises is including its popular wine cruises along the Pacific Coast in the Celebrity Life Savor Your Destination programme. The wine cruises feature a visiting winemaker who hosts workshops and dinners aimed at educating guests on how to pair food and wine as well as activities designed to celebrate the love of wine, food, and entertainment, such as “Sabering at Sea,” where guests learn how to saber a champagne or sparkling wine cork from the bottle. In 2010, Celebrity Cruises is offering a wine cruise sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego, California on 17 September. In 2011, Celebrity Cruises will offer two wine cruises; the first of these will sail from San Diego to Vancouver on 3 May, and the second from Vancouver to San Diego on 9 September. All three wine cruises will be ten night itineraries onboard Celebrity Cruise’s Celebrity Millennium.
Celebrity Cruises will announce additional Savor Your Destination events over the next few months.
“The Savor Your Destination cruises are another experience in our robust onboard culinary enrichment programme,” Van Staden said. “Our guests love great cuisine, a passion that expands to other gastronomic experiences such as winemaking. As we continue to develop the Celebrity Life Savor Your Destination cruise lineup, we will welcome not only chefs, but also winemakers and food artisans, to share their expertise with our guests.”
The Savor Series is a collection of programmes aimed at expanding guests’ palates and celebrating their good taste. Activities include
- “The Heartbeat of the Operation,” where guests experience a guided galley tour, meet the ship’s chefs and witness the creation of a signature dessert
- “Molecular Mixology from the Liquid Chef,” where drinks designed by renowned mixologist Junior Merino are taught in step-by-step basics
- “Celebrity’s World Wine Tour and Silent Auction,” which offers a sampling of wines from around the globe and an opportunity for guests to bid on select bottles
- “Riedel Comparative Wine Crystal Workshop,” where guests experience firsthand how the right wine glass can completely change the way wine tastes.
In addition to its Savor Series, Celebrity Life also offers a Discover Series aimed at entertaining, educating and expanding guests’ horizons, and a Renew Series created to help recharge and renew guests by focusing on health and wellness. Many Celebrity Life activities are complimentary; some require a fee.
To learn more about or reserve space on Celebrity’s Savor Your Destination cruises, or to learn more about Celebrity Life, interested cruisers should call their travel agent, or visit www.celebritycruises.com/savoryourdestination.