Windstar Cruises Tempts Tastebuds with James Beard Foundation Collection
Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises announced a partnership with the James Beard Foundation to launch three culinary-themed cruises to Spain, Morocco and France.
The portfolio of cruises, called the “James Beard Foundation Collection,” is slated to sail this spring and summer. The cruises are aimed at food and wine enthusiasts looking for an immersive experience in the culture of each country, accompanied by the regional cuisine of each destination.
Each sailing features a James Beard chef working alongside Windstar’s culinary team and acting as an onboard culinary ambassador offering cooking demonstrations, a nightly featured dish and one-on-one interaction.
The James Beard Foundation, founded in 1986, nurtures America's diverse culinary heritage through educational and inspirational programs. A famed cookbook author and teacher, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts.
“It’s very important to us at Windstar to expose our guests to local culture and cuisine throughout their time on board, creating a more intimate connection to the world around them,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar’s CEO. “Partnering with one of the most respected culinary organizations in the world is a natural fit.
“Our new James Beard Foundation Culinary Collection takes Windstar’s commitment to local food culture a step further and is perfect for any traveler who approaches a new destination with their next meal in mind.”
The James Beard Culinary Collection augments Windstar’s specific food and wine themed cruises. Its Culinary Delights of Spain & France, for instance, features a wine expert and guest chef who exhibit regional dishes paired with local wine.
Guests can also book culinary-based shore excursions. The cruise line said it’s expanding its focus on these kind of shore excursions.
It offers various wine, distillery and brewery tours, as well as cooking classes to give guests a hands-on experience with local culture. The Morocco & the Canary Island itinerary, for instance, gives guests the opportunity to book a Moroccan cooking class at a local hotel and eatery in the Atlas Mountains outside the city of Agadir. The class includes a demonstration on preparing traditional Moroccan tea with mint as well as enjoying an array of seasonal Moroccan dishes with local bread.
The 2016 James Beard Culinary Collection cruises are:
• Southern Spain & Morocco, April 24 – An eight-day voyage aboard Wind Surf that sails from Lisbon to Barcelona, docking in Tangier, Morocco before sailing in Spain with stops in Málaga, Granada, Cartagena, Ibiza, and Tarragona.
Spanish tapas, jamon, Moroccan tagines, tempranillos, and riojas are a few highlights. A James Beard host chef will provide two cooking demonstrations, a nightly featured dish and a trip to a local market or culinary outing.
• Spain & France, June 10 and August 9 – Ten-day voyages aboard Star Legend from Dublin to Lisbon in August and from Lisbon to Dublin in June, stopping in Saint-Malo, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux (overnight) in France; Gijon and El Ferrol in Spain; and finally Porto in Portugal.
Seafood from Galicia, sweet port in Porto, cognac in La Rochelle, and world-famous wines in Bordeaux are a few highlights of the cruise. The James Beard host chef here will also provide two cooking demonstrations on board, a nightly featured dish, and a trip to a local market or hosted culinary outing.
Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships offering an intimate yacht-style experience and unique voyages to small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Central America.
Star Pride, the first of three newly acquired power yachts, joined the fleet in May, 2014. In May 2015 the company launched Star Breeze and Star Legend. The power yachts, with a capacity of 212 guests each, doubled the size of Windstar’s fleet.
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