Three River Cruise Dining Experiences

U by Uniworld the A
U by Uniworld’s The A

The nature of river cruising, especially in Europe, enables passengers to experience multiple countries, cultures, and cuisines in one trip. For this reason, river cruises are able to localize their cuisine offerings to a greater extent than ocean or expedition cruises. Here we’ll explore some river cruise lines who have taken this one step further, with three river cruise dining experiences.

Rolling on the Rhine with U by Uniworld

Focusing on the European market, and particularly targeted towards a millennial audience, U by Uniworld sails through Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Serbia, with their two sleek black ships – The A and The B.

U run several themed cruises on board, including a solo travellers cruise and a ‘foodies’ cruise. Named ‘Rolling on the Rhine’, the foodies cruise departs from Amsterdam and travels along the Rhine for eight days, through Hoorn, Wesel, Cologne, Remagen, Koblenz, and Rudesheim, before its last docking at Frankfurt. What makes it a foodies tour? Apart from three complimentary meals every day, the cruise also features several included food-based excursions.

These are complimented by paid-for excursions, and include: a tour of a Dutch brewery; a Dutch cheese trail with tasters; a tour of the Clostermann family apple plantation in Neuhollandshof with cider tasting; Kolsch beer, chocolate and perfume sampling in Cologne; a tour of the Eberback Monastery, where Riesling has been made for 900 years; an excursion to RheinWeinWelt with wine and cheese tasting; and finally a guided tour of Kleinmarkthalle, a 150-stall market in the centre of Frankfurt.

Oceania Culinary Tours

Oceania Cruises, famous for their focus on culinary exploration, run several culinary discovery tours, through the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, and Mexico & South America. To give you a taste of one of these tours, the range of Mediterranean tours include:

  • A walking and foraging tour and Greek cooking class in Argostoli, where you learn to make the Dakos of Greece, a traditional shepherds dish with grated tomatoes, feta, and olive oil.
  • A Chef’s gastronomy tour and Tapas lunch in Barcelona, including a walk through Boqueria Market, a tour through the Gothic Quarter leading to the Santa Caterina market, a tapas lunch at Tapeo restaurant, and a stop at the Bubo pastry shop.
  • A Tapas cooking class and Chef’s gastronomy tour of Bilbao, shopping at Mercado de la Ribera, tapas and pintxos in Plaza Nova, and a stop at the Guggenheim, before returning aboard for a cooking class in The Culinary Centre.
  • A Chef’s tour of Cadiz market, fit with Andalusian tapas and a glass of wine at a restaurant in the heart of Cadiz.
  • Cannoli lunch and a Chef’s market tour in Catania, Sicily, walking through fish and fruit markets before topping it off with cannoli from a nearby patisserie.
  • Cooking class and Chef tour in Corfu – during this tour the cruiser will receive a shopping assignment from the Culinary Center chef, to source cheeses, olive oil and other delicacies, before returning to the ship to partake in a cooking class using the ingredients they bought.
  • A Venetian cooking class and market visit, taking a water taxi along the canals of Venice to the Rialto market, before visiting a Venetian master chef’s private villa for a cooking demonstration.
  • Ataranza market, tapas and Spanish wines in Malaga, with a stroll through the centre of Malaga stopping for olive oil, wines and other local delicacies, before enjoying tapas back on board.
  • A visit to Aix market with Michelin Chef Reine Sammut in Marseille, partaking in a cooking demonstration with the Chef, before having lunch at the Auberge La Feniere.

Avalon Waterways Culinary Experience

Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice ‘Best in European River’, Avalon Waterways, run a plethora of culinary experience tours, visiting numerous European towns and cities on the river whilst sampling the local cuisine. One of these tours is the southbound Burgundy to Provence, along the Saone and the Rhone rivers. During this tour, cruisers will enjoy a cheese and wine tasting on board in the region of Macon; a guided culinary walk in Lyon before returning to the ship for a pastry demonstration; a guided walk of Tournon, with onboard chocolate and wine tasting; a walk through Viviers with a tasting of local products; a visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon with an onboard food & wine pairing dinner; and a painting workshop in Arles, before concluding your cruise in Port-Saint-Louis.

River cruise is clearly stepping up its culinary game, utilising the fruits of mainland Europe to do so. Offering a localisation and specialism that ocean cruise can’t hope to match, a river cruise is clearly the way forward for those cruisers who consider themselves foodie’s, or simply want to add an interactive element to their cuisine on board.


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