Cruise ships are not generally known for their stellar cuisine—it’s not that the food is bad; it’s just that it’s hard to produce top-notch food for thousands of passengers multiple times a day.
But Holland America Line (HAL) is looking to change that perception by bringing aboard six world-class celebrity chefs to dining venues across their fleet. Each of the executive chefs is a member of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international food and wine society.
These special culinary cruises are interactive and attract gourmands looking to learn how to professionally slice, dice and sauté like a master chef through live cooking demonstrations, coffee chats and exclusive chef-hosted dinners, which include that chef’s signature dishes. Passengers who book this program learn new skills, are given recipes and are able to spend time with world-famous chefs.
Panama Canal Cruise with David Burke
David Burke will be on the April 9, 2023 cruise to the Panama Canal. Burke was on “Iron Chef America” and has several restaurants. He’s famous for his clothesline candied bacon and beef tenderloin with lobster dumplings—which he’ll showcase on board. This 20-day cruise starts in Fort Lauderdale and ends in Seattle. Stops in between include visits to Columbia; the Panama Canal; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Mexico; San Diego, Victoria and Vancouver.
Atlantic Coast cruise with Jacques Torres
Jacques Torres, the chocolatier and pastry chef, will be on the Atlantic Coast cruise departing April 18, 2023. Torres is a James Beard award winner and co-host of the show “Nailed It!” and his chocolate surprise dessert will be featured on the cruise. The 11-day cruise stars in Fort Lauderdale and ends in Montreal. Stops include Newport, Bar Harbor, Boston, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Alaska Cruise with Andy Matsuda
The May 7, 2023 cruise to Alaska will have chef Andy Matsuda onboard. Matsuda is known for his Japanese cuisine and his sushi is sold at Nami Sushi, Tamarind and Lido Market. His seared albacore tuna and fried soft-shell crab will be feature onboard. This 14-day cruise stars and ends in Vancouver, Canada. It includes Kodiak Island, Valdez, Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan, Anchorage and Glacier Bay.
Northern Isles Cruise with Rudi Sodamin
The Northern Isles cruise departing on June 18, 2023 will feature chef Rudi Sodamin. He is known for his seafood brasserie, his “food faces” and his signature Salzburger Nockerl, an Austrian-style berry souffle. This 14-day cruise begins and ends in Copenhagen. Stops along the way include Bergen and Alesund in Norway; five stops in Iceland including Akureyri, Ísafjardardjúr, Grundarfjordur, Djupivogur and Reykjavik; and two stops in Scotland, Inverness and Edinburgh.