Group dining together in cruise ship restaurant.

Holland America Line’s Delectable Culinary Cruises

With any venture out into the new and unknown, the key to a novel time lies in soaking up as much of the authentic as possible. What good is venturing to some far corner of the world far from home just to chow down at a popular American fast food chain? Food is one of the most integral ingredients to travel, excitement for the palate that pairs perfectly with the excitement of a day out of the ordinary. While there are many avenues for a guaranteed delicious vacation, one of the best bets is Holland America Line. Thanks to a meticulous focus on all things culinary, the cuisine savored while on board a Holland America Line cruise is but only one ingredient to the foodie’s delight while cruising. For an introductory sample as to what to look forward to, read on to discover an appetizer of Holland’s culinary offerings. 

Dessert created by Chef Jacques Torres
Foodie's Delight -  Holland America Line provides food aficionados with a variety of restaurants that serve innovative creations like this chocolate dessert created by Chef Jacques Torres.

The Many Flavors of Delicious Found On board

Depending on the prior experiences and opinions informing your beliefs, it’s easy to think the dining options on board a cruise may be cookie-cutter in offerings: a buffet, a white-tablecloth venue for special occasions, maybe a poolside burger shack for lunch. These unfortunate beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Seafood Pasta in the Main Dining Room
world-class Dishes - From apple and bacon pancakes to seafood pasta, Holland America Line's Culinary Council® tailors every menu for all onboard dining experiences. 

Holland America Line hosts a dazzling medley of onboard dining, each more delectable than the last. These world-class restaurants prepare variations of the perfect meal such as the sushi served at Tamarind, the garlic shrimp ravioli served at Canaletto, the apple and bacon pancakes served at The Grand Dutch Café, the juicy portabella mushroom stack served at the Dive-In, the succulent wild salmon served at the Pinnacle Grill, and the fabled duck cassoulet served at Rudi’s Sel de Mer.

The success of these institutions of flavor can be accredited to the latter’s namesake, Rudi Sodamin. Holland America Line’s Master Chef and Culinary Council® Chairman, Rudi holds the acclaim as the most decorated chef on the high seas. Helming the Culinary Council® (a who’s-who of world-renowned culinary talent), the overarching gastronomic vision of Holland America Line is his meticulous creation, with every dish perfected down to the individual flavor and garnish. Summed up in Rudi’s words, “everyday, we have to have something exciting.”

Chef Rudi Sodamin
rudi sodamin - Holland America Line's Master Chef  & Culinary Council Chairman

Shore Excursions with Food and Wine in Mind

At the end of the day, a cruise is but only a part of your vacation. After all, the focus of getting away is usually on where you’re heading, and that’s no different for those with a penchant for the culinary. A day spent savoring life out of the ordinary requires discovering the local fare, the delicacies and delights different from what you could find at home. Holland America Line has a storied history of helping facilitate this, thanks primarily to a fruitful partnership with FOOD & WINE®. But, the partnership has blossomed as of late, into the latest-and-greatest of culinary-themed shore excursions at the world’s most renowned gastronomic hot spots. Summed up, with FOOD & WINE® Tours, there’s no shortage of gastronomic pilgrimages to be excited for. Each itinerary houses its own gems of discovery, making each cruise uniquely reflective of the individual spirit of travel.

Thailand Market
Thailand -  Embark on an immersive shore excursion to explore a floating market in Thailand, such as the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Take for example, the time-treasured secrets of Mediterranean fare that await with each port of a Mediterranean cruise. In Barcelona, explore La Boqueria Market with the expert eye of a renowned Spanish chef, only to then transform your prized bounty into an extraordinary meal. Try your hand at crafting authentic paninis within a real sandwich shop of Florence. Or, tour one of the many charming family estates of Corfu for farm-fresh samplings of olive oil and the perfect pairing of local cheese, tomatoes, bread and wine.

Open market in Italy
Italy -  FOOD & WINE® Tours provide passengers with the opportunity to visit local markets to see how fresh ingredients are chosen for authentic Italian dishes. 

Conversely, for those eager to explore Asian ports and plates, the FOOD & WINE® Tours offered out of the likes of Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore and more are certain to astound both curiosities and taste buds. Exploring Japan’s fascinating and flavorful food culture with one of the world’s foremost ramen experts—Brian MacDuckston—guarantees to be a fulfilling experience. In Taipei, take a hand’s-on approach to discovering the art of creating iconic soup dumplings. Shanghai holds an entire world of tasty discoveries, easily enjoyed when you take the road less traveled for a food-tour of savory street foods.

Person making dumplings
hands-on creations - In Taipei, Holland America Line offers guests the unique opportunity to discover the art of creating iconic soup dumplings. It's just one of several unforgettable culinary experiences available to passengers. 

The beauty of the FOOD & WINE® Tours isn’t in that they allow in-depth culinary discoveries on just some of Holland America Line’s destinations, but that they infuse a gastronomic-focused excitement to every destination. Whether you’re keen to tour the distilleries in Reykjavik or the lush gardens in Dunedin, sample the hawker centers in Singapore or the night markets in Taipei, or even just chow down on a hearty helping of fresh Alaskan King Crab right on Alaska’s coastal shores—the sky is the limit to the tastes and treats you will discover when you cruise with Holland America Line. 

Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable culinary adventure on board one of Holland America Line’s ships? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent, who can customize an itinerary that you deserve.

Alaskan King Crab Dish in Denali Square
alaskan king crab - While visiting each destination, passengers are able to sample the local cuisine like this Alaskan King Crab dish prepared at Denali Square.

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