The big event for cruisers who love any kind of upscale food and wine experience is Oceania Cruises brand new ship, Marina, setting sail in early 2011.
And what an experience it is going to be. Think of the finest cuisine at sea served in SIX (that's right, six) open-seating, gourmet restaurants – each one with its own look and feel. The culinary artist behind this world class dining adventure is none other than Master Chef Jacques Pepin working in conjunction with Marina's staff of culinary experts. The Marina will also offer a new wine tasting center in conjunction with Wine Spectator Magazine, where guests can learn about and sample fine wines selected by Wine Spectator’s connoisseurs.
The Terrace Café, infused with natural sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows and the option of dining inside or al fresco is a marvelous place for a sumptuous breakfast, lunch that features an international menu or dinner with a Mediterranean flair.
The Grand Dining Room, fashioned to look like a 5-star European restaurant, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner (with a minimum of six appetizers and nine main courses) in elegant surroundings.
Feel like a journey to France? Then visit the stunning French bistro Jacques, named for Jacques Pepin. The menu is a unique take on classic French cuisine, served amid an intimate décor that can only be described as 'magnifique'!
Red Ginger sends you and all your senses to Southeast Asia. In a stunning setting that unfolds in perfect harmony, this restaurant offers a striking menu of Asian classics.
If it's the timeless elegance of a private club setting that you seek, then opt to dine in the Polo Grill, the classic definition of a steakhouse at sea offering menu classics such as Caesar salad prepared tableside and beef that has been aged a minimum of 28 days.
If your senses yearn for an evening in Italy, then dine in Toscana, where Tuscan cuisine is served in an elegant Italianate setting. Many of the recipes used here originated with the grandmothers and mothers of Marina's own Italian culinary staff. Similarly, the sommeliers are from long lines of wine-producing families. Best of all, there is no additional charge for any of these memorable dining experiences.
For the grandest afternoon tea of all, complete with freshly made scones and real clotted cream, head for Horizons at 4:00 PM to savor an excellent cup of tea in gracious surroundings with strong music playing softly in the background.
In the mood for a gourmet hamburger, hand-cut French fries or homemade gelato? Head for the casual laid-back ambience of Waves Grill located just steps away from the pool.
The Marina offers two very private retreats at an additional cost – La Reserve and Privée – lavish venues where a few privileged guests can gain an appreciation for the infinite pleasures of food and wine.
At La Reserve, guests may sample a flight of wines hand-selected by the sommelier, often reflecting the areas of the world where Marina is sailing, or simply to highlight the wine's own special characteristics. Other days, La Reserve will host premium wine tastings or exclusive food and wine pairing dinners for a maximum of 24 very fortunate guests.
Then, there is Privée – perfectly named to describe the most exclusive dining experience at sea. Privée may be reserved for a single party of up to 10 privileged guests per evening. Lavishly decorated with leather and crystal, Privée transforms dining into a truly memorable occasion, with a 7-course degustation menu exclusively designed just for that evening by the Executive Chef. For culinary drama at sea, Privée has no equal.
After all of this extraordinary food and wine, if you still want more, then join the Bon Appetit Culinary Center's classes for some hands-on instruction. Expert, Master Chefs provide classes in a professional kitchen atmosphere complete with individual cooking stations. On each cruise itinerary, shoreside events and market tours allow guests to expand their knowledge and appreciation of local cuisines. And, you can choose from a curriculum of classes or a la carte instruction.
Endless luxury, endless oceans, endless elegance coupled with extraordinary food and wine – that’s the ultimate cruise experience found only on Oceania Cruises Marina.