Six of the best: Shore excursions for foodies


FLAVOURS OF LISBON

This APT option tour will see you head off to the Portuguese capital’s central market building for an inspection of the produce, accompanied by a local guide who will explain how the Portuguese use various ingredients in their cuisine. Then you’ll plunge into the adjacent food hall for various tastings: cheese from the Azores, smoked presunto ham, mussels in tomato sauce and delicacies from the stall of noted Portuguese chef Marlene Viera, such as octopus salad and mushroom topped with ham and quail egg. Available on APT’s Southern European Sojourn cruise between Barcelona and London. See aptouring.com.au

BRAZILIAN COOKING CLASS

This shore excursion in Paraty in Brazil gives guests the chance to join acclaimed chef and TV personality Yara Roberts for a stroll through the old town followed by a half-day cooking class in the chef’s house. The hands-on demonstration isn’t just about cooking techniques and tips from a professional, but provides a background to the food culture of Brazil’s Minas Gerais region. Needless to say, you lunch on the result of your labours before returning to Silver Muse, which is notable for having eight dining venues. Available on Silversea’s V6723 itinerary between Buenos Aires and Bridgetown. See silversea.com

TASTE OF BANGKOK

Passengers on this Thai tour set out early in the morning for Aw Taw Khor farmers’ market, accompanied by Azamara Journey’s executive chef, who will point out various exotic fruits, vegetables and spices, and shop for the evening meal. You’ll later also have a tasting tour at the city’s EST33 Brewery, reckoned to be the top microbrewery in Thailand. The evening is rounded off in the ship’s Savor restaurant with a private dinner hosted for the group by the executive chef. Available on Azamara Club Cruises’ Christmas and New Year’s Voyage cruise between Hong Kong and Singapore. See azamaraclubcruises.com

KING CRAB SAFARI

Haul yourself into a float suit and set off on a deep-sea fishing boat into Sarnesfjorden in Norway and discover how king crabs are farmed and harvested. You’ll gasp when the fishermen pull the traps from the water and the size of the crabs becomes apparent: some can measure nearly two metres between claws. Back on land, you repair to a Sami tent where the crabs will be cooked up over an open fire and eaten with traditional Norwegian flatbread. Available on Viking Cruises’ Into the Midnight Sun itinerary between Bergen and London. See vikingcruises.com.au

GREEK MARKET TOUR

Head off to the Agora market in the Cretan town of Chania with the ship’s chef, where you’ll sample local boureki pie and stuffed vegetables, be shown how to cook a Cretan dish, and learn about various local ingredients. You’ll also assist the chef in sourcing fresh fish, meat, and other local produce. Back on Celebrity Constellation, participants then tour the ship’s galley for a look at the chefs at work, and finish the culinary adventure with a meal inspired by the day’s flavours. Available on Celebrity Cruises’ Greek Isles itinerary return from Venice. See celebritycruises.com.au

VENETIAN CULINARY DISCOVERY

Accompanied by one of the ship’s chefs and a local guide, passengers head off to the 700-year-old Rialto market for a browse around farmers’ and fishermen’s stalls selling soft-shelled crabs, baby octopus and fruit and vegetables. Then you head on to a villa where a Venetian master chef demonstrates how to make some traditional dishes with the market ingredients before everyone tucks into lunch. On the return to the ship, the culinary meander is rounded off with a visit to a gelato shop. Available on Oceania Cruises’ Timeless Marvels cruise between Lisbon and Venice. See oceaniacruises.com

Brian Johnston has travelled as a guest of these cruise lines.





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