Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Goldring Travel's 2016 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Quest - Part I

It is one week from the start of Goldring Travel's 2016 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Quest and the last minute preparations are being made.  And, as always seems to be the case, as the cruise starts, the events get bigger and better.

The Goldring Travel 2016 Food & Wine Cruise highlights the culinary and cultural aspects of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.


Let me start by answering the question, "Why call this a Culinary & Cultural cruise rather than a Food & Wine cruise?"  The answer is simple:  The term "Food & Wine" has become so overused and so watered down that it essentially has become a meaningless term...at least to me.

It is one thing to, say, go to a local market and taste a bit of this or that, or to take a cooking class where you make a fairly ordinary dish (though probably not so ordinary for you) or to enjoy a nice bottle of wine.  To me that is more like being on safari and ticking off that you saw a lion or elephant rather than taking hours to observe them, really see, hear and feel how they live.  It may give you you bragging rights to your friends, but not the lifelong experience you can relieve in your mind with goosebumps.

I try to create memorable moments by "diving deep" where we can not only understand, but experience, where that food in the market comes from, enjoy truly unique culturally relevant cuisine prepared by world-class chefs or locally popular pubs and delve into how and where that wine came to be and, thus, why it tastes and smells the way it does. These are not things you can experience in a ship's culinary center, in a cooking demonstration, a shipboard wine-tasting or in a group of 25-100 people.

So with that:  Here we go!

Our Culinary & Cultural experiences will start before we even board the Seabourn Quest on August 4, 2016.  Because of my relationship with the superyacht and maritime industries, we have behind the scenes access to the Viking Recruitment Maritime Skills Academy where many of the Seabourn staff and crew (as well as other cruise line and yacht crew) are trained and certified in all things safety onboard the ship.  How many Seabourn guests (or any cruise ship guests) get to do that!?

Viking Recruitment's Maritime Skills Academy
After a short visit we will be off on an British version of a Napa Valley Wine Tour with stops at three English wineries located in the Kent countryside.  I will detail each winery after our visit, but we will be visiting the oldest, largest and newest/most modern wineries with interesting tastings as we travel through some of the beautiful countryside.

Chapel Down Winery
One of three wineries the 2016 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise
will visit while traveling the English countryside in Kent 
From there we will board our home for the next 16 nights:  The Seabourn Quest, which was also home for the 2015 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise through Norway.

Seabourn Quest
Our captain is, fortunately, as it was last year, my very good friend, Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen.

Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen with myself and my girlfriend
during the 2015 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise in Norway
I have arranged two very special events along with the "usual" ones such as a Private Shopping with the Chef, a Private Cooking Demonstration and the highly anticipated Private Food & Wine Tasting on the last day of the cruise.  The Special Events are:

     - A private tour and seven (7) high quality whisky tasting at the Highland Park Distillery (shhhh...part of the experience is a surprise!)


followed by a gourmet pub lunch, highlighting the freshest fish and Scottish fare, in a wonderful pub recently named the best pub in the Northern Isles...of course located on the quayside in Kirkwall, Scotland.




     - A truly gourmet culinary experience in Dublin, Ireland.  We will start by traveling to the organic garden of Chef Graham Neville, consistently noted as one of Ireland's best chefs, where he will give us a tour and explain is passion for utilizing almost entirely Irish ingredients in his culinary endeavors.
Chef Graham Neville in his organic garden
He has described his approach as "Irish ingredients, classical French training."  And his endeavors we shall then enjoy as we then travel back to Dublin to his Restaurant Forty One, consistently praised as the best restaurant in Ireland...an opulent, guilded, setting hidden in an ivy-clad Georgian townhouse overlooking St. Stephen's Green...

Restaurant Forty One in Dublin, Ireland
as we enjoy a five (5) course luncheon paired, of course, with wines he has selected.


Not to worry, while in Scotland I will be having a proper haggis!

We have many more ports to explore and many more days to do it.  Follow Goldring Travel as we sail through some of the most interesting historical areas of the world...and stayed tuned for the announcement of the 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise!

Interested in a creating your own culinary and cultural adventure?  Give me a call or email me!

United States:          (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:    020 8133 3450
Australia:                (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:   +1 732 578 8585

Or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com.