Sunday, December 25, 2016

Announcing the 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise

I am pleased to announce the 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Encore!

Seabourn Encore
This year our intimate group of no more than 16 guests will be sailing September 4, 2017 on a 10 day roundtrip Barcelona, Spain cruise visiting Spain, Morocco, Portugal and Gibraltar, with an emphasis on the culinary and cultural wonders of the region.


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 bragging rights to your friends, but not the lifelong experience you can relieve in your mind with goosebumps.

Goldring Travel creates 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 cafes 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.  And, of course, I make sure we have fun and don’t take all the culinary and cultural wonders too seriously.  If you are enjoying yourself, rather than being intimidated, you will have a far more enriching and memorable experience.

So with that…Let's get specific.

The Culinary & Bar Team on the Seabourn Quest
during the 2016 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise.
Yes, you will receive a custom 2017 Goldring Travel jacket
 when you book this cruise.
Our 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cruise will, as always, include at least two Private Special Events, a Private Shopping with the Seabourn Executive Chef, and, of course, the now famous Private Food & Wine Spectacular prepared by the Seabourn Chefs and Sommelier working with some of the local delicacies and wines/spirits I find along the way.
  • MON 04SEP17 Sail from Barcelona, Spain 5:00pm
  • TUE 05SEP17 Valencia, Spain 8:00am 6:00pm
  • WED 06SEP17 Sea Day
  • THU 07SEP17 Tangier, Morocco 8:00am 6:00pm
  • FRI 08SEP17 Cadiz (Seville), Spain 8:00am 11:00pm
  • SAT 09SEP17 Portimao, Portugal 8:00am 6:00pm
  • SUN 10SEP17 Gibraltar, British Territory 10:00am 11:00pm
  • MON 11SEP17 Malaga, Spain 8:00am 6:00pm
  • TUE 12SEP17 Cartagena, Spain 10:00am 6:00pm
  • WED 13SEP17 Ibiza, Spain 1 8:00am 6:00pm
  • THU 14SEP17 Debark Ship Barcelona, Spain 7:00am
I highly recommend you plan on being in Barcelona at least one day prior to the cruise (two would be better!) so that you can enjoy some of Barcelona’s culinary and cultural marvels before we embark the brand new Seabourn Encore.  (With a 10 day cruise you can do this, including travel time, and be home in two weeks or less.)

I have some wonderful hotel options in Barcelona where I will provide you with a complimentary breakfast, an upgrade on arrival/early check-in/late checkout (if available) along with great room options and rates.

 I will also provide you with a number of fantastic dining options on the night of September 3, 2017.   – I have my favorites, but the beauty of the Barcelona culinary scene is that it is every changing, as Catalan cuisine is unique and inventive.  Or you can simply enjoy a tapas crawl, wandering from one café to another sampling dozens of small plates combined with local wines.

Be sure to give yourself time to explore the extraordinary and extreme architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudi including Sagreda Familia, one of the most famous and spectacular churches in the world.  If you are interested in a walking tour Goldring Travel can arrange that for you.  More into art than architecture?  How about visiting the Picasso Museum or wandering through one of the many art galleries and museums?

On the morning of September 4th, Goldring Travel will arrange a Private Culinary Experience wandering through La Boqueria – which I believe is one of the best markets in the world – and sampling, sampling and sampling.  Of course, cavas, the ubiquitous Spanish sparkling wine, which is long underappreciated and relatively unknown will be tasted as well.



Tangier, Morocco provides an incredible location for both cultural and culinary immersion.  Goldring Travel may well be providing one of its Private Special Events there.  It will, regardless, be a very memorable day!

Cadiz, Spain is the entrance into the Andalusia regions of Spain and a visit to the Bodegas Tio Pepe is a possible venue for another Private Special Event.  Tio Pepe is one of the premier wineries producing outstanding sherries with flavors and food pairings you probably never considered.  


For those wanting a bit of old time British flavor (no that is not an error) Gibraltar is a great place to sample some…or you can revisit some of the Moroccan cuisine from a few days earlier.  (Yes, they are that close!)  Of course, for those wanting to visit the Barbary apes, that is an option as well.

A place I am looking forward to, and may be the location for our Private Shopping with the Seabourn Chef, is the Portimão Market in the Algarve city of Portimão, Portugal.  You can shop for pretty much everything from food to local crafts to tourist items in markets that are located throughout the city.  But you probably should set aside some time for some fresh seafood cooked traditionally over open fires!


And let us not forget the Seabourn Encore.  It has two very special dining experiences:  The Grill by Thomas Keller and Sushi.  Thomas Keller’s Michelin star cuisine features the very freshest and finest ingredients prepared in simple, but unique, ways (Trust me:  Order the chicken!) 

The Grill by Thomas Keller - Seabourn style
and Sushi is focused on providing lunch and dinner options unique to the Seabourn Encore and Ovation.


Seabourn Sushi
Prices start at US$6,499 + $287.02 per person for a V2 Suite including all fees and taxes, open bar and complimentary wines (private reserve selections are also available), a stocked bar in your suite, all alternative dining experiences onboard the ship and more.  Of course, on Seabourn gratuities are neither required nor expected.

Of course, there will be some impromptu events onboard the Seabourn Encore where we will delve into the fantastic local cheeses and cured meats...many of which you simply cannot get at home!

If you are interested please do not delay, as not only are there limited suites available on this sailing, but the 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise is already significantly booked. 

Give Goldring Travel a call:

United States:           (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:     020 8133 3450
Australia:                 (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:    +1 530-562-9232


Or email us at eric@goldringtravel.com