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Celebrity Chefs Give Cruise Holidays X-Factor

Thursday, 06 May 2010

Holidaymakers are dining out on the recent trend for celebrity restaurants at sea - with more than a third of travellers booking with the UK's leading independent cruise retailer citing famous foodies as a reason they've decided to hop on board for their summer holidays.


Celebrity chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes, Todd English, Aldo Zillo, Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa and Michael Roux have already joined this cruise ship dining revolution by opening restaurants on board vessels - and many holidaymakers are choosing to take a cruise holiday this year to get a slice of the action.


Cruise118.com has seen a surge in bookings from 'foodies' looking for something different from their annual break.  The travel company, which is the UK's leading independent cruise retail businesses, surveyed holiday makers to find out what they wanted from a trip, and the celebrity restaurants repeatedly came up as an area of great appeal for people when choosing their summer holiday.


James Cole, director at Cruise118.com explained:  "The range and quality of dining on board cruise ships has always been a draw for holiday makers, but this latest trend has seen a new type of consumer heading on board to experience something completely different. 


"We all know celebrity chefs are hot property at the moment, and the fact people can now experience such high quality menus developed by some of the leading chefs of today, is a real draw.


"We're seeing a completely new type of visitor heading off on cruise holidays - people who want to take advantage of these celebrity dining experiences, and can then also take in the abundance of different gastronomic influences from around the world as they stop off at different ports. 


"Our cruise concierges, who work with every customer to ensure they find the perfect holiday, have seen a sharp rise in requests for celebrity dining on-board.  One of the top reasons cited for going on a cruise is the cuisine and passengers expect very high standards. For that reason, celebrity restaurants are a perfect way to meet these requests, and they also give people a real sense of occasion whilst on holiday."



Favourite Cruise Celebrity Chefs...


Marco Pierre White 

Marco Pierre White launched his very first restaurant at sea, 'The White Room', a partly alfresco Mediterranean dining experience, on the P&O cruise ship Ventura.


Ventura is the largest ship in the P&O cruises fleet where dining is a varied affair with both formal and informal options available. Pierre White has contributed his inspiration not only to 'The White Room', but to the ships more casual venues such as 'Marco's Pizzeria' and 'The Beach House'. In addition to this Pierre White has rolled out a lunch menu on two other P&O ships, Aurora and Oceana.


Key dishes to try at 'The White Room' include Spaghetti Lobster and Hot Raspberry Souffle. Pierre White has had the options of Chicken and Leek turnovers and Princepessa pizza (aubergine, asparagus and goat's cheese) at 'The Beach House',



Gary Rhodes 

P&O also boasts the Michelin starred Chef Gary Rhodes, who has restaurants on two ships, Arcadia (Arcadia Rhodes) and Oriana (Oriana Rhodes), both bringing his inimitable brand of modern British cuisine to P&O cruises.


Roast monkfish with buttered spinach and a saffron mussel stew and Roast beef with foie gras and morel mushroom maderia sauce are two of Rhodes specialities served onboard.



Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa 

The classically trained sushi chef, Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa, widely acclaimed as the master of Japanese delicacies, opened his first at-sea restaurant 'Silk Road' and 'The Sushi Bar' on Crystal Serenity in 2003 and the same onboard Crystal Symphony in 2008.


'The Sushi Bar' offers an assortment of Nobu's inventive sushi and sashimi, such as salmon tartar with sevruga caviar and 'Silk Road' presents his celebrated dishes such as black cod with miso and for dessert a trio of crème brulees (sweet ginger, pink guava and passion fruit).


Here's a selection of Cruise118.com's best celebrity dining deals:

  • § 22nd May 2010 - Cruise118.com is offering a 14-night European cruise on board the P&O Ventura from just £949. Departing from Southampton, the ship calls at Lisbon (Portugal), Palma (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Cannes (France), Livorno (Italy), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Gibraltar before returning to Southampton.
  • § 12th June 2010 - Cruise118.com is offering a 14-night European cruise on board the P&O Oceana from just £949. Departing from Southampton, the ship calls at Gibraltar, Cartagena (Spain), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Italy), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Barcelona (Spain) and Cadiz (Spain) before returning to Southampton.
  • § 23rd July 2010 - Cruise118.comis offering a seven-night Northern Europe cruise on board the P&O Oriana from just £899. Departing from Southampton, the ship calls at Stavanger (Norway), Olden (Norway), Aalesund (Norway) and Bergen (Norway) before returning to Southampton.
  • § 25th August 2010 - Cruise118.com is offering an 11-night Northern Europe cruise on board the Crystal Symphony from just £3,019. Departing from London, the ship calls at Edinburgh, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), Holyhead (Wales), Waterford (Ireland), Portland and Guernsey (Channel Islands) before returning to London. $2,000 per couple spending money included (terms and conditions apply.)



For more information on the Celebrity Dining onboard cruises, visit www.cruise118.com or call 0289 002 0094 (for NI) or 01 553 0100 (for ROI)