7 Must-Do Shore Excursions for Foodies

by John Roberts

7 Must-Do Shore Excursions for Foodies

by John Roberts

Use your time on land to not only see the sights, but also sample the flavors of the region. These shore excursions include market tours and cooking demonstrations, sometimes paired with local wines and spirits as well as music and dance. Here are seven excursions around the world that serious foodies won't want to miss.

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Barcelona's La Boqueria / iStock.com / Sergey Kelin
Mojitos
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1. Old San Juan Walk, Mojito & Mofongo Experience

Where to Find It: Carnival Cruise Line

On the Menu: This excursion includes a walking tour of the historic capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, during which you'll work up an appetite for mofongo — a regional dish of mashed fried plantains with meat, fish, or vegetables. You'll learn about the cultural significance of mofongo and how it's properly prepared, and wash down the traditional Afro-Puerto Rican specialty with a sweet rum cocktail like a mojito. Be sure to save room for the flavorful flan for dessert.

Where to Find It: Carnival Cruise Line

On the Menu: This excursion includes a walking tour of the historic capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, during which you'll work up an appetite for mofongo — a regional dish of mashed fried plantains with meat, fish, or vegetables. You'll learn about the cultural significance of mofongo and how it's properly prepared, and wash down the traditional Afro-Puerto Rican specialty with a sweet rum cocktail like a mojito. Be sure to save room for the flavorful flan for dessert.

Market Square in Antibes
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2. Culinary Discovery Tours

Where to Find It: Oceania Cruises

On the Menu: When you dock in Antibes, France, the chef will lead your group on an exploration of the famed Provençal open-air market. Later, back in the ship's culinary center, you'll create a meal together using the ingredients you chose, including fresh fish, cheeses, seasonal produce, and pastries. The chef will also pick out wines and absinthe (the popular regional aperitif) for you to sip during your meal. Similar excursions are also available in Barcelona; Marseille; Catania, Italy; and Heraklion, Greece.

Where to Find It: Oceania Cruises

On the Menu: When you dock in Antibes, France, the chef will lead your group on an exploration of the famed Provençal open-air market. Later, back in the ship's culinary center, you'll create a meal together using the ingredients you chose, including fresh fish, cheeses, seasonal produce, and pastries. The chef will also pick out wines and absinthe (the popular regional aperitif) for you to sip during your meal. Similar excursions are also available in Barcelona; Marseille; Catania, Italy; and Heraklion, Greece.

Borscht
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3. Traditional Russia: Carvings and Cuisine

Where to Find It: Crystal Cruises

On the Menu: Borscht, baked fish, and beer conjure the flavors of old-world Russia as you dine in a neighborhood restaurant around 15 minutes from the dock in the town of Petropavlovsk. This distinctive tour also includes a demonstration by a master woodcarver, who creates traditional Kamchatka figures known as "peliken." (The master woodcarver will also play guitar and sing during the meal.)

Where to Find It: Crystal Cruises

On the Menu: Borscht, baked fish, and beer conjure the flavors of old-world Russia as you dine in a neighborhood restaurant around 15 minutes from the dock in the town of Petropavlovsk. This distinctive tour also includes a demonstration by a master woodcarver, who creates traditional Kamchatka figures known as "peliken." (The master woodcarver will also play guitar and sing during the meal.)

Barcelona's La Boqueria
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4. Gourmet Explorer Tours

Where to Find It: Seven Seas Explorer

On the Menu: Seven Seas Explorer, a new ship from Regent Seven Seas set to launch in July 2016, will offer a dizzying array of food-centric excursions called Gourmet Explorer Tours. Chef-led market expeditions are paired with lunches and fine wines in some of the world's top culinary destinations, including Barcelona, Casablanca, and Portofino. Join a market-to-table tour and cooking class in Corfu, or a decadent French wine tasting and multi-course dinner at La Chevre d'Or during your stop in Monte Carlo.

Where to Find It: Seven Seas Explorer

On the Menu: Seven Seas Explorer, a new ship from Regent Seven Seas set to launch in July 2016, will offer a dizzying array of food-centric excursions called Gourmet Explorer Tours. Chef-led market expeditions are paired with lunches and fine wines in some of the world's top culinary destinations, including Barcelona, Casablanca, and Portofino. Join a market-to-table tour and cooking class in Corfu, or a decadent French wine tasting and multi-course dinner at La Chevre d'Or during your stop in Monte Carlo.

Pike Place Market
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5. Pike Place Market Walking & Tasting Tour

Where to Find It: Princess Cruises

On the Menu: Explore this famed and bustling Seattle fish market, which is a haven for food enthusiasts. Sample meats and cheeses from delis, as well as crab cakes, chowder, and fish (of course) as you stroll through the nine acres of terrific markets, shops, and restaurants. Watch out for the entertaining fishmongers who make their fish fly!

Where to Find It: Princess Cruises

On the Menu: Explore this famed and bustling Seattle fish market, which is a haven for food enthusiasts. Sample meats and cheeses from delis, as well as crab cakes, chowder, and fish (of course) as you stroll through the nine acres of terrific markets, shops, and restaurants. Watch out for the entertaining fishmongers who make their fish fly!

Taro fields in Hawaii
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6. World Flavors

Where to Find It: Celebrity Cruises

On the Menu: Celebrity's World Flavors program includes food experiences in destinations around the globe. Explore a 1,000-acre farm in Hilo, Hawaii, and indulge in a bountiful farm-to-table lunch of fresh tropical fruits, macadamia nuts, hearts of palm, and local coffee. Or try the private cooking excursion in Sorrento, Italy, during which you'll shop for ingredients to make traditional Neapolitan dishes. Later, you'll feast on these at a palace-turned-bed-and-breakfast that sits atop Roman ruins.

Where to Find It: Celebrity Cruises

On the Menu: Celebrity's World Flavors program includes food experiences in destinations around the globe. Explore a 1,000-acre farm in Hilo, Hawaii, and indulge in a bountiful farm-to-table lunch of fresh tropical fruits, macadamia nuts, hearts of palm, and local coffee. Or try the private cooking excursion in Sorrento, Italy, during which you'll shop for ingredients to make traditional Neapolitan dishes. Later, you'll feast on these at a palace-turned-bed-and-breakfast that sits atop Roman ruins.

Paella
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7. A Flair of Spain: Paella Cooking Demonstration and Flamenco

Where to Find It: Disney Cruise Line

On the Menu: Take a trip to Spain while in port in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Here you will dine on freshly prepared paella — the meat, seafood, and rice dish that's the pride of Valencia. The chef does a cooking demonstration first, explaining the process along the way (so you can cook it yourself back home). Glasses of sangria and a flamenco dance performance add to the experience.

Where to Find It: Disney Cruise Line

On the Menu: Take a trip to Spain while in port in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Here you will dine on freshly prepared paella — the meat, seafood, and rice dish that's the pride of Valencia. The chef does a cooking demonstration first, explaining the process along the way (so you can cook it yourself back home). Glasses of sangria and a flamenco dance performance add to the experience.

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