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A Higher Purpose on the High Seas

Down the Hatch: Food and Wine
Radisson Seven Seas Mariner Earn your chef's toque through the Cordon Bleu Culinaire des Croisières cooking course. In two-hour interactive demonstrations taught by guest chefs from the Cordon Bleu schools, participants will create nouvelle cuisine, Asian fusion, and classic French dishes. At local markets, chefs pick up ingredients as students follow close behind to learn the difference between spring and torch ginger, and why two knives are better than 10. From $2,348 per person, double; workshops, three per sailing, cost an additional $395 November 6—16 (Mediterranean), November 23—December 2 (Las Palmas to Fort Lauderdale), January 21—February 21 (South Pacific), April 17—may 9 (Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale) 800/285-1835; www.rssc.com

The Program: Cooking Demos The Fleet: Celebrity British chef Michel Roux, owner of the Waterside Inn restaurant in Bray, England, creates Celebrity's menu and its roster of visiting chefs. Through their impromptu demonstrations, food enthusiasts can assist chosen cooks on everything from slicing and dicing to sautéeing and flambéeing. Seven-day cruises from $799 per person, double on all sailings; 800/437-3111; www.celebritycruises.com

The Program: Italian food quest The Ship: Abercrombie & Kent Callisto On a cruise from Venice to Brindisi (June 7—14), Italian cookbook author Valentina Harris enhances passengers' appreciation of Apulia wines, Casciotta cheeses, and other Italian delicacies. On board, gastronomes will sample traditional dishes; on land, they'll visit an olive press, a cheese factory, and various farms. From $5,950 per person, double; 800/323-7308; www.abercrombiekent.com

The Program: food and wine cruise The Ship: Crystal Harmony Guest chefs and sommeliers host tastings and talks. During this month's Caribbean sailing (November 7—18), executive chef Tim Keating of the Four Seasons Houston and master sommelier Paul Roberts of Houston's Café Annie—both nominees for last year's James Beard Awards—show off their skills through cooking exhibitions and tastings. From $2,215 per person, double; 800/820-6663; www.crystalcruises.com

The Program: Wine series The Fleet: Silversea Oenophiles can explore wineries from Portugal to New South Wales and decipher top notes with vintners from Ferrari-Carano (May 15—22, Rome—Barcelona), Robert Mondavi (August 7—17, Rouen—Lisbon), and other renowned vineyards. From $4,595 per person, double on selected sailings; 800/774-9996; www.silversea.com

The Program: Vintages The Ship: Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Sample wines, taste sensory essences, and pair vintages in the new ship's wine bar. In the evenings, cinemaniacs and wine-lovers mingle at Coppola, Wine, and a Movie—screenings of the director's greats matched with appropriate vintages from his winery. Seven-day cruises from $1,649 per person, double; on all sailings; 800/327-6700 www.royalcaribbean.com

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