Written by 5:32 pm Dining, Seabourn

Cruise Guide: Seabourn taps palate with food and wine festival

By Mike Coleman

Hungry, and in need of a cruise to the Bahamas this fall? The Yachts of Seabourn will have you covered. ¨¨The ultra-luxurious, all-suite Seabourn Pride will tempt palates like never before when it hosts its third annual Great American Food & Wine Festival, during a 14-day voyage from New York to Nassau, Oct. 16.

Guests will enjoy cooking demonstrations and menus featuring signature dishes by some of America’s most acclaimed chefs, as well as wine tastings and pairings featuring award-winning American vintages. Optional shore excursions will also highlight regional cuisine during port calls along the Eastern seaboard.

Charlie Palmer, one of only three chefs elected to this year’s Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list of movers and shakers, heads an all-star lineup of guest chefs and experts. Also appearing will be chef Sue Torres, whose Mexican-inspired Sueños in New York has garnered praises from the New York Times, New Yorker and Vogue and Jean Marie LaCroix, whose eponymous restaurant on Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square was named the Best New Restaurant throughout the United States by Esquire Magazine in 2003 and Philadelphia’s best new restaurant in a decade by Philadelphia Magazine. Wine consultant Rita Faires of Intervine will join the cruise to host tastings and present pairings of American wines to accompany dinner onboard.

The cruise also promises to be a memorable one as the intimate, 208-guest ship makes its way down the Eastern seaboard with calls at many of America’ s most important colonial cities including Newport, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Mt. Vernon, Yorktown, Charleston, Savannah, Amelia Island and Port Canaveral.

If the palate-pleasing onboard fare hasn’t filled you, then culinary excursions to a number of tempting restaurants along the coast will.

In Philadelphia, enjoy a comparative tasting of Philly cheese steaks on site at the rival Geno’s and Pat’s and a morning “Shopping with the Chef” tour in the Italian Market section.

In Baltimore, a classic lunch of steamed blue crabs at Bo Brooks’ Crab Shack awaits passengers. Later, explore the historic 220-year old Lexington Marketplace.

In Charleston, Amanda Dew Manning leads a tour of lowcountry culinary heritage including a demonstration and luncheon. Seabourn’s free experience includes a ride by horse-drawn carriage to a traditional Southern tea in a 19th century home.
In Savannah, a walking tour of the town’s stately squares and a family-style lunch of Southern specialties is scheduled at Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse.

Meanwhile, on Amelia Island, guests can enjoy a luncheon at The Florida House Inn, Florida’s oldest surviving hotel, in the Victorian-era Fernandina Beach Historic District. And, in Port Canaveral, dubbed “Follow the Wild Ocean Shrimp,” guests can enjoy a boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon and observe a shrimp processor before feasting on local shrimp at Dixie Crossroads.

With savings of up to 39 percent, fares start at $6,948 per person, based on double occupancy, for a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. Past guests of Seabourn or Carnival Corporation-owned cruise lines Carnival, Princess, Cunard, Costa, Holland America or Windstar Cruises will qualify for 50 percent savings and fares from $5,695 per person, double occupancy.

The 10,000 ton Seabourn Pride was refurbished in 2003. The ship entered service in 1988.
¨The line’s 104 ocean view suites include living area and bedroom, five-foot picture window or balcony, walk-in closet, television with VCR, stocked bar, Bose wave radio, CD, writing desk, spacious bathroom with tub, shower and large vanity, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and private safe.

Suite amenities include complimentary champagne upon arrival, 24-hour room service, personalized stationery, fruit basket replenished daily, terry-cloth robes, Frette linen, fine soaps by Hermes, Chanel, Bijan and Bronnley, Pure Pampering Aromatherapy by Molton Brown, nightly turndown service, daily newspaper, World Atlas, clock/barometer/thermometer and umbrella.

And, yes, to work off those calories the ship’s gymnasium is equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights.

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