Meet Celebrity Chefs, Winemakers And War Veterans On Your Next Cruise

New ships and specialty-themed cruises are coming to the high seas this spring and summer as cruise lines roll out more surprises for travelers. If you want to rub elbows with a well-known chef or celebrity winemaker, there are plenty of opportunities (as well as special discounts) for you. These are some of the newest ships and specialty cruises to book this year.

Norwegian adds new Johnnie Walker cruise

As part of the line’s Meet the Winemaker series, Norwegian Cruise Line is adding a new Johnnie Walker cruise for whisky fans. Master Blender Emma Walker will be on board Norwegian Prima on a September sailing in northern Europe. Being a master blender is the highest rank in whisky craftsmanship. Travelers can learn more about the brand as well as sample numerous rare whiskeys. It is part of the line’s winemaker cruises that bring well-known food and beverage names on board. They include celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, winemaker and fashion scion Salvatore Ferragamo, Napa Valley icon Michael Mondavi and winemaker Gérard Bertrand.

Oceania Cruises gives name to second Allura class ship

The culinary-focused, high-end cruise line, Oceania Cruises, now has a name for its second Allura class ship, Oceania Allura. It will be the sibling to the soon-to-sail Oceana Vista. The 1,200-passenger ship is currently under construction in Italy with plans to debut in 2025. The ship will have the line’s largest staterooms as well as a new fine-dining American restaurant and Chef’s studio. When it launches, the cruise company plans to send it to numerous smaller ports that larger cruise ships cannot easily access.

Cunard partners with The Greatest Generations Foundation

On a May 26 transatlantic sailing, Cunard will welcome World War II and Vietnam War veterans on board Queen Mary 2 to lead daily programs and history talks. Question and answer sessions and presentations will cover the Battle of the Atlantic, D-Day landings in Normandy, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, the Tet Offensive and the siege at Khe Sanh among others. Cunard offered a similar cruise last November to honor Veteran’s Day.

Star Clippers lets guests choose summer promo

As part of the line’s latest promotion, travelers on summer sailings can choose between $400 in airfare or onboard credits as well as pre-paid gratuities. The offer is available for European sailings booked by the end of March for this summer as well as sailings that last until 2024 between six nights and two weeks. The company’s signature tall ships travel to smaller ports not often frequented by larger cruise ships.

MSC Cruises launches eco-focused MSC Euribia

Launching in Copenhagen this June, the new MSC Euribia will be the second vessel powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), which is the cleanest marine fuel available at scale. Where shore power is available, the ship will have zero emissions thanks to its advanced, onboard environmental systems. The ship features a livery, an homage to green operations, by German graphic artist Alex Flaemig. This summer, the ship will begin sailing from Denmark and Germany on itineraries in Scandinavia, to Greenland and around the Norwegian fjords.

Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis New Godmother of Oceania Vista

Italian-American chef, restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning food personality Giada De Laurentiis has a new feather to add to her cap. She is now godmother of Oceana Vista, which will make her debut this May. Together with a serenade from singer, pianist and actor Harry Connick Jr., she will christen the ship May 8 in Malta, while adding her own signature touch to the onboard menu. This is the first new ship for culinary-focused Oceania in more than a decade. It will sail Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Sea trips starting this year.

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