Meet celebrity chefs, winemakers and veterans on your next cruise

New ships and themed cruises are hitting the high seas this spring and summer as cruise lines have new surprises in store for travellers. If you want to rub shoulders with a famous chef or a famous winemaker, there are plenty of opportunities (as well as special discounts) available to you. Here 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 whiskey lovers. Master Blender Emma Walker will be aboard Norwegian Prima during a September sail in Northern Europe. Being a master blender is the highest rank in whiskey craftsmanship. Travelers can learn about the brand and taste many rare whiskeys. It is part of the line’s wine cruises that bring well-known names in food and drink on board. They include celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, winemaker and fashion scion Salvatore Ferragamo, Napa Valley icon Michael Mondavi and winemaker GĂ©rard Bertrand.

Oceania Cruises names second Allura-class ship after her

Upscale, food-focused cruise line Oceania Cruises now has a name for its second Allura-class ship, Oceania Allura. It will be the brother of the Oceana Vista which will soon sail. The 1,200-passenger ship is currently under construction in Italy and is expected to debut in 2025. The ship will have the largest staterooms in the line as well as a new American gourmet restaurant and chef’s studio. When it launches, the cruise line plans to send it to many smaller ports that large cruise ships cannot easily access.

Cunard partners with the Greatest Generations Foundation

During a transatlantic crossing on May 26, Cunard will host World War II and Vietnam War veterans aboard the Queen Mary 2 to lead daily programs and history lectures. Q&A sessions and presentations will cover the Battle of the Atlantic, the D-Day landings in Normandy, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, the Tet Offensive and the Siege of Khe Sanh, among others. Cunard offered a similar cruise last November to honor Veterans Day.

Star Clippers lets customers choose summer promotion

As part of the line’s latest promotion, travelers on summer cruises can choose between $400 in airfare or onboard credits plus prepaid gratuities. The offer is available for European crossings booked by the end of March for this summer as well as crossings lasting until 2024 between six nights and two weeks. The company’s signature tall ships visit smaller ports that aren’t often frequented by larger cruise ships.

MSC Cruises launches the eco-designed MSC Euribia

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

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentii is the new godmother of Oceania Vista

Italian-American chef, restaurateur and Emmy-winning culinary personality Giada De Laurentiis has a new feather to add to her cap. She is now patron of Oceana Vista, which will debut in May. Accompanied by 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 vessel for culinary-oriented Oceania in over a decade. It will make trips to the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea from this year.

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