Comparable to the best restaurants on land, fine dining is a highlight of any cruise.

In cruise cuisine, not all venues are created equal. There is the dining room and the specialty restaurant, where the big-name chefs prepare their signature dishes.

Often the most beautiful spaces on a ship – sometimes with Versace plates and Lalique crystal chandeliers – some restaurants deliver the full package: ocean views from every table, personalised service, curated wine lists and tantalising menus created by renowned chefs. 

There are many variations on the food theme. For example, Silversea’s S.A.L.T is part of a wider culinary program involving market trips and cooking demonstrations, while Azamara’s steakhouse is sure to tingle your tastebuds. The world’s best cruise lines for food will have ships sailing in Australia this summer, as well as around the globe. 

Here are the Cruise&Travel picks. Bon appetit!

Oceania Cruises

  • Restaurant: Privée 
  • Ships: Marina and Riviera
  • Cuisine: Celebratory dining experiences
  • Ambience: Intimate, private, sensory
  • Seats: 10
  • Head chef: Frédéric Godineau
  • Signature dish: Beetroot and goat cheese Napoleon (with truffle vinaigrette)

    “It’s a very nice pairing between the roasted beetroot and the fresh goat’s cheese with herbs. It is built like a mille-feuille and matches perfectly with the delicate flavour of the truffle. Every guest that tastes this dish loves the unusual combination of the three ingredients. You wouldn’t think they would pair so well together on the plate, but it is a true taste sensation.”

  • Suggested pairing: Gewürztraminer or riesling from Alsace
  • Other recommendations: Cheese soufflé; lobster risotto; sea bass filet baked in puff pastry crust with beurre blanc; roasted beef tenderloin with foie gras and truffle sauce
  • Best dessert: Raspberry mille-feuille (prepared tableside)
  • Wine list: Privée serves up the finest wines from around the world that pair effortlessly with the menu, from the Ferrari-Carano cabernet sauvignon, a robust mountain-grown red, to the light and dry Müller-Catoir Mussbach Riesling Kabinett.
  • Signature cocktail:  The Big O Martini 
  • Cost: Surcharge applies


  • Restaurant: Prime C
  • Cuisine: Classic American steakhouse
  • Ambience: Stunning views, lush décor 
  • Seats: 72
  • Signature dish: Herb-coated rack of lamb; 10 ounces of lamb, served on the bone and coated with herbs.

    “Cooked to perfection with a beautiful mouth-watering, herbal-flavoured crust, our rack of lamb just melts in your mouth.”

  • Suggested pairing: Domaines Buron de Rothschild Lafite Reserve Legende Speciale, Pauillac, France, 2012 
  • Other recommendations: New York strip loin steak; duck leg confit
  • Best dessert: Mini cinnamon-sugar donuts
  • Wine list: A collection of limited production, small label and rare vintages from France, California, Argentina, South Africa and beyond.
  • Cost: Speciality dining is US$30 per person per visit. Suite guests dine complimentary, upon availability.


  • Restaurant: The Restaurant
  • Cuisine: Regional 
  • Ambience: Open and inviting
  • Seats: 468
  • Head chef: Anthony Mauboussin
    Signature dish: Chairman’s choice poached salmon and cucumber salad, served with a side of pickled cucumber salad and potatoes, accompanied by a chive sauce.

    “Details such as cold marinating the slices of cucumber enhance the clean, fresh taste of our chairman, Torstein Hagen’s, favourite dish, and one that Norwegians have loved for generations.”

  • Suggested pairing: Maison Castel, Maison Castel Grand Reserve Chardonnay, France
  • Other recommendations: Heirloom beets and cherry tomatoes confit; double baked artichoke soufflé; Norwegian-style meatballs; roast Chateaubriand Béarnaise
  • Best Dessert: Suksessterte
  • Wine List: A carefully curated selection of wines from the most iconic regions around the world including France, Germany, South Africa, Chile, Spain and New Zealand. 
  • Signature Cocktail: Pap’s Brandy Special
  • Fee: Included in cruise fare.



  • Restaurant: S.A.L.T. Kitchen
  • Cuisine: Destination-focused, regional specialties
  • Ambience: Relaxed, welcoming, vibrant
  • Seats: 154
  • Head chef: Cyril Mougin
  • Signature dish: Roast lamb cutlets with wild aromatic herbs, with sympetherio, a Cretan bean and bulgur wheat ragout.

    “Craggy mountains covered in wild greens (horta) means Cretan lamb is exceptional. This dish showcases the farmhouse style of utilising the best of the land in one hearty dish.”

  • Suggested pairing: Douloufakis ‘Aspros Lagos’ Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • Other recommendations: Cretan fried gegetables, two ways; golden battered eggplant slices (melitzanes tiganites); crunchy zucchini and feta fritters (kolokithokeftedes) with a yoghurt dip; gamopilafo (lemony rice pilaf with chicken breast and roasted baby carrots)
  • Best Dessert: Bougatsa (creamy custard pie)
  • Wine List: More than 160 complimentary wines from every major wine region, with Italian wines particularly well-represented as an homage to Silversea’s heritage.
    Signature Cocktail: Selene, the Moon
    Cost: Included in fare  


  • Restaurant: Queens Grill 
  • Cuisine: French-inspired 
  • Ambience: Intimate, exclusive, sophisticated 
  • Seats: 132 
  • Head Chef: Nicholas Oldroyd, Cunard operational executive chef; Mark Oldroyd, Queen Elizabeth executive chef
    Signature Dish: 28-day aged beef Wellington, sauce perigourdine

    “It’s a real skill to execute this dish, from the construction to the cooking, ensuring the pastry is cooked, crisp and the beef still medium-rare. Having this carved tableside is the ultimate in culinary experiences and one that remains traditional, however, still very modern.”

  • Suggested pairing: Reunion Shiraz, The Lane Vineyard, Adelaide Hills 
  • Other Recommendations: Devon crab cannelloni with braised baby fennel, shellfish cream and sauce vierge; smoked potato and egg yolk ravioli with charred corn, courgettes and chervil veloute; fillet of wild Atlantic turbot with morel mushrooms, truffle puree, fresh almonds, gnocchi and almond milk.
  • Best dessert: Dark chocolate fondant, served with vanilla ice cream 
  • Wine list: One of the finest wine cellars at sea, the Cunard wine list consists of a curated collection of more than 380 wines from 26 different countries.
  • Signature cocktail: Mary Rose from the Gin & Fizz Bar
  • Cost: Included in fare for guests booked in Queens Grill suites.

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Restaurant: Onda by Scarpetta 
  • Ship: Norwegian Spirit
  • Cuisine: Contemporary, fresh Italian
  • Ambience: Effortless elegance
  • Seats: 72
  • Signature Dish: Spaghetti tomato and basil, a fresh, house-made spaghetti with a timeless blend of rich tomatoes, aromatic garlic and basil infused olive oil, plus a non-traditional touch of butter.

    “My favourite for many reasons, but most importantly, its simplicity. Nothing beats freshly made pasta and a full-bodied tomato sauce that’s full of flavour. This dish is love at first bite.” – Ben Angell, vice president and managing director, Norwegian Cruise Line APAC

  • Suggested pairing: Andantino Pinot Grigio from Delle Venezia, Italy 
  • Other recommendations: Yellowtail Crudo; Short Rib and Bone Marrow Agnolotti
  • Best dessert: Butterscotch budino
  • Wine List: An eclectic and well curated list, that delves into Italy’s regional wines as well as other regions around the world.
  • Signature Cocktail: Negroni Mediterraneo
  • Cost: Included with NCL’s Free at Sea offer