Cruise lines are adding sustainability to their menus and creating luxury dining experiences that don’t hurt the planet.
This could be sourcing produce from sustainable farms or stocking up their ships with local produce.
Locally sourced ingredients are not only good for the environment but also the local economy and communities. By sourcing local produce, the lines minimise the carbon footprint by ensuring that the food doesn’t have to travel far to reach your table.
They are also supporting local food producers. We find the luxury ingredients that cruise chefs are filling their larders with.
Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas
The lines offer a full menu of gourmet plant–based cuisine but also source many other sustainable ingredients for the conscious eater. Most of the fish and seafood served on board Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas is sustainable.
The lines source a sustainably farmed white fish called Open Blue Cobia from a company called Open Blue. They are a pioneer and leader in raising fish in the open ocean and their farms can be found in the waters of the Caribbean Sea in the Panama region. The versatile white fish has a rich and buttery flavour, a firm texture and it also has high protein, vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 fats. The lines serves the fish on all of their vessels for Sushi, Sashimi and guests can also taste it cooked at La Veranda Buffet and Compass Rose for lunch. The fish is also featured in the dinner menus of the Pool Deck, Pacific Rim and Compass Rose.
Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas always purchases bush tucker ingredients when they arrive in local waters to prepare special dishes on board. Guests are introduced to native ingredients like Bush tomatoes, Davidson plum, Illawarra plum, lemon aspen fruit, Munthari berry, Riberry, Wild Limes, Rosella, Lemon Myrtle, bunya bunya nuts and more.Guests can taste the native ingredients in desserts like rolled wattleseed pavlova with rosella confit created by Australian guest chef and native food expert, Vic Cherikoff.
They also stock up on ingredients like Tasmanian salmon and cheeses, Morton Bay Bugs, Crocodile fillet, Kangaroo meat, Emu, Barramundi, Mussels, and other nice local fruits and vegetables.
The line schedules provisioning from major cities, especially in docks with wide aprons like Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. They source fresh seafood from a mix of local and US suppliers. The oysters in Eden and prawns, crab and lobsters in Cairns are some of the local seafood they put on their menu. Australian lamb is also a highlight on board.
On Seabourn, restaurants like the The Grill by Thomas Keller will aim to utilise local ingredients. This depends on the itinerary and season but it includes steaks and chops from California and Pennsylvania and lobster from Bedford, Nova Scotia.
The line also serves sustainable Sterling caviar from America on board. The caviar is harvested from native California white sturgeon that is raised in carefully controlled conditions. These fish produce firm, richly flavoured eggs that are likened to the finest imported Osetra. Sterling adds salt and ages the caviar to attain its signature buttery texture and flavour.
Viking Ocean Cruises
The line offers a regionally inspired menu enhanced with locally sourced ingredients at their main dining venue, The Restaurant. In Australia, that means unique ingredients like north Queensland barramundi, Hervey Bay scallops and even New Zealand monkfish. A sample menu has the barramundi roasted till the skin is crisp and paired with cauliflower puree and fava beans. The scallops is done ceviche style and served with green papaya and chilli salsa.
Viking Cruises also hosts an interactive dinner experience where the chef along with guests purchase fresh produce and interact with local producers in preparation for the cooking class and dinner party that follows.
The pioneer in sustainable expeditions is also bringing their ethos into the galley. They have partnered with EAT Foundation to improve the line’s sustainability efforts along the company’s entire food value chain. This includes expanding their menus with more plant-based cuisine, sustainable sourcing to reducing food waste.
The line calls their galley ‘Norway’s coastal kitchen’ when cruising along Norway’s coastline. The food they serve comes from the freshest produce found on the Norwegian coast, including fresh seafood, eggs, poultry, dairy products, mustard, syrup, salt, mushrooms, berries, fruits and vegetables.
When their ships arrive in Kirkenes in the far north of Norway, they also get a special delivery of live King Crabs. The crabs are all marked with QR-codes so they know all the details about when each crab was caught, who caught it and on what fishing boat it was caught. Guests can choose which crab they would like to have prepared before the chefs make an amazing fresh meal with this premium ingredient.
The line also works with Flowfood, a company from Norway that makes “mince” from peas, Norwegian root-vegetables, oats and seaweed
Sustainable Ars Italica caviar is complimentary and available all day to guests on Silversea. It starts from the welcome aboard where guests can enjoy the caviar with chilled champagne in their suites. It is also offered by the tin and as a garnish for tartare and lobster meals. The caviar hails from northern Italy where Ars Italica uses sustainable techniques to farm caviar and support the local sturgeon population. The Oscietra caviar is sourced from the prized “Russian sturgeon” from the heart of the Ticino park in Casanovo, Italy.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
The line will be bringing on board local Australian beer, wine and spirits onto Vasco da Gama when she arrives in this summer. The ship will be the first international cruise ship to have iconic South Australian brand Coopers on tap. Other local brands guests can find on board include wines from Wirra Wirra, Jansz, Vasse Felix and more.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.