LEARN YOUR A, B, SEAS
Learn Your A, B, Seas - Luxury Travel Magazine
Learn your A, B, Seas
|By: Maddy Gerrard, Issue 46 – Autumn 11|
|SOME CRUISE PASSENGERS DELIGHT AT THE PROSPECT OF DAYS AT SEA SPENT POOLSIDE IN A DECK CHAIR WITH A KINDLE. FOR THOSE WHO DREAD SPENDING THOSE DAYS AIMLESSLY ROAMING THE DECKS, THERE’S GOOD NEWS. LUXURY CRUISE SHIPS HAVE UPPED THE ANTE WITH ONBOARD ACTIVITES (OTHER THAN BRIDGE) FOR PASSENGERS WHO MIGHT LIKE TO BRUSH UP ON THEIR CULINARY SKILLS, LANGUAGES AND MORE BETWEEN PORTS. MADDY GERRARD REPORTS.|
|Do you want to develop your palate, get creative, improve your fitness or possibly even increase your IQ? Luxury cruise lines are offering lecturers, classes, tutorials and workshops led by experts on a diverse range of subjects. Choose your next cruise based on the area of interest you’d most like to explore.|
|Regent Seven Sea Cruises and Le Cordon Bleu International, the world’s largest hospitality and culinary arts school, have partnered to bring passengers expert cooking courses on selected cruises. Chefs trained in the famous Le Cordon Bleu method of classical French cooking run small Classes Culinaires des Croisières workshops. The classes take place over three days and are themed according to various ports of call so the ingredients are always seasonal and fresh and the use of local produce gives students the opportunity to experience destinations more authentically. At the conclusion of the course the tables are turned at a graduation dinner prepared by the talented Le Cordon Bleu chefs onboard at Signatures restaurant, the first and only permanent Le Cordon Bleu restaurant at sea. |
Cost: US$299 (about A$295) per person.
The ultra luxury Silversea Cruises, known for its worldwide itineraries and gourmet cuisine, recently announced that 10 voyages in 2011 will feature the popular Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs interactive cooking school. Launched in 2010, this hands-on course introduces students to new cooking techniques and dishes within a curriculum that is designed to celebrate the cultural flavour of the ship’s itinerary. There is no set duration for the cooking school but a number of workshops take place on each voyage. Expect to partake in specialised workshops covering a range of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking. Aside from hands-on classes, students can also watch cooking demonstrations and attend Q&A sessions.
Cost: All costs are included in the cruise fare.
Onboard Oceania Cruises newest vessel, Marina, guests can sign up for cooking school at the Culinary Centre run by Bon Appétit, an American fine food and wine publication. This course focuses on local produce, expanding student’s knowledge and appreciation of local cuisines along the route. Equipped with 24 work stations, focus is placed on hands-on learning within a professional kitchen atmosphere. Passengers can either participate in single session classes that focus on a particular theme, such as Flavours of the Sea, or multi-session classes that tackle themes requiring more time, such as homemade pasta.
Cost: Single session classes – US$49 (about A$48), Multi-session classes from US$99 (about A$98).
|Crystal Cruises asserts that “the choices are yours and the opportunities are endless” on its voyages, offering a comprehensive art program. Titled Odyssey Art at Sea, this program includes courses run by experts on painting, (including watercolour classes), sculpture, weaving and other crafts. Classes are only offered during days at sea and the detail of each course varies slightly depending on the destination.|
Oceania Cruises offers a hands-on program for budding artists on board Marina. Passengers are invited to join professional art classes in the Artist Loft, an equipped enrichment centre onboard where artists-in-residence offer guidance and detailed instruction in their area of expertise. The courses on offer change depending on the artist-in-residence, with photographer Curtis Hustace most recently on board leading photography workshops.
Cost: Cost changes depending on art-in-residence.
This year, in association with Better Photography magazine and the Australian Geographic Society, Orion Expedition Cruises is trialling a photographic expedition on location in Papua New Guinea. This 11-night voyage, departing from Cairns in April, provides an opportunity to test and develop photographic skills under the guidance of internationally recognised photographers Nick Rains and Peter Eastwood. Before students go on location with members of the ship’s specialist expedition team, pre-shoot workshops give them instruction on lighting, photographing seascapes and portrait skills as well as how to optimise their final images. The course is designed to appeal to photographers of all levels and is an extraordinary chance to live-through-the-lens from dawn to dusk in one of the world’s most photo-opportunistic locations.
Cost: Commence from A$8,995 per person.
|Cruising is often thought of as an inactive experience but for active passengers, it is no longer the sedentary torture they imagine. Apart from well-equipped gyms and fitness centres, interactive courses that get passengers moving are increasingly popular.|
|Both Silversea Cruises and Oceania Cruises present the opportunity to add a new dance step to your repertoire, regardless of experience. Silversea dance classes are run either by the Gentleman Hosts on board, complete with their bow ties, or the Entertainment staff. The type of dance taught is dependent on their speciality, which is mostly ballroom styles – rumba, swing and tango. Similarly, the dance classes on Oceania endeavour to help you appreciate the nuances of a variety of dance types and develop a skill that is both social and energetic.|
Cost: Complimentary on Silversea Cruises Classes are an additional cost on Oceania Cruises.
|For an active but more meditative course, the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi is a perfect combination. Tai Chi instruction on board Crystal Cruises ships is offered in the early morning hours and teaches passengers how to master movements such as Embracing the Tree and White Crane Spreading Wings. The practice combines intense mental focus with conscious and graceful movements that improve strength, agility and balance. |
Learn An Instrument
|As part of its Creative Learning Institute program, Crystal Cruises has partnered with Yamaha to create the Passport to Music program. Certified Yamaha music teachers instruct passengers on the piano keyboard, music reading, notation and theory as well as nearly a dozen songs within a group environment. |
|Learn A Language|
|Crystal Cruises also offers language courses in association with Berlitz, one of the most recognised names in foreign language instruction. Spanish is offered on most cruises and other languages are taught depending on the sailing region. For example, students learn French as they sail along the Riviera or Italian when cruising the Amalfi Coast.|
|To keep up with the dramatic evolution of the internet and digital communication, Crystal Cruises employs Technology Concierges who offer complimentary instruction on today’s gizmos and gadgets. From understanding the finer nuances of iPhones, iPods and Blackberrys to basic computer skills on e-mail, Word, and Excel guests on every cruise can catch up on the newest trends. More technical procedures such as digital photo finishing and website design are also on offer. |
Similarly, Oceania Cruises provides both private lessons and group classes in subjects ranging from beginner’s level Microsoft Windows XP to image retouching with Adobe Photoshop Elements as well as a variety of digital photography classes.
Cost: The computer-learning program is complimentary while private one-on-one lessons incur a fee.
|Guest lecturers from leading universities, museums, and the highest ranks of the Diplomatic Service are invited onboard Regent Seven Seas cruises to present informal talks on the places visited by the ship during the cruise. Learn about Renaissance Florence on an expedition around Italy, or the Incas in Peru on a South American voyage. Silversea Cruises will feature nearly 200 guests lecturers and destination experts on over 160 voyages this year, varying from marine biologists and archaeologists to art historians and broadcast journalists. |