Holland America Line is at the top of its game when it comes to combining incredible food experiences and cruising the high seas.
By Karen Leiva

Holland America Line is taking culinary experiences and cruising to new levels. With hands-on cooking classes and exclusive dinners, the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine is truly a gourmet experience at sea.

On the cruise line’s newest ship, the ms Koningsdam, a special farm-to-table dinner experience was added to its Culinary Arts Centre offerings. For these dinners, an elaborate show kitchen is open to guests so they can watch top chefs prepare gourmet dishes – which they then get to taste.

Every meal includes select ingredients harvested from a glass-enclosed growing area near kitchen. This trendy growing area is the result of a partnership between Holland America Line and award-winning microgreen specialist Koppert Cress. Once sown, the seedlings – providing flavours such as garlic, mustard and licorice – grow for two weeks and then get cut in their prime for use during dinner. Food doesn’t get any fresher than that!

In addition to the special farm-to-table dinner in the Culinary Arts Centre, cooking classes are offered to guests wanting to learn the ropes from celebrity chefs specializing in everything from pastry to traditional Italian, and contemporary New England cuisine. Regionally inspired workshops are designed to introduce guests to the local flavours of the countries and regions visited.

Understanding that for so many of us, mealtime is a family affair, Holland America Line even offers cooking classes catering to teens and kids. In these classes, budding chefs learn basic cooking techniques and kitchen safety tips. Children as young as three can participate.