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Cook With Me

Live From Rome

· Travel,Cruises

Regular readers know that I truly love my food, and my cooking. Many of our personal trips include food and wine experiences, whether that's hunting out locals haunts or enjoying cooking lessons and demonstrations from chefs or inside welcoming homes. When I realized that this week's newsletter is #250, a number I believed absolutely impossible for me to achieve as a writer, I thought a minor celebration was called for. So, in collaboration with our partners at EatWith, I would like to invite just 5 (what other number could it be?) readers/clients/friends to an intimate live cooking class event directly from Rome. We will learn how to make colored butterfly-shaped pasta with Debora and Fiamma (below), a mother/daughter team who usually would host us in person, in an awesome house on the top of Gianicolo Hill in Rome, a unique location in a famous and historical neighborhood with stunning views up to Piazza Venezia.

Discover all the secrets about four-cheese sauce and fresh pasta making, as well as many anecdotes about Italian food culture. Make sure to pour yourself a glass of wine, it will make the class much more fun and it won't matter quite so much how our farfalle turns out!

Our private, complimentary event is June 26th 4.30pm to 6.30pm Eastern US time.

Click the button below to register by 5pm EST Monday.
We will be randomly picking the 5 lucky participants.

Moving on, I am going to talk about luxury small ship cruising for 2021. I have been quiet about the cruise industry, as the media (fairly and unfairly at different stages), inundated the public with horrific, bad news stories. As the whole industry regroups and attempts to plan for a future where they actually sail again, I'm finally comfortable to tell you that a cruise may well end up being the safest trip you can take. The new protocols are bound to include rigorous health checks before boarding, hospital-like facilities on the ship, and very strict health guidelines for restaurant use and cabin cleanliness.

Add to that the exclusive nature of small ship cruising, with the limited numbers, more personal space, and even the ability to take private excursions when heading on your land tours, and I am sure that this particular cruise segment is going to become even more popular than the strong trend that was indicated before 2020 decided to interrupt.

Top 5 - 2021 Luxury Small Ship Cruises

Silver Origin - Galapagos

1. Silver Origin - Galapagos (above and below)

The only ship that has been delivered during the last 3 months, Silver Origin is Silversea's newest, designed and built specifically for the Galapagos and defined by the ability to adapt and evolve. Silver Origin is the height of experiential travel in the Galapagos.

  • One of the most environmentally friendly ships ever built
  • With a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides
  • The highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos

It's a true luxury all-suite ship, there is a maximum of just 100 passengers, and there are some serious early booking offers for 2021 sailings.

Click HERE to view the full brochure and on the photo below for a video overview.

2. AmaMagna - Danube (below)
It's almost a year ago to the day that I took the photo below on the top deck of the AmaMagna. It was such a beautiful twilight sky that evening on the Danube and if you've had a Zoom chat with me in the last few months you'll recognize it as one of my go-to backgrounds. This is AmaWaterways luxury flagship, and with just 196 passengers and double the size of all other European river cruise ships, it gave us space, and a sense of calm wherever we were on the ship. Exclusively sailing on the Danube, this includes the number one itinerary in river cruising...Munich or Prague pre-cruise, then stops and visits that include Passau, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. It doesn't get any better.

AmaMagna Luxury River Cruise by AmaWaterways - Danube
3. Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection - Europe (below)

Although there has been an almost year long delay to the launch of their first yacht, this newcomer to luxury cruising still intends to have 3 ships sailing by 2023. With one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea, you can relax on the private terrace of your spacious suite or settle in to a secluded nook on the open decks as you anticipate the new horizons that rise before you. The 2021 and 2022 European itineraries look particularly interesting and include a voyage to Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix.

4. Seabourn Venture - (above)
Set to launch in July 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022, both ships are designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships global deployment and capabilities. Built by T. Mariotti, these will be a brand new innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveler, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful.

Favorite itineraries released so far?

How about an extraordinary 14-day Majestic Fjords of Greenland itinerary in September 2021 or an 18-day Chilean Fjords (below) and Antarctica journey set for November 2021.

5. Regent Seven Seas Explorer - Alaska (above)
Slightly larger than our previous recommendations, Seven Seas Explorer is one of the most luxurious cruise ships ever built. Every suite has spacious closets, high-end finishes, relaxing Elite Slumber beds and private balconies.
Next summer the ship will be deployed to Alaska, and this is the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the rugged and wild, with glaciers, countless rivers and lakes, and majestic mountain peaks. As I mentioned last week, if we assume ships will be sailing, then it is going to be important to have made your reservation early, or risk disappointment.

Click the image below of the amazing 4,500sq ft Regent Suite to explore the ship.

If you need any travel advice in the current travel environment or you're ready to plan please click here to let us know.

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