Culinary Themed Cruises


Sail with a Chef and Sommelier
Imagine going on a grocery trip with your favorite chef to pick out ingredients for dinner at a local market and then learning techniques that they use to create a perfectly seasoned dish, where the flavors sing in harmony and notes of spices spark off your tongue. Imagine tasting wine from a storied vineyard you’ll visit tomorrow with a sommelier and comparing it to others in the region in a tasting. Listen to their stories and ask for their recommendations on their favorite restaurants and cocktails.

It’s not just about the food and wine, but also getting to know these epicurean experts on a personal level. This is Windstar’s James Beard Foundation Culinary Themed Cruise experience, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to taste dishes from some of the most sought-after James Beard Foundation chefs and sommeliers/beverage experts.


Each themed cruise features:

  • •Hosted dinner with a James Beard Foundation chef and beverage expert, including wine pairings
  • •Demos by the chef of some of their recipes
  • •Shopping at the local market with the chef
  • •Wine, spirits, or beer tastings
  • •Shopping and tours with the sommelier/beverage expert (based on availability)

November 26, 2018
Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
Chef Emily Luchetti
With six cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, Emily Luchetti has helped to define what great pastry in America means. As chief pastry officer for Big Night Restaurant Group, she oversees the pastry operations for The Cavalier, Marlowe, Petit Marlowe, Leo’s Oyster Bar, and Park Tavern Restaurant. She was awarded the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. With a passion for vanilla, she can’t wait to bake treats made with vanilla fresh from the islands and plans to escort guests on excursions to local vanilla farms.
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November 26, 2018
Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
Beverage Expert Shelley Lindgren
Owner and Wine Director Shelley Lindgren of A16 and SPQR in San Francisco, was honored by the James Beard Foundation in 2015 with the Outstanding Wine Program award for her work at A16. Her reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with lesser-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. She continues to search for evocative wines from around the world and plans to serve interesting pairings aboard Wind Spirit in Tahiti.
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December 15, 2018
Windward Islands Surf & Sunsets
Chef Jose Mendin
Chef/restaurateur José Mendin co-founded and created the Pubbelly Boys restaurant group and the Comma Hospitality Group (FCHG), with notable Miami restaurants such as Habitat, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Baja Bao, and PB Ysla in Mendin’s hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mendin will be returning home on this cruise, which is a roundtrip journey from San Juan, bringing his ability to revitalize and re-imagine ancient and traditional recipes by maintaining the integrity of a dish’s roots while infusing it with modern touches. He earned James Beard Foundation nominations for “Best Chef: South” from 2012 to 2016. He looks forward to showcasing his love for big flavors aboard Windstar and sharing his favorite restaurants and flavors with guests in San Juan.
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December 15, 2018
Windward Islands Surf & Sunsets
Beverage Expert Tiffanie Barriere
Tiffanie Barriere is a mixologist, and “freelance” bartender living in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015, Tales of the Cocktail profiled five black female bartenders influencing the Atlanta drinking scene and Louisiana/Texas native, Tiffanie Barriere, was one of the chosen mixologists. Barriere spent seven years as the beverage director at One Flew South receiving 'Best Airport Bar in the world to travel in by Forbes Magazine, NY Times, and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. Known around circles as “The Drinking Coach,” Barriere now calls herself a “freelance” bartender, opting to create cocktail menus for pop-up dinners and host mixology lessons all around the nation. James Beard 3-time attendant, Bar Smart graduate, and Top 50 Tastemakers of the South award winner, Barriere’s main goal is education and service with every pour.
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January 5, 2019
Winter Antilles Escape
Chef Danielle Leoni
Hailed as one of the top innovative chefs of the Valley, Executive Chef Danielle Leoni has lived up to that distinction with an avant-garde approach to blending Arizona farm-fresh ingredients with the tropical traditions of Jamaica. Under her stewardship, in 2008 The Breadfruit and Rum Bar introduced an entirely new cuisine to Arizona while redefining perceptions of tropical dining. Chef Leoni has spent over a decade exploring the islands of the Caribbean and immersing herself in local food cultures. Her passion for sustainable change within our food system from land to sea has brought her national recognition.  She is an ardent supporter of the Arizona farming community, ocean conservation, seafood sustainability, zero waste and is dedicated to cultivating the next crop of culinary talent.
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January 5, 2019
Winter Antilles Escape
Rum Master Dwayne Allen
Dwayne Allen is regarded as the definitive voice of rum and a veteran creator of craft cocktails in Phoenix Arizona. Born and raised in Jamaica, Dwayne brought with him to Phoenix a natural passion for the sugarcane spirit and has been credited with elevating its profile from relative disregard to its rightful place as "the noble spirit." Referred to as the "Rum Royalty," he possesses a breadth of rum knowledge unsurpassed by his peers and is leading the charge to reimaging rum as sophisticated and versatile spirit. Under Dwayne's stewardship, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar has earned a reputation as one of the premier destinations for rum and craft cocktails in Arizona. He has won numerous awards including "Best Cocktails" from Phoenix Magazine and "Best Craft Cocktails" from Arizona Foothills Magazine, while Phoenix New Times Magazine raves, "best mojito in the valley".  On the national stage, one of his signature creations made its way on to CNN's luxury list of the World's Most Expensive Cocktails.
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February 16, 2019
Costa Rica & Panama Canal
Chef Jamilka Borges
As the Executive Chef at Independent Hospitality Group, overseer of Independent, Hidden Harbor and Lorelei kitchen, Jamlka was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she developed an interest in art and food early in her life. After attending University of Puerto Rico, she moved to Pittsburgh and enrolled in culinary school.  She began working at Legume Bistro, which was Pittsburgh first true farm to table restaurant. She became Executive Chef at the Livermore and Bar Marco, led an ambitious preservation program and developed a rotating tasting menu that led Bar Marco to be nominated for Best New Restaurant 2013 by Bon Appetit and The Wine Room being named “Best Dining Experience in Pittsburgh.” In 2015 she was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Rising Star Chef Semifinalist and was honored as Best Chefs America’s Rising Star Chef. In 2016 she was named Starchef’s Rising Star for the Rustbelt Region and in 2018 she was named Pittsburgh Magazine Chef of the Year, recognizing her commitment with her community, culinary skills and voluntarism. Currently she works with 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit organization looking to eliminate hunger while reducing food waste, and is also a James Beard Boot Camp for Policy and Change alumna.
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March 16, 2019
Pop Culture Kings of Asia
Chef Judi Ni
Bio coming soon!
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June 22, 2019
Yachtsman's Harbors of the Riviera
Chef TBA
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September 24, 2019
West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza
Chef TBA
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October 14, 2019
Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast
Chef Chris Pandel
Chef Chris Pandel, chef/partner of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and newly opened Dutch & Doc’s, offers foods that are rooted in classic French technique and predominantly local Midwestern ingredients, making his cooking rustic, yet refined. In 2008, Pandel opened neighborhood eatery, The Bristol with a menu featuring handmade pastas and charcuterie; farm-fresh, locally sourced produce. James Beard Nominee, Balena, opened with a menu consisting of handmade pastas, pizzas from the wood-fire oven, and locally sourced, farm-fresh meats and produce. Pandel opened Formento’s in January 2015, an Italian-American heritage restaurant reminiscent of a1950's "red sauce joint.” At Swift & Sons, opened in 2015, Pandel provides his signature focus on high quality, locally sourced ingredients and classic cooking techniques presenting a menu of reinvented steakhouse classics, “boutique beef,” thoughtful vegetarian dishes and seasonal sides. Pandel then opened Cold Storage, a casual seafood concept offering fresh seafood, salads, and sandwiches. Pandel’s most recent opening is Dutch & Doc’s – a casual, brasserie-style restaurant a mere 500 feet from Wrigley Field’s home plate.
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