Goldring Travel’s 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise – Part I (Getting Ready and Looking Forward)

Goldring Travel’s 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise on the Seabourn Encore departs on October 6, 2018 from Barcelona, Spain on a fourteen night cruise traversing the Mediterranean Sea all the way to Athens, Greece.  It is, therefore, going to be a bit of wild ride with exciting differences in cultures and cuisines.

Seabourn Encore
Home of the Goldring Travel 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise

Spanish, French, Corsican, Italian, Sicilian, Southern Italian and Greek cultures and cuisines packed into only two weeks is a huge challenge. To be honest, trying to accommodate as much of it as I can without overwhelming and/or exhausting my limited number of guests has been a bit of a challenge, but I think Goldring Travel has done it!

Sailing across the Mediterranean Sea
is a culinary and cultural treat

While I will assuredly be writing about each port, and there will be some events that have to be filled in on the fly (such as the Private Shopping with the Chef, Private Cooking Demonstration, Cocktail Party in a Penthouse Spa Suite and the famous Food & Wine Tasting on the last day of the cruise), there is a lot of planning that is so close to coming to fruition.

Starting in Barcelona, Spain the day before the cruise I am going to La Boqueria, which I believe is the best city market in the world.  But this is not a tour, per se, but rather an informal lunch as there are so many places to eat.  Goldring Travel’s guests are welcome to join me, wander off to find their own flavors and/or do some shopping.  I am already tasting fresh razor clams!

Razor Clams. Yum!!!

That evening is “scheduled” to be a casual tapas crawl. Again, if any of my guests want to come along, they are welcome.  (As you see, Goldring Travel does not do “joined at the hip” type groups where you feel herded and unable to do that which you want.)

The first Goldring Travel event starts upon the Seabourn Encore’s arrival in La Joliette in Cote d’Azure region of France (near Marseille). This is one I am very excited about because we will be visiting the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation (“The Pope’s New Chateau”), which is my most beloved style of wine.  While vineyards have existed since the Romans, they were all but wiped out and then reestablished in the 1800’s.  We will be visiting one of those vineyards, Château La Nerthe; now the oldest remaining vineyard in the appellation for a five wine tasting.

It is then off to La Table des Fines Roches for a gourmet lunch with paired wines. However, we will virtually sneak over to the next appellation, Cotes du Rhone for a three wine tasting. I find the wines similar, but distinctly different.  (I shall say no more because I do not want to ruin the tastings!)

But, alas, we are not done!  After lunch we travel to Domaine du Grand Tinel. This is another historic vineyard and, for a real treat, we will be tasting some white Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.  It is a truly unique wine.

Time then to head back to the Seabourn Encore.  But because the ship is not sailing until 11:00 PM there is an opportunity to head into Marseille for some of true bouillabaisse; something far different than that which is served in the United States.

The next day we arrive in St. Tropez, France where the Ensemble Travel Group Experience is being held in the morning.  Heading back into the vineyards of Provence, we first arrive at Chateau St Roseline, a former monastery, for our first tastings of three wines which I believe will focus on Vin de Provence roses and whites.  For our second stop, before returning to the Seabourn Encore, we arrive at Chateau Saint Martin for a very upscale wine tasting with savories.

The afternoon can be spent being tres chic or just recovering from some pretty intense and fun wine tastings unlike that which most will ever do…unless you travel on a Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise!

Matteo – Owner of One Day Chef in Rome, Italy

After a few days enjoying Ajaccio, Corsica (and I will be enjoying charcuterie, for sure), Monte Carlo and Portovenere (for Cinque Terre) it is time to venture into the one of the most popular markets in Rome, Italy to gather some ingredients before heading over to the kitchens of my friend, Matteo, owner of One Day Chef where we will make ravioli and tiramisu while enjoying some good Italian wines! The fun thing is that because he has 16 separate cooking stations, everyone will be on their own; no couples.  It should be a great time, playing off a fun cooking experience in Malaga, Spain last year.

Bizani Villa
Corfu, Greece

After a few more day, enjoying Amalfi, Italy, Syracuse, Sicily and Crotone, Italy it is time to go Greek!  Goldring Travel has pulled out all the culinary and cultural stops for our time in Corfu, Greece.  Upon the Seabourn Encore’s arrival we will head to the historical center of Corfu for a three hour Historical Tour combined with Food Stops to learn the history of the island through the food and the influence of the conquerors on local cuisine. Along the way our group will sample, among other things, spinach pie, cheese pie, custard pie, ginger beer, koum kouat fruit, Greek yogurt, fig pie, feta cheese, graviera cheese, nubulo smoked pork, olive oil tasting, honey and more!  But, alas, our day in Corfu is not done!

Bizini Villa

We will then travel to the 17th century Bizani Villa where the Masterpiece Theatre show, The Durrells in Corfu is filmed.  The owner of the villa will give us a tour and provide some of the history of the villa. And it is with this ambiance a Greek sommelier will host a wine tasting and explanation of unique Greek grape and wine varietals. Time then to head back to the Seabourn Encore.

With two more days in Greece before arriving in Piraeus there will be plenty of time to soak in history, soak in the sun and, well be Greek and relax before heading home.

While the Goldring Travel 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise is sold out, the decision as to where the 2019 experience will be heading has not yet been determined.  If you have any ideas or simply wish to be place on our List of Interested People please email or call me.

And now all I have to do is wait!

Interested in a Seabourn cruise or traveling with Eric Goldring? Give me a call, drop me an email or send me a Facebook message!

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