Credit: Oceania Cruises

How to enjoy Oceania Cruises’ award-winning food – best restaurants and foodie excursions

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Oceania Cruises prides itself on providing guests with an award-winning gourmet dining experience - treat your tongue to new flavour combinations onboard.

Wave goodbye to throw-it-all-together-and-hope-for-the-best dinners at home and escape to foodie heaven and travel in luxury with Oceania Cruises. Sit back, relax and be content in the knowledge that the line serves up some of the very best cuisines on the high seas with a highly skilled chef overseeing each meal onboard.

So, what sets Oceania Cruises apart? The answer is the careful and precise selection process around its cuisine. From selecting the freshest ingredients inspired by local destinations to ensuring only the best chefs from around the globe are onboard - Oceania Cruises truly believes food is passion.

This drive can be seen through the cooking onboard, evident through the fusion of art and food with spectacular presentation and bursts of flavour guaranteeing you will remember this culinary experience for a lifetime.

In short, Oceania Cruises was truly a deserving winner for the best cuisine gong at the 2021 Wave Awards, World of Cruising’s premier cruise industry award ceremony. Why? We hear you ask. Well, wonder no more and read on to discover how Oceania Cruises has refined its dining experience to a fine art.

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What are Oceania Cruises restaurants?

The Grand Dining Room

The Grand Dining Room certainly lives up to its name; step into elegance with rich wooden accents, designer tapestry fabrics and a glittering ceiling all excluding the feel of true classic splendour.

As for the food on offer, take your pick from continental dishes as well as a selection of enhanced fresh flavours - no chance of being bored here!

An expansive choice of at least 10 appetizers, soups and salads as well as 10 dinner entrées is on offer, the Grand Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with no reservations required.

- READ MORE: Oceania Cruises: Experience an elevated dining experience with new expanded menu -

Speciality restaurants

Speciality dining with Oceania Cruises is perfect for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries or just to treat yourself, and they’re included in the price of the sailing, but we advise booking ahead to ensure you get a table on your preferred day.

Experience authentic Italian food at Toscana which serves up delicious traditional Italian dishes, with many of the recipes originating from the mothers and grandmothers of the Italian culinary staff.

Tuck into a bay scallop trilogy in Red Ginger with Oceania Cruises. Credit: Oceania Cruises

Why not sample the authentic hand-rolled gnocchi in a creamy pesto sauce or the ravioli stuffed with slow-roasted beef and tossed in a veal jus? For pudding be sure to indulge in a chocolate lasagne - a rich chocolate ganache layered with cocoa dough and served with a roasted pistachio sauce.

Alternatively, visit the Polo Grill for a classic steakhouse experience, serving up certified Black Angus USDA Prime, dry-aged to enhance tenderness and flavour. Alternatively, opt for the whole Maine lobster gratinée.

Red Ginger serves up tempting flavours of the Orient while the soothing sound of the waterfall acts as welcome background noise.

If you prefer French cuisine, head to Jacques, a restaurant owned by renowned Chef Jacques Pépin. Indulge in chicken, duck and pork meat which has been slowly roasted to perfection, a meal truly to remember.

For the more relaxed days, the Waves Grill is your go-to option. Enjoy a different type of luxury with laid-back dining and feasting on all-American favourites. Overlooking the swimming pool, enjoy a tangy barbeque while breathing in the fresh air.

Terrace café is an inviting atmosphere every moment of the day, whether you enjoy the plentiful breakfast selections, the buffet lunch or the heightened dinner service.

Get a fresh take on cuisine at Aquamar Kitchen with Oceania Cruises. Credit: Oceania Cruises

What are the new Oceania culinary experiences?

Not only will you be able to experience a glistening new ship when onboard Vista (sailing in April 2023) with Oceania Cruises, you will also sample a fresh perspective on cuisine with new restaurants Ember and Aquamar Kitchen.

A fusion of classic dishes with America creations, Ember features a tantalising menu including braised short ribs on polenta, grilled swordfish with asparagus and cobb salad with smoked chicken.

- READ MORE: Oceania Cruises: Discover the innovative new experiences onboard Vista -

On the other hand, Aquamar Kitchen is purely focused on the pursuit of wellness; food offerings include homemade granolas, avocado toasts, slow roasted organic salmon and yellowfin tacos with white cabbage slaw.

For a truly unique culinary experience visit The Culinary Centre dining room, debuted onboard Vista. This works alongside The Culinary Centre and is where you can sample creations.

Host a private dinner party at Privée. Credit: Oceania Cruises


Party in private and host up to 10 privileged guests in the most exclusive onboard venue, Privée.

It’s decadent in every way, from the table designed by the famed American furniture designer Dakota Jackson to the golden Venini chandelier which adorns the ceiling.

Choose from several different gourmet menus from onboard restaurants such as Toscana, leaving you and your guests blissfully satisfied (please note a cover charge applies).

La Reserve by Wine Spectator

Oceania Cruises has come together in perfect harmony with Wine Spectator, a magazine for wine connoisseurs, as well as France’s premier Champagne house, Moët & Chandon. Onboard both ships Marina and Riviera, La Reserve by Wine Spectator combines the perfect wine and food pairings in a six-course Dom Pérignon Experience.

Swirl and sample these perfectly matched palette combinations such as Brittany blue lobster, yellow curry broth and coco foam paired with Dom Pérignon.

A seven-course La Cuisine Bourgeoise wine pairing dinner is also available, which features masterfully curated wine selections with dishes including Filet de Boeuf Rôti Richelieu.

Helsinki is a memorable coastal capital. Credit: Shutterstock

Which chefs work onboard Oceania Cruises?

Distinguished chefs await, with each selected from the world’s best restaurants. Every recipe has been proudly crafted by the talented and innovative team, and each dish is a study of age-old culinary techniques and traditions.

Regardless of where you dine or what you choose to order, you will experience the luxury of cuisine renowned as the finest at sea aboard Oceania Cruises.

Jacques Pépin has been Oceania Cruises’ Executive Culinary Director since 2003. As an internationally renowned chef, author of 30 cookbooks and host of 13 PBS television series, to say he is a success is an understatement. Dine like a celebrity, with Jacques having served as personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

- READ MORE: Discover Europe & North America with Oceania Cruises -

Oceania Cruises’ shore excursions – what food-focused trips are on offer?

New food experiences do not exclusively occur onboard, ensure you step off your luxurious home to discover new destinations and, more importantly, traditional cuisine.

Culinary Discovery Tours are available onboard both Marina and Riviera which feature visits to bustling markets and restaurants as well as cooking demonstrations to hone your skills back at The Culinary Center with the freshest ingredients.

Discover delectable cuisine in Portofino, Italy. Credit: Shutterstock

Discover the secret to Nonna’s handcrafted pasta in Portofino or enjoy the burst of flavour from fresh sun-ripened tomatoes from the fields of Provence on a Mediterranean culinary discovery tour.

The Chef’s Gastronomy Tour & Tapas Cooking Class in Bilbao, Spain is another one of the Mediterranean tours on offer and sees guests shopping like locals at Mercado de la Ribera in central Bilbao alongside a culinary chef and local guide.

Stop for flavourful tapas and pinxtos (traditional Spanish snacks) in Plaza Nova and snap a photo at the Guggenheim Museum. In the afternoon embark on hands-on tapas and pinxtos cooking class back on board at The Culinary Center and learn a skill for life.

Northern Europe culinary tours are also available; surprise yourself with the innovative culinary landscapes of the Baltic, Scandinavia and Northern Europe with local farm-to-table cooking.

The ‘Chef Market Tour & Nordic Cooking Class’ tour in Helsinki, Finland sees you gaining insight into the city’s cuisine by touring a unique local covered and open market, featuring unusual produce such as cured moose meats and reindeer sausage.

Gather the ingredients for your private cooking class and depart on a panoramic tour of Helsinki before heading back on board to learn the technique for preparing gravlax (cured salmon) along with other traditional delicacies before partaking in a sample (or more!) of Finlandia vodka.

Hone your skills from your shore excursions back at The Culinary Centre. Credit: Oceania Cruises

How can you learn about cuisine onboard Oceania Cruises?

Visit The Culinary Center to absorb knowledge from Oceania Cruises’ chef instructors who possess a genuine passion for experiencing the world’s cultures through the lens of food and cooking.

Learn how to prepare a range of delicious dishes at your own well-equipped workstation as you fine-tune your techniques.

- READ MORE: How can you learn about cuisine onboard Oceania Cruises? -

Onboard cooking classes take place across the British Isles, Texas, Patagonia, Mediterranean – to learn each regions classic style of cooking.

Discover Oceania Cruises’ passion for cuisine and delve into the world of food and drink headfirst both onboard and offboard.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.