Miami, FL, February 24, 2005 - World-renowned master chef Jacques Pépin will host a 14-day culinary odyssey aboard Oceania Cruises' intimate and luxurious Insignia. Sailing from Lisbon to Venice on August 25, 2005, guests will delight in exploring the Mediterranean's most celebrated ports of call and draw upon the experiences of one of the world's most acclaimed chefs, Jacques Pépin. As the Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, Pépin will treat guests to evenings of specially designed signature menus in the four gourmet dining rooms, and by day, guests may participate in culinary demonstrations, engaging question and answer sessions and one-of-a-kind Epicurean Excursions.
"Providing our guests with the most extraordinary culinary experience at sea has always been our number one priority, and the opportunity to present our guests with an up-close and personal glimpse into the epicurean world of Jacques Pépin is both an honor and a privilege," stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. As the author of more than 20 cookbooks, star of numerous highly rated TV cooking shows, for which he won an Emmy, and chef to three French heads of state including Charles de Gaulle, Pépin will be joined by special guest Jean-Claude Szurdak, his best friend of almost 50 years and a world class chef in his own right. Szurdak worked together with Pépin for three French heads of state, the Michelin-starred Ponchartrain and Drouant and served as chef at La Toque Blanche prior to becoming proprietor of New York City's famed Elysees Pastry, Moccha Pastry and the exclusive Jean-Claude catering company. Together, they will provide their unique insight on the art of fine food, wine, entertaining and the joys of life. "Jacques' and Jean-Claude's culinary mastery, life experiences and anecdotes elevate enrichment and personal discovery to an entirely new level; there is nothing that can rival an experience such as this," added Del Rio.
As fine food must be accompanied by fine wines and to compliment the culinary experience, Master Sommeliers and guest wine experts will lead guests through wine tastings where they may enjoy and compare appellations, vintages and varietals from wine-producing regions around the world. They will also learn the history of wine along with the art of choosing and pairing wines, and familiarize themselves with Oceania Cruises' extensive cellar of wines with more than 150 selections.
Of course, guests will also want to experience the historic, cultural and culinary wonders of this voyage's magical ports of call. Oceania Cruises has gone to great lengths to design a wide variety of shore excursions and exclusive epicurean experiences that go a step beyond, offering unique opportunities to capture the essence of the places that they visit.
For a limited time, this immensely popular voyage is available at extraordinary savings with FREE airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares beginning at $3,499 per guest. Ports of call include Seville, Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Dubrovnik, Umbria and Venice.
Oceania Cruises is the highest rated premium cruise line according to the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine in the 2004 "World's Best Awards". Featuring three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA, Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value.