PONANT has announced an exciting culinary addition to its Quintessential Collection, a series of themed-itineraries that dig deeply into special subjects and destinations. The seven-night ‘Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy and Sicily’ cruise aboard the deluxe ship Le Jacques-Cartier is scheduled for October 18-25, 2020 and features two noted food and wine experts, Eric Asimov and Arthur Schwartz, who will share their in-depth knowledge of the extraordinary food and wine culture of Southern Italy and Sicily throughout the cruise. Fares start at US$5,600 per person.
During the cruise, Eric Asimov, who is chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto and Wine with Food Pairing Notes and Recipes from The New York Times, will share insight into menus, ingredients and wine pairings. Mr. Asimov’s weekly column appears in the Food section of The New York Times. In 2013, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.
Also featured is Arthur Schwartz, a former food editor of Newsday and the New York Daily News, where he was also a columnist and restaurant critic. His book Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania is considered the definitive English language book on the subject, and The Southern Italian Table: Authentic Tastes from Traditional Kitchens is an overview of the six Southern Italian regions. He is an acknowledged expert on Southern Italian cooking and gastronomic culture.
The one-of-a-kind program is an extraordinary opportunity to explore and experience with experts the various roles food and wine play in our lives and its relation to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Guests will immerse themselves in the bounty of Sicily and Southern Italy’s regional cuisines as they sample pastas of Syracuse, wines of Mt. Etna, artisanal meats and cheeses of Calabria, and mozzarella from Agropoli.
The cruise begins in Civitavecchia and includes stops in Gaeta to see the cathedral bell tower and ancient fortifications; Naples with visits to Pompei and Herculaneum; Agropoli for a side trip to Paetum; Vibo Valentia for a visit to the hilltop town of Tropea; Taormina in Sicily noted for its stunning Greek Theatre; and the archeological sites of Syracuse before a final stop in Valletta in Malta. An optional pre-cruise overnight program in Rome is available.
The program includes accommodations in outside staterooms or suites, all featuring private balcony; a private dinner at Michelin-starred Palazzo Petrucci in Naples; all meals aboard ship including sweets from Ladurée and gourmet cuisine, with menu creation and chef training by Ducasse Conseil, the consulting arm of the Alain Ducasse Enterprise; complimentary open bar, including select wines served with lunch and dinner; and all the luxury amenities that are signature of PONANT cruises.