Top 13 Cruise Destinations for Food Lovers

Cruisers sitting at a table with food, bread, wine and candles about to dine
Taking a cruise is the best way to experience food from many countries in a short period of time. | Author: Jay Wennington

There are many incredible cruise destinations for food all around the world and thankfully there are many great cruise lines that are able to take you there. For those food lovers who are looking for the best culinary experience, you aren’t going to be short of options.

One question that you might often ask yourself is just where are the best cruise destinations for food? That’s where we can help as we’ll have a look at what makes the top destinations stand out and why you need to head there as soon as possible.

13. Spain

Spain is a wonderful country with many great places to explore, with the Spanish food being one of the reasons you’ll want to go back again. It has a great variety of fine fresh food with many great dishes for you to choose from. 

Paella is one such dish that they have and they are also famous for their tapas, for those wanting to try a variety of Spanish dishes. Barcelona is a popular cruise port and it is going to allow you to see some incredible sights and taste some brilliant food.

If you’re looking to visit the historic city in luxury then Silversea Cruises will be able to get you there. Not only can you enjoy the great food on shore but you will also have it on the ship too. Spain is an excellent choice for those that love food and wine, with some great wines too.

A colorful Spanish seafood paella served in a blue pot
Whether you prefer paella or tapas, a cruise to Spain will put a smile on your face after each meal. | Author: Cel Lisboa

12. United States

One of the incredible things about the United States is that it has such a diverse range of food, expertly copying different food cultures as well as mastering their own. Whether you want fine dining or just want to grab some French fries, the USA features all the cuisines of the world.

One of the best places in the US to visit is New Orleans with its famous French Quarter and great restaurants such as Galatoire’s. A cruise is a great way to be able to explore the different cities around the coast and develop your own take on US cuisine. 

If you want to take in the vibrant atmosphere of New Orleans there are many vibrant cruise lines with great cruise deals, such as Carnival Cruise Lines. There are also plenty of other great destinations it will visit, which will allow you to sample the culinary delights of various parts of the country.

11. Argentina

South America has a lot of great food but in nowhere is as authentic as Argentina, with the country being famous for its beef. Its cows are raised on large ranches and their steaks are known to be some of the best in the world and always worth a try. 

There are many great places to eat in its capital Buenos Aires including the Fogon Asado restaurant where you might just have the best steak you will ever have. There are also food tours available where you will be able to sample all types of Argentinean delicacies.

A South American trip can be a wonderful experience for a wide variety of reasons, but especially for the food. One liner that does excellent trips to Argentina and beyond is Celebrity Cruises who would take you on their Chef’s Market Discoveries tour. This great excursion will engage your taste buds and give you a memorable experience.

10. Greece

Greece is one of the most historic cities in the world and is a great destination for many reasons, with food definitely being one of them. A lot of that is due to their incredible olive oil which helps to bring out the flavor in many foods.

Their spanakopita and gyros dishes are great delights or you could just decide to smear their olive oil on anything you can find. There are great walking food tours to be had which would be an excellent shore excursion. 

When it comes to cruising through the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises are one of the best cruise line companies that you can use, as they run frequent cruises in the region. They will help you to explore the beauty and history of a city like Athens while treating your taste buds to a fine treat.

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9. Denmark

Copenhagen is an incredible cruise port and everyone should visit Scandinavia at some point in their lives. It has beautiful landscapes and the architecture of the buildings is unique and charming. They also have a great selection of food to offer.

While Stockholm in Sweden and Oslo in Norway are also great cruise destinations, in the market halls of Copenhagen you will be able to sample Denmark’s tasty cheeses and cold meat cuts, along with sumptuous chocolate too.

In terms of the best cruise liners in the region, Holland America Line is great and run plenty of cruises through Scandinavian waters. They also have a great excursion through Copenhagen that will enlighten you on the Danish way of life.

8. Thailand

Thai cuisine is well known throughout the world and it takes influence from a lot of the surrounding regions as well as their own expertise to make some exquisite dishes. They often have a vast mix of herbs and spices to give you full flavor in every bite. 

Their tom yam kung is an example of such a dish that is bursting with flavor. If you like curry, then their massaman curry is a joy to behold. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is a must-see destination for the food, the history, the culture -  it’s everything you look for in a cruise destination wrapped up in one.

Royal Caribbean offer great cruises to the region with transfers available for you to enjoy unique cities with some of the best food in the world. You’ll also be met by people who are incredibly friendly and will give you a very warm welcome. 

7. China

When it comes to takeout meals while you are at home, Chinese food is often the go-to option, but tasting authentic dishes is a whole new experience. The Chinese love their food and that is reflected in the taste of their dishes, which are exceptional.

With dishes like sweet and sour pork, dim sum and peking duck, you’re going to find it hard to find the time to fit it all in. It’s a great place to be able to expand your food horizons as it will open your eyes to what is possible in the world of food.

There are many great destinations in the huge country but with Beijing being a two-hour drive from the nearest port, Shanghai is the best bet as you will have more time to be able to sample those delights and Norwegian Cruise Line are a great option for that destination.

A round wooden box in which dumplings are served with different sauces
Besides dim sum and peking duck Chinese dumplings will guarantee you a great culinary experience. | Author: Pooja Chaudhary

6. Caribbean

When it comes to Caribbean food, it’s hard to pick out any one country as the best. It’s a great idea to immerse yourself in the region and sample different food in every port that you visit. That, along with its atmosphere and white sand beaches, makes it a great place to visit.

There are many great regional cuisines such as jerk chicken or pork and ackee and saltfish in Jamaica, fungi from the Virgin Islands and doubles in Trinidad and Tobago. You’ll be spoilt with all the food possibilities and your stomach will constantly be satisfied.

Perhaps the best destination for food in the Caribbean though is Dominica. Windstar Cruises offer a food excursion where you will be able to learn about their flavors, herbs and spices. You’ll help to make the food as part of a cooking class and enjoy the end product which you can sip down with some fine Caribbean rum.

5. Mexico

Mexican food is another type of cuisine that can be found all across the globe, as many different cultures and countries also enjoy their dishes. It is able to deliver a huge amount of taste with a collection of spices that dance magnificently across your tongue.

It’s hard to pick a stand-out meal from the country as it has some hugely famous ones such as enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and burritos. There are also many great port destinations in Mexico on both sides of its coast.

Cozumel on the east coast and Mazatlán on the west coast are two great destinations which are both served by Carnival Cruise Lines. If you want a relaxed and fun experience while tasting such famous food in its own country, then Carnival would be a great cruise line to choose.

4. India

Just like Mexican, Indian food is another such cuisine that is found across the world and has been copied. Unfortunately, a lot of the time it doesn’t actually bear much resemblance to the original dishes. It is always the best idea to sample the original meal in its country of origin.

Being such a large country it has a large selection of ports but Mumbai is one of the must-see destinations as it’s unlike anywhere else in the world. You’ll have a memorable cruise vacation while finding out what Indian food is really like. 

Sri Lanka is another place that has great food and you would be able to visit both countries with Azamara Club Cruises who have some great itineraries in the area which will provide you with new culinary experiences and beautiful memories.

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3. Japan

In terms of ending a vacation with new insight and experiences, Japan is perhaps the best place in the world. It is a different way of life that most people fall in love with and they deeply enjoy the Japanese cuisine while they are there too. 

Tempura is one dish that many love as it manages to get a perfect deep fried finish but with a batter that is thin and crispy. There are of course famous for their sushi and sashimi which will open your eyes to the world of raw fish and miso which is an incredibly tasty soup.

A perfect cruise would be to board a Silversea cruise ship that actually does a whole tour of Japan with ports of call in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka. It also has one stop in South Korea and would give you a food tour like no other.

2. France

When it comes to food and wine, there aren’t many more famous countries in the world than France, as it excels in them both. French cuisine is notorious in its excellence with many michelin star, fine dining restaurants to enjoy.

The likes of Brest and La Rochelle on the eastern coast are a great visit with Saint-Tropez and Nice being beautiful and sunny destinations on the southern coast. You will be able to sample food and indulge your taste buds whilst seeing many beautiful places. 

One of the most wonderful tours you can do is visit the La Vague d’Or restaurant in Saint-Tropez which is run by Regent Seven Seas. You’ll be able to enjoy their incredible culinary skills along with wine pairing with high-class and exceptional service.

1. Italy

When it comes to food, it’s hard to look past Italy. Italian cuisine includes a mix of incredible pizza, amazing pasta and a copious amount of beautiful sauces, added to that there is also a great range of wines and coffee to wash it down. 

You’ll find amazing Italian food in any port that you visit but there are a few famous ones. If you want to have risotto, then Venice will be the perfect port for you. Naples is the home of pizza and Rome (from the port of Civitavecchia) is incredible for carbonara.

Along with the best foods in the world, you’ll also be visiting a country that has an incredible history with vibrant atmospheres and memorable excursions. It’s a must visit for any foodie and Princess Cruises offers tours to all of the places we have mentioned here.

A plate with italian pasta served with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella
With its pizza, pasta and risotto, a cruise to Italy offers the best experience for foodies. | Author: Lisa Fotios

Cruise destinations for food

Clearly there are many incredible cruise destinations for food and a wide range of cruise lines that can get you there, whether you want some carbonara in Rome, sushi in Tokyo or a curry in Mumbai.

All that’s left to do is to get started on planning your trip, but don’t forget there are some other factors that could help you decide which cruise destination is right for you. If you’re creative, you can even visit a few of these destinations on the same cruise and by the time you get back home, you would have seen some historic sites, sampled different cultures and tasted some of the best food in the world.

Making the search for you easier, you will definitely find your perfect vacation quickly when checking out the cruises going to the 5 best cruise destinations for foodies: 

1. Best Cruises to Southern Europe (Mediterranean)

2. Best Asia Cruises

3. Best Mexico Cruises

4. Best Caribbean Cruises

5. Best Cruises to Northern Europe (Baltics)

Check out these articles for more top destinations: