Food tourism is on the rise, prompting tour companies and cruise lines to cater to traveling food lovers with culinary experiences led by working chefs — on land and at sea.
Explore private cooking clubs around the globe
The travel outfitter Black Tomato launched Tasting Notes, a series of journeys led by Michelin-starred chefs and personalities from the Netflix program “Chef’s Table.” Travelers can explore a wide array of foodie destinations from Spain and Slovenia to Peru and Argentina. In the Basque Country, Daniel López takes guests into the private world of txokos (members-only cooking clubs), on a tour of his favorite pintxos bars, and into his critically acclaimed Kokotxa kitchen for a cooking class. This trip is offered year-round with five-night itineraries starting from $5,135 per person based on double occupancy.
Explore Italian culture and cuisine by bike
From May to mid-October, both this year and next, Tourissimo, an Italian tour specialist, offers four bike tours to the regions of Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily, each led by a notable North American chef who educates guests on the cultural aspects of local gastronomy. While cycling through bucolic landscapes, travelers learn about the country’s culinary traditions by visiting local producers, partaking in cooking workshops, and sampling staples like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma, and handmade tortellini paired with regional wines. Bookings start at $3,995 per person based on double occupancy.
Food and wildlife in South Africa
Roar Africa has teamed up with the New York-based chef Dan Kluger, of Loring Place, to launch a food-forward South African journey to Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and Kruger National Park. From Oct. 27 to Nov. 5, an intimate group of guests receive insider’s access to artisanal shops, farmer’s markets, breweries, wineries and top restaurants including The Test Kitchen. The trip culminates with a wilderness excursion and a hands-on training session with Mr. Kluger and student chefs from the local Singita School of Cooking. Prices range upward from $15,600 per person based on double occupancy.
Explore spices and teas in India and Sri Lanka
Kanthi Kiran Thamma, an award-winning Indian chef based in Brighton, England, leads guests on culinary sojourns to cities in southern India and Sri Lanka through his tour company, The Spice Circuit. From Nov. 17 to 25, travelers can join Mr. Thamma in Sri Lanka to visit food markets, spice gardens and tea plantations. Guests also cook alongside expert chefs to master the art of local recipes like rice flour pancakes and a traditional seven-vegetable curry. Prices start at $2,325 based on double occupancy.
Take a gourmet Polynesian cruise
On the water, Windstar Cruises is joining with the James Beard Foundation to create gourmet-themed voyages accompanied by all-star chefs and sommeliers. Each sailing includes chef demonstrations of signature dishes, trips to local markets and producers, and dinners with beverage pairings. The pastry chef Emily Luchetti will travel with guests from Nov. 26 to Dec. 6 through Polynesia, escorting guests to a family-owned vanilla plantation in Tahiti, where they can stock up on the fragrant spice to use in baking classes on board. Tickets start at $3,399 per person based on double occupancy.
Enjoy a food float down the Amazon
Aqua Expeditions picked top Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino to host a limited-edition culinary trip on the Amazon River from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 (prices from $4,050 per person based on double occupancy). He will introduce travelers to exotic fruits in Iquitos’ Belen Market, whip up ceviche and tamales with guests, and lead tastings of local pisco, cacao, coffee, and catfish caviar.
Experience Vietnamese cuisine along the Mekong
In Southeast Asia, the travel company APT teamed up with the Australian celebrity chef Luke Nguyen to lead a 14-day trip in Vietnam and on the Mekong River. From Nov. 30 to Dec. 13, Mr. Nguyen will guide guests through the alleyways of Ho Chi Minh City to meet his relatives and visit their kitchens, shop for ingredients at market stalls, and cook with him as they sail down the Mekong. Prices from $5,945 per person based on double occupancy.