Insider Access – Agro-Culinary Tours
At Azamara Club Cruises, we’ve launched new small-group land excursions to private homes, farms, villas and villages. These exclusive, small-group tours are dubbed Insider Access because they bring locals and cruise guests together, going behind-the-scenes and into private homes.
One of the joys of traveling the world is meeting new people, and learning about a place’s history, culture and traditions. Most cruise itineraries don’t offer guests the opportunity to meet local people and have insightful conversations with them. With the new Insider Access program, Azamara is changing that.
Today I’m focusing on Agriturismo and culinary tours, a subject near to my heart. A couple years ago I founded an agritourism non-profit whose mission is to teach urbanites where food comes from by bringing children (and adults) to farms and ranches. I truly believe if you want to get to know the traditions of a place, it’s always best to start with a farm. That’s where local tradition and culture begins.
The “Mozzarella from Farm to Table” tour will take guests to a family-owned farm in the Pontecagnano Region of Italy (accessed from the port of Sorrento) to learn about making the famous Mozzarella di Bufala Campana cheese. This cheese is sold worldwide and has received the Italian government’s seal of quality assurance. In 2008 the European Union also granted the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana a ‘protected geographic status.’ This is similar to how only sparkling wine from the Champagne Region of France can legitimately be called champagne.
The family raises 600 water buffalo (quite different from our American Buffalo, which is really not a buffalo at all, but a bison), and makes Mozzarella di Bufala Campana on-site. After the tour, guests are invited into the owner’s villa for samples and conversation.
Another Agriturismo tour offered by Azamara’s Insider Access is a visit to Los Alburejos Farm, a famous Andalusian horse ranch in Spain (accessed from the port of Cadiz.) This family-owned ranch raises Andalusian horses and Torrestrella bulls. After a tour of the ranch, guests will be treated to tapas, local sherry, and conversation about the fascination region’s history and traditions.
The Druze Culinary Workshop is a hands-on cooking experience in a family home near Haifa, Israel. Guests will dine with family members, while learning about the distinct culture of this Arabic-speaking Druze minority community.
To learn more about these fantastic new tours, flip through the online Insider Access brochure.
Please comment with your thoughts about these new tours, or memories you have of visiting farms, ranches or cooking schools abroad. I always love hearing from you!