Cruise secrets: P&O chef Marco Pierre White's expert tip on must-visit ship to dine on

Cruise ships are a myriad of foodie experiences, bringing together a host of dishes, flavours and cultural traditions under one roof. Michelin star chef Marco Pierre White has long been at the forefront of the UK’s culinary scene and, for the last 12 years, brought his expertise on board P&O cruises. The Leeds-born foodie, who has his own restaurant chain across the UK, hosts an on-board Cookery School on a variety of vessels. He was recently appointed to Patron, and takes the lead in showing passengers how to create beautiful dishes at home.

He works with each guest on an individual basis on board the Britannia vessel, and gushed to “The best bit is getting to know the guests and gathering round at the end of each class and enjoying the dishes we’ve created together.

“It’s all about learning new skills and making memories.”

Yet what about the best cruise ship to dine on, and the best cruise ship dining experience?

Despite Marco boasting his own eatery the Ocean Grill restaurant, on ship Arcadia, he admits he favours another foodie spot on the seas when he can kick back and relax.

Letting slip his top dining spot on a cruise ship route, Marco, 56, told us: “My very favourite dining experience when I am on board with P&O Cruises is eating outside at night, particularly on the terrace of Epicurean on Azura and Ventura.

“Sitting under the stars is wonderful and the dishes are of a consistently high standard with great variety.”

He added: “Whenever I travel, which is several times a year, I’m always astounded at the high quality of the food served and more importantly the consistency of quality – and to so many people, day in, day out.

“Everything is very correct, very well-presented with a sense of classicism which is hard to find nowadays.

“The organisation is fantastic in the kitchen – and very impressive; the ingredients are chosen with care, a great deal of it is local and has true provenance and the systems onboard are phenomenal.

“I love working with the teams on board every step of the way from initial menu creation in which we look at dishes which will be special and memorable, testing and tasting and then serving the dishes to the guests and talking to them to get their feedback.”

Marco is currently on board P&O cruise ship Britannia, with both his cookery school and new shore excursions.

Recently, P&O Ferries revealed a new party route – purely centred on Eurovision.

The company anticipated the swell of public love for the ionic song contest, broadcast every year, with a two-day route to drum up anticipation.

The “all singing, all dancing” journey was its first ever, celebrating “unity, diversity and equality”.

Organisers promised a musical trip down memory lane, dating back from 1956 to the modern day, departing from Hull, with its destination ports in either Rotterdam or Amsterdam.


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