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Ships Ahoy! Celebrity Cruises Culinary Boat Rides to Set Sail

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Foodies, rejoice! Miami-based Celebrity Cruises is rolling out a series of culinary-inspired boat rides set to begin in March.

Celebrity Cruises' lifestyle cookbook, Excite the Senses, was the inspiration for the new food-and-wine-themed luxury cruise series aptly named Excite the Senses Culinary Theme Cruises. It will offer guests an opportunity to get to know the Celebrity culinary team through demonstrations, tastings, and dinners.

Each voyage in the eight-cruise series will be led by a member of Celebrity's culinary team, the first being headlined by master chef and Celebrity's vice president of culinary operations Jacques Van Staden.

The first cruise will set sail from Miami on March 24, 2012, for a seven-night Caribbean sojourn. It will feature not only Van Staden but also "Liquid Chef" and master mixologist Junior Merino, along with partners from various wineries who will be aboard to share their expertise.

Each cruise will explore the various culinary disciplines featured in the Excite the Senses cookbook: dining, entertainment, and beverages.

Activities on the first cruise will include an exclusive cocktail and cuisine pairing hosted by Van Staden and Merino, mixology and cooking demonstrations followed by question-and-answer sessions, hands-on cooking classes, and an Excite the Senses book-signing event.

The cruises are meant to please every kind of foodie, from the novice to the sophisticated, says Van Staden.

Each cruise will also feature an expert from the wine and spirits industry, members of Celebrity's culinary team, beverage partners who will talk about their products, including representatives from Jack Daniel's.

Celebrity Cruises is an affiliate of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Celebrity Cruises' 2012 Excite the Senses Culinary Theme Cruises dates and hosts are:

March 24 -- a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Eclipse hosted by Van Staden, focusing on food, wine, mixology and entertaining at home.

April 10 -- a 12-night roundtrip Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Silhouette sailing from Port Liberty, New Jersey hosted by pastry chef Thierry Houlbert and will focus on pastries, baking and sweets.

May 5 -- an eight-night wine cruise on Celebrity Century from San Diego to Vancouver, hosted by executive chef W. Thomas Szymanski.

May 27 -- a seven night Bermuda cruise from Cape Liberty on Celebrity Summit hosted by executive chef Steve van der Merwe and will focus on Bermuda culinary traditions.

June 29 -- a seven night roundtrip Alaska cruise from Seattle on Celebrity Infinity, hosted by Celebrity Cruises Director of Culinary Operations John Suley and wine Celebrity expert Chanelle Duarte who will be doing food and wine pairings.

July 10 -- a 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona on Celebrity Solstice, hosted by executive chef Rufino Rengifo.

August 12 -- a 12-night roundtrip Baltic cruise from Amsterdam on Celebrity Constellation, and hosted by Celebrity's Restaurant Operations Manager Lorenzo Davidoiu.

September 14 -- an eight night wine cruise on Celebrity Millennium sailing from Vancouver to San Diego and hosted by Dominique Gamba who will focus on specialty cheeses.

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