In the world of celebrity chefs, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa – known to all simply as Nobu – is an outstanding achiever. The 70-year-old dynamo owns award-winning restaurants and hotels in 44 cities around the world, has written eight cookbooks, appeared in several movies and cooked for stars such as Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Princess Diana and Cindy Crawford. Robert De Niro famously enjoyed Nobu's food so much that they went into partnership in 1994, expanding his first Beverly Hills restaurant into the global empire it is today.
Nobu also has a long-term partnership with ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises, which features his only restaurants at sea. In 2003 he opened Silk Road & The Sushi Bar on board Crystal Serenity and five years later it was established on Crystal Symphony. Following the ships' latest multimillion-dollar makeovers, the restaurants are now called Umi Uma & Sushi Bar and they continue to serve Nobu's sought-after, classically styled Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.
As Crystal prepares to launch its first luxury expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, in August next year, the line announced that Umi Uma & Sushi Bar will be one of six dining venues on board. And having recently had the pleasure of meeting Nobu at his Crown Towers restaurant in Melbourne, where he cooked for a group of Crystal Cruises execs and some very lucky travel journalists, it was clear the acclaimed master chef relishes his latest venture with Crystal.
"I am very excited that Umi Uma will also be an option on Crystal Endeavor – even in Antarctica, guests will be able to enjoy my signature dishes."
Chimu Adventures has just launched an exclusive Antarctica sale in partnership with Hurtigruten, world leaders in sustainable exploration travel. Chimu is offering up to 25 per cent off Hurtigruten cruises to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Patagonia during the 2019-20 season. The sale will run until June 26, 2019, and is available solely through Chimu. Travellers can see Antarctica and the Falkland Islands from as little as $7594 for a 17-day itinerary, easily one of the best value Falklands cruises around. See chimuadventures.com
New Aussie flagship
Australia's longest-established expedition cruise line, Coral Expeditions, welcomed its first new ship for 14 years at a VIP event in Darwin – now the ship's home port – earlier this month. Coral Adventurer will spend the next five months in the Kimberley, sailing 10-night voyages between Darwin and Broome, followed by cruises to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia's Spice Islands. The 120-passenger ship has more than 1000 square metres of open deck space and is equipped with six Zodiacs and two of the company's trademark Xplorer tenders, which take passengers straight from the deck to the sea. See www.coralexpeditions.com
Carnival Splendor will arrive at its new year-round home port of Sydney in December, joining Carnival Spirit to cruise the Pacific islands as well as doing shorter "fun size" jaunts around Australia. Accommodating 3700 passengers, Splendor is newer and bigger than Spirit and one of its enticing attractions is the line's signature Cloud 9 Spa. Spanning two decks, it features more than a dozen treatment rooms, exclusive spa staterooms, a thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool as well as an expansive gym and fitness centre. Perfect for working off those inevitable cruise kilos … See www.carnival.com.au
What is the name of the roving platform on Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, Celebrity Edge?
Check this space next week for the answer. Last week's answer: 120 nights
Art of travel
Fashion and travel-accessory designer Catherine Manuell is renowned for her distinctive, long-lasting luggage, totes, handbags and wallets and her collaboration with women from the Aboriginal Artists Project has resulted in an irresistible collection of stylish travel goods. This passport and card holder is from the Putipala range by Dianne Robinson; all artists in the partnership benefit directly from the company's licensing agreement. RRP $57.50; see catherinemanuelldesign.com
Katrina Beagley, Helensvale, Queensland
NUMBER OF CRUISES TAKEN 41 so far, across 10 different cruise lines. Some with family, some with friends, some on my own.
LAST CRUISE My last cruise was on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. It was a short, four-night trip from Melbourne to Brisbane that I took so I could experience the classic Cunard style of cruising.
NEXT CRUISE My next cruise is on P&O's Pacific Aria. It's a four-night break and I'm going with a friend, visiting Airlie Beach and then returning to Brisbane. Cruises are a great break for busy parents. After that, I have seven more cruises booked, taking me up to May 2021.
DREAM SHIP Currently my favourite ship is Allure of the Seas – I love the gardens in the Central Park "neighbourhood" – but I am keen to do a few go-kart laps at sea on one of Norwegian Cruise Line's ships. So I think my dream ship would be a Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ship that has a go-kart track.
DREAM CRUISE Not having cruised the globe yet, I would have to say Japan is my dream cruise destination. I love Japan and would love to see more of the country and its people.
DREAM PORT Easy. Santorini. A Mediterranean cruise is on my list! The white buildings, the azure blue sea … it just looks amazing.
BEST CRUISE TIP Dress up! And enjoy the formal nights.
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