Let Your Taste Buds do the Cruising

Part of the joy of a European river cruise is the diverse gastronomical experiences along the way.

There’s so much fresh local produce for the cruise chefs to choose from, mouth-watering moments are guaranteed! Whether it’s an breezy on board al fresco luncheon, an elegant three course evening meal, or the formal Captain’s Dinner (the highlight of many cruises), the cruise lines offer a range of taste sensations, all paired of course with the divine local wines.

We’ve outlined some of the best dishes to look out for as you’re cruising through the different regions.

On board

Enjoy the sumptuous morning buffets and breakfasts, designed to energise you for the day. Many river cruise lines are recognising while you’re on holiday, you don’t want to forgo your healthy eating habits, so they’re offering options like artfully created salads and high protein dinners to ‘fuel your adventures’, day or night.

Wholesome, clean food with surprisingly innovative dashes of flavour… what more could you want from your floating hotel?


Whether cruising along the Seine or visiting the various little villages along the way, be sure to look out for the following highlights:

  • Escargot (snail), which are usually served as a starter in France. Escargot de Bourgogne (or Burgundy Snails) are traditionally prepared with garlic and parsley butter and are widely known as a refined French product.
  • Another treat is bouillabaisse, which is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. It contains several types of fish and often shellfish, combined with olive oil, tomatoes and saffron.


In a land of contrasts, two of the pleasures of Germany (other than the Rhine River, which flows through deep gorges and passes a number of UNESO World heritage sights such as the Speyer Cathedral, the Wurzburg Residence and the Roman Monuments in Trier) are Bratwurst und Sauerkraut (brown sausages and sauerkraut), and Black Forest cake Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (literally “Black Forest cherry-torte”). Neither need any explanation, just a fantastic appetite!


As you journey from Barcelona to Palma to Ibiza (known as the famous party town but really a foodie’s paradise), the rich Mediterranean flavours of Spain should be on your mind… especially paella. Originally a Valencian rice dish, paella has become synonymous with Spain for many.

But don’t underestimate the allure of a Spanish churro as well (known as porras in some regions), dipped in chocolate, dulche de leche or café con leche for good measure… A fried dough pastry, it can be breakfast, lunch, a snack. A pick me up at any time of the day, really!


Italian cuisine really needs little introduction, it’s so well known. But really there’s nothing like trying the original, is there?

After a real Italian Neapolitan pizza, a tiramisu is a must. Not sure what’s in it? Ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa.


Cruising the stunning Dalmatian Coast is one of the most popular journeys we offer, and we’re sure the food has something to do with it!

Rustic and hearty, the cuisine demonstrates the best of homestyle cooking with fresh local produce, including delights from the sea. Be sure to try the Salata od hobotnice or octopus salad. It makes a great starter and is popular at lots of restaurants along the Croatian coast over summer.

Another local delicacy is Kulen, a type of flavoured sausage made of minced pork that is traditionally produced in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. Delicious!


Island hopping in Greece is another favoured pastime of many Australians, and being home of such a wonderful cuisine, it’s no wonder why!

We’re all familiar with moussaka, an eggplant or potato based dish, but there’s also dolmades, the stuffed grape leaf bundles of meat and rice served as part of a meze (appetiser) plate to consider.

Then there’s kolokythokeftedes, made of grated zucchini and paired with a crisp tzatziki. And the honeys, and cheeses (feta of course) and baklava… Are you hungry yet?

So if these little morsels entice you, be sure to call our team on 1800 242 353 to brainstorm your perfect European cruise and food experience together.