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As proud godmother of Sirena, Claudine Pépin takes great pleasure in hosting her Signature Sailing every year. This year’s 10-day journey from Rome to Venice aboard Sirena explores several Italian gems in the Mediterranean as well as sought-after destinations lining the Adriatic Sea. With this sailing just around the corner in July, we caught up with her to find out what she’s most excited about, her favorites aboard Sirena and more.

What are you looking forward to most during your Signature Sailing this summer?
I’m truly looking forward to meeting first-time Oceania Cruises guests – they are so happy and always have a great time. I’m also looking forward to seeing guests that I’ve sailed with several times. I feel like it’s a reunion every trip; I have a growing Oceania Cruises family! In addition, every itinerary and every port offers a new treasure – we never get tired of the adventures.

Do you have any “Signature Sailing traditions” that you’ve started with your husband or daughter?
After we unpack quickly, we always have a bite at Terrace Café. We love to see the crew, many of whom we now know, and all the new folks we’ll meet. Rollie, Shorey and I love to be out on the deck as we sail away from the first port. We always take lots of pictures together and send them to all our friends.

What is your favorite culinary experience on Sirena?
That is an impossible question. I look forward to every meal and I also look forward to breakfast in my stateroom while looking outside at the beauty of the port of call we might be visiting or the ocean. I look forward to veal chop at Tuscan Steak, Chilean sea bass at Red Ginger, The Bistro in The Grand Dining Room for lunch and the Dover sole at The Grand Dining Room for dinner. I love Terrace Café for any meal – you’ll often find me on the back veranda there!

What insider Sirena tip would you share with guests?
Baristas, the coffee bar outside The Grand Dining Room, is a great way to start the day or any time you need to recharge.

Tell us about some of the explorations you’re looking forward to having in the Mediterranean.
Where to begin? In Rome before the cruise, we’re going to see the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and then the Jewish Quarter – and oh, of course we’ll visit a few trattorias in between. In Amalfi, I’m excited to dine at one of the cliffside restaurants with views of the deep blue harbor and in Taormina, we all can’t wait for the pasta! While in Malta, we’re planning to visit the island of Gozo so we can go to one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Mediterranean. And then we haven’t been to several of the ports along the Adriatic before, such as Durres and Kotor, so we’re very much looking forward to discovering them.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what might be involved in your cooking demo?
The recipes are designed to be easy for the home cook, and to pay homage to the local fare. (Hint: the Veneto is famous for potato gnocchi.)

For you, what is the quintessential end to a night on board?
A glass of Champagne and a little dancing in Horizons.

Claudine looks forward to meeting many of you who will be joining her on her Signature Sailing this July –see you on board Sirena!

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