Top 5 Romantic Islands Around the World

Seeking a serene escape for you and your significant other? From secluded beaches and famed lagoons to dramatic cliffs, epic sunsets and lush rainforests, these islands span the four corners of the globe and make it hard not to swoon. For your next romantic getaway, here’s what our Destination Specialists say are your best bets.

1. St. Lucia

St. Lucia


What’s not to love about settling into the relaxing rhythm of St. Lucia amidst the stunning backdrop of the UNESCO-protected Pitons? This lush island is favored by honeymooners and those looking to escape and reconnect. Stroll the French colonial gem of Soufrière hand-in-hand, explore the majestic old-growth rainforest or perhaps spice things up and learn the island secrets of traditional St. Lucian dishes on one of our popular Culinary Discovery Tours™.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Island Spices & Cooking Tour

2. Santorini

Is there any place in the world that can compete with the vistas of Santorini? Dramatic cliffs, ancient ruins, picturesque villages – all with your significant other by your side. You really can’t go wrong with adventures in this Greek paradise, but one involving Santorini wine tops our list.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Food & Wine Trails: Santorini’s Boutari Winery, Oia & Fira Visits

3. The Seychelles

The Seychelles


A naturalist’s paradise, the Seychelles are one of those locations on the planet that truly are a world away. La Digue offers gorgeous and romantic beaches, while mountainous Mahé offers excellent hiking and beautiful natural parks as well tropical beaches.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: these secluded islands need no advance planning – arrive, relax and savor every moment of the surreal beauty.

4. Boracay

Declared “World’s Best Island” by Travel+Leisure, Boracay Island is dreamy hidden paradise free from crowds. White Beach is perfect for lazing in the sun by day and enjoying leisurely sunset strolls by evening. The surrounding waters are ideal for snorkeling and often lead you to even more secluded and tranquil stretches of beach that you can enjoy all to yourself.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Island Beach & Snorkeling

5. Bora Bora

Bora Bora


From the island’s fabled lagoon to off-the-beaten-path villages and beaches, Bora Bora offers endless corners of paradise to uncover together. There are plenty of options for adventures both on land and by sea – off-road safaris, island tours, snorkeling, lagoon cruises and more. Why not cap your Bora Bora island experience off by indulging in a sumptuous dinner at St. Regis on our new exclusive Culinary Discovery Tour?

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Gourmet Dinner at St. Regis Bora Bora

A romantic island cruise vacation is the perfect chance to rekindle and re-connect – explore more options now.


Recipe: Huevos Rancheros with Lime Crema

By Director of Culinary Enrichment & Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly

The modern Latin kitchen is a mosaic of cuisines from South America, Central America and
Mexico, each influenced by the travels of the ancient explorers. In our new Cocina Latina class, we explore traditional cooking techniques as well as unique flavor and ingredient combinations you’ll find in the region. One of my favorites from the class is the perfect winter brunch dish – our delicious huevos rancheros recipe has just enough heat to warm you up on a cold winter morning.


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces Mexican chorizo, casings removed
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon pasilla chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained, preferably Muir Glen
2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
4 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup grated or crumbled Mexican cheese (such as Oaxaca, queso fresco or asadero)
10 cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and cream. Transfer the crema to a squeezable bottle and refrigerate until 30 minutes before needed.

In an 8-inch saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and sear the chorizo until crisp. Transfer the chorizo onto paper towels to drain.

Decrease the heat to medium and sweat the onion in the infused fat with the chili powders and cumin until the spices bloom and the onion softens. Add the garlic and saute until it releases its aroma, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, chipotle and seared chorizo and simmer the sauce until it thickens, about 10 minutes.

When the sauce is thickened, crack 1 egg into a ramekin. Using the bottom of a spoon, make a well in the tomato sauce and carefully pour the egg into the well. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cover and poach until the eggs begin to set, about 3 minutes. Remove the cover and sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and sauce. Replace the cover and continue to poach until the eggs are cooked through about 2 minutes. Garnish with lime crema and cilantro.


Cooking in Paradise: New Caribbean Culinary Classes

From savory huevos rancheros with lime crema and spiced snapper on wilted greens to decadent Mayan cocoa pots and DIY ginger beer, the recipes featured in The Culinary Center’s latest season of Caribbean cooking classes are just the thing to warm up your winter.

The perfect way to get to know the paradise islands of the Caribbean as you sail from one to the next is to roll up your sleeves and learn the secrets of local recipes by trying them out yourself – guided by one of our talented Chef Instructors, of course. Below is a quick look at the fresh new offerings, all best paired with the turquoise water, white sand and laid-back lifestyle of the islands.

2018 Caribbean Culinary Classes

1493: The Foodie’s New World
When 15th-century explorers sailed back to Spain from the New World, they introduced ingredients that revolutionized Mediterranean cuisine such as peppers, potatoes, melons, corn and tomatoes – not to mention exotic spices. This class honors the ingredients that redefined the cuisines of the Americas, the Mediterranean, and introduces you to several exquisite recipes perfect for hosting a memorable post-cruise dinner party.

Argentine-Style Master Grilling
Perhaps the only country that rivals the United States in their mastery of grilling is Argentina. In this technique-driven class, learn chefs’ insider secrets to consistently grill meats, fish, vegetables and breads to savory perfection. In the Argentine tradition, you’ll also learn expert tips for creating sauces and marinating, as well as indoor and outdoor grilling essentials.

Break Out Of Your Shell: Celebrate The Egg
Ask our chefs to name their favorite ingredient, and most will passionately tell you: eggs. This class features The Culinary Center chefs’ most-requested egg recipes, all inspired by the cuisines of the Americas. It’s a celebration of the amazing versatility of eggs, complete with sparkling cocktail pairings. Join us for this classic cooking class to learn all about the art and science – and diversity – of cooking with the incredible egg.

Caribbean Fresh
Island cuisine is not only fresh and vibrant – it’s remarkably healthy. Healthy cuisine is the backbone of Canyon Ranch, and our inspiration for this class. The recipes featured in this class comfort both the body and soul, and are all inspired by culinary traditions from across the Caribbean islands. Delight and surprise yourself with the astounding depth of flavors you can enjoy while nourishing yourself and your family.

Catch Of The Day
Nothing says Caribbean cuisine more than enjoying the bounty of the sea. Gain confidence to cook several different types of fish and seafood as you learn master-level fish cookery techniques and flavorful island-style recipes at the same time. To help expand your seafaring repertoire and palate, discover more about lesser-known fish varieties that make great substitutes for your favorites.

Cocina Latina
In recent years, our chefs have traveled throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Patagonia, to learn the recipes and ingredients of this revered and distinct cuisine. Based on a careful balance, Latin cuisine elevates basic ingredients, such as the potato and rib-eye steak, to extraordinary levels. Master our chef-selected recipes and cocktails – all abundant in flavor and personality – that have made the Latin American kitchen the new frontier of foodies worldwide.

Floribbean: Florida Meets Caribbean
The sultry Caribbean and South Florida food scenes are where vibrant and diverse cultures meet bold flavors. This class explores the trendy fusion of Caribbean and Floridian dishes – Floribbean cuisine – a fresh celebration of delicious dishes for entertaining at home. In addition to learning some new savory recipes, you’ll master tropical cocktails and island-inspired desserts.

See you in The Culinary Center on Marina & Riviera this winter!


Hope Starts Here Hurricane Relief Program

As islands across the Caribbean clean up and begin to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, you may be wondering what you can do to support the region. We have been in touch with our friends and business partners from Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Barts, Tortola, and Dominica and they have all said the same thing, “we will rebuild.” Their resilience is an inspiration as many are already working hard to return their islands to their radiance and charm. Now it’s our turn give them a well-deserved helping hand.

Rebuilding Hope

During this time of great need, we have banded together to contribute to the recovery of the region. We have joined forces with our sister companies to raise at least $2.5 million on behalf of All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit relief organization dedicated to rebuilding communities impacted by natural disasters. The funds will be used toward rebuilding damaged schools across the Caribbean and we have committed to matching up to $1.25 million of our guests’ donations made to All Hands Volunteers through our Hope Starts Here program.

Hope Starts Here Voyages
Thankfully, many Caribbean islands have been spared severe damage and can help bolster tourism in the islands, which as you know, is a vital economic lifeline for millions across the region. Between now and November 15th, when you book any of the thirteen voyages below that are part of our Hope Starts Here program, we will make a donation of $500 per stateroom to All Hands Volunteers and also will provide you with an additional savings of $500 off of your veranda stateroom fare. The $500 donation will go toward our goal of matching $1.25 million of our guests’ donations, and meeting or exceeding our $2.5 million goal. You can rest assured that your generous donation will be making an impact locally in the areas hit the hardest.

Some of our Caribbean itineraries have been revised due to the impact, while we have been able to preserve the majority of our calls. Puerto Rico and St. Maarten were the hardest hit and will need ample time to recover – we’ve replaced them with calls in Punta Cana and Basseterre for the season. Our partners in the islands are resilient and are rebuilding quickly – St. Barts, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Key West, and the balance of the Caribbean are open to travelers and are eager to showcase their hospitality – and thanks.

Visit OceaniaCruises.com/HopeStartsHere for more information on how you can help those in need. 

Hope Starts Here Voyages

Riviera | December 12, 2017

Marina | December 17, 2017

Riviera | December 22, 2017

Riviera | January 3, 2018     

Riviera | January 13, 2018   

Riviera | January 23, 2018               

Riviera | February 6, 2018   

Riviera | February 16, 2018             

Riviera | February 26, 2018

Riviera | March 8, 2018

Riviera | March 18, 2018     

Sirena | April 23, 2018

Regatta | April 26, 2018


3 Fascinating Facts About the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal has long been recognized as one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. More than a century ago, the 50-mile-long passage created the ultimate shortcut for ships – eliminating the perilous journey around the southern tip of South America and changing international trade forever. Here are a few lesser known facts about the Panama Canal.