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Whether you enjoy cooking, eating, or simply soaking up other cultures, river cruises offer a diverse selection of shore excursions from Europe to Southeast Asia to Africa, including an extensive collection devoted to cultural food and drink, with new options always in development.

Capturing the essence of life in the respective port of call, these epicurean excursions immerse guests in the tastes of the region by connecting them with the people, places, and experiences paramount to the area’s cuisine. Led by local, English-speaking guides, excursions have limited sizes, ensuring an up-close-and-personal experience for every guest.

Here are just a few culinary-focused excursions you can enjoy on a river cruise:

• Banitsa Pastry and Yogurt Making: This excursion brings guests to a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian Banitsa pastries, an opportunity to make Banitsa and a demonstration on home curdled yogurt.

• An exclusive Oktoberfest is held by AmaWaterways in the charming Bavarian town of Vilshofen, complete with local talents, Bavarian folk music and dancing, and complimentary Bavarian beer

• Taste of Matosinhos, an excursion available on the Douro river, takes you to the nearby coastal town of Matosinhos to visit a traditional restaurant for a cooking demonstration of Pataniscas, a traditional Portuguese cod fish cake, and other typical snacks of the region

• Provençal Cooking Lesson at Les Halles in Paris for a savory Provençal dish, followed by a food tasting.

• On a northern Italy cruise, you’ll be taken on a food-focused tour through Bologna and its historic central markets which boast a variety of culinary delicacies like artisanal chocolates, cheese, ham, and handmade pasta. Next, a workshop where an expert will guide you through the process of making your own pasta. It's messy but wholesome fun. Afterward, the chef’s delicious creations will be incorporated into an authentic Bolognese meal for you and your companions.

• Medoc Wine Tasting and Scenic Vineyard Tour: the Haut-Medoc vineyards on the Left Bank of the Gironde estuary—among the Medoc region, known for producing some of the world’s finest Bordeaux wines—and travels along vineyard roads to see renowned estates such as Chateau LaTour, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, or Chateau.

• Epicurean excursions on Exotic Cruises in Southeast Asia and Africa include market tours, culinary workshops, tradesmen demonstrations, and more.

• Before a walking tour of Werheim on a Christmas Market cruise, enjoy a cup of mulled wine and join a stollen (traditional German fruitcake) baking demonstration by a master baker onboard your ship.

• While explaining Lyon’s important gastronomic history, your guide will show you the city’s bouchons and specialty food shops and take you into the legendary local gourmet scene—and you’ll have a chance to taste some delectable offerings. Don’t miss the macarons!

• A visit to Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron concluding with a visit to a Grand Cru Classe estate for a cellar tour and Grand Cru wine tasting.

Let a river cruise take your taste buds on a culinary journey while you immerse yourself in the local culture, heritage, and traditions of the people you’ll meet along the way.

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