Award Winning Culinary Duo To Lead Exclusive Food And Wine Cruise

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Cruise Holidays of Alexandria, Luxury Cruise Counselors, has announced details of its newest exclusive food and wine cruise tour offering. According to Jim Work, President of Luxury Cruise Counselors, the company has partnered with the award-winning chef, author, and instructor duo, Amy Riolo ( and Luigi Diotaiuti ( to offer a unique 10-night culinary journey through the Ottoman Empire, October 19-29, 2014. The chefs, along with local English-speaking guides, will lead guests through the ancient streets of Istanbul, offering historical insights with a culinary twist. Guests will visit the city’s markets, take part in a Baklava workshop, go to the historical places where many of Turkey’s most popular foods originated, and then get personal, hands-on cooking lessons on the region’s cuisines by the chefs themselves. Following 3-days in Istanbul, guests will board the Riviera, Oceania Cruises newest cruise ship, for a 7-night luxury cruise of the Greek Isles.


“No two chefs are better equipped to lead such an intriguing journey,” according to Work. Work noted that the food and wine cruise and tour begins in Istanbul on October 19, 2014. It includes 3 nights at a 3 or 4 star boutique hotel in the Old City, with 2 days of tours that include visits to such historical sites as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Hagia Sophia; a traditional Whirling Dervish Ceremony; and workshops in making Baklava and the ancient Turkish art of Marbling. Chefs Amy and Luigi also will lead tours of the Spice Market, and Chef Amy will offer historical insights into Topkapi Palace. Guests will then board the upscale Oceania Cruises Riviera. Work called the Riviera a “food-lovers dream cruise ship.” According to Work, “Not only is Oceania Cruises widely regarded as having the very finest cuisine at sea, the Riviera also is equipped with a full-service, hand’s on demonstration kitchen – the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, where Chefs Amy and Luigi will lead a culinary class complimentary to their guests in preparing cuisine typical of this part of the world.”

The two chefs leading the food and wine cruise have rich and diverse backgrounds. Chef Luigi was raised on his family’s farm in Basilicata, Italy. During his early career, he worked at some of the world’s most famous restaurants, in places such as Tuscany, Sardinia, Venice, and Paris. He won a gold medal for his talents from the Italian president, and for 16 years and counting, he has owned and operated Washington, D.C.’s self-described “most authentic” Italian restaurant – Al Tiramisu. Chef Luigi’s talents are not limited to cooking – he also is a Certified Italian Sommelier, and his first cookbook debuts in the fall of 2013.

Chef Amy not only is a culinary expert; she also is a food historian and a culinary anthropologist passionate about exploring cultures through their cuisines. She has lived in Italy and Egypt, and explored various countries throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Chef Amy has developed a niche of portraying cultures through their cuisine in her books, lectures, and tours. She has routinely appeared on television and radio, on such networks as Fox TV, CBS, The Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and WHYY, as well as foreign broadcasts on Nile TV and Abu Dhabi Television, reaching more than 223 million people. Chef Amy also is a featured lecturer at Washington, D.C. area universities, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute, among other places. She has published five award-winning cookbooks. They include Arabian Delights; Recipes Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula was chosen as one of the “16 Volumes Worth Staining” by the Washington Post, and, most recently, The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, which won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award.

The Two Chefs Culinary Cruise is the latest offering in a long line of exclusive food and wine cruises and escorted travel opportunities offered by Luxury Cruise Counselors. Each of these trips has won widespread praise from the company’s clients. Client JT Raker, for example, called his recent experience on a Luxury Cruise Counselors escorted food and wine cruise tour “outstanding,” and noted that “every detail coordinated by them was spot on in execution, from airport arrival, hosted tours of the city, a 5-course wine dinner in Bordeaux, a wine dinner on our Oceania cruise ship, and many other items too numerous to mention.”

The 7-night food and wine cruise will visit the Greek Isles of Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes, along with Kusadasi, Turkey and Kavala, Greece, before ending in Athens. En route, guests will enjoy a complimentary wine tour in Santorini, with an included class in Greek cooking. Guests also will enjoy a private tour to the historically and religiously significant city of Ephesus, touring the well-preserved ruins, including the famous Terrace Houses.

As part of the group, guests will receive a number of included amenities on their cruise. Among them are complimentary cruise gratuities, 2 private cocktail receptions, a food-and-wine pairing dinner in one of the ship’s specialty dining venues, and (if booked by December 31, 2013) a $100 per stateroom onboard spending credit.

Early booking fares for the two chefs food and wine cruise and tour begin at $3,999, including taxes and port charges. These fares are good only if booked by September 30, 2013. After September 30, 2013, fares increase to $4,299 per person. Booking requires a $1,250 per person deposit. This deposit is refundable, less $250 per person, if cancelled at least 120 days prior to departure. To book, guests should call toll free (866) 368-7327, or visit

About Cruise Holidays of Alexandria, Luxury Cruise Counselors

Cruise Holidays of Alexandria, Luxury Cruise Counselors, is located at 2161 Jamieson Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. The company opened its doors in the fall of 2005 with a dedicated client-focused approach. For five years straight, the company has earned membership in Oceania Cruises prestigious Connoisseur Club, reserved for Oceania’s top 50 accounts across the United States and Canada. In addition to its extraordinary partnership with Oceania Cruises, the company also is a preferred partner with most other major cruise lines, including Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Silversea, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises. Luxury Cruise Counselors is affiliated with Cruise Holidays International and part of the Travel Leaders network of cruise specialty brands. It is a member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The company services clients throughout the United States, Canada, and in many countries around the world. Follow the company on Twitter at

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