Instead of slowing down at 77 years old, East Hampton lifestyle queen and gourmand Martha Stewart continues to expand her branding empire with a new partnership with Swiss-based cruise line MSC Cruises. Announced Wednesday, the company and Stewart are offering exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board their cruise ships and ashore. Themed “Celebrate, Discover, Experience,” the partnership includes specially curated shore excursions, celebration surprise gift packages, and Stewart-approved onboard holiday dinner menus and recipes.
“I’ve always enjoyed introducing people to new experiences, and I’m thrilled to be working with MSC Cruises on a partnership that embodies the true celebratory nature of travel, exploration and discovery,” Stewart says in the April 24 announcement. “The excursions showcase some of my favorite activities and help MSC Cruises’ guests discover some of the authentic and hidden treasures of destinations throughout the Caribbean,” she continues, adding, “The holiday dinner menus and surprise gift packages encompass what I believe celebrations should include: good food, good company and commemorating great adventures and inspiration wherever we are.”
The affordable Martha Stewart & MSC Cruises Excursions and activities will take place in multiple destinations across the Caribbean, focusing on some of Stewart’s passion points with hands-on culinary classes and tastings of local fare, horseback riding by the ocean, hiking to hidden coves, visits to craft markets, lessons from local fisherman and tours of beautiful gardens. In addition to highlighting key landmarks at a destination, these specially crafted tours attempt to show locals’ favorite spots and tell the story of each area’s culture.
“MSC Cruises’ guests are curious travelers who seek learning opportunities and are looking for authentic experiences that help them travel like a local. In addition to being designed around Martha Stewart’s interests, together we created these shore excursions with insight from the local tourism boards to identify the true, hidden treasures of the islands and really provide our guests with an exceptional and rare experience,” MSC Cruises EVP & Chief Operating Officer Ken Muskat says.
For example, the San Juan, Puerto Rico excursion will explore culinary delights on a food and culture walking tour in Old San Juan, including five stops featuring local cuisine and drinks. Spots on the tour include El Convento Hotel for cocktails and fritters; Chocobar Cortés for chocolate on cheddar, churros and Puerto Rican coffee infused with chocolate; Fundación Casa Cortés art gallery, a nonprofit gallery promoting Caribbean artists that served as a temporary school following Hurricane Maria; Lounge Cultura for hands-on mofongo and cocktail class in a 19th-century private home; Señor Paleta for artisanal gelato and sorbet popsicles; and La Casita de Rones for a rum lesson and piña colada (the national drink of Puerto Rico) in the landmark property and official distributor of Rums of Puerto Rico.
Starting June 1, initial excursions along these lines will be available in San Juan; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, Saint Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatán Island, Honduras. Additional excursions will available in November, and future rollout will also include an excursion on MSC Cruises’ new private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, which welcomes its first guests in November.
Other options include Stewart-themed and curated surprise packages guests can order for delivery to their stateroom to celebrate birthdays, honeymoons or anniversaries. Three different package options feature items such as personalized letters from Stewart, wine and dessert selections, recipe cards, a professional photographer portrait, tote bag and more.
“Martha Stewart’s philosophy and passion for discovery is a perfect match for MSC Cruises and we are excited to bring her innovation, style and expertise to life in this special partnership designed to help our guests create memorable vacation moments with friends and family,” MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato says.
Learn more at msccruisesusa.com.