Home THE JOURNEY Cruise Celebrity Chef Michael Bonacini to Host Emerald Cruises’ Sensations of Lyon &...

Celebrity Chef Michael Bonacini to Host Emerald Cruises’ Sensations of Lyon & Provence Cruise

Emerald Cruises, a leader in luxury river cruising, is thrilled to announce an exclusive culinary voyage through France’s renowned Lyon and Provence regions, hosted by esteemed Canadian chefs, Michael and Oscar Bonacini. This exceptional 8-day Sensations of Lyon & Provence cruise, set to sail on April 5, 2025, promises an immersive exploration of France’s epicurean delights, from the heart of its gastronomic capital to the charming landscapes of Provence. Further cruise information and a flyer is available at www.emeraldcruises.ca/bonacini.  

“Embarking on this culinary journey through France’s heartland with my son, Oscar, is a unique opportunity,” said Chef Michael. “We aim to showcase the richness of French cuisine, blending tradition with our own culinary stories, inviting our guests into a world of exquisite flavours and unforgettable experiences.” 

“We’re eager to share our passion for food, drawing inspiration from the regions we explore,” said Chef Oscar. “Join us for a culinary adventure that promises to delight your senses and deepen your appreciation for French cuisine.” 

Culinary Excellence and River Cruising Elegance Combined 

130 lucky guests aboard the elegant Emerald Liberté Star-Ship will experience an array of exclusive culinary events, including: 

  • A collaborative French-inspired menu presented by Chefs Michael and Oscar Bonacini at a special onboard dinner. 
  • An intimate cocktail reception with the duo. 
  • An interactive Q&A session, providing insights into their culinary philosophies and techniques. 
  • The chance to win a private dining experience with the celebrity chefs. 
  • A culinary exploration of Les Halles Paul Bocuse – an indoor food market – in Lyon, offering tastings of the city’s famed delicacies.  

A Journey Through the Heart of French Gastronomy 

The Sensations of Lyon & Provence cruise invites guests to delve into the essence of French cuisine and culture. From the historic beauty and culinary prowess of Lyon to the vineyards of Tournon and the ancient streets of Arles, every stop is a testament to France’s enduring love affair with food and wine. Unique itinerary highlights include cheese and olive tasting onboard, guided bike tours of Lyon, and canoeing excursions in Avignon, ensuring a diverse and enriching travel experience. 

“We are blending the enchantment of France’s most picturesque riverscapes with the unparalleled culinary artistry of Chefs Michael and Oscar Bonacini,” said Patricia Wu, Brand Director River, Emerald Cruises Canada. “This exclusive journey through the heartland of French cuisine, offers our Canadian guests not just a cruise, but a voyage into the soul of gastronomy. With Emerald Cruises’ signature inclusive luxury, each moment has been curated to ensure our guests travel in comfort and elegance, allowing the flavours and stories of France to take center stage. We’re thrilled to offer an experience that marries the scenic beauty of the Rhône and Saône with the Bonacinis’ culinary genius, promising memories that will last a lifetime.”  

Inclusive Luxury on the Rhône and Saône 

Emerald Cruises continues its tradition of all-inclusive luxury, offering guests a carefree journey with everything from airport transfers to daily excursions, all gratuities, gourmet dining, and complimentary beverages included. The Emerald Liberté provides a boutique hotel-style ambiance, exceptional service, and intimate spaces perfect for experiencing the picturesque South of France. 

About Michael and Oscar Bonacini 

Chef Michael Bonacini, co-founder of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, is a key figure in Canada’s culinary scene. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Bonacini’s upbringing in a family-run hotel business shaped his passion for hospitality. After training under Chef Anton Mosimann in London, he immigrated to Canada in 1985. Partnering with Peter Oliver in 1993, Bonacini played a pivotal role in introducing regional Canadian cuisine, notably with his restaurant Canoe. He received the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award in 1996 and has since contributed to various TV shows, released a cookbook, and served as a judge on MasterChef Canada. His Toronto restaurants and O&B’s diverse portfolio nationwide reflect a commitment to culinary excellence and a strong corporate culture. 

Chef Oscar Bonacini, a Toronto native, began his culinary journey at 14 with a dishwashing job, leading him to kitchens across Europe. After studying Hospitality Business Management at George Brown College, he honed his skills under chef Mark Hix in England, working at renowned establishments like St. JOHN and Holborn Dining Room. In 2019, Oscar returned to Canada, contributing his experience to the local culinary scene. Joining Oliver & Bonacini’s Maison Selby in 2022, he expanded his expertise in front-of-house management. Currently, he collaborates with restaurateur Chris White at Restaurant 20 Victoria, which earned a Michelin Star and the Michelin Guide Toronto’s Service Award in 2023.