A moody, brown image of chocolate and cocoa powder. Photo: Costa Cruises

Costa Choco-Cruise a Doozy


To sweeten up 2023, Costa Cruises has turned their flagship, Costa Toscana, over to Barry Callebaut, a world leader in the production of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, for a deliciously indulgent theme cruise. 

“ChocoCruise — Explore the World of Chocolate” sails from November 17 to 24, 2023, to Mediterranean ports like Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Genoa, Cagliari, Naples, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. But in addition to those gastronomic capitals, the cruise will host five members of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy — each of them master pastry chefs from Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland and Belgium — as well as Costa’s own corporate pastry chef Riccardo Bellaera. 


Those chocolate professionals will hold meetings and cooking demonstrations, sharing stories of the sweet life, leading kitchen tours, and teaching the preparation of the chocolate dish of the day. Workshops held daily in the Lab, the ship’s galley laboratory, will be accompanied by tastings of the pastry masters’ signature dishes.

An aerial shot of Costa Toscana at sea. Photo: Costa Cruises

Costa Toscana at sea. | Photo: Costa Cruises

And of course, that chocolate expertise will show through in each daily menu, showcasing sweet and savory chocolate dishes from breakfast to dinner. Offerings will also highlight the ports visited on the cruise with “Destination Dishes,” previews of the cuisine of Italy, France, and Spain created by Costa’s three international chef partners: Bruno Barbieri, Ángel León and Hélène Darroze. 

At the bar, two Italian master bartenders who serve as Bacardi brand ambassadors will be mixing unique cocktails that feature chocolate as a key ingredient.
Ask a travel advisor or Costa Cruises to book ChocoCruise 2023. 

Reporter, mystic, musician, and beekeeper, Grant Balfour has published work in outlets as diverse as Kung Fu Magazine, Biscayne Times, the Australian poetry journal Cordite, and the Weekly World News. His second-favorite beaches include Richard’s Bay, South Africa; Sanur, Bali; Los Mochis, Mexico; the northern bank of the Elbe in Hamburg; and the one five minutes from his home in Florida. His favorite beach is the one between his ears.