Browse Helsinki's oldest food market and then enjoy a hands-on cooking class at the acclaimed Helsinki Culinary Institute, where you'll learn the art of preparing Finnish cuisine.
Together with your Bon Appetit Culinary Center chef, you'll depart from the pier for a brief but scenic drive through Helsinki to lively Kauppahallo (covered) and Kauppatori (open) market. Inside the brick, covered market you will find cured moose meats, reindeer sausage, cured fish and the savory Lapland cheeses. You'll stop at some of our chefs' favorite stalls and sample Finnish treasures like smoked salmon and salted licorice. In the open market square, the stalls are overflowing with seasonal berries and vegetables, so you'll stop and sample 'what's growing' this week. You'll also have some free time to stroll the market as well, finding the perfect Cloudberry jam to take home or snack on some fresh grilled salmon from a charming street vendor. Or simply watch the local Finns shop for tonight's meal from one of the picnic tables in the market square.
After your time at the markets, you'll drive to the Helsinki Culinary Institute and begin your cooking class with a Finnish master chef. The Institute is open and spacious, and well appointed with a cozy formal dining room for enjoying your finished dishes. Finnish cuisine is based on the tradition of meats and fishes that are cured, smoked and pickled. It is also a cuisine that celebrates the midsummer sun and a growing season that that yields berries, fruits and vegetables. New Nordic cuisine has become quite popular worldwide, and you'll explore both traditional and nouveaux trends with your host chefs. While the exact dishes may vary, the menu usually includes traditional reindeer sausage with cranberry jam, Finnish pork side sauce with new potatoes, and cinnamon rolls for dessert.
You'll spend at least two hours preparing the ingredients and cooking the dishes, plenty of time to immerse yourself in Finnish cuisine. In this informal and cheery setting, questions are welcome about cooking techniques and ingredients. Your class ends with a lunch sampling the Finnish dishes that you have just cooked and the other Oceania guests you have cooked them with.
Following lunch, you'll return to the ship and after a brief rest period, meet with your tour group in the Bon Appetit Culinary Center for a 60-minute private class. During that time, you'll sample several seasonal or specialty items purchased at the markets earlier in the day and learn how to cure bacon and make salmon gravlax. You'll also partake in a tasting of Findlandia vodka in a local drink such as salmaikkikossu (with salted licorice) or fisu, with Fisherman's Friend pastilles.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of easy to moderate walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There may be some uneven surfaces and steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The noted tour duration is approximate and includes your classroom session aboard the ship. THIS TOUR REQUIRES A 72-HOUR ADVANCE CANCELLATION NOTICE.