All photos by Jason Leppert

Viking Ocean Cruises’ new Viking Sea – sister ship to the successful Viking Star launched last year – is currently sailing in the Mediterranean ahead of its official christening and naming ceremony, and we’re onboard to preview all the beautiful ship has to offer its guests, including the wonderful Kitchen Table dining experience.

The cuisine onboard Viking Ocean Cruises is something special, luxury quality food without any pretense, served in a casual setting. From the main dining room and buffet to a pair of specialty restaurants, all of which are available at no extra charge, fine culinary arts are excellently represented. Only The Kitchen Table costs extra but is well worth the $199 premium as it consists of equal parts specialty shore excursion, interactive cooking demonstration and fantastic meal.

The executive chefs onboard relish the opportunity to take guests out to local markets, especially in Barcelona, Spain, where the selection of fresh produce and proteins is abundant. We spent the morning discovering fruits and vegetables that were new to us and, in the case of the nispero fruit, new to one of the chefs even. Later in the evening it made for a perfectly balanced tart sorbet we had the pleasure of enjoying as a palate cleaner.

READ MORE: Viking Sea Sets Sail On Maiden Voyage

We also picked up a bundle of fresh seafood, chorizo and prosciutto, olives, cheese, paprika, salt and more. The colors of the market were mesmerizing, a truth perhaps accentuated after a glass of sparkling Cava wine that we toasted with upon concluding our shopping spree.

Back onboard at dinner time, our gr

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