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New HAL programme has fresh fish go from port to plate in less than 48 hours

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who will serve as HAL's fresh fish ambassador, bringing his signature style to curated dishes served in the ships’ Dining Rooms, as well as in a new pop-up restaurant
Holland America Line is launching a global fresh fish program by engaging a network of 60 ports to source and serve 80 types of fresh fish in all its restaurants, going from port to plate in less than 48 hours.

The line will offer passengers fresh fish and ingredients native to various regions, yielding destination-inspired menus and local specialties that tell the story of each itinerary through cuisine. 

Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha remarked, ‘We know fresh fish is part of our guests’ daily lifestyle, and when they come on board, we are excited to expand their options beyond what they have access to at home. 

‘The ability to source and prepare so many types of fish globally is a testament to our outstanding culinary team. From yellowtail snapper in the Caribbean to barramundi in Australia, the variety of fresh fish we offer is unrivalled in the cruise industry.’

HAL said it was already the first cruise line to serve 100% fresh, certified sustainable Alaska seafood on board its ships in Alaska. 

‘Savor My Catch’ excursion to be expanded

The program also includes daily fresh fish specials and a planned expansion of the cruise line’s ‘Savor My Catch’ excursion where passengers can catch fish that is then prepared and served by chefs on board, with chef Masaharu Morimoto to serve as HAL’s Fresh Fish Ambassador. 

Morimoto’s creations are being crafted for the cruise line’s main Dining Room menus starting this week and will be available for a supplemental charge fleetwide by early October. Menu additions include fresh black cod yuzu with yogurt miso pickle vegetables, kimchi eggplant, fried rice and garlic soy, Morimoto epice lobster tails with lemon foam, seasonal vegetables and Morimoto epice, and fresh halibut XO with Asian vegetables, dried shrimp and scallop XO sauce.

Morimoto’s dishes and all seafood dishes served across HAL dining venues will be sourced and prepared as part of the global fresh fish program.

‘Embarking on this type of culinary journey at sea is a first for me, and I am excited to bring my passion for fresh fish and fresh ingredients onto Holland America Line’s fleet,’ said the chef. ‘I chose to partner with Holland America Line because we share a commitment and passion for fresh and regionally inspired foods, and you will see that come to life in the special dishes and pop-up experience we’ve created together.’     

Michael Stendebach, VP of food and beverage at Holland America Line remarked, ‘We are thrilled to collaborate with chef Morimoto, the foremost expert in this niche. We share a commitment to serving the freshest ingredients, fish and seafood, in particular. We are excited to have his refined skills and celebrate his culinary style on board. Chef Morimoto brings his mastery and excellence to Holland America Line and is a great partner to bring this port-to-plate program to life.’ 

‘Morimoto by Sea’ pop-up to be featured on every ship

Pop-up restaurant ‘Morimoto by Sea’ launches at the beginning of November. The restaurant and its menu of dishes and beverages will take over Tamarind or Pinnacle Grill, depending on the ship, at least once per cruise. Offered to passengers for a $55 per person cover charge, the experience will include a multi-course menu, along with vegetarian and vegan selections. 

An evening at ‘Morimoto by Sea’ is a multi-course dinner that celebrates the fresh fish program with inspired cuisine for a broad range of palates. Morimoto by Sea also showcases the chef’s exclusive alcoholic beverages including Morimoto Brut Rosé and Sake Junmai Morimoto that complement his fresh dishes. 

Sample Morimoto by Sea main courses include crispy fried whole market fresh fish, Ishiyaki Buri Bop, shrimp three way “Morimoto style,” angry lobster pad Thai, broiled beef tenderloin steak, jidori chicken teriyaki, chicken oyster yakitori and Japanese vegetables curry. 

Dark chocolate sphere, tofu cheesecake, white chocolate lime ganache and sorbet, and ice cream or trio are among the desserts. 

Alcoholic beverages, by bottle and glass, may additionally include Morimoto Grgich Hills Chardonnay, Morimoto Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Sake Junmai Ginjo Morimoto, Sake Junmai Daiginjo Morimoto, Sake Sparkling Nigori.

The pop-up restaurant will be open fleetwide by early 2024.

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