A password will be e-mailed to you.

Vegan blogger, writer and event planner Fat Gay Vegan is creating two Vegan Culinary Cruises to be like nothing else currently on the cruise market – a luxury five-star adventure that is also hundred per cent vegan.

The cruises are also created as a LGBT-friendly experience but is open to everyone and anyone so non-vegans are more than welcome to join the cruise to try the cuisine.

His first Vegan Culinary Cruise is going to the Mekong on Heritage Line’s Jayavarman in July 2020. The second cruise departs a few months later in November to the South of France on Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Liberte.

Vegan Culinary Cruises will be completely taking over both ships and offering completely vegan holidays, everything from the gourmet cuisine to the toiletries in each cabin and even the shore excursions.

Fat Gay Vegan – Sean O’Callaghan Credit: Gil Camargo

The cruise is designed by UK-based 45-year-old Sean O’Callaghan – the man behind Fat Gay Vegan, in partnership with Vegan Culinary Cruises which is a company that has been in the business for thirty years.

The company recommended that Fat Gay Vegan make Vietnam their first cruise but Mr O’Callaghan has also always held a fascination for the place as he was taught a lot about Vietnam in school while growing up in Australia. He has also travelled a few times in the South of France and it has stolen his heart, making it the destination for the second sailing.

“I personally understand how special and important holidays are and to make it special. I have been on other vegan cruises but Vegan Culinary Cruises is about being the finest a vegan traveller can expect. Our cruises are set to be a cut above anything else out there for vegans,” says Mr O’Callaghan.

For the luxury touch, the Mekong cruise is on a boutique liner with space for just 50 guests and will highlight the finest vegan food on board. In fact Mr O’Callaghan shares that the head chef Tobias has just recently returned from a mission in Vietnam to ensure he has the finest fresh ingredients sourced for the upcoming cruise.

The Jayavarman deluxe stateroom Credit: Vegan Culinary Cruises

“This is the most important part of Vegan Culinary Cruises from our point of view and we are working almost a year in advance to make sure it is the best vegan cuisine being served by any cruise company…our onshore excursions will also include exploring the best local produce and plant-based cooking of the regions.” says Mr O’Callaghan.

“Our cuisine will be reflective of the regions we are travelling, so passengers can expect a lot of Pho as we cruise along the Mekong. Piping hot bowls overflowing with vegetable broth, rice noodles, tofu, and fresh herbs make this regional cuisine a favourite all over the planet. Tobias has started the planning early for this cruise so there is no doubt we will be enjoying world-class vegan Pho.”

Meanwhile the South of France cruise will see traditional French cuisine veganised, but the menu is yet to be formalised. For Vietnam, Mr O’Callaghan will be meeting with Tobias in November to workshop some of his menu and try sample plates.

“If people are keen to see our Mekong and Rhone dishes as we develop them over the coming months, they should follow our @veganfoodcruise account on Instagram for tantalising photos,” he says.

The cruises will also extend the vegan experience beyond food. They feature an all-inclusive program with thought-provoking lectures, entertainment, and fabulous on-board programming.

“Our stops in Vietnam and Cambodia will allow our passengers to experience gorgeous natural scenery, ancient temples, floating produce markets, and cultural performances,” he says.

“We ensure our guests are exposed as little as possible to animal exploitation (some tours in the area will visit fish farms etc) as possible. Our local guides are briefed fully on what makes a tour vegan and we rigorously go over every detail with them ahead of time.”

“All sightseeing activities are carefully picked so as not to purposively include animals or animal by-products. For instance, when we visit floating market places we focus on plant-derived linens and stay away from traders selling silk and leather.”

“For excursions where vegan food and drink might be difficult to source, our chef oversees packed lunches prepared by the ship’s kitchen.”

The Jayavarman on the Mekong Credit: Vegan Culinary Cruises

Mr O’Callaghan also highlights that the Vegan Culinary Cruises are not just for the vegans.

“From my experience of a decade of hosting vegan food events, I know that at least 40 per cent of the crowd at any vegan event is non-vegans so we are definitely expecting non-vegans to be on board with us. If vegan cuisine is done to an extremely high standard, non-vegans adore it just as much as the vegans!” he says.

“I promise there will not be any room for disappointment when it comes to our cuisine on Vegan Culinary Cruises.”

The eight-day Mekong cruise departs Siem Reap on July 2, 2020 and concludes in Ho Chi Minh City. It visits Cambodian town like Kampong Cham, Angkor Ban, Wat Hanchey and Phnom Penh. As well as Vietnamese destinations like Sa Dec, Binh Thanh Island, Cai Be and more. Prices from $8,395.50 (US$5790) per person based on double occupancy. US$500 off per person when you book now, up to December 1, 2019.

The cruise in the South of France sails an eight-day itinerary from Lyon to Marseille. It departs October 31, 2020 and visits Beaune, Turnon, Viviers, Avignon before disembarking in Arles. Prices from $7,235.50 (US$4990) per person based on double occupancy.