Links überspringen



Pressekonferenz von Sea Cloud Cruises zur Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami.

Sea Cloud Cruises, one of the world’s most storied names in cruising, announces the San Juan Guest Chef Series onboard Sea Cloud Spirit’s January 2025 Puerto Rico sailings. Curated by award-winning food writer Kathleen Squires and husband Ronnie Rodriguez, proprietors of Chef’s Dinner Table in New York, each of the four new itineraries will be hosted by an acclaimed Puerto Rican chef handpicked to showcase the island’s culinary culture.

The first San Juan Guest Chef Series sailing, hosted by Wilo Benet, will depart St. Maarten January 4 and will majestically pass the Castillo San Felipe del Morro “El Morro” arriving in San Juan on January 10, 2025. Subsequent January sailings, all docking at San Juan Cruise Port, will feature Chef Julie CarriÓJan. 10-17, Chef Francis Guzmán, Jan. 17-24 and conclude with Chef Mario Pagán on Jan. 24-Feb.1. Guests onboard can expect all-inclusive regional dishes, chef-led cooking demonstrations, rum tastings and culinary discussions from this talented roster of culinary artists in collaboration with the Sea Cloud Spirit team.

Sea Cloud Cruises has focused efforts on growing in North America and developing regional culinary moments, in this case Puerto Rico, complementing our authentic sailing experience,” shares Mirell Reyes, president North America, Sea Cloud Cruises. “We are honored to partner with the Chef’s Dinner Table’s Kathleen Squires and Ronnie Rodriguez, two passionate advocates of the island and its gifted chefs, creating memorable moments onboard.”

The San Juan Guest Chef Series chefs and Puerto Rico voyages on Sea Cloud Spirit in 2025 are the following:

Chef Wilo Benet kicks off the inaugural San Juan Guest Chef Series Jan. 4 – 10 sailing from Philipsburg/St. Maarten to San Juan/Puerto Rico (six nights), which will include a special Three Kings Dinner on January 6 and cooking demonstrations of Tostones with Caviar and Coquito from scratch. The itinerary includes Virgin Gorda/British Virgin Islands overnight, Gustavia/St. Barthelemy, a day beneath full sails through Sir Francis Drake Channel, Norman Island/British Virgin Islands overnight, San Juan/Puerto Rico. Benet’s career of over 40 years began as a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After cooking at the governor’s mansion in San Juan, he opened Pikayo, his flagship restaurant for 28 years, earning recognition and numerous awards worldwide. In 2019, he launched the highly popular Wilo Eatery & Bar, offering casual dining from fritters to foie gras. In addition to several appearances on Top Chef Masters, he has served U.S. Presidents, Hollywood A-listers and professional athletes.

Chef Julie CarriÓn  will host the first San Juan/Puerto Rico roundtrip (seven nights) sailing Jan. 10 -17 and will lead an interactive pasteles-making class and a Tembleque dessert demo. The voyage ports include Virgin Gorda/British Virgin Islands, Norman Island/British Virgin Islands, St. John’s/Antigua, Gustavia/St. Barthelemy overnight, St. John/U.S. Virgin Islands, San Juan/Puerto Rico.

A native of San Juan, Julie spent the early years of her culinary career in New York training under Top Chef Master Anita Lo, and then worked under Montreal-based chef Normand Laprisse of Toque‘, before accepting a position at the Restaurant Daniel, the year that Daniel Boulud won back his coveted fourth star from The New York Times. From there, she managed Yale University Catering Services for a decade while serving as the Executive Chef to the university’s President and elite guests, before taking the helm of the kitchen at Chef’s Dinner Table in New York City. Chef’s Dinner Table is a private dining venue and salon in New York City specializing in high-end culinary events.

Chef Francis Guzmán  will be the guest chef on the San Juan/Puerto Rico roundtrip (seven nights) sailing Jan. 17 – 24 featuring special culinary experiences including ceviche and fritter demonstrations by the recently James Beard Foundation Award-nominated Best Chef in the Nation. Itinerary highlights include Virgin Gorda/British Virgin Islands, Norman Island/British Virgin Islands, Gustavia/St. €Barthelemy overnight, St. John’s/Antigua, St. John/U.S. Virgin Islands, San Juan/Puerto Rico.

Francis embarked on his culinary journey at New York stalwarts Blue Hill and The Modern, honing his mastery of traditional and modern culinary technique. With this world-class training in hand, he opened Vianda, his dream restaurant in Santurce, Puerto Rico, serving constantly-evolving farm-to-table ingredients prepared and presented in his own critically-acclaimed style. Within two years of opening, Vianda was selected as one of the 20 Best New Restaurants in America by The James Beard Foundation. Guzmán has been recognized by multiple publications, including Food & Wine and The New York Times, as one of the chefs leading Puerto Rico’s culinary renaissance.

Chef Mario Pagán  will anchor the finale San Juan Guest Chef Series sailing Jan. 24 – Feb.1, promising special surprises including a signature dish:  pegao with tuna tartare. The San Juan/Puerto Rico to Phillipsburg/St. Maarten (eight nights) calls on St. John/U.S. Virgin Islands, Norman Island/British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda/British Virgin Islands overnight, day under full sail, St. John’s/Antigua, Charlestown/Nevis, Gustavia/St. Barthelemy, Phillipsburg/St. Maarten. Hailed as one of Puerto Rico’s most recognizable and prolific chefs, Pagán is the owner of four restaurants in Puerto Rico (Mario Pagan, La Central by Mario Pagan, Raya at the OLV 55 Hotel and Melao). A contestant on The Next Iron Chef, Pagán has been lauded in an array of publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Most recently, he opened Chayote in Winter Park, Fla.


Chef’s Dinner Table at Sea San Juan Guest Chef Preview in New York

With Puerto Rico in the spotlight, Sea Cloud Cruises will be hosting a preview of the San Juan Guest Chef Series with a private dinner at Chef’s Dinner Table on May 22nd in New York. Chef’s Dinner Table is an exclusive and exciting concept in fine dining designed with both chefs and diners in mind with a state-of-the-art open-design kitchen and furnished in what can be considered „Comfortable Elegance“ or perhaps „Elegant Comfort“. The menu will be designed and prepared by Chef-in-Residence Julie CarriÓn, one of the 4 Puerto Rican chefs featured in our San Juan Guest Chef Series aboard the Spirit. Seating will be limited to a small group (24) of diners who might consider themselves fine-dining aficionados with a flair for adventure. The menu and tickets can be found here.

Chef’s Dinner Table is delighted and proud to partner with Sea Cloud Cruises in our effort to highlight the world-class culinary artistry available in Puerto Rico,” says Chef’s Dinner Table founder Ronnie Rodriguez. “Combining the luxury and comfort of the Sea Cloud Spirit with the talent and flavors originating in San Juan will guarantee a unique and memorable gastronomic experience not to be missed.”

The Sea Cloud Spirit conveys the same spirit of the original Sea Cloud and offers even more amenities to the discerning traveler: Staterooms with private balconies, a wellness and spa area, ocean-view fitness, a spacious sun deck, and an alternate dining option on the Lido Deck.

On each of the three sailing yachts, the sails are still traditionally hoisted by hand – an impressive and stunning job every time. There are no buttons that can simply be pressed and it takes almost a full hour until all sails catch the wind. Each voyage includes at least one day under full sail, a highlight of the Sea Cloud Cruises experience.

Sea Cloud Cruises voyages include open bar, all meals with exclusive wine and beer selections, water sports, port charges, gratuities and welcome bottle of champagne upon embarkation. Puerto Rico voyage fares per person, based on double occupancy from $5,995. For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises, contact your travel advisor, call 1-888-732-2568, e-mail  or visit

Text: PM Sea Cloud Cruises, Fotos:, Jens Meyer