One of the most enduring and esteemed partnerships in luxury cruising marked its 16th year with a celebration in Melbourne, Australia last night, when Crystal executives from its North American headquarters and Australasia corporate office teamed up with Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to welcome luxury travel advisors for a celebratory dinner. 

The event was held on the eve of this year’s Virtuoso Symposium in Melbourne, where top member travel advisors and agencies have come together to discuss the world’s greatest travel experiences and coming trends. 

Crystal has long been poised as a leader of the luxury cruise and travel industry, in great part because of exclusive guest experiences offered through preeminent partnerships like that with Nobu Matsuhisa. 

The world-renowned chef’s only sea-going restaurants – then named Silk Road & The Sushi Bar – debuted aboard Crystal Serenity when the award-winning ship launched in 2003, then followed aboard Crystal Symphony in 2008. The restaurants have since been rebranded as Umi Uma & Sushi Bar aboard both ships and continue to feature the classically-styled Japanese cuisine infused with Peruvian influences for which Nobu is famous. The specialties are prepared by chefs personally trained by Nobu, and the Master Chef has frequently joined voyages to greet guests and prepare omakase menus. 

Plans to expand the existing partnership with Crystal were cemented with the announcement that Chef Nobuyaki “Nobu” Matsuhisa is set to bring his world-acclaimed cuisine to Crystal Expedition Cruises’ purpose-built Polar Class ship, Crystal Endeavor, due to set sail in 2020Umi Uma & Sushi Bar will complete the roster of dining options onboard of which there are six venues in total. 

“Crystal and Nobu Matsuhisa have shared a wonderful 16 years of partnership, as he shares our passion for offering our guests the best experiences in the world, from Crystal’s beautiful ships to his many globally acclaimed restaurants,” says Karen Christensen, Crystal’s senior vice president and managing director, Australia & New Zealand. “We are happy to celebrate this longstanding friendship as we look ahead too the future, when Umi Uma & Sushi Bar will debut aboard Crystal Endeavorand continue to delight Crystal guests in the farthest reaches of the world.”

“My longstanding partnership with Crystal has meant I have been able to share the Nobu style of cooking with diners wherever they are sailing in the world,” says Nobu Matsuhisa. “I am very excited that Umi Uma will also be an option on Crystal Endeavor and will mean even in Antarctica, guests will be able to enjoy my signature dishes.”

The travel advisor dinner was held at Nobu at CROWN Melbourne. Guests dined on a curated menu of Nobu’s signature cuisine including Southern Rock Lobster tacos; seafood ceviche; “New Style” salmon sashimi; Hida Wagyu Tataki; a chef’s selection of sushi; Black Saikyo Miso; grilled Mayura Gold Sirloin Wagyu with Anticucho Sauce; and Fresh Winter Truffle Mushroom Soup. Signature cocktails and canapés were served, and each course was paired with wines chosen by the restaurant’s expert sommeliers.