Apr 012013

Guest Post By Erica Kritt, The Cruise Web Team

It’s amazing that two great things can combine to equal one extraordinary thing. Take for instance grilled cheese and tomato soup or Oreos and milk. Together these combinations are unbeatable. The same is true of combining wine and cruising, two great things that are truly greater than the sum of their parts.

Cruise lines are now offering special itineraries that feature large selections of wine and experts to educate their guests on everything from pairing to how the grapes are grown in various regions of the world. These cruises can include wine events onboard, wine-themed shore excursions, talks with wine experts, and special wine tastings.

Wine Tower - Celebrity Cruises

Wine Tower – Celebrity Cruises

These wine themed cruises are an extension of the always-popular onboard wine selection. Take for instance Celebrity Cruises and Oceania Cruises. Celebrity, a premium cruise line, has installed a 2-story glass wine tower on a selection of their ships. This tower serves not only as a focal point in their dining room, but as a storage facility that holds 1,800 bottles at serving temperature. Some of their ships also include a wine tasting bar called Cellar Masters where passengers can try selections as a sommelier answers any questions they have regarding the wine and what to pair it with.

Oceania Cruises - La Reserve

Oceania Cruises – La Reserve by Wine Spectator

Oceania cruises has included a special tasting room on their latest ship the Riviera. This exclusive dining room called “La Reserve by Wine Spectator” is a place where guests can sample wines from the region they are sailing and at night passengers can choose from three seven-course menus where their meals are paired with wines selected by professionals at Wine Spectator, the wine magazine.River cruises, which are immensely popular, are also focusing on wines, as many of the rivers in Europe wind through storied vineyards and wine regions. Onboard many of the river cruise operators offer selections of wine from the regions they are sailing and certain river cruise itineraries in Europe even make wine their primary focus, like sailings through Burgundy in France or Moselle in Germany.

Here are three upcoming sailings that have a wine theme; all three are in very distinct regions of the world, some known for wine and some not.

Cruise: Pacific Coastal Cruise with Celebrity Cruises

Excursions: You can choose to take a train ride through the famous Napa vineyards or have an exclusive winery tasting in Sonoma.

Onboard: Expect a large selection of wines and special lectures on pairings.

Cruise: Jewels of the Pacific with Oceania Cruises

Excursions: Explorations of the vibrant Australian countryside and an aquasafari in the South Pacific.

Onboard: Three Napa Valley winemakers give lectures, prepare tastings and then perform for you, because these winemakers are also musicians.

Cruise: Burgundy & Provence Wine River Cruise

Excursions: Chardonnay wine tasting, Exploring the origins of Beaujolais wine and a visit to the vineyards in Avignon are all featured on this sailing.

Onboard: While each day you have a stop to make, you will be treated to local wines at dinner paired with some of the region’s most famous dishes.

There are even more wine cruises available to regions like South America or South Africa, but keep in mind, cruises the world over feature great wine onboard, even if it’s not made locally.


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