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Wine Cruises

by Staff Writer - R. Meoki | January 03, 2012

A Wine Cruise is an enjoyable, memorable and relaxing way for wine lovers of all levels to vacation. Wine Cruises are where wine is not just served, it's celebrated and explored. Wine Cruises can include lectures, tastings, and guided tours to wineries and vineyards which are conducted by wine experts. Cruise lines bring wine enthusiasts onboard with programs and wine-focused shore excursions. Vintners (someone who sells wine) and sommeliers (wine stewards) are onboard to help further your understanding and appreciation of wine. Many cruises combine activities both on the ship and onshore. There are Wine and Food Cruises which include celebrity chefs preparing their signature dishes and demonstrating cooking techniques using wine. Within this cruise type category, there are some cruises that focus on food, some that focus on wine and some that highlight both as wine and food pairing. Some cruise ships have a culinary theatre onboard featuring a demonstration kitchen that is used to stage hands-on cooking demonstrations. There are theme cruises featuring guest chefs, wine makers, food and wine pairings, and cooking demonstrations. Wine cruises, including culinary cruises are becoming very popular as food, wine, and travel go hand in hand.

Going Ashore

Notable wine authorities may be on board to provide insight into the fascinating world of wine with lectures and tastings of select vintages. Depending on the cruise's destination, special shore excursions to local vineyards may be available as well. Wine Cruise passengers can take a cruise with wine tasting on board, lectures by experts, enjoy the company of fellow passengers passionate about wine, plus visit wineries and vineyards on shore during port stops. As the popularity of touring wineries grows, cruise lines are developing Wine Cruises to accommodate wine enthusiasts all over the world. The most common itineraries combine all the luxuries of an ocean cruise with visits to wineries and vineyards all over the world, some that are not easily accessible except by boat.

Some wine-themed cruises provide a distinguished wine authority that explains how various grape varieties are cultivated, and teaches you what to look for in a good wine of the region you sail through. Included on the Wine Cruise is a visit to local vineyards for discussions with the local winemaker, tastings onboard the ship and a celebration dinner including wine and food pairings.

Wine cruises are available to suit most everyone from the first time cruiser, wine novice to the wine expert. Most cruise lines offer personalized itineraries to meet the needs of the individual person or group of people with similar interest levels. There are personal guides available for wine tours at each port. Transportation is often included in the Wine Cruise which helps assist everybody to participate in the wine tasting adventure. Wine and food pairing options are often available off of the ship, as well as on ship, and can range from a picnic at a winery to a five course meal at a luxurious restaurant. Wine cruises also provide for onshore activities such as winery tours, wine tasting activities, visits to vineyards and lessons with wine experts.

Staying On Board

Some people who take a wine cruise never leave the ship. Everything you need to make for a great cruise is on board with a Wine Cruise, with the added bonus of wineries at your port stops. There is never the need to leave the ship, unless you want to tour some of the wineries or vineyards first hand or partake in some of the offshore activities or restaurants. On a Wine Cruise there are normally wine instructors on board to help explain what you are seeing and tasting on your cruise. Guest speakers are often scheduled, as well as activities revolving around wine. Another option available on most luxury Wine Cruises includes an extensive wine cellar. There is plenty to enjoy onboard the ship so do not have to leave and go ashore.

Wine Cruises offer the convenience of not having to pack and unpack with the fun and friendliness of traveling with a group of like-minded people. The expense for a Wine Cruise varies greatly depending on the location, length of cruise, cruise line and the amenities included on the cruise. Increasing numbers of people who love traveling, appreciate wine, but have limited vacation time are turning to Wine Cruises to fit in as much wine exploration time as possible in a short trip.

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