If you’re looking to combine your love of wine with your love of cruises, there is no shortage of available itineraries, no matter whether you want a wine-themed cruise or to visit some of the world’s best wine destinations. To get your planning started, here are four cruises that are perfect for wine lovers.
Wine Country Coastal Cruises — Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises offers Wine Country coastal cruises that take you along the Pacific Coast to explore some of the great wineries in California, Oregon, Washington and Canada. On these cruises tailored specifically for oenophiles, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in wine-related activities both on and off the ship. There will be numerous tastings, and special wine maître d's available to help you decide what wineries to visit in each port. Some of the stops you’ll make include:
- Santa Barbara — Visit award winning wineries from Santa Ynez Valley.
- San Francisco — Head north to Sonoma or Napa, or south to Monterey.
- Astoria — Oregon’s famed pinot noir region of Willamette Valley is a short ride away.
- Seattle — Woodinville has over 100 tasting rooms.
- Victoria, B.C. — You’ll do a wine tasting with tapas and chocolate.
- Vancouver, B.C. — Nearby Fraser Valley has around 15 wineries.
Wine Guest Hosts — Paul Gauguin Cruises
Perhaps you want a cruise that has a wine theme, but you still want to take a tropical island cruise. Look no further than Paul Gauguin Cruises. Imagine sailing in the South Pacific talking about Napa Valley wines. Each season, Paul Gauguin sailings feature different guest hosts, including some winemakers and owners. For 2019, hosts include:
- Salvestrin Winery — Salvestrin Winery is a family-owned winery that has been creating finely-crafted Napa Valley wines for over 80 years.
- Whitehall Lane Winery — Learn about another one of Napa Valley’s historic, family-owned wineries, as Katie Leonardini, Vice President of Operations, joins an upcoming cruise.
- Peju Winery — Peju Winery has been producing award-winning Napa Valley wines for over 30 years. Owner Lisa Peju joins as a guest host to talk about her family’s contributions to the Napa Valley wine industry.
Food & Wine Trails Partnership Cruises — Various Cruise Lines
Food & Wine Trails offers various epicurean tours throughout the world. They’ve partnered up with select cruise lines to offer food and wine themed cruises. Currently they have programs in place with Oceana Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises. These carefully curated itineraries include private tastings, special onboard lectures and exclusive wine-related shore excursions. There are a number of scheduled cruises, including:
- Rhône River Wine Cruise with Ridge Vineyards — President David Amadia and John Olney, Ridge Vineyard’s Lytton Springs COO and Winemaker, will join this 8-day Uniworld river cruise through Burgundy and Provence.
- Inspiring Italy Wine Cruise with Francis Ford Coppola Winery — Cruise from Venice to Monte Carlo on Oceana Cruises with Tondi Bolkan, winemaker at Francis Ford Coppola.
- Australia and New Zealand Wine Cruise with Sonoma Magazine — Hop on board Oceania Cruises for a two-week food and wine themed cruise with several wine experts, including baseball legend Rich Aurilia from the San Francisco Giants, who now owns a winery (Red Stitch) with his wife.
Wine Voyages — Siversea
Silversea offers a series of wine voyages that are perfect for the wine lover who wants to delve deeper into the history of wine. Silversea has a dedicated wine ambassador aboard these voyages who hosts a series of education talks — over some wine, of course. There are expert sommeliers offering introductory sommelier courses, and guest winemakers and other industry professionals are often invited on these special voyages. There will also be special private tours and unique tasting events aboard these sailings as well. For 2019, Silversea offers:
- London to Barcelona — Includes ports like Bordeaux, Bilbao, Lisbon and Malaga.
- Singapore to Sydney — Includes ports like Semarang, Bali, Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane.