The Best Wine Cruises in The World
In recent years, the cruise industry has seen big changes that have made cruising more amazing than ever.
New itineraries, more diverse dining menus, and a bevy of fresh exciting onboard activities are all a part of the cruising revolution.
But there’s one part of cruising that hasn’t changed much — the prevalence of excellent wine lists.
For some travelers, a cruise is their way to spend a week (or month!) living in the lap of luxury. And nothing says luxury like a fine vintage of your favorite Cabernet.
When it comes to fine wining, all cruises are not created equally. You’ll find great whites, reds, and rosés no matter who you cruise with. But some cruise lines do a particularly good job in the grape department.
From mind-blowing cellars and wine-centric itineraries to onboard master sommeliers, here are the cruise lines that are taking their fermented grape game to the next level.
What is a “wine cruise”? Picture this: an itinerary focused on river stops at some of the most famous Old World wine-making regions across Europe. Every day, you wake up in a new region — the Douro in Portugal, or Bordeaux in France.
Then at night, back on board, your daytime wine drinking experience is paired with New World wines from a North American winery host, who curates your tasting experience for the entire trip.
Not only will you take an amazing journey yourself, you’ll also be able to taste the journey that wine has made over thousands of years from Europe to the Americas. Who’s thirsty?
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The hillsides that line the Douro River in Portugal produce not only some of the most awe-inspiring views in Europe, but also fabled Port wines. Our Douro River Celebration of Wine Cruise will allow you to gain exclusive access to the Porto region, its history, and of course, its mouthwatering food and wine. 📸 @maddy_amawaterways
Food & Wine Trails Epicurean Wine Tours
With a name like Epicurean, you know this tour company doesn’t kid around when it comes to good taste. They aren’t a cruise line, though, they partner with cruise lines like Celebrity, Crystal, Ponant, and Silver Sea to create fantastic wine and food experiences for world travelers with advanced palettes.
Gourmands, take note: Epicurean wine cruises aren’t just for those keen on wine, but anyone who loves top-notch cuisine paired with their beverage, too.
The Epicurean cruise experience is designed around food and wine from the ground up. Your onboard hosts are sommeliers, chefs, winery owners, and winemakers.
This kind of expertise extends to shore activities, too. Epicurean is connected with some of the most unique and boutique wine and food experiences across the world.
They offer itineraries around the Mediterranean, on European rivers, in South America and South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and even Alaska.
Regent Seven Seas
Along the way, you’ll visit wineries, a château, even a traditional Spanish bodega.
After you’ve tasted all the distinct varieties of grapes grown across these regions, you might decide to never leave. We wouldn’t blame you!
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“One night La Boatina pinot grigio was the featured wine in Compass Rose. I loved it and had it every night thereafter. The afternoon before we left, we happened to be in the elevator with the master sommelier. I had previous discussions with him about the wine. I told him again how much I liked it. I said we lived in New Hampshire, and I doubted I could find it there. He said he would send a bottle to our suite to take home. He did and it made its way safely. That’s Regent for you!” – Lisa Cross #ExperienceRegent #DelightInTheDetails
Oceania is a luxury cruise line that offers a whole host of wine-themed sailings each year.
Their trips include visits to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Venice, Montenegro, and Morocco.
The highlight of Oceania’s wine cruises is the quality of the food that’s made to pair with the wines you’ll sip. With an Executive Culinary Director the likes of Jacques Pépin, you can’t go wrong.
And yes, we’re talking about that Jacques Pépin, one of the most famous French chefs of the last century.
They recently named the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine Doug Frost as their official wine director, and he brings some impressive credentials on board with him.
Mr. Frost is one of just four people in the world ever to hold both a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier title at the same time, so if he’s says a wine is worth drinking, then you’d better listen.
Under Frost’s leadership, the wine team at Princess has devised an impressive new wine list that is focused on quality (of course) and regional diversity. You’ll find amazing Italian and French wines, but you’ll also encounter lesser-known wines from Southern Australia and even China.
The new and improved list has over 40% more grape varieties to try than their previous menu. Needless to say, you’ll be busy.
We almost forgot to mention the best thing about Princess’ wine list: it’s affordable. 2/3rds of the wines they offer are under $49 a bottle, which is a steal considering the quality and unique flavors available.
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Feeling Thirsty? Time to Book Your Wine Cruise
Cruise lines are working hard to get back on the open sea in a way that’s safe for all travelers. While many itineraries have been postponed, you can still book a trip now so you have something to look forward to.
It’s safe to say we could all use a little escape asap, right?
For information on cruising in the wake of coronavirus, please visit our blog on the topic. In the meantime, there’s no reason you can’t plan your cruise and dream of your next getaway right now.
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