Norwegian Cruise Line has popped the cork on the remaining dates in its 2017-18 Meet the Winemaker Cruises in which guests have the rare opportunity to wine and dine with “leaders and legends of the winemaking industry.”
The special cruises aboard the Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Dawn ships were revealed at the season’s recent first event, which featured Antonio Hidalgo, president of Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, a family-owned and operated sherry winery that has been in operation since 1792.
Future guests for the Winemaker Dinner series include Michael Mondavi, founder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate in Napa Valley, Ca., which has been sponsor for Norwegian’s The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar since 2015 and is the prime venue for the Winemaker Dinner series.
The Mondavi partnership, along previous visits from Mondavi, inspired the wine cruises, says Mark Kansley, senior VP of Hotel Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, adding, “We are excited to expand upon this concept to provide our guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with renowned experts within the winemaking industry.”
Running from September through March, 2018, guests aboard these select sailings will be able to engage with the wine makers and experts at a variety of enriching seminars and activities, open-forum question and answer sessions, and, of course, taste and purchase featured vintages.
For an additional cost (US$59.95), passengers can also attend an
exclusive dinner, hosted by a vintner or industry expert, including wine pairings for each of the five courses.
The full lineup of the 2017/18 Meet The Winemaker series is:
Sept. 22 - Norwegian Dawn: Michael Mondavi, founder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate, represents the third generation of the prestigious family of wineries in Napa Valley.
Nov. 4 - Norwegian Escape: Bill Whiting, Director of Wine Education at Banfi Vintners. As the grandson of John F. Mariani Sr., founder of Banfi Vintners, Whiting carries on the tradition of the award-winning Castello Banfi estate, founded in 1919 in the Brunello region of Tuscany.
Dec. 2 - Norwegian Escape: Famed TV Chef and James Beard award winner, Aarón Sánchez is the official ambassador and spokesperson for Terrazas de los Andes wines and is considered one of the world’s leading contemporary Latin chefs.
Feb. 17, 2018 - Norwegian Escape: Gerard Bertrand, renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillon boasts 20 years of experience and a breadth of awards and accolades.
March 2018, Norwegian Escape: Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner at Il Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy, which has been releasing wines since 1999.
Norwegian Dawn sails to Bermuda from June through October and to Canada and New England in September and October from her seasonal homeport in Boston, while the Norwegian Escape sails the Eastern and Western Caribbean out of Miami.