Lonely Planet Writer

Learn about wine as you cruise on board Norwegian's Meet the Winemaker sailings

If your idea of a perfect holiday is relaxing with a glass of Sancerre, then a new series of sailing will let you combine that love of wine with a de-stressing – but educational – cruise.

A couple stares out from a cruise ship with wine in hand.
Take a cruise and meet a wine maker. Image by Fuse/Getty Images

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its line-up for this year’s Meet the Winemaker Cruises. On board the select sailings, guests can “wine and dine with leaders and legends of the winemaking industry” – and naturally indulge in a glass or two.

Even if you’re not a sommelier-in-training, the cruises will help you gain an understanding of wine. The Winemaker Dinner series is held in the cruise line’s on-board wine venue, The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. The company partnered with the cruise line back in 2015 to create a branded wine bar with a curated wine list and service provided by a Court of Master Sommeliers-certified sommelier. There, guests can take part in interactive and educational activities like seminars, tastings, pairings and more.

Drink wine and meet a wine maker on board Norwegian Cruise Line.
Drink wine and meet a wine maker on board Norwegian Cruise Line. Image by Norwegian Cruise Line

Travellers who head out on the new wine-based sailings will also be able to meet winemakers and experts. Some of the experts include: Michael Mondavi, founder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate; Bill Whiting, director of wine education at Banfi Vintners; Aarón Sánchez, a well-known TV chef and official ambassador and spokesperson for Terrazas de los Andes wines; Gerard Bertrand, renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillon; and Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner at Il Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy. If your love of vino is strong enough to warrant a bit of wine-celebrity worship, then you will also be able to buy featured wines and even have the winemakers sign the bottles.

And if you’re less concerned about the varietals and more concerned about the destinations, then the cruise line sails from Bermuda from June through October, and to Canada and New England in September and October from her seasonal homeport in Boston. To book one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s wine maker’s partnership cruises, go here.