World leading wine connoisseur Oz Clarke is joining forces with cruise line Celebrity Cruises and Vinopolis, the wine destination in the heart of London’s Borough Market, to host travel experiences taking in renowned vineyards throughout France, Spain and Portugal during their grape harvest. The 12-night immersive Celebrity Cruises Vineyard Holidays – designed to wow the palettes of food and wine fans – take advantage of the first-class restaurants and wine programmes onboard Celebrity Cruises’ ship Celebrity Constellation whilst travelling between Europe’s top wine producing regions.
Whilst onboard guests will have the chance to get up close and personal to some of Europe’s best vintages, enjoy exclusive Vinopolis wine masterclasses with Oz Clarke and learn about the range of wine styles and grape varieties in the regions visited.
The new partnership between Celebrity Cruises, Vinopolis and Oz Clarke is part of a new programme of ‘Immersive Europe Wine Cruises’ on offer this autumn. Guests will enjoy onboard activities such as champagne brunches, Bordeaux samplings, lessons in how to pair wine and food, as well as a range of dedicated shore excursions visiting renowned chateaux and vineyards with the opportunity to experience grape harvesting first hand.
Co-hosted by leading wine expert Oz Clarke and Vinopolis’ resident expert Tom Forrest, the Vinopolis Europe Immersive Wine Cruise departs Southampton (UK) on 13 October 2012 and will call at Paris (Le Havre, France), Bordeaux (Le Verdon, France) Bilbao (Spain), Vigo (Spain) and Porto (Portugal) during the 2012 harvest season.
Oz Clarke comments:
“I can’t wait to take my passion for wine to the high seas. Not only am I looking forward to learning more about the impressive wine selections, bars and restaurants from Celebrity Cruises, I’m also keen to talk to fine food and wine fans, share my knowledge and bring to life some of the Vinopolis experience whilst having a great time onboard the ship. The chance to sail between some of Europe’s best known wine regions, relaxing with a glass in hand, is just too good to turn down.”
Bespoke shore excursions include visits to many of Europe’s top wine producing vineyards such as the Rioja Wine Tour and the Margaux Wine Tour, which takes guests to Bordeaux’s prestigious wine-growing region which produces the most delicate of the wines of Bordeaux. The French Wine Overland shore excursion takes guests on a three-day (two-night) journey through some of France’s most renowned wine regions – from Paris for Loire Valley, through to Charente, Bordeax and Le Verdon, the next port of call, where guests will re-join the ship. As well as tours and tastings at various vineyards along the way, the tour also includes lunch at the Eiffel Tower.
Following the exclusive Oz Clarke hosted sailing on 13 October, Celebrity Cruises will continue to offer further immersive wine cruises to popular vineyard destinations. Wine-themed sailings depart from Southampton on 7 and 19 September; 1, 13 and 25 October; and 6 and 18 November 2012.
Dan Hanrahan, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, explains:
“The food and wine enjoyed by guests of Celebrity Cruises consistently wins praise and awards, and the new partnership with Vinopolis elevates the expertise on offer. We have recently invested in world-renowned new sommelier training for our onboard restaurant and bar staff and increased the range of wines available. Adding Vinopolis and Oz Clarke to this mix means we have a truly enviable combination that I will certainly be raising a glass to.”
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation has recently had a modern luxury makeover and hosts a range of new bars including Cellar Masters wine bar, inspired by the vineyards of Napa Valley, California, and a “cool” ice-topped Martini Bar as well as fine dining venues the Tuscan Grille steakhouse; the vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five; and the Café al Bacio and Gelateria. Guests can relax in the onboard spa or solarium or head to the iLounge internet café to use, learn about or buy a range of Apple products.
The Celebrity Cruises and Vinopolis partnership will see a food and wine themed event held at Vinopolis in London in spring 2012 to provide a taster of the exclusive partnership. Vinopolis is a unique venue dedicated to fine food and fine wine set amongst the backdrop of soaring railway arches, making it the ideal setting for exploring the intricacies of food and wine in an exceptional environment. For further information visit www.vinopolis.com
Celebrity Cruises Vineyard Holidays cruise on 13 October 2012 will be available to book from 1 March 2012. To book or for more information call Celebrity Cruises on 0844 481 7682.