Connoisseur Cruising: The Best Wine Cruises of 2016

Oenophiles rejoice because 2016 is set to be another great year if cruising and vino are your two great loves. Here’s our pick of the best wine cruises for the year ahead, grab a glass of the good stuff and take a read.

Viking River Cruises

Chateaux, Rivers and Wine

The beauty of a river cruise lay in its ability to take you to the heart of Europe’s premier wine regions, of which Bordeaux is arguably the jewel in the crown. Embrace the joie de vivre as you cruise the rivers of Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde, unearthing the infamous appellations of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux along the way. You’ll sample Bordeaux wines, enjoy tasting classes with a master sommelier and learn how to pair the perfect wine with each meal. With the opportunity to extend your holiday with three days in Paris, you’ll even have a chance to test your ‘say it in French’ skills at a perfect Parisian bistro.

learn how to pair the perfect wine with each meal

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wine tasting classes with a master sommelier

P&O Cruises

Olly Smith Food Heroes Cruise

Specialist sommelier Olly Smith brought The Glass House to the P&O Cruises fleet, earning the title of ‘Best Bar at Sea’ in the process. Widely celebrated as one of the best restaurants food-wise too, The Glass House offers a tempting menu accompanied by an Olly Smith-curated wine list of 32 choices, including his own Bon Viveur range. Sample wines paired with each course or opt for a Flight of Wine if you’re keen to find a new favourite. Olly Smith will be joining guests on board the following itineraries and you’ll receive extra on board credit when you book any of them on a Select Price fare before 19 February 2016.

Britannia (B609) – 10 April 2016

Azura (A616) – 19 June 2016

Ventura (N626) – 30 Sept 2016

The Glass House by Olly Smith

Sample wines paired with each course with P&O Cruises' enomatic wine system

A glass of red at The Glass House on board P&O Cruises sailings

AmaWaterways

Enticing Douro

Any cruise that begins with three nights in Lisbon and continues with a seven night sailing along the Douro is bound to pique the interest of the wine connoisseur. Join AmaWaterways and their special wine hosts for wine tours and tastings at local wineries, private cellars and renowned vineyards. Throughout the course of the cruise you’ll sample wines in Lisbon, Sinatra, Porto, Quinta do Seixo and Pinhão, plus a special tasting of vinho verde; wine apparently so good, it’s impossible to leave it long enough to mature. Expect on board tastings, expert lectures and discussions in abundance, along with dinners in unique surroundings including the 14th century Alpendurada Monastery and the Quinta Avessada.

AmaWaterways river cruise ship

wine tasting experiences with AmaWaterways

Cunard

British Isles Culinary Discovery

Great food and fine wine go hand in hand, so Cunard’s British Isles Culinary Discovery makes perfect sense. Queen Elizabeth’s first every culinary voyage isn’t just for the foodies, with wine critic Jilly Gooden on board to ensure the oenophiles are well-represented. Jilly will discuss both wine and her career, whilst Charles Sichel of the Chateau Palmer winery will be providing a masterclass in wine tasting, a blending workshop and an exclusive wine dinner in the ever-popular Verandah restaurant, with vertical wine tasting and food pairing as part of the evening’s events. Cunard’s Double On Board Spending Money offer means you’ll have more to spend on sampling the Cunard Wine Collection on the iconic cruise line’s other itineraries too.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth cruise ship

Cunard’s British Isles Culinary Discovery wine tasting

Have we whet your appetite for wine themed cruises in 2016? Let us know where you’ll be enjoying a tipple or two.

*Additional charges may apply to some experiences

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