CruiseMapper's "Food and Wine Cruises" are part of our hub for themed cruises. "Food and Wine" themed cruise deals are extremely well appreciated and looked for mainly in Europe and Australia. This is not because the general eating and drinking cruise vacation experience. "Food and Wine" voyages provide the enhanced "ultimate dining" experience for connoisseurs and lovers of expensively special wines and exquisite gourmet cuisine prepared to perfection by top celebrity chefs.
If you are inspired by culinary stars, there are big chances to find a hobbyists voyage just for you. Due to increasing number of top luxury cruise ships (including many newbuilds), there is also a rise in food themed cruises. Before you book, research the type of theme that would suit you- cruise ship operators have options for everyone.
"Food and Wine" Cruise
Food and wine cruise deals are aimed to the diversity and variety of international cuisine and wines. They enable travelers to discover different cultural and social aspect of ports of call. Everything that includes local food traditions, wine appreciation and dining etiquette is included in the gastronomic adventure.
Recipes, cookery courses, tasting sessions and different tips for creating authentic flavor get passengers closer to local culture on land. Follow your instincts and may be you will uncover inner cooking talent by Le Cordon Bleu Chefs’ techniques.
Wine is the perfect accompaniment to cuisine, arming passengers with knowledge for accomplishing the ideal meal. Wine experts are on hand during the whole sailing for guiding you through different grape varieties, teaching wine tasting art. From tropical tastes of Caribbean, Latin spice of South America and flavors of the Med, there is a world of wine and food waiting to be explored.
You can also read the interesting story of wine and food matching (the "enhanced dining experience") at Wikipedia.
Food and Wine Cruises Drinking Age Limits
All major cruise lines define whether you are allowed to drink on a cruise, or not allowed to have alcohol due to your age. Each of the lines sets own drinking limits. Drinking alcohol on cruise ships is permitted if you are 18 years or older as long as you are on-board one of the following cruise lines: Fred Olsen, GAP Adventures, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania. A minimum age of 21 years is required for drinking alcohol on Azamara, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships.
On "Food and Wine Cruises" which depart from South American and European countries, parents who sail with their children between 18 and 20 years old, may sign a waiver which allows their daughters or sons to consume alcohol. The drinking rule is implemented in the areas where legal drinking age is under 21 years. But there are also passenger shipping lines which are stricter and require their passengers to be at least 21 years old to consume alcohol on board cruise ships without exceptions. The list of these includes Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Crystal, Disney, Great American River Journeys, Holland America, Hurtigruten, MSC, NCL Norwegian, Princess, Seabourn, SeaDream, Silversea, Star Clippers, Uniworld, Viking, Windstar.
"Food and Wine Cruises" on Celebrity Constellation were announced in 2012. They are the best way for combining passion of wine and cruise food! A cruising holiday through leading wine regions of Spain, France and Portugal allows holiday makers explore Europe’s wine heritage and enjoy gourmet meals ashore. Guests will be able to get the best ashore and at sea, and benefit from Celebrity Constellation’s makeover, appreciating tasteful spaces and exquisite cuisine. These special voyages are fantastic for wine enthusiasts, or the ones who simply enjoy life.
"Food and Wine Cruises" become more and more popular and travelers enjoy unique experiences by combining passion of fine cuisine and wine. On the day of excursion, guests on Celebrity Constellation are permitted bringing two bottles wine per stateroom. Book up to five shore excursions and you will be allowed to bring ten bottles of wine to share with family and friends!
The following table shows wine-themed cruises in the regions of Alaska, Australia, Europe (Mediterranean and river cruise deals), Caribbean. The list of most popular wine-themed activities includes pairings with dinners on the ship, as well as land tour based tastings.
In 2017, there are 100+ different wine-themed sailings and activities offered on 20+ cruise ships. The best among the "wine cruise lines" are Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Silversea Cruises and the river lines Uniworld, AMA, Avalon and Viking.
Traditionally, all themed sailings are hosted by special guests from this business, like winery owners, premium wine makers, wine judges, etc.
- SeaDream Yacht Club offers opportunities for cruisers to visit over 20 wineries at boutique ports of call along the Mediterranean coast 2017-2018. SeaDream's Wine Voyages boast complimentary tastings of exceptional wines and visits to renowned vineyards. Among them are Bartulovic and Korta Katarina wineries, Allegrini Wines, Benanti Winery, Cantine Lunae, Cava Recaredo, Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, Chateau de Cremat, Chateau Gassier Wines, Fattoria dei Barbi, Clos Canarelli, Finca Valpiedra Wines. Also featured are Louis Jadot Wines, Mazzei Wines, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, Niepoort Wines, Sorrentino Winery, Panizzi Winery, Taittinger Champagne, Weingut Groebe Wines, Weingut Wittmann Wines, Tenuta San Guido Wines, and local wines of Cartagena, Domaine Souviou and Le Castellet Village.
- Examples of Wine Voyages include a 9-day Lisbon to Barcelona sailing, that visits Gibraltar, Portimao, Puerto Banus, Cartagena, Ibiza, Malaga, Menorca and Palma de Mallorca. A week-long round-trip from Rome, June 10, visits Bonifacio (Corsica) overnight, Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri.
- Another week-long Rome round-trip visits Portovenere, Portoferraio, Marina di Carrara, Portofino, Saint Florent, Porto Vecchio.
- Further Wine-themed cruises offer destinations like Dalmatian Coast (Adriatic Sea), Greek Isles, Italian Riviera, French Riviera. Fares start at USD 4,199 per person, double occupancy, including ocean-view accommodations, gratuities, gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner.
Note: In the following table, all links are CruiseMapper (internal). They lead to the ship's cruise itinerary schedule where you can compare all dates and prices per person).
companies / ships / themes / departures dates
"Wine Cruises" 2018
"Wine Cruises" 2017
American Queen Steamboat Company (USA river cruise ships)
ship American Queen
ship American Duchess
theme "Taste of Madeira"
ship Seabourn Odyssey
theme "Chef Hartmut Handke"
American Cruise Lines
ships American Glory, American Star, Independence
theme "Crabfest Cruises"
theme "Premium Chocolate Experience"
theme "America’s Test Kitchen"
theme "New Culinary Discovery Tours"
Ama Waterways (European river cruise line)
theme "Adventures by Disney Rhine River Food & Wine Cruise"
Tauck River Cruises
ship ms Emerald
theme "Tauck: A Taste of France"
Cunard wine cruises
Since January 2017, Cunard Line (subsidiary of Carnival Corporation) offers shipboard wine education courses via partnership with the world's largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications WSET ("Wine and Spirit Education Trust").
- WSET courses were initially available only on QM2’s westbound Transatlantic crossings and world cruises, but were later offered fleetwide and on all voyages.
- The 5-day course gives WSET Level 1 in wines and covers the basics (wine types, styles, sight, smell, taste, storing, serving, food pairing).
- The 12-day course gives WSET Level 2 in wines and spirits and explores grape varieties, styles of wines, produce, wine regions, classifications, labelling terminology, categories of spirits and liqueurs.
- Classes are led by professional sommeliers and educators from Cunard Wine Academy. Each course finishes with an exam. In addition to the globally recognised WSET qualification certificates, passengers also receive lapel pins.
- The first wine cruise was the crossing Southampton-NYC (December 15, 2016). The first world cruise with WSET courses was on QM2 (January 10, 2017).
- WSET's qualification program is offered to enthusiasts and wine professionals. It ranges from Level 1 Award (Wines, Spirits and Sake) to Level 4 Diploma (Wines and Spirits).