Arrivals & Departures Cruises for wine aficionados

Photo of Grace Millimaci

Vino lovers rejoice — you can taste your way around Australia and New Zealand with the expert guidance of wine connoisseurs.

Celebrity Cruises has released two Australia and New Zealand Wine Lover cruises that depart in February.

Wine aficionados will travel aboard Celebrity Solstice to a variety of wine regions, with wine-focused experiences hosted by a vintner. 

“Throughout the cruises guests will visit gateways to renowned wine regions, learn the art of food and wine pairing, discover wine-tasting techniques, sample the ship’s most delicious cheeses paired with featured wines and visit boutique wineries with award-winning shore excursions,” a Celebrity Cruises spokesperson says.

There will be activities aboard Solstice such as an introduction to wine terms, grape varieties, wine regions and professional tasting techniques; and wine-pairing advice and a dinner.

Shore excursions include a A Taste Of Barossa in South Australia and a visit to Napier, with a scenic drive through Hawke’s Bay vineyards, a winery visit for a tasting, and morning tea at a private home.

New Zealand winemaker Marc Udy, from Villa Maria Estate in the Marlborough region, will host the first 16-night cruise that leaves Auckland on February 12. The cruise will head to Tauranga (Bay of Plenty wine region), Napier, Picton (Marlborough), Sydney, Hobart (Southern Wine Trail) and Adelaide (Barossa) before finishing in Fremantle.

“All of these places have their own little nuances when it comes to food and wine, which we’ll guide guests through on this journey; for example, everyone knows Marlborough is world famous for its sauvignon blanc, but I’m sure a lot of people don’t know the region does a spectacular pinot noir,” Mr Udy says.

“It’s this kind of insight — teamed with the variety of destinations and activities we offer — that make this the ultimate wine lover’s cruise.”

Hardy’s Wines global marketing manager Travis Fuller will host the second cruise, which leaves Fremantle on February 28.

It will call into Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Milford and Doubtful sounds, Dunedin and Tauranga, before stopping in Auckland. 

Celebrity Cruises says it has solid gourmet tourism credentials, with the luxury cruise line boasting the biggest wine selection at sea and menus crafted by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher. 

Fares for the Wine Lover’s Cruise departing on February 12 start from $2429 per person, twin share for an oceanview stateroom, while prices for the cruise departing on February 28 start from $3299 per person, twin share for a balcony stateroom. 

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