Norwegian Cruise Launches ‘Meet the Winemaker’ Cruises

ncl Esc Mondavi Tasting 3401

Norwegian Cruise Line was once again celebrated for its distinguished onboard beverage programme with Norwegian Bliss’ head mixologist named as one of the 2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartenders, and Norwegian Escape’s upscale steakhouse Cagney’s recognized with the “Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator.

The accolades were announced in advance of the cruise line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises available on select ships and itineraries now through February 16, 2019.  

Head mixologist, Razvan Dorel Cordea, of the recently debuted Norwegian Bliss, was one of three cruise industry professionals recognized as a “2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartender” and as a semi-finalist for “2018 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year.” After successfully completing two challenges during the semifinals in Miami, Cordea will represent Norwegian Cruise Line at the global finals in Berlin on October 5-8, 2018. There, he will compete against 50 of the world’s best bartenders. This is the third time Norwegian Cruise Line has been represented at this prestigious beverage competition.

The carefully crafted wine selection at Cagney’s on Norwegian Escape was also recognized by Wine Spectator with the “Award of Excellence.” A celebrated favorite among guests, Cagney’s is Norwegian Cruise Line’s classic American-style steakhouse featuring mouthwatering, premium meats and delectable sides including parmesan truffle fries and caramelized Brussel sprouts. To complement the decadent dishes, the wine selection has been fashioned to include over 100 selections from 30 regions around the globe.

“Gastronomy has become such an important element of traveling today that we are more committed than ever to exceptional culinary experiences across our 16-ship fleet,” said Kevin Bubolz, Managing Director Europe at Norwegian Cruise Line.

The accolades were announced as in advance of Norwegian Cruise Line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises, which invite guests sailing on select itineraries on Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Dawn, to participate in a robust programme of private wine dinners and tastings, seminars and meet-and-greets with experts in the winemaking industry, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Rob Mondavi Jr., and Gerard Bertrand. 

“Last season was such a success that we are thrilled to bring back this series of incredible wine cruises,” said Mark Kansley, senior vice president of hotel operations at Norwegian Cruise Line.

Guests have several opportunities to engage with winemakers and other experts through a variety of enriching seminars and activities including open-forum question and answer sessions and meet-and-greets. For a more intimate experience, guided wine tastings, wine-paired dinners and educational seminars are available in The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar and are hosted by the guest winemaker or expert on board.  Guests learn about the featured wines through an interactive session where they’ll share tasting notes and learn how best to complement them. The experience features vintages chosen by the expert and brought on board for these exclusive events. The wine tastings are available at $19.95 per person plus tax and gratuity, and the exclusive five-course, wine-paired dinner available for $60 per person plus tax and gratuity.   Seating is limited for both the tasting and wine pairing dinners so reservations are highly encouraged and available once on board the ship. 

The 2018/19 Meet the Winemaker series will be featured on the following sailings:

•    September 23, 2018 on Norwegian Escape — Aarón Sánchez, celebrity chef and James Beard award winner, is the official ambassador and spokesperson for Moët-Hennessy’s Argentinian wine, Terrazas De Los Andes
•    October 12, 2018 on Norwegian Dawn — Dina Mondavi, daughter of Isabel and Michael Mondavi, represents four generations of winemaking
•    October 27, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss — Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner of Il Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy
•    December 8, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss — Bob Bertheau, head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, has maintained the vineyard’s legacy of crafting awarding-winning Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while putting his own signature on the wines
•    January 12, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss — Juan Munoz Oca, head winemaker at Columbia Crest produces the winery’s portfolio of Reserve, H3, and Grand Estates wines
•    February 16, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss — Gerard Bertrand is the renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillo

Meet the Winemaker cruises on Norwegian Bliss take place on the seven-day itineraries to Alaska from Seattle during the summer months, the Mexican Riviera in the fall from Los Angeles and the Eastern Caribbean from Miami in the winter.  On Norwegian Escape, the cruises are available on itineraries from New York, and on Norwegian Dawn, they are available on seven-day itineraries from Boston to Canada and New England offering guests a beautiful way to witness the fall foliage.

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