Top Five Wine and Beverage Programmes in Ocean Cruising
As beverages become one of the largest sources of profit on cruise ships, cruise lines are increasingly developing beverage programmes to appeal to passengers and stand apart from the crowd. From collaborations with celebrity mixologists to pre-paid drinks packages, beverage programmes are becoming one of the main appeals for cruisegoers. In this article, we will be exploring the top five wine and beverage programmes in ocean cruising.
Interested in beverage trends in cruise? Check out G&T’s on the High Seas: The Gin Revolution in Cruise
Tasting the Vineyard with Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises places a strong emphasis on wine, boasting one of the largest and rarest collections at sea on all their cruise lines. This collection holds up to 50,000 bottles, including a $4,000 Screaming Eagle from Napa, California.
To complement this, the luxury cruise line provides a Taste of the Vineyard programme for wine aficionados and beginners alike to discover new wines on their trip. Its Classic or Premium Wines by the Bottle packages allow guests to order bottles from Celebrity Cruises’ vast wine selection. These are delivered by a knowledgeable sommelier to anywhere in the ship, at any time. Guests can then enjoy their wine in style while sipping from a Riedel glass. With such offerings, it is no surprise that ship activities include custom wine blending, vineyard excursions and a food and wine pairing workshop.
Cunard’s Wine Programme
Cunard cruise line also offers an impressive wine programme for its oenophile passengers. As part of this programme, guests are invited to sample wines from Cunard’s extensive cellars, learn about creating food and wine pairings from expert sommeliers, or gain an industry recognised wine qualification from Cunard’s Wine Academy. Cunard also offers a collection of fine wine packages, carefully curated by their sommeliers. The packages also include a Wine Line, enabling guests to phone in for pairing recommendations from on board sommeliers.
Cunard also offers the Commodore’s Collection and Captain’s Collection on board their ships. Here, passengers have the chance to save up to 20% off regular wine list prices with these selections of six or 12 bottles, starting at $200.
Cultured Cocktails on Princess Cruises
From wine to cocktails, Princess Cruises has paired up with expert mixologist Rob Floyd to offer its passengers a brand new cocktail menu, which reflects its 17 destinations. In their previous collaboration, Princess Cruises and Rob Floyd designed a drinks menu with destination-specific ingredients, featuring cocktails, spirits, wines, and beers. However, for cocktail connoisseurs, this new menu will delight. Including guest favourites, as well as innovative cocktails inspired by local flavours, the menu’s drink offerings both tell a story and complement ship itineraries. This honours Princess Cruises’ commitment to tantalize guests’ taste buds with flavours from every corner of the world. Some notable mentions include Mayan Heat, Italian Sunset and Princess Punch. Additionally, a new adventurous yet delicious collaboration between Rob Floyd and chocolatier Norman Love has taken ‘dessert drinks’ to a new level. Their two exclusive chocolate cocktails, a Mexican hot chocolate and a chocolate strawberry martini, will be available to guests on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.
P&O Cruises’ Gin-tastic Distillery
With gin’s recent boom in popularity, it was only a matter of time before cruises started distilling it at sea. P&O Cruises’ latest vessel Iona will feature the world’s first gin distillery at sea. Their brand new gin, Marabelle Gin, was created in a partnership with Salcombe Distilling Co. This unique gin will be distilled, bottled and labelled on board.
As well as its gin distillery, Iona also hosts a dedicated gin bar serving over 300 varieties of gin. These include limited edition drinks with recipes inspired by Iona’s destinations. Passengers can also attend two gin masterclasses on board, where they can learn about the history of gin, the secrets of its distillation, and enjoy a gin tasting session.
Virgin Voyages’s Beverage Programme
Virgin Voyages is a new adult only cruise line setting sail this Summer. In the build up to its debut, Virgin Voyages have partnered with some of the industries best mixologists to create a beverage programme which suits all needs aboard the Scarlet Lady. This programme is brought to passengers by partnerships varying from the Bar Lab and the Cocktail Cartel to global bartending phenomena like Charles Joly and Julia Momose. The cruise line also partnered with Intelligentsia Coffee to develop a custom Virgin Voyages Blend. This will be served throughout the ship and in Intelligentsia’s Our Coffee Shop. As part of its beverage programme, Virgin Voyages has promised its guests high quality drinks. These are crafted with the best ingredients, without the premium price tag.
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