Premium vacation brand Celebrity Cruises, employer of one of the world’s largest staff of sommeliers, will illuminate its extensive onboard wine program later this year when it launches its second annual “Wine Harvest Celebration.” Guests on Celebrity’s cruises departing November 1 to December 11, 2010 – the time of year just after the seasonal harvesting of grapes used to produce wine – will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of exclusive wine-related events, including those offered year-round through the cruise line’s “Celebrity Life” onboard programming series.
“We see a Celebrity cruise and a wine celebration as ‘the perfect pairing,’” said Jacques Van Staden, Celebrity’s Vice President of Culinary Operations. “A high percentage of our guests are wine enthusiasts, which is why year-round, we offer up to 480 wines per sailing and a number of wine-focused Celebrity Life activities. Our fleetwide Wine Harvest Celebration is a seasonal event that gives guests yet another way to celebrate their passion as we find even more ways to celebrate wine and its role in modern society.”
Among the highlights of Celebrity’s Wine Harvest Celebration will be an emphasis on French food, wine and spirits, presented in partnership with the French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, available to guests onboard Celebrity’s ships from November 1-19, 2010.
Celebrity will reprise its 2009 industry-first unveiling of Beaujolais Nouveau simultaneously across the fleet, on November 18 (November 19 on Celebrity Century). Hosted by a guest speaker and Celebrity’s own Cellar Master, the event will offer guests the opportunity to sip the eagerly-anticipated light wine from oak casks and commemorative bottles, while enjoying live music and dancing, canapés, a gourmet French cheese pairing and a roast carving station.
Guests with a passion for cool music and rich chocolate are likely to be “seduced” by Celebrity’s “Jazz, Port and Chocolate Tasting Seduction,” with a complimentary glass of port wine and a deluxe chocolate buffet and fountain, all set against a backdrop of light jazz music.
Throughout the course of the celebration, a “CelebrityWine Harvest Exposition” will be open to all guests on embarkation day. Hosted by Celebrity’s certified sommeliers, the event features a complimentary glass of house wine, canapés and hors d’oeuvres, and an overview of the varied wine experiences and packages available for guests, paired with the opportunity to make reservations for limited-capacity events.
Additionally, among the wine-focused experiences offered year-round through Celebrity Life are:
• “Wine Appreciation 101” presents tastings of six different varietals and wine appreciation tips offered by Celebrity’s certified cellarmasters.
• “The Art of Food and Wine Pairing” explores how certain flavor components, such as acids in food, can impact the flavor of wines.
• “Celebrity’s World Wine Tour and Silent Auction” allows guests to taste wines from each of the regions represented in Celebrity’s global wine program, including South Africa, France, Germany/Austria, Italy, Spain, the U.S. and South America. The tastings are paired with canapés, fruits and cheeses, and highlighted by a silent auction of premium wines packaged at special prices.
• “The Riedel Comparative Wine Crystal Workshop” is a one-hour seminar Celebrity has offered since becoming the first cruise line endorsed by Riedel to offer it in 2007. Participants learn and experience how dramatically the shape of a wine glass can affect the outcome of flavors on the palate, and hear the interesting tale of how the Riedel family has influenced the crystal industry.
• Complimentary wine tastings.
• Every sailing will feature presentations by Celebrity’s certified Cellar Master, a guest winemaker, or a guest speaker.
Only the Riedel workshop requires pre-registration; guests can sign up once onboard, at the CelebrityWine Harvest Exposition or at the guest relations desk. Some of Celebrity’s wine-focused activities require guests to pay a participation fee.
Celebrity’s Wine Harvest Celebration will be offered on nine of its ten ships; Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-guest mega-yacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands, will not offer these activities.