Experts from ITV’s The Wine Show are taking to the seas as a result of a partnership with Celebrity Cruises.
The TV series which made its screen debut this year features actors Matthew Good (Downton Abbey) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans) learning more about the grape from Joe Fattorini – otherwise known as Obi Wine Kanobi – and Amelia Singer.
Celebrity passengers can already choose from 400 different wines and 1,800 bottles are stored in the two-storey wine towers at the centre of restaurants on its Solstice-class ships.
The Wine Show tie-up has added new wines to the list and will result in shore excursions to vineyards and wineries around the world. There are also new Elegance-label house wines fleet-wide from Californian producer Kendall-Jackson.
Amelia Singer will be on board Celebrity Eclipse for a two-night sailing departing from Southampton on May 19. She will return with Jo Fattorini in the autumn.
Also available fleet-wide by the end of this year will be Blendtique wine blending classes that give guests the chance to become a vintner for the day, creating their own wine blends that can be bottled on board and customised with personal wine labels.
Jo Rzymowska, managing director of Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland, said: “Since The Wine Show premiered this summer, its combination of beautifully-shot footage and fascinating wine insights soon established it as one of the most inspiring programmes on our screens. We know our guests share our passion for food and wine so we’re extremely excited about how our new partnership will enhance our guests’ relationship with the destinations they visit.”
“We look forward to welcoming Joe and Amelia on board over the coming year and helping our wine enthusiasts and budding oenophiles tap into the exceptional knowledge that The Wine Show will add to our existing wine programme.”
SUPERCHEF Emmanuel Renaut (above), former head chef at Claridge’s Hotel in London and currently in charge of the kitchens at a Michelin three-star restaurant in the French Alps, is creating menus for the newest Princess Cruises ship.
La Mer bistro is one of the speciality restaurants on Majestic Princess, launching next May. Richard Chen, whose Wing Lei at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel was the first Chinese restaurant in America to be awarded a Michelin star, is devising Cantonese menus for the ship’s Harmony restaurant.
Chef Renaut said: “What I like most about my job is that dining experiences touch people’s emotions. I’ve worked enthusiastically to design delicate and flavourful dishes and I’m really proud that the dinner menu I created will be served in the elegant and relaxed environment of La Mer. I am excited to bring a new, authentic French bistro dining experience to Majestic Princess.”
The cover charge for dinner in La Mer is yet to be confirmed. The restaurant will also serve complimentary lunch and breakfast options created by the Princess culinary teams.
PASSENGERS on P&O ships are to be offered “social impact” shore excursions on visits to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.
The excursions were originally created for sister company Fathom – which charters P&O’s Adonia – and involve volunteering at a recycled paper and craft workshop, and helping to make chocolate at a women’s co-operative.
Since the project began earlier this year, Fathom guests have helped make 109,000 chocolate bars and 9,800 sheets of paper. On other excursions aimed at helping poor communities, they have planted more than 16,000 seedlings, produced and installed 730 water filters, and laid concrete floors in 40 homes.
P&O’s Azura will be a regular visitor to Amber Cove during its winter season in the Caribbean.
BOGOF (buy-one-get-one-free) offers are not limited to the supermarket shelves. Cruise & Maritime Voyages – usually keen to announce that their programme is sold out months ahead – are using the tactic to fill a 5-night cruise on flagship Magellan next May.
The itinerary starts in Tilbury and ends in Newport, Wales after visiting Antwerp, Rouen and Le Havre. A coach from Newport back to Tilbury is included in the fare, which is £659 for two, or £329 each (based on two sharing an inside cabin).
WEST AFRICA, something of a no-go area for cruise ships since the Ebola outbreak, is back on the map. Saga Pearl II will be visiting Banjul in The Gambia, and Dakar in Senegal during a 20-night all-inclusive voyage leaving Southampton on January 8, 2018. Fares from £2,999 per person.