Europe’s vineyards are the hot new destination for cruise lines, with many river ships lining up to offer cellar-door style journeys.
Luxury river line APT this week announced a new line up of wine connoisseurs as part of its Wine Ambassador program on itineraries sailing through Europe.
And in a move that may seem a little like taking coals to Newcastle, the line is offering wine and food lovers the chance to meet Australian wine producers and compare their vintages to those of their French counterparts.
Passengers can talk to vineyard owners such as Bruce Tyrrell from Tyrrell’s Wines, Thomas Keith Hardy from Thomas Hardy Wines, Cherry Stowman from Taylors Wines, Rob Moody from Somerled Wines and many more.
These special hosts will oversee tastings of regional wines on cruises on the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine rivers.
And they will also attend special dinners complemented with locally paired wines, lead guests on excursions to meet local vintners, explain traditional wine-making techniques and European heritage and traditions.
Each ambassador will also bring along their own wines to showcase to guests.
Bruce Tyrrell, who is the newly appointed APT Wine Ambassador and managing director of one of the oldest family-owned Australian companies said: “When we were approached to work alongside other highly regarded Australian wine companies, we saw a great opportunity.
“Every ambassador has a role to play in educating guests, who also happen to be their customers, on Australia’s outstanding wines and how as an industry we’ve taken some of the ancient wine-making techniques from Europe to really drive innovation on home soil. It’s a great project and one that I’m proud to be a part of.”
Some of the highlights include a unique port tasting at Quinta do Seixo in Portugal and a visit to Saint-Emilion for its famous dessert tasting wine.
Guests will have a choice of nine all-inclusive luxury APT Wine Cruises in 2016:
*16-day Charms of Southern France from Arles to Lyon, hosted by Thomas Keith Hardy from Thomas Hardy Wines. Priced from $9,895 per person, twin share, this cruise departs 24 June 2016;
* 9-day Douro Delights from Porto to Madrid hosted by Darren Davis and Amy White from Seppeltsfield. Priced from $5,645 per person, twin share, this cruise departs 5 July 2016;
*8-day Grand Bordeaux return journey from Bordeaux hosted by Cherry Stowman from Taylors Wines. Priced from $5,195 per person, twin share this cruise departs 8 July 2016;
*15-day Magnificent Europe from Budapest to Amsterdam hosted by Nathan Waks from Kilikanoon Wines. Priced from $8,995 per person, twin share, this cruise departs 16 July 2016;
*8-day Romantic Seine return journey from Paris with Sarah and Sparky Marquis from Mollydooker Wines. Priced from $4,695 per person, twin share, this cruise departs 22 July 2016;
*8-day Rhône Treasures from Lyon to Arles hosted by John Tomich from Tomich Wines. Priced from $5,595 per person twin share, this cruise depart 29 July 2016;
*8-day Rhône Treasures from Arles to Lyon hosted by Bruce Tyrrell from Tyrrell’s Wines. Priced from $5,795 per person, twin share. This cruise departs 5 August 2016;
*8-day Rhône Treasures from Lyon to Arles hosted by Nick Haselgrove from Adelaide Winemakers. Priced from $5,595 per person, twin share this cruise departs 7 October 2016; and
*15-day Magnificent Europe from Amsterdam to Budapest hosted by Rob Moody from Somerled Wines. Priced from $8,495 per person, twin share, this cruise departs 18 November 2016.