On-Board Brewery, A Mixologist And Wine On The Rhine & Along California’s Coast
Now this seems a fine way to travel to me – on a boat with a glass of wine or a European or craft beer in hand. Or how’s this – a mixologist making frozen and other concoctions on board? Or rum on a Caribbean cruise??
It’s all possible, I’ve learned, from talking with cruise ship representatives at the Cruise Line International Association’s annual West Coast media meeting.
I met with PR reps of several cruise lines.
AmaWaterways does the river boat cruises in Europe. That’s the ones with wines, which is something I have long had on my travel bucket list. No, it’s not exactly Mykonos in July but drinking wine while cruising the Rhine or through France or up to Vienna just seems like a dream trip to me. PR rep Kirstin Karst also told me they stop in cities, towns and villages to make pilgrimages to pubs and bars for local beers.
The European river cruises differ from their ocean-going counterparts in that the ships are smaller (they have to be long and flat to fit under those old bridges and thru locks in the rivers) and they pull right up to docks in cities. Those factors are very appealing to me.
Another smaller ship is the Windstar Cruises line. I had always long associated these ships with the Caribbean and particularly the Virgin Islands. But as it turns out they go all over the world, to Asia, Alaska, Europe (including the aforementioned Greek Islands), Italy, Mexico, Tahiti and a few other places.
Representative Mary Schimmelman mentioned that now is a great time to go to the Caribbean because the ships are not full and fares are low, a lingering affect of Hurricane Irma. “So if you want to go to the Caribbean, do it now” she advised. And with the Caribbean comes that good Caribbean rum!
I also like craft beer and Vance Gullicksen of Carnival Cruise Line says one if its ships will be sailing in 2019 with – get this – it’s own craft brewery making beer right on the ship. Well I can certainly hoist a frosty mug to that – cheers!
When I met with Eric Elejord of Holland America Line, he told me that some ships will have a famed New York City mixologist on board, making special drinks.
And one more: Christine Da Silva of Norwegian Cruise Line says they have wine cruises out of here in L.A.
“What’s a wine cruise,?” I asked. After all, it can’t exactly go to Napa, Sonoma or Paso Robles, as they are not on the California coast. although Carmel and Monterey are certainly possible.
“Oh, we put wine experts on board and have tastings, parings, sessions with winemakers and other wine-related activities” she said.
I have always resisted going on cruise ships because I didn’t want to be “stuck” on board when some of the acts and activities ran, well, dry for me.
But with these PubClub.com-friendly “drinks in hand” temptations, it’s probably time to rethink that philosophy.