This Week in Cruise: Wine and Small Ship Cruises for 2017

Photo by Payne

A host of cruise lines announced new wine and small ship cruises this week. 

SeaDream Yacht Club said it would offer seven new Wine Voyages for its 2017 season. The seven- to eleven-day sailings will visit ports in the Mediterranean and offer special wine-themed excursions. 

Guests onboard the wine sailings will get a chance to enjoy tastings from celebrated wineries such as Château Gassier, Tenuta San Guido, and Taittinger Champagne. Shore excursions will explore the food, wine and culture of the Mediterranean.

In river cruise news, American Queen Steamboat Company is offering new wine cruises of its own for 2017. The line made the announcement as part of the rollout of its 2017 brochure, which showcases itineraries onboard the American Queen and American Empress

New for 2017 is a new themed voyage, “Vintages, Vineyards and Varietals,” that will open and close American Empress’ season. Traveling roundtrip to and from Portland, OR, guests are invited to inspire their palates with wines, coffees, and craft beers of the Northwest while cruising amidst the natural beauty of the Columbia River.

In small ship news, Abercrombie & Kent has announced plans for an exclusive charter of L’Austral. Staffed by A&K’s expedition team, the ship will take 199 guests on a Japan, Hong Kong and the Ryukyu Islands Cruise from May 28 - June 12, 2017.

The cruise follows the arc of islands south from Osaka, spanning seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a diverse spectrum of tropical climate zones with unique flora and fauna. Shore excursions will focus on history, culture, arts and crafts, nature and wildlife. Because of the distinctive geography of the Ryukyu Islands, there will be many active excursions, as well as opportunities for snorkeling. 

Finally, Tauck has announced its lineup of 2017 small ship cruises, including a new “Norwegian Fjords & Coastal Treasures” itinerary. The 10-day trip includes a week-long cruise aboard Ponant's Le Soléal, complemented at either end with included overnight hotel stays and guided sightseeing in Bergen and Oslo.

Tauck's "Norwegian Fjords & Coastal Treasures" (from $7,990 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare) begins in Bergen, where guests will enjoy a walking tour of the Bryggen harbor area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), take a funicular ride up Mt. Floyen for panoramic views of the area, and visit a traditional Norwegian stave church. Guests will also take a guided tour through the home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and attend a welcome reception and private piano concert celebrating his music. Later, guests will travel to the Norwegian Fisheries Museum for a welcome dinner, and then embark Le Soléal for their seven-night cruise through the Norwegian and North Seas.

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