Windstar Cruises, announced the launch of its 2011 Signature Collection Host Series, in which guests will have the chance to learn from specialists in culinary arts, wine, photography, gardening and wealth management, while sailing through the lesser-known harbors and coves for which the luxury yacht operator is known.
Experts aboard the cruises will include winemakers Daniel Baron of Silver Oak Cellars, Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Figgins Family Wine Estates, and Tor and Susan Kenward of Tor Kenward Family Wines, as well as Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer and Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery, and David Gianulias and Todd Rustman of Levendi Winery.
Other lecturers will include Chef Fabio Viviani of Firenze Osteria Italian Restaurant who was featured on season five of "Top Chef." Passengers will have the opportunity to take a shot at photography with celebrity and travel photographer John Russo. Garden designer Anthea Guthrie will impart her love of gardening and design tips, while Todd Rustman will speak on the principles of wealth management.
Anthea Guthrie – Garden Designer
British garden designer Guthrie will host Wind Surf's Barbados to Barbados sailing, departing January 9, 2011, to visit Bequia, The Grenadines; St. George’s, Grenada; Mayreau, The Grenadines; Portsmouth, Dominica; and Pigeon Island, St. Lucia.
During her career, Guthrie has been awarded 13 Royal Horticultural Society medals, including four gold medals and two for best creative garden and one for best small garden. Combining her love of history with her passion for gardening, she created a garden based on the story of Ann Boleyn, a theatre garden at the Chelsea Flower Show for the wife of Charles I, Henrita Maria, and has been a guest on the BBC series, "A Passion for Plants." Cruise rates for the sailing on which she will speak start from $1,379 per person, based on double occupancy.
Tor and Susan Kenward – Tor Kenward Family Wines
Founders of Tor Kenward Family Wines, Tor and Susan Kenward will host the Barbados to Barbados voyage, departing January 16, 2011, calling at Pigeon Island, St. Lucia and French West Indies' St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Barts and Îles des Saintes.
From his 30-plus years studying the vineyards of Napa Valley, Tor has produced the Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays, for which he is known. An audition of six cookbooks, including one James Beard Award winner, Susan had had her recipes featured in The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and developed the skin care line, Olivina Napa Valley. During the trip, they will discuss wines and lead a wine tasting, and Susan will provide a cooking demonstration. Based on double occupancy, rates start $1,485 per person.
John Russo – Celebrity and Travel Photographer
- The Lisbon to Barcelona sailing will be hosted by Russo, departing April 17, 2011, to tour Tangier, Morocco and Spain's Málaga, Almeria, Cartagena and Ibiza. During his career, he has photographed Sophia Loren, Kevin Costner, John Travolta and Eva Longoria and has traveled around the world photographing destinations.
In addition to having his work featured on the covers of Vogue, Elle, GQ and Esquire, Russo has just published his book, "About Face," a collection of portraits of today's hottest male actors. A teacher of celebrity portraiture, Russo will give two lectures on celebrity portraiture and travel photography and share his insight on how to take the best photos possible on-board the cruise starting from $2,299 per person, double occupancy.
Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer, Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery
Winemakers Bob and Julia Iantosca will host the Barcelona to Rome sailing, leaving April 24, 2011 to explore Palma de Mallorca, Spain; St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco and Italy's Portofino and Livorno.
Since Bob joined Glorida Ferrer in 1984, he has created more award-winning California sparkling wines than any other single winemaker. In her experience with Lasseter Family Winery, Julia's work includes the development of reds and signature blends. During the cruise, they will share their winemaking experiences over lectures and wine tastings. Double-occupancy fares start from $2,399 per person.
David Gianulias and Todd Rustman – Levendi Winery
Founders of Levendi Winery, David Gianulias and Todd Rustman will host Wind Surf's Barcelona to Rome sailing, departing May 8, 2011, to discover Palma de Mallorca; St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco and Italy's Portofino and Livorno.
Located in Napa Valley, the family-owned boutique winery is recognized for its ultra-premium vintages, distinguished by the Gianulias family's Greek tradition of private winemaking going back centuries. As well as his work in winemaking, Rustman is also co-founder of GR Capital Asset Management. He and Gianulias will discuss their winemaking process in a lecture and conduct wine tastings. Separately, Rustman will do a separate lecture on wealth management. Fares start from $2,499 per person, double occupancy.
Daniel Baron – Winemaker for Silver Oak Cellars
Daniel Baron will host Wind Surf's Athens to Istanbul trip, departing July 16, 2011 to include Greece's Mykonos, Santoríni and Rhodes and Turkey's Bodrumand and Kusadasi. Baron began his winemaking career in Sonoma County's vineyards before heading to France, where his work at the renowned wine estate, Château Petrus, shaped his approach to making.
In 1982, he returned to the United States, to Napa Valley, where he became the winemaker for Silver Oak. During his lecture, he will discuss his philosophy behind its wines and conduct a wine tasting during the sailing from $3,499 per person, double occupancy.
Fabio Viviani – Firenze Osteria Italian Restaurant
Chef Fabio Viviani will host Wind Surf's Athens to Rome voyage, departing October 22, 2011, calling at Greece's Milos and Monevassía and Italy's Amalfi and Ischia. The owner and executive chef of Firenze Osteria, featured on the fifth season of "Top Chef," Viviani began his career at age 12, before attending Italy’s Instituto Professionale per I Servizi Alberghieri in Florence, where he focused on Tuscan and regional cuisine, as well as taking specialization courses. After working at regional restaurants and studying overseas, he co-owned and managed several restaurants in Florence.
Specializing in Tuscan and Florentine cuisine in South California, he is also the official spokesperson for Bertolli Olive Oil and Santa Margherita wines. During the sailing, his lecture will be accompanied by a cooking demonstration. Fares start from $2,599 per person, double occupancy.
Chris Figgins – Leonetti Cellar, Figgins Family Wine Estates
Winemaker Chris Figgins will host Wind Surf’s St. Martin to Barbados sailing, leaving February 18, 2012, for French West Indies' St. Martin and Îles des Saintes, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia and The Grenadines' Bequia and Mayreau.
Following his parents who founded Washington's Leonetti Cellar in 1977, Figgins continues the winery's tradition of its production of reds in small, limited amounts. Recently, he launched the estate-grown, single-vineyard wine, FIGGINS, and Lostine Cattle Company, grass-fed beef, to extend the Figgins Family Wine Estates experience.
Known for pushing the envelope viticulturally in his vineyards and for his passion for sustainable farming, he will lecture on transforming Leonetti into an estate-grown winery and winemaking and conduct a wine tasting. Cruise rates start from $2,549 per person, double occupancy.