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A wine-themed cruise aboard the Carnival Valor in December will offer cruisers an opportunity to sample fine wines from top wineries in Italy, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and New York, while expanding their wine knowledge through insightful wine seminars and tastings.
The 7-day cruise, which will be hosted by Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson, a noted wine collector and connoisseur, will sail round-trip from Miami Dec. 3-10, 2006, and feature visits to Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten.
French master chef, restaurateur and winemaker Georges Blanc, whose "Signature Selection" menu items are featured fleetwide on Carnival’s ships, will also be on hand to share his vast knowledge of fine food and wine to participants.
A range of wine-related events and activities, including a Welcome Aboard Reception and Gala Tasting, along with seminars focusing on Argentinean, Australian, Italian, and New York state wines, and a question-and-answer session hosted by Dickinson, will be held throughout the cruise.
Wine cruise sponsors include:
ZOLO – As part of its effort to broaden its audience in North America, this renowned winery – whose grapes are grown in the high elevations of Mendoza, Argentina – will feature a wide range of its varietals, including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Torrontes, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Epic Wines – This California-based wine importer represents a diverse group of acclaimed wineries from the world’s top wine-producing regions. For the wine cruise, Epic will showcase Argentine and Australian selections, including Joffre Merlot and Melipal Malbec from Argentina; Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon, Four Sisters Sauvignon Blanc, Yering Station Nell Pinot Noir, and Mt. Langi Cliff Edge Shiraz, all from Australia.
Folio Fine Wine Partners – This California importer, agency and producer of fine wines will highlight its Italian brands, including Danzante – Pinot Grigio, Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti, Frescobaldi Nipozzano, and Luce, created by the legendary Robert Mondavi and the Italian Marchesi de’ Frescobali.
Pernod Ricard – The most successful spirits companies, as well as one the largest global producers of fine wines, Pernod Ricard will highlight its Australian and New Zealand wines with distinctive selections from Jacob’s Creek reserve wines, Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, and Wyndam Estates wines, all from Australia, as well as Stoneliegh Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
New York Uncorked (U.S.) – This marketer of New York state wines will show why New York is becoming one of the most exciting wine regions in the U.S. Here, vintners produce wines from both popular European varietals as well as native American grapes. New York Uncorked will showcase some of its more popular wines, including Brotherhood Holiday Spiced Wine (Hudson River), Wolffer Estate Le Ferme Martin Merlot (Long Island/Hamptons), Standing Stone Vidal Ice Wine (Finger Lakes), and Heron Hill Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes).
Guests will also enjoy a Grand Gala Tasting featuring its Signature Series of premium, hand-crafted Australian wines as well as a unique "Cigars Under the Stars" party hosted by Porthole Magazine.
In addition to various events and activities, cruise participants can enjoy Carnival Valor’s wide range of on-board amenities: 22 lounges and bars, including, of course, a wine bar, along with a 14,500-square-foot spa, Internet café, jogging track, a comprehensive golf program, and four swimming pools.
Dining options include twin two-level main dining rooms, a 1,400-seat casual poolside eatery, and an intimate upscale supper club serving USDA prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine.
Prices for the themed cruise begin at $574 per person. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom and round-trip air supplements are also available.