SeaDream Adds to Wine Programs

Adrienne d'Annunzio, Seadream's manger of guest relations; Erica Landin, Seadream's wine director and Seadream's president, Bob Lepisto
Adrienne d'Annunzio, Seadream's manager of guest relations; Erica Landin, Seadream's wine director and Seadream's president, Bob Lepisto

SeaDream Yacht Club is enhancing its Wine Voyages program, which includes on-board and on-land opportunities to visit to vineyards and spend quality time with winemakers. The luxury cruise line has just revealed that it’s been given green light by the British Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) to offer wine courses, exams and certifications under the WSET umbrella. Guests will be able to take the first two levels of the four-course WSET program onboard SeaDream starting next spring. 

Level 1 provides a basic introduction to wine followed by food pairings. Level 2 is a 12-day program only offered on dedicated Wine Education Voyages, starting with a 12-day San Juan, Puerto Rico to Malaga sailing departing April 18, 2015. It focuses on the key grape varieties and growing regions of the world as well as what factors influence a wine’s style and quality. 

SeaDream’s four new Wine Voyages, meanwhile, are about to launch. They will take place on its vessels from September 20 through November 8, 2014. In line with the move, the line in January hired wine and Champagne expert Erica Landin as its new “director of wine.”

Seadream, now 13 years old, is a luxury cruise line with two twin mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, each of which carries 112 guests and a 95-person crew. It promotes its experience as, “It’s yachting, not cruising” in a “casually elegant” environment.

Bob Lepisto, president of SeaDream Yacht Club, said the addition of the Wine Voyages comes following the cruise line’s move last year to offer an option of full raw cuisine menu onboard. The line is also known for local food ingredients from local ports of call.

“Really the cuisine is, ‘What you want is what you want is what you get,’” Lepisto, who stopped by our Manhattan offices, told us. For example, if a guest wants the same type of salad they eat at home for their first course at dinner every night, that’s not a problem. If someone wanted lamb chops for breakfast, that’s their option.

Landin, a well-known wine writer from Sweden, has been working all year to create relationships with wine makers in the Mediterranean to sculpt the program, which launches this month. SeaDream I and SeaDream II will sail the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines on three Wine Voyages, visiting Italy, Spain and Portugal’s wine country. Programs, which are optional, include visits to vineyards, informal and formal tastings of local varietals; wine master classes, and a special Winemaker’s Dinner, in which a local grower or winery owner shares specially selected vintages from their own cellars. 

The fourth sailing in the program will be on the “Wine Education Voyage,” which will take place during a 12-day transatlantic crossing from Lisbon to San Juan. The itinerary includes lectures, tastings and discussions with experts and special guest winemaker, Dorli Muhr.

Below is a listing of SeaDream’s Fall 2014 Wine Voyage itineraries:

--Seven-day Rome to Athens Wine Voyage, departing September 20, 2014 aboard SeaDream I – including an overnight in Capri, and visiting Taormina in Sicily and the Greek isle destinations of Fiskardo, Itsa and Hydra. 

--Seven-day Monte Carlo to Rome Wine Voyage, departing September 27, 2014 aboard SeaDream II – visiting St. Tropez, Calvi and Bastia in France, and docking in Italy’s Cinque Terre, Elba and Porto Santo Stefano harbors. 

--10-day Barcelona to Lisbon Wine Voyage, departing October 18, 2014 aboard SeaDream II – including two overnights in Malaga and Seville, Spain. This voyage visits Ibiza, Valencia, Cartagena and Cadiz in Spain, as well as Tangier (Morocco) and Portimao (Portugal). 

--12-day Lisbon to San Juan Wine Education Voyage, departing October 28, 2014 aboard SeaDream II – commences with winery tour in Lisbon and includes an afternoon visit to the Madeira Islands before embarking on a transatlantic crossing that features an incredible schedule of wine programming.