Windstar Cruises has hired a team of sommeliers to serve guests on sailings in 270 ports around the world. These wine experts are being added as the summer cruise season begins and build on the trend for fleet-wide enhancements to the line’s wine, beverage, and culinary programs in 2018.
“Our new sommeliers will offer their all-encompassing knowledge of wine to guests, as well as to our dining room and bar servers by holding frequent tastings and educational classes,” explains Windstar Cruises Director of Hotel Operations Peter Tobler. “Travel is an excellent way to expand your wine repertoire. Our sommeliers will share their wine expertise, tasting tips, and make recommendations for varietals from nearby the ports of call. Most importantly, they will help guests select the best wine to pair with our gourmet food selections. When on holiday, this is the best way to complete each day.”
Four Windstar ships now offer sommeliers on board. The program first launched on the 310-guest Wind Surf, which arrived in Lisbon for the summer season in the Mediterranean. Windstar’s three all-suite ships serving 212 guests each cruise also offer onboard sommeliers — Star Breeze and Star Pride sailing throughout Europe; and Star Legend, who will arrive in Alaska for her maiden season this month.
All Windstar sommeliers were chosen for their training, knowledge, and experience worldwide having worked in a broad spectrum of wineries, restaurants, travel, and hospitality providers such as Celebrity, Disney, and Seabourn cruise lines, Hermitage and Radisson hotels, and Le Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux. Justin McAuliffe was the first to offer sommelier services to guests sailing in Asia. Joining McAuliffe on the team are Antony Graz Pradeep, Vitor Da Encarnacao Custodio, Marko Pejic, and Slaven Cosic, who will all rotate among the four ships.
Windstar sommeliers will lead wine tastings on board each cruise, with one to three tastings offered depending on the length of the voyage. In addition, the sommeliers may accompany guests on culinary-themed shore excursions to local wineries and restaurants.
Sommeliers on James Beard Culinary Cruise Collection Sailings for 2018
Windstar recently announced a multi-year partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation. This year the culinary-themed cruises feature not only James Beard-recognized guest chefs but also beverage experts hand-selected by the James Beard Foundation from across the United States.
Beverage Packages: Less Restrictive & More Affordable for Longer Sailings
Beyond the wine enhancements, improved offerings for beer and spirits have also been a priority as Windstar is now offering lower daily prices for any beverage package to guests sailing 14-days and longer. The line launched a new beverage package program in fall 2017, allowing for a variety of tiered levels of premium products.