Cunard has partnered with the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to offer wine classes on selected Queen Mary II cruises.
The classes initially will be available on QM2's westbound transatlantic crossings, as well as world cruises; the first one will take place on the December 15 sailing from Southampton to New York City. The line plans to extend the courses to Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth later in 2017.
WSET is the world's largest provider of classes, certifying both wine lovers and food and beverage professionals. The partnership with Cunard is the first time WSET courses will be available to passengers on a transatlantic or round-world cruise line.
Taught by WSET-certified educator Andres Solis Lira, the courses vary in their complexity, as well as the credentials received.
The transatlantic sailings will feature the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines, a five-day beginner course that covers the basics of wine types and styles. Passengers will taste a minimum of 10 wines, and the $295 fee includes all study materials and examination fees, as well as a Champagne reception and four-course lunch with matching wines in the Verandah Restaurant.
The world cruises -- traveling from Southampton to Cape Town, Cape Town to Fremantle, Hong Kong to Dubai and Dubai to Singapore -- will feature a more involved 12-day WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits course. Passengers in this class will taste up to 45 wines and four spirits; the $595 price includes all study materials and examination fees, as well as a Champagne reception and four-course lunch with matching wines in the Verandah Restaurant.
Both classes finish with a multiple-choice exam. Passengers who pass will receive a WSET qualification certificate and lapel pin.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor, Cruise Critic
Call Learncation Travel for more information.