Sunset magazine's inaugural wine cruise is as much about what happens on board as it is about the ports of call. The Western lifestyle magazine has selected four Mediterranean countries to visit during a weeklong sailing in August.
Food editor Margo True and wine editor Sara Schneider are scheduled to play host aboard Oceania Cruises' Riviera, which has a professional cooking center on board. It's to set sail from Barcelona, Spain, on Aug. 5 and make stops in France and Italy before ending in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Special events include a welcome party, tasting of gold medal-winning wines from the 2014 Sunset International Wine Competition, a food-and-wine pairing seminar, and wine history and culture talks from author Paul Wagner.
Schneider is to oversee some of the six optional on-board seminars: tasting top California Cabernets ($99), a "wine tour" of Sonoma County wines ($39), sparkling wines from around the world ($59), Napa Valley wines ($39), wines from the Pacific Northwest ($39) and a tasting of "great wines" from around the world ($99).
True is to lead cooking demonstrations and classes on six days in the ship's Culinary Center. The sessions cost $49 each.
In addition, there are winemaker dinners for $69, each in the ship's specialty restaurants Jacques (for chef Jacques Pepin) and Toscana.
The lowest fares for inside staterooms and ocean-view cabins have wait lists, a website for the trip says. Available cabins start at $2,799 per person for a veranda cabin and $4,749 per person for a concierge-level cabin; prices are based on double occupancy.
Note that prices on Oceania Cruises include round-trip airfare from selected cities (Los Angeles is one of them).
The wine cruise is scheduled to stop in Palamos, Spain; Provence and St. Tropez in France; and Florence, Pisa, Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Rome in Italy.
Info: Sunset Wine Cruise Mediterranean 2015, (877) 651-7447