Exploring Washington Wines - An Insider's Tour

This pre-cruise package is not yet available for purchase. Specific details for this program are not yet finalized and the tour elements are subject to change. An email announcement will be sent to all confirmed group members approximately 8 to 9 months prior to departure.

A city of lattes and airplanes surrounded by water, mountains and forests, Seattle is an ever-evolving seaport constantly pushing the envelope of creativity and affirming its reputation as the trendsetting cauldron of the Northwest. This has never been more true than in the arena of food and wine. Chefs rub elbows with world famous fishmongers and tasting rooms can be found in the most unlikely places. Exceptional wines can be discovered and enjoyed throughout the city in neighborhoods like SoDo and Georgetown, known by locals as the “land of makers and crafters”.

To help us navigate this complex and exciting landscape with an insider's perspective is Washington wine specialists, Sean Sullivan. Few people, if any, know this prolific wine region as well as Sean. Founder of the Washington Wine Report, an award winning on line publication dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest, he is also sought after as a speaker, an experiences critic and contributing editor to Wine Enthusiast magazine.

You are invited to join Sean and your fellow cruisers a few days before your cruise for a fun, hands-on cooking activity and urban winery tour to meet some of Seattle’s top producers and tastemakers.

Day 1 │ Independent Arrival in Seattle [D]

Arrive in Seattle and transfer on your own to the 4-star boutique Hotel Ändra. Conveniently located downtown, and within walking distance to the Seattle waterfront and Pike's Place Market, the Ändra is a great spot to begin exploring the city.

Hotel Ändra is home to the popular Hot Stove Society, a year-round cooking school operated by Tom Douglas Restaurants. Here guests will join Sean for a private cooking class/demo and dinner with a Tom Douglas trained sous-chef. This cooking school is owned by Chef Tom Douglas, James Beard winner, author and most-renowned chef in Seattle where he has opened 10 restaurants over the past 15 years. The evening begins with an introduction to Washington wines, personally selected and introduced by Sean, who will also pair wines with the dinner menu and join the group in the kitchen for hands-on cooking.

Day 2 │ Seattle [B, L]

After a relaxed breakfast Sean will lead you on a day tour designed to give you a close look at some of the leading boutiques urban wineries in the Seattle area. This exclusive itinerary minimizes travel time and maximizes fun and learning.

Your day will start with a tasting of Eight Bells Winery, a fascinating team of three 'garagiste' winemakers and seamen whose improbably venture started with an urban winery in the middle of a residential area in Seattle. Now their wines are often features on prominent restaurant menus such as the famed Herbfarm in Woodinville.

You will then head to an upscale converted warehouse complex in Seattle's industrial District for your next three stops. First visit Kerloo Cellars to sample the wines from young and talented winemaker, Ryan Crane, producing unique wines that break away from the Washington norm. Next stop is Schooner Exact Brewing, for a palate refreshing beer tasting and lunch. Many winemakers affirm that "you need a lot of beer to make great wine!" If time permits after lunch, you'll walk the short distance to a tasting at Full Pull, an e-commerce retailer with a well-curated catalog of hard-to-find wines.

Your final stop of the day is the extraordinary Jet City, a remarkable new winery and tasting room for Charles Smith wines. Taste delicious Syrah and watch planes landing at Boeing Field through a 21-foot wall of windows. Smith has received several Winemaker of the Year awards, and his 2014 K Vintners Powerline Syrah was ranked #2 in the world by Wine Spectator. Jet City winery is the largest family-owned winery on the West Coast. From there you will return to the hotel. Retire to your room or go out and enjoy the Seattle nightlife. The day will be full and you are certain to come away with a greatly expanded appreciate for the wines of Washington State.

Day 3 │ Check Out & Private Transfer to Ship For Embarkation [B]

After breakfast this morning, you will need to check out of your room. You can store your luggage at the hotel and enjoy your remaining time in Seattle until a private shuttle takes you from the hotel to the port for embarkation. If you would like to explore Seattle further, the hotel concierge can arrange for your own taxi to the port as long as you are there for embarkation one (1) hour prior to the ship's departure.