It's the perfect pairing: a luxury cruise company and a gaggle of wine connoisseurs. Key players from the Australian wine industry are set to be welcomed aboard APT's Europe 2016 river cruises, with cruisers who know their malbecs from their merlots saying "cheers to that!"
The addition of wine ambassadors such as Bruce Tyrrell of long-standing Australian label Tyrrell's Wines means gliding down the rivers Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhône and Seine is to become a more full-bodied and enjoyable experience.
Each of the 11 ambassadors will board APT's Aria river ships armed with a few of their own drops as well as a wealth of information about European wineries dotted along the journey.
"Every ambassador has a role to play in educating guests on Australia’s outstanding wines and how, as an industry, we’ve taken some of the ancient wine-making techniques from Europe to really drive innovation on home soil," says Bruce Tyrrell.
Among the collection of APT Europe Wine Cruises is an 8-day Rhône Treasures from Arles to Lyon, hosted by Bruce Tyrrell, and a 16-day Charms of Southern France from Arles to Lyon with Thomas Keith Hardy from Thomas Hardy Wines.
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Highlights on both journeys include a Michelin-starred meal at L'Abbaye de Collonges in Lyon and a private cocktail reception at the spectacular, Renaissance-era Chateau de Grignan. The longer journey will, of course, include an intimate tasting at the vineyards of the Côtes-du-Rhône wine region, which is renowned for its Grenache reds and rosés.
In addition to 5-star service and all-inclusive fine dining onboard APT's state-of-the-art river ships, the focus will undoubtedly be on the appreciation of wine-making, from the vines to the glass.
"Together, we are able to offer an unforgettable insight into the history and heritage of wine-making in the regions that our river cruises visit, providing the chance to taste the produce at source while being guided by some of the most outstanding vintners in Australia," says APT's chief marketing officer Debra Fox.
Other ambassadors slated to host APT Europe Wine Cruises include Cherry Stowman (Taylors Wines), Darren Davis and Amy White (Seppeltsfield, Aramis and Soul Growers), Nathan Waks (Kilikanoon Wines), Sarah and Sparky Marquis (Mollydooker Wines), John Tomich (Tomich Wines), Nick Haselgrove (Adelaide Winemakers) and Rob Moody (Somerled Wines).