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February 24, 2024
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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2023 Meet the Winemakers Series

First Meet the Winemaker Cruise

Returning for its Seventh Year, the Lineup Includes New Experiences from Master Johnnie Walker Blender Emma alker

  Company’s Newest Ship, Norwegian Prima, to Host its First Meet the Winemaker Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, today revealed the exciting lineup of its popular Meet the Winemaker series, the one-of-a-kind program featuring renowned winemakers and culinary experts bringing their knowledge and expertise to an intimate group of guests on board the Company’s newest ships.

The Meet the Winemaker series provides wine enthusiasts and foodies of all skill levels with an exclusive opportunity to engage with winemakers and other connoisseurs through various enriching seminars and activities. The immersive programming offers guests intimate wine tastings, wine-paired dinners, interactive culinary demonstrations and meet-and-greets on board. Guests can also purchase wines on board that are otherwise only available by visiting the wineries directly.

Harry-Sommer, CEO & President, NCL
Harry-Sommer, CEO & President, NCL

“Our Meet the Winemaker series is back and better than ever,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Every year we aim to elevate this exclusive experience and I believe we’ve done just that as we enter the program’s seventh year with an impressive guest lineup. These unique sailings offer a rare opportunity to get one-on-one exposure to esteemed winemakers and their collection of wines, all while visiting multiple destinations and enjoying an unforgettable vacation aboard our innovative fleet.”

Emma Walker, Master Blender, Johnnie Walker

Emma Walker, Master Blender at Johnnie Walker

A new and noteworthy addition to this year’s series includes special guest Emma Walker. Walker, a Master Blender at Johnnie Walker, the highest rank in whisky craftsmanship, has spent over a decade perfecting whisky production, maturation, and blending processes. She leads the Johnnie Walker Whisky Specialist team based in Menstrie, Scotland, where she has access to more than ten million casks of maturing Scotch whisky. She will join the Sept. 17, 2023 sailing on NCL’s award-winning new ship, Norwegian Prima, in Northern Europe for NCL’s first-ever Johnnie Walker cruise where guests can learn the history of the brand and savor the wide range of aged whiskeys.

Also notable to the program is Chef Ashley Breneman, Executive Chef at Certified Angus Beef®, one of the best beef brands in the country and is featured across the NCL fleet in its specialty restaurant, Cagney’s. Breneman, who began her career studying at Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute and has worked for numerous celebrity chefs, including Gordon Ramsay on the hit show “Master Chef,” will join returning winemaker Antonio Hidalgo for the July 9, 2023 sailing aboard Norwegian Encore to Alaska to add a culinary component to the Meet the Winemaker experience.

Fourth-generation winemaker Miguel Torres, who pioneered planting Cabernet Sauvignon in Spain, creating ‘Mas la Plana’ in 1970, will also make his debut to the culinary program aboard Norwegian Encore’s April 9, 2023 Eastern Caribbean voyage. The Miguel Torres Chile family winery has a presence in over 100 countries and has established itself over the past 30 years as one of the main producers of high-quality wines and is committed to environmental and social responsibility.

Ashley Breneman, Executive Chef, Certified Angus Beef

Ashley Breneman, Executive Chef at Certified Angus Beef®

Returning fan-favorite hosts include celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez; world-class winemaker and member of the historic fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo; Napa Valley icon Michael Mondavi of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate; and “The Drinks Business” Master Winemaker of the Year 2023 recipient Gérard Bertrand, among others.

The complete 2023 Meet the Winemaker series lineup includes:

April 2, 2023 – Norwegian Bliss, Mexican Riviera: Featuring award-winning celebrity chef and TV personality Aaron Sanchez
April 9, 2023 – Norwegian Encore, Eastern Caribbean: Featuring fourth-generation winemaker Miguel Torres
April 22, 2023* – Norwegian Bliss, Alaska: Featuring world-class winemaker Salvatore Ferragamo of The Il Borro estate in Tuscany, Italy, producing world-class wines
June 10, 2023* – Norwegian Bliss, Alaska: Featuring Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite Wine Dinner Hosted by Special Guest: Diane Flamand
July 9, 2023* – Norwegian Encore, Alaska: Featuring Antonio Hidalgo of the globally recognized family-owned Spanish Sherry house, Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, and Certified Angus Beef® Executive Chef Ashley Breneman
Sept. 17, 2023 – Norwegian Prima, Northern Europe: Meet the Master Blender, Emma Walker of Johnnie Walker
Oct. 22, 2023 – Norwegian Escape, Bermuda: Featuring Michael Mondavi of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate
Oct. 28, 2023 – Norwegian Joy, Western Caribbean: Featuring Gérard Bertrand, “The Drinks Business” Master Winemaker of the Year 2023 recipient
Oct. 29, 2023 – Norwegian Escape, Bermuda: Featuring Randy Ullom from the Kendall-Jackson family

*Guests will also have the opportunity to partake in a special wine-paired dinner featuring Certified Angus Beef®.

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