Here is some information about some upcoming wine cruises. Read to the end for a special offer for Virginia Wine Time readers!

-Philip Carter Winery, in the running for Virginia’s Favorite Winery, will be hosting an Oceania Mediterranean cruise doing the same itinerary as this year’s Pearmund Cruise, except in reverse (sailing Barcelona to Rome). The cruise departs Barcelona on April 4, 2010. The 10-day cruise includes the French Riviera (with optional excursions to Avignon, Chateuneuf-du-Pope, wineries of St. Tropez, and a visit to the ancient village of Grimaud), Monte Carlo (with optional excursion to Old Nice and a fabulous wine cellar for a cheese-and-wine pairing), and the amazingly-beautiful Amalfi Coast of Italy (with a spectacular optional excursion to Chianti to include a multi-course Italian lunch/feast paired with numerous Italian wines including Chianti Classico). Vintner and lawyer Philip Strothers and his wife Danielle will be hosting the cruise. There will be 2 wine tastings on board, a food-and-wine pairing dinner, and cocktail reception. Because Philip is both a lawyer who specializes in representing wineries in Virginia, and himself the owner of a Virginia winery, Philip also will add a unique dimension to the cruise. Philip will be hosting a couple of lectures to provide insight to our guests about what is involved in starting a winery in Virginia and also speak about the history of Virginia wine making. It promises to be a spectacular experience. What is most amazing is the price. It starts at $2,699 per person. This rate includes roundtrip airfare from Dulles and many other major gateway cities. It also includes prepaid gratuities (worth $250 per stateroom), a $200 per stateroom spa credit, and all the onboard activities (wine tastings, food-and-wine pairing dinner, cocktail receptions, and lectures). To book requires a deposit of $750 per person, with no further payment due until 90 days prior to departure. Additional information about this cruise is located here. $700 of the deposit is refundable if cancelled for any reason at least one day prior to final payment.

-Veramar Vineyard & Winery. We’re thrilled that one of Virginia’s most established wineries, Veramar, will also be hosting an Oceania Mediterranean cruise. The Veramar cruise is also 10 days, and sails June 17-27, 2010, from Rome to Barcelona. The itinerary is different than Philip Carter’s itinerary, however, and is concentrated in France with several ports in Italy. It will visit unique ports such as Cinque Terre (Italy); Cannes, France; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; and Sete, France. Anyone who has met the Bogaty family who owns Veramar knows that they are in for a real treat if they sail on this cruise. Aside from the fact that Justin Bogaty, the family wine maker, makes awesome wines, Jim, Della, and Justin are all delightful, warm people who will be sailing onboard the cruise. They will be hosting onboard wine tastings, cocktail receptions, and a food-and-wine pairing dinner for their guests. They also will be leading some extraordinary wine-themed excursions to some of the finest wine regions in Europe, to include Chateuneauf-du-Pope. The rate on this cruise, especially for June on an upscale cruise line like Oceania, is unbeatable at $2,999 per person, which also includes roundtrip airfare from Dulles and other major gateways. It also includes prepaid gratuities (worth $250 per stateroom), and all onboard activities (wine tastings, food-and-wine pairing dinner, cocktail receptions, etc.). To book requires a deposit of $750 per person, with no further payment due until 90 days prior to departure. Information about the Veramar cruise is located here. $700 of the deposit is refundable if cancelled for any reason at least one day prior to final payment.

-Pearmund Cellars, Winery at LaGrange & Vint Hill Craft Winery. Chris & Lisa Pearmund will be hosting this wine cruise aboard Uniworld’s River Royale, a 134-guest river boat sailing the Rhone River through the Burgundy & Provence region of France. This promises to be a very rewarding and unique experience for guests. River boats are all about the destination. They truly are floating hotels, and dock right in the heart of the cities and towns they visit. Guests will enjoy long ports stays, often late into the night or early morning. On this cruise, a shore excursion is included in every port of call. Bicycles are also available for use by guests free of charge, and complimentary wine is served at dinner. This cruise will feature optional shore excursions to wineries of the Burgundy & Provence region, along with included onboard wine tastings and cocktail reception with Chris and Lisa. The cruise sails June 27-July 4, 2010. The rate begins at $2,799 per person, but when booked by September 30th, the cruise line is offering a $150 per person discount. To book requires a deposit of $200 per person, with no further payment due until 90 days prior to departure. Additional information about this cruise is located here.

In appreciation, for anyone who newly books with us during the month of August (through August 31st) and who states they are booking because they read about the wine cruises on Virginia Wine Time, we will offer an additional $50 per stateroom ($25 per person) shipboard amenity credit on any one of the above three wine cruises. Shipboard credit is like spending cash onboard the cruise. These cruises can only be booked through Cruise Holidays of Alexandria. Our number is 703-706-0011.