Bourbon and whiskey lovers, take note: There's now a cruise just for you
Fans of craft bourbon and whiskey now have a cruise to call their own.
The first-ever Craft Whiskey Expo at Sea, as it's being called, will take place next spring on Celebrity Cruises' 2,218-passenger Celebrity Millennium as it sails out of Fort Lauderdale. It will feature representatives from up to 20 whiskey brands.
The brands will offer onboard tastings, and there will be seminars on all things whiskey. There'll also be an optional onboard Whiskey School for extra learning, a lunch with whiskey pairings, and opening- and closing-night cocktail parties hosted by the brands (with brand drinks served).
Scheduled to take place between March 31 and April 4, the four-night voyage is scheduled to call at Key West, Florida, where there's talk of a bar crawl that also will include a visit to a local distillery and optional visit to a cigar factory, capped off with a group tasting of the locally famous Kermit's Key Lime Pie on a Stick.
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A second stop, in Nassau in the Bahamas, will offer those interested a chance to visit a cigar shop and a lounge visit with the Expo's "cigar ambassador."
Organized by Whiskey Expo at Sea, the event is what's known as a partial charter of a ship. That is, the entire ship will not be turned over to the Expo.
To take part in the whiskey-related activities, passengers must book the sailing through Online Vacation Center, an online travel seller, and ask for the Whiskey Expo.
The cost to participate in expo events is $75 per participant on top of the cost of a cabin, plus extra charges for optional expo events. Fares for balcony cabins start at $539 per person, based on double occupancy.
Extra-charge events include hosted "Dinner with the Brand" meals with the whiskey company representatives in Celebrity Millennium's Tuscan Grill.
Related: The ultimate guide to Celebrity Cruises
Whiskey brands that already are taking part in the Expo include Old Elk, Nulu, FEW and Whiskey 291. More will be announced in the coming months.
"This is something I've wanted to do for awhile, but during the pandemic, the relationship between craft brands and consumers changed, becoming much more personal through the using of virtual tastings," Whiskey Expo at Sea event director Amber Blecker, the creator of the program, told The Points Guy. "Consumers have become more involved and connected."
Blecker added that she "wanted to create a longer form event [rather] than a simple festival so that brands and consumers could have an extended conversation and educational opportunity, with lots of fun... and of course whiskey!"
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