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Cunard Launches Wine Education Courses at Sea

December 5, 2016 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Luxury travel brand Cunard has partnered with the world’s largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), to launch certified wine and spirit courses for its guests.

The partnership with Cunard is the first time WSET courses will be available to guests on a Transatlantic and round-world cruise line with WSET courses initially available on Queen Mary 2’s westbound Transatlantic crossings and world voyages. Courses are expected to be available on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth later in 2017.

Guests aboard crossings from Southampton to New York can embark on a five-day course to achieve WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. The course gives a hands-on introduction to the world of wine in an interactive and relaxed atmosphere for beginners, while covering the basics of wine types and styles through sight, smell, and taste, as well as how to store and serve wine and pair with food.

World voyage guests can participate in a 12-day course to achieve WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. The beginner to intermediate level course is for enthusiasts seeking a core understanding of wine and spirits. It explores the major grape varieties and the styles of wines they produce as well as important wine regions in which they are grown. Participants also learn about key classifications and labelling terminology and are given a basic overview of the key categories of spirits and liqueurs.

Classes will be led by WSET Certified Educator Andrés Solís Lira, who has worked in the wine world for the past decade and joined Cunard in 2009 as a sommelier on Queen Mary 2, rising to the position of educator for the Cunard Wine Academy. Each of the courses finishes with a multiple choice exam, and, on passing, candidates receive a globally recognised WSET qualification certificate and lapel pin.

The courses commence on Queen Mary 2’s transatlantic crossing from Southampton on December 15, 2016. The first world voyage offering WSET courses will set sail on January 10, 2017.

WSET works with approved program providers in more than 70 countries to offer its qualifications to interested enthusiasts and industry professionals, ranging from Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits and Sake to the prestigious Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits. Guests can book a WSET course by calling Cunard ahead of their journey or speaking to the sommelier onboard.

The WSET courses are the latest addition to the cruise line’s extensive wine credentials. Queen Mary 2 is renowned for having one of the finest wine lists at sea with a collection of 484 fine wines, while The Cunard Wine Academy offers an all-sensory experience of food and wine pairings, tastings and producer master classes for guests.

For more details on Cunard visit phone 132 441 or see a travel agent. 

Cunard photography is available online at and at

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