Ridge Vineyards

Ports of Call


London (Southampton), Uk

 
London is one of the world's greatest cities. Diverse, ethnically and linguistically, it offers an intoxicating mix of grandeur, history, style and culture. From ancient streets, leafy parks and grand architecture to iconic landmarks, neon lights, world class shopping and a cool arts scene, there's nowhere in the world quite like this thriving metropolis. Visitors typically spend most of their time in and around the West End, where London's main attractions -- Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross Road's book shops, Covent Garden, Soho, Regent and Oxford Streets, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Carnaby Street -- are located. Farther west are the pricier neighborhoods of Belgravia, Kensington (Kensington Palace, Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall), South Kensington (Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum), Knightsbridge (Harrods, Harvey Nichols), Mayfair, Chelsea (Kings Road) and Notting Hill (Portobello Road).
 
The City of London's financial district (home to St. Paul's Cathedral, Fleet Street, Tower of London) is a must for history lovers. In medieval times, the City constituted most of London, but over the years, urban areas sprawled far beyond. As the City's boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis, though holds city status in its own right.



Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is France’s second largest city and fronts the La Garonne River and is located some 35 miles inland from the ocean. The river has very turbulent tides, which rise and drop some 18 to 20 feet with each tidal change. Bordeaux is also the epicenter of the Bordeaux region that is made up of some of the best vineyards and wineries in the world.

One could easily spend an entire day taking in Bordeaux’s sights on foot. Its pedestrian streets, numerous cathedrals museums, monuments, small parks and shopping areas are enough for anyone to amuse himself or herself. Add in Bordeaux’s wonderful sidewalk cafes and restaurants and you have the perfect blend for a day well spent in a wonderful city. However, around the entire circumference of Bordeaux lies one of the most prolific wine producing regions in the world. Dating back well over ten centuries, the villages in the wine regions are simply wonderful.



Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France


Lying on the south bank of the Garonne estuary, Le Verdon is your gateway to what is arguably the finest wine-producing region in the world: the vineyards surrounding Bordeaux. Though the city has long been an important trading center, the foundation of its prosperity has always rested on all things wine. Wine trading began in the Middle Ages, when Bordeaux shipped Claret to England in exchange for British wool. While Bordeaux itself is a charming city that boasts superb examples of 18th-century neo-classical architecture, wine lovers will most often venture to the nearby Medoc wine region to visit any of its prestigious wine estates.

 
Bilbao, Spain
 
The Port of Bilbao is Basque Country’s largest city and capital of Biscay Province. Almost half of the Basque Country’s population lives in the Port of Bilbao, stretching along the banks of the Nervion River in northern Spain about 14 kilometers from the river’s mouth and the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Bilbao is one of Spain’s most important economic areas, home to several important industries including aeronautics, electronics, information technology, energy, and manufacture of steel and machine tools.


While the city has had an industrial character for decades, many industries have moved from the city center. The Bilbao Exhibition Center hosts several international trade fairs each year. The Port of Bilbao is one of Spain’s most important northern ports. In 2005, it was the fourth busiest port in the country, moving 36.8 million tons of cargo. In 2006, over 354 thousand people lived in the Greater Bilbao area. 



La Coruna, Spain

 
La Coruna is one of the biggest port cities in Galicia and sits in a large gulf in the Spanish coast. It is one of the finest stops for cosmopolitan dining, relaxation and shopping. This Port offers a great culinary experience. Spanish cuisine is served in many restaurants along with the finest international eats. The architecture at La Coruna Port is beautiful; a mix of old structures and modern ones. Just opposite the cruise port of La Coruna are the city’s best beaches. Tourists flock to the area; the old time favorites are Riazor and Orzan. For the adventurous, there are shops that rent out equipment for water sports. In fact, there is even a statue near the beach that celebrates surfing.

 

Oporto, Portugal

Oporto, or Porto as it is known, is famous for its port wines (which were named for the city of Oporto) It is a large city consisting of many different areas including a UNESCO historic city center with narrow winding and cobbled pedestrian streets dating back many centuries. It is located on the Douro River that plays an important role in the development of the region. There are many boutiques, department stores, specialty shops and street markets within the historic old town section of Oporto, as well as along some of the more modern shopping streets in Oporto itself. Port wine may be purchased in numerous wine stores at incredible values. There are also many tourist boutiques selling ceramics, lace work, local jewelry, furniture, men’s and women’s fashions and other collectibles.

Exploring Oporto’s historic old quarters is a “don’t miss” event. There is also an excellent cathedral dating back to the 12th century and a tall (246 feet) granite structure, the Torre dos Clerigos, which is quite interesting. 


Lisbon, Portugal


Lisbon is Portugal’s capital and is the country’s largest city. It dates back some two centuries BC. While Lisbon has modern areas with long wide boulevards shaded with large trees, gardens and lavish residential areas, it also offers a wonderful old section that is built on its terraced hillsides. Lisbon is both ancient and modern and offers superb shopping and sightseeing.

This port city is home of numerous wine shops offering the best in Portuguese port and other wines, as well as some excellent Italian wines also. Women and men’s fashions are everywhere as are shoe stores and other leather products. Prices in Portugal are much lower than in France for the same products and many of the same stores that are in France have locations in Lisbon. If you are going to be clothes shopping, Lisbon is the place to do it.

A hike up to the remnants of St. George's Castle is well worth the investment of energy and time as the views of Lisbon are spectacular. If you have been to Lisbon before try heading out to the villages on the Atlantic Ocean. Sinta is especially beautiful and offers incredible beauty among its narrow and winding medieval streets with lots of charming shops and boutiques. 


Seville (Cadiz), Spain
 
Located in southern Spain, Cadiz sits on a sliver of land jutting out into the bay. Almost entirely sur­rounded by water, Cadiz is believed to be the oldest city in Europe. Formidable walls still stand, protecting and providing Cadiz with a skyline like no other. The old quarter is composed of picturesque buildings, parks, and gardens intertwined with narrow cobblestone streets and squares.


A relaxed and easygoing city, Cadiz is easy and fun to explore. Muse­ums, restaurants and quaint shops are plentiful. In the spring, the nor­mally quiet city erupts with a carnival celebration considered to be the liveliest and most important in Spain. For 10 days the streets are filled with people singing, dancing and celebrating in colorful costumes.

Beyond Cadiz, is the beautiful countryside of Andalucia and Jerez. The legendary Bodegas of Jerez produce some of the finest Sherry wine in the world and the city is also known for its magnificent horses. To the north of Cadiz is Seville, considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Spain. This historic city is rich in architectural mas­terpieces. Magnificent churches, plazas, and meandering alleyways grace this spirited city.
 


Malaga, Spain


The Malaga Port is an international seaport located in the city of Malaga, Spain. It rests on the Costa del Sol coast, along the Mediterranean, in the southern portion of Spain. An interesting fact about the Malaga port of call is that it is the oldest, continuously operating port in the country and one of the oldest in the Mediterranean. The Malaga cruise terminal is in fact, a large cruising port currently, though it also serves as a center for manufactured goods transport. In addition, a small fishing fleet operates from the port itself. It is a large port, with 10 operational wharfs. Visitors may make their way into the city of Malaga by bus or taxi.

Malaga port and the city surrounding it offers visitors a range of things to do. The beaches line the coasts and make for an ideal getaway. Tourists often visit Alcazaba, a palace in the heart of the city. There are three courtyards within, including the Patio de los Surtidores with numerous fountains. The Torre de la Armadura Mudejar is an area within the building that features a 16th century carved wooden ceiling.

Throughout the Malaga port, there are fantastic locations to eat, including street side vendors. In addition, stop in La Posada de Antonio, featuring outstanding seafood dishes. El Pimpi's, Clandestino and Las Papas are also idea restaurants to visit for local, traditional cuisine. For good tapas, visit Gorkis, in the center of town. For those in the old center of the city, Larious Street offers Café Chinitas, an excellent location for a drink and fast lunch that is inexpensive.


Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia as well as Spain’s second largest city. Dominated by Montjuic, Vallvidrera and the Tibidabo Hills, sophisticated Barcelona is rich in ancient and modern architectural and artistic treasures. Many talented artists, sculptors and architects lived here, including Picasso, Miró, Mares and Barcelona’s best-known architect, Antonio Gaudí.

Barcelona’s beginnings as a major port can be found already in Roman times. However, the most significant period was during the Middle Ages when the city's wealth equaled that of the whole Catalunya province. Splendid buildings from the Middle Ages and a unique ambiance still make Barcelona one of the most attractive cities in Europe, drawing scores of visitors to see and enjoy the sights. In addition to its medieval setting and narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, there are magnificent avenues through the modern part of the city, which are particularly noted for their landmark buildings of Gaudí’s design.

HIGHLIGHTS

Wine Program Highlights:
  • Personally escorted by winery president, David Amadia
  • Private events including a Welcome Reception, wine tastings, and winemaker’s dinner featuring the wines of Ridge Vineyards
  • Access to private group shore tours in Bordeaux & Oporto
  • Free pre-paid gratuities and $150 shipboard credit for early bookings

Cruise Highlights:
  • 11-Day cruise on Oceania Cruises' deluxe ship, Nautica
  • Finest cuisine at sea, served in a variety of distinctive open-seating restaurants, all at no additional charge
  • Gourmet cuisine curated by world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pépin
  • FREE Internet package PLUS your choice of 8 FREE shore excursions, FREE beverage package or $800 shipboard credit

INCLUDES

  • Shipboard accommodations
  • Roundtrip air to Europe
  • Ocean transportation
  • All meals & entertainment on ship
  • FREE unlimited soft drinks, cappuccino, espresso, and teas
  • Onboard Wine Education Program

DOESN'T INCLUDE

  • Airport transfers
  • Optional shore tours
  • Travel insurance
  • All items of a personal nature

REVIEWS

"We were absolutely delighted with the onboard wine program. We came, we drank, we learned, we had fun!" C. & D. Crawford (DeWinton, AB)

AWARDS and RATINGS



#7 of the Top Ten of 2016
94 pts.
2012 Monte Bello
Santa Cruz Mountains Estate



International Wine Report
2016 Top 100 List
Rated #1
2013 Monte Bello


Decanter
Top wines of 2016
95 pts.
2014 Estate Chardonnay