“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – California Wine Cruise 7

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Would I do Culture of the Vine Again?

While I enjoyed the Culture of the Vine cruise by Cruise West , it was a little confining for my taste. When I go to Napa or Sonoma, I typically hit at least four or five wineries a day. The Spirit of Yorktown was lovely – the crew, ambience, food, accommodations were all very nice. It was good to have someone else drive us to the wineries (and home again after we’d been sampling). But, free spirit that I am, I really prefer doing my own thing.

That said, I think a cruise like this is a good choice for people who don’t want to have to drive around unfamiliar roads and try to locate the various wineries (some are up in the hills and not easy to find, although there are plenty right along the main roads, too). Or those who want to travel with a group too large to fit comfortably in a car or van. A number of our shipmates were rather elderly and the combination of cruising and coaching was particularly welcome for them. For folks who are new to Napa and Sonoma, this cruise provides a “taste” of the two valleys and an introduction to wines and viniculture in this popular region. And the ship provides a convenient “base” to return to each night. The people in our group who had not been to the wine country before thought it was great, although most said that next time they want to try a “land” trip.

As for me, I’m already planning my next trip to Napa Valley — a land trip in 2010with a driver! If you want to join me, give me a call (407.399.7758) or email me at jhaven@yourtravelhaven.com

And be sure to check this website frequently for information on all my upcoming trips!