They’re calling them ‘Bubbles of the Sea.’ Celebrating with sparkling wine is a year-round event on many cruise lines. But Hurtigruten is taking celebratory sparkling wine to another level: down.
Norwegian coastal cruise line Hurtigruten is sister cruise line of eco-conscious expedition cruise line HX / Hurtigruten Expeditions. Its ‘Bubbles of the Sea’ (or ‘Havets Bobler’ in Norwegian) program involves submerging bottles of sparkling wine at a depth of 112 feet off the coast of Norway for six months.
The purpose of ‘Bubbles of the Sea’ is to “bring a touch of the Arctic to the world of sparkling wine,” says the cruise line. “Our Norwegian coastline is the perfect place to create something truly unique.”
The first batch of ‘Bubbles of the Sea’ was started in late 2022, when 1700 bottles were submerged for the first half of 2023. The wine is a Classic Cuvee made using traditional methods from hand-harvested grapes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. This exclusive creation is crafted by the renowned Rathfinny Wine Estate, a family-run vineyard located in Sussex, England, one of the world’s up-and-coming sparkling wine regions.
Bubbles of the Sea are served onboard Hurtigruten ships and guests can also purchase bottles to take home.
The first attempt was so successful that the program has progressed from experiment to regular program. Hurtigruten has now submerged over twice the original amount in the second iteration of the program. 4500 more bottles are now ageing in the pressure and cold temperatures of the Nordic waters. 4200 of those bottles are regular sized; and for truly special occasions, 300 magnums have also been submerged. All will be ready to enjoy by the cruise line’s guests in 2024.
Do you like your sparkling wine with cheese?
Hurtigruten also has a ‘Coastal Kitchen’ program that brings some of Norway’s best food products on board. That includes Nidelven Bla, which was once again named the World’s Best Cheese at the 2023 World Cheese Awards. Hurtigruten has been serving the cheese onboard since 2015, and so far, nearly 10,000 pounds of the cheese has been consumed by guests on board.
The award-winning cheese producers also supply other dairy products to Hurtigruten ships, including ice cream, sorbet, and other cheeses.
“(The dairy) has been part of our Norwegian Coastal Kitchen concept since its inception in 2013 when we started inviting local producers along the Norwegian coast. They are now a cornerstone of our food concept, and we are extremely proud to have such a high-quality producer as our partner. We love to highlight the very best of Norwegian produce to our guests, and even more so knowing it’s also the world’s best,” said Øistein Nilsen, Hurtigruten Norway’s Culinary Director.
80% of all the food served onboard Hurtigruten Norway is locally produced along the country’s coastline. The cruise line’s unique farm-and-fjord-to-table flavors “are an essential part of the journey, where guests will feel like a true traveler, not a tourist. Just like we have for well over a century, we are proud to support small, local fisheries, farms, butchers, and other small businesses along the Norwegian coast.”
So your food and sparkling wine on your Norwegian coastal cruise will match the spectacular scenery of Norway’s fjords.
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