An inaugural voyage to a Baltic archipelago this June is being launched by the champagne house, Veuve Clicquot.
Veuve Clicquot will launch a special journey this June to the Åland Islands, an autonomous archipelago in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, as part of its Cellar in the Sea initiative — a 40-year experiment during which the maison is ageing a selection of cuvées, 40 metres beneath the sea’s surface.
The experiment was sparked by the discovery in 2010 of a shipwreck that had sunk off the coast of the Åland Islands in 1840. Forty-seven of the 168 bottles of champagne on board were from Maison Veuve Clicquot. The absence of light, consistently low temperature, and the balance of pressure on the cork inspired a comparative experiment, whereby the house is cellaring two batches of identical bottles — one batch in its famous Crayères (chalk cellars) in Reims, and the other within a dedicated vault at 40 metres below the surface of the Baltic Sea.
The Cellar in the Sea journey is designed for curious travellers who are passionate about champagne to explore the site of this project, with exceptional epicurean experiences along the way. It will take place during the 2023 summer solstice, 22–25 June, and places will be limited to just 14 double rooms.
Beginning in the maison’s home of Reims, guests will partake in food and wine experiences such as a garden lunch, touring the house’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed cellars, and a gala dinner at Hôtel du Marc, Veuve Clicquot’s private residence.
The historic schooner Albanus will then sail guests to the Åland island of Silverskär, the remote destination for the next two nights. Timed to coincide with the island’s midsummer celebrations, guests can expect authentic local experiences like floral garlands, traditional music, a tour of the islands, and learning about its fishing traditions.
During the journey, Veuve Clicquot Cellar Master, Didier Mariotti, will guide guests through tastings of some of the house’s rarest vintages, while renowned chefs will create traditional dishes inspired by local cuisine. Guests will be invited to meet the diver who discovered the shipwreck in 2010, and those among them who are experienced divers will have the opportunity to see the Åland Vault, where the current bottles are cellared.
The final day will see a local breakfast on the island of the midnight sun before guests embark on their onward journey.
Prices are upon request.