Over the past decade or so, the craft beer scene has exploded, to the point that entire vacations are now oriented toward craft beer. (We suppose beer has been a major component of vacations far before microbrews came into vogue, but in these simpler times, alcoholically speaking, beer served a more incidental role – it was a constant companion, perhaps, but not necessarily the object of your energy and thought.) These craft beer vacations take many forms, including craft beers cruises, one of which has been (and may again be) operated by Costco. It is surprisingly hard to track down information about the Costco craft beer cruise, often with conflicting details, and it isn’t exactly clear what Costco’s role in certain craft beer cruises is anyway. Below we sort this out as best as we can.
One thing that seems clear is that Costco organized a craft beer cruise in 2013. We presume this Costco video about a craft beer cruise was for this 2013 sailing, although the video, despite being nearly two minutes long, contains basically no information of practical worth. (A few short phrases like “welcome reception” and “galley tour” occasionally flash across the screen, but most of the video just shows people smiling and beer being poured while bouncy techno plays in the background.) This 2013 cruise was apparently arranged in conjunction with Samuel Adams and took place on the Celebrity Reflection. It featured a number of beer-related events, like talks on beer history and beer-food pairings. This is, as far as we can tell, the original (and perhaps the only) Costco craft beer cruise.
What is interesting is that the parties involved in this Costco cruise – Celebrity and Samuel Adams – are both connected to other craft beer cruises. Samuel Adams was involved with a craft beer cruise that sailed over St. Patrick’s Day in 2014, and this cruise took place on a Celebrity ship (the Silhouette). Celebrity also supplied a ship for the California Beer Festival at Sea, which was in April 2014. However, Costco didn’t appear to have a role in either cruise, or if they did they kept it pretty well hidden. Costco did help organize a wine cruise in March 2014, but that’s the only booze-theme cruise they seem to have offered since the craft brew cruise. It worth mentioning, though, that Celebrity Cruises are sold by Costco Travel, so unless a a future Celebrity booze cruise is specifically pulled from Costco’s listings, you should be able to book it with Costco. Through Costco you can also book a cruise on board the Celebrity Reflection, on which Michael’s Club is located, home of about 50 international craft beers at any given time. So, you can technically take your own craft beer cruise, in a manner of speaking, through Costco whenever the Reflection sails, even though this cruise obviously won’t be advertised as a Costco craft beer cruise.
So, the Costco craft beer cruise, organized in partnership with Samuel Adams, seems to have occurred only once. However, Costco is still organizing booze-related cruises, so perhaps they’ll arrange a craft beer cruise again. If you’re a Costco Member who wants to take one of these cruises, stay on the lookout for any announcements, and we’ll do the same.