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IN CELEBRATION OF WINE CRUISES

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OVERVIEW

Our ever-popular In Celebration of Wine cruises are for adventurous aficionados seeking to immerse themselves in the wine culture and traditions of Europe's top grape-growing regions. Stroll down long rows of gnarled vines meticulously cultivated for centuries….inhale the heady fragrance of sun-ripened fruit, heavy on the vine…and sample cask-aged vintages in the dim, cool interiors of private wine cellars.
Back on board your ship, indulge in insightful and entertaining lectures and discussions with renowned wine experts. Enjoy inspired wine and food pairings featuring unique regional dishes and carefully selected local wines. Sit back and savor your favorite vintage of the moment as you gaze out at the picturesque wine villages of Austria's Wachau Valley, the lush vineyards of Germany's Mosel and Rhine Valleys, or the steeply terraced slopes of Portugal's otherworldly Douro region. Love wine? These are the perfect cruises for you!

Our In Celebration of Wine cruises include these distinctive features::
  • Renowned wine experts who will share their knowledge & love of wine
  • Winery visits & wine-oriented shore excursions
  • Fine dining plus wine tastings, lectures & wine pairings
  • Complimentary, free flowing wine served with every dinner
  • Complimentary Internet and ship-wide Wi-Fi
  • Spacious staterooms with French Balconies and/or step-out balconies
  • Onboard entertainment provided every evening
  • Enriching shore excursions with well-informed local guides
  • Complimentary bicycles to explore on your own, as well as guided bike tours

AMAWATERWAYS HOSTS

WINE HOSTS

Join expert wine hosts from North America and Europe on AmaWaterways’ exclusive “In Celebration of Wine” cruises on the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine Rivers. Our insightful and entertaining wine hosts oversee tastings of wonderful wine, lead excursions to wineries and vineyards, and explain the nuances of traditional wine-making methods and European wine heritage and traditions.
<strong>Marco Piccoli</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario</i>
Mar 24 - Marco Piccoli, Winemaker, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Marco Piccoli brings enviable knowledge and skills to his work at Jackson-Triggs, having worked on numerous vintages over the past 10 years. He has worked in Italy, Germany and Argentina, gaining valuable experience in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Marco has also successfully launched a méthode classique line of sparkling wines called Entourage. Jackson-Triggs is Canada’s most awarded winery and has been named “Best Canadian Winery” an unprecedented number of times in international and domestic competitions.
<strong>Todd Graff</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, CA</i>
Mar 25 - Todd Graff, Winemaker, Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, CA.
Todd Graff felt an undeniable draw to winemaking from a young age and in 1984 he graduated from UC Davis with a degree in plant science and viticulture. After twenty years spent working as a winemaker in Germany, France and Australia, Graff joined Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, CA in 2003. Bringing his unique expertise in still and sparkling wines to the winery, Graff has greatly contributed to Frank Family Vineyard’s already impressive wine portfolio and helped to establish its reputation as a world-class producer of Cabernet and Chardonnay from Napa Valley.
<strong>Preston Mohr</strong>, <i>Wine Specialist </i>
Mar 25 - Preston Mohr, Wine Specialist .
Preston Mohr first came to Paris in 2003 to spend a year abroad while earning his BA in Art History and French Studies from the University of Minnesota. Since then, wine, gastronomy and the French art de vivre have become his passions. In 2009, Preston started leading gourmet food and wine tastings and excursions, using knowledge gained from his extensive travels and studies throughout France. Preston also holds the Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and is currently studying for his Diploma, to be completed in June 2013.
<strong>Bruce Nicholson</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario</i>
Mar 27 - Bruce Nicholson, Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Born and raised in Ontario’s leading wine region, the Niagara Peninsula, Bruce was intrigued by the winemaking industry from an early age. Recognized for his broad skills and talent, Bruce was selected to lead Jackson-Triggs’ Okanagan Winery in 1993 and was credited for creating its award-winning Okanagan VQA wines. In 2006 he returned to Ontario as Winemaker for Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Inniskillin Winery. His award-winning VQA wines and stunning Icewine portfolio have been recognized with more than 1,500 medals and trophies over the course of his career.
<strong>Matt Viotto</strong>, <i>Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Talbott Vineyards </i>
Mar 31 - Matt Viotto, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Talbott Vineyards .
Talbott Vineyards was established in 1982 and the estate program encompasses two of Monterey County’s most respected winegrowing areas: the Santa Lucia Highlands, and the Carmel Valley. Matt Viotto, Vice President and of the estate and expert winemaker, joined Talbott Vineyards in February of 2010. A veteran of The Chalone Wine Group and Diageo, Chateau & Estate Wines, Viotto came to Talbott with extensive experience working with high-end Monterey County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Viotto has managed and nurtured the careful growth of the family-owned winery and all Talbott wines continue to be produced using 100 percent estate-grown grapes.
<strong>Markus Niggli</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Borra Vineyards, Lodi, CA</i>
Apr 1 - Markus Niggli, Winemaker, Borra Vineyards, Lodi, CA.
Swiss-born Markus Niggli joined Borra Vineyards in Lodi, CA in 2006 and quickly ascended from cellar master to winemaker in 2010. Niggli’s blend of European winemaking influences and California style are evident in his use of progressive viticultural practices and old-world winemaking technique. Borra Vineyards’ approach to natural winemaking has created award winning and critically acclaimed whites that distinctly showcase the Lodi wine appellation.
<strong>Kim Pullen</strong>, <i>Proprietor, Church & State Wines, Vancouver, British Columbia</i>
Apr 1 - Kim Pullen, Proprietor, Church & State Wines, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kim Pullen, the owner of Church & State Wines began his career as a lawyer in Vancouver. Kim entered the wine business about 9 years ago, starting initially by purchasing a winery on the island but quickly realized the top wines were grown and produced in the south Okanagan valley and started to buy and develop land in the Oliver/Osoyoos area. Since that time, Pullen’s winegrowing instincts have earned the winery recognition for Best Red Wines in Canada, on three occasions. Church & State Wines is known as the Third Best Winery in BC (Fourth in Canada) and continues to be recognized for its quality in wine making not only in Canada but around the world.
<strong>Christopher Silva</strong>, <i>President & CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA</i>
Jul 22 - Christopher Silva, President & CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA.
A fifth generation Sonoma County native, Christopher Silva worked in Los Angeles as a litigation attorney for three years before retiring from the law and coming aboard St. Francis as the winery’s CEO. The winery was named after St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan order, which is believed to have been the first to bring European grape cultivation to the new world. The winery’s products have earned a reputation as top quality varietal wines that are bold flavored and fruit-forward.
<strong>Carissa Chappellet and Archie McLaren</strong>, <i>From Chappellet Winery in Napa, an estate known for its Bordeaux varietals and particularly its Cabernet Sauvignon</i>
Oct 28 - Carissa Chappellet and Archie McLaren, From Chappellet Winery in Napa, an estate known for its Bordeaux varietals and particularly its Cabernet Sauvignon.
A lawyer, artist and photographer, Carissa inherited the winery with her brothers from her parents, founders Don and Molly Chappellet. Now a passionate spokesperson on behalf of Chappellet, Carissa helps run the winery’s day to day operations and also serves as its ambassador-at-large. She travels extensively with her life-partner, noted wine expert, writer and radio personality Archie McLaren, to represent Chappellet at a wide range of industry events.
<strong>Sam Pillsbury</strong>, <i>Owner/Winemaker, Pillsbury Wine Company, Cottonwood, AZ</i>
Nov 9 - Sam Pillsbury, Owner/Winemaker, Pillsbury Wine Company, Cottonwood, AZ.
Sam Pillsbury is an award-winning New Zealand film director and producer (Free Willy 3) and the owner/winemaker of Pillsbury Wine Company. After filming a pilot in Arizona, Sam fell in love with the area and decided to establish his own winery to get away from mass-produced “McDonald’s wines” and create a distinctive regional boutique wine that was 100% Arizona and 100% original. Just two years after releasing his first wines, Wine Spectator dubbed him a “Rising Star of the Southwest.”
<strong>Holly Howell</strong>, <i>Columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, New York and a well-respected authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region</i>
Nov 11 - Holly Howell, Columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, New York and a well-respected authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region.
Holly Howell is a Certified Sommelier, winemaker, columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, and a well-respected New York-based authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region, particularly Rieslings. After spending a year in France studying French food and wine, she went on to teach wine and food pairing classes for universities, markets and wineries, and recently served as a judge for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. A passionate lover of wine with a robust and very popular wine blog, Holly is currently pursuing her WSET diploma.
<strong>Gerry and Rosie Wilson</strong>, <i>From Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula, CA</i>
Nov 12 - Gerry and Rosie Wilson, From Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula, CA.
In 1996, the Wilsons decided they wanted to run a fun family business that produced great wines from the conducive climate and soil of the Temecula Valley. A lofty goal, given that the only winemaking experience anyone in the family had was Gerry and Rosie's attempts to make dandelion and rhubarb wine in their Minnesota basement. Today, their famous Almond Champagne and other unique vintages have garnered numerous prestigious international wine awards. Wilson Creek is also the unofficial winery of many Navy ships, including eight aircraft carriers.
<strong>Peter Marks</strong>, <i>Master of Wine, Constellation Brands & Robert Mondavi Winery</i>
Nov 13 - Peter Marks, Master of Wine, Constellation Brands & Robert Mondavi Winery.
Peter Marks is one of only 24 Masters of Wine residing in the United States. In 1995, he passed the rigorous MW exam and became the first American to garner the Madame Bollinger Foundation Award which is bestowed to the candidate with the highest tasting score. Since entering the wine trade in 1981, he has held the positions of Director of Wine at the upscale Draeger’s Supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chief Wine Merchant at the on-line wine retailer Wine.com, and Senior Vice President of Wine at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Peter is also a member of the Society of Wine Educators, is on the Board of Directors of the Napa Valley Wine Library and judges many international wine competitions.
<strong>Paul Wagner</strong>, <i>Wine Educator, Expert, Lecturer, Author</i>
Nov 16 - Paul Wagner, Wine Educator, Expert, Lecturer, Author.
Paul Wagner, wine expert extraordinaire, has been an instructor for Napa Valley College's Viticulture and Enology department for the past seventeen years, is a regular columnist for Vineyards & Winery Management Magazine and is the president of Balzac Communications and Marketing. He is a highly regarded guest lecturer at universities throughout the world on wine business, communications, wine and wine marketing, and in 2007 he co-authored Wine Marketing & Sales, Success Strategies for a Saturated Market, an award winning wine book. In 2009 he was honored with a “Life Dedicated to Wine” award at the Feria Nacional del Vino (FENAVIN) in Spain.
<strong>Neil Cooper</strong>, <i>Owner, Cooper Wine Company, Benton City, WA </i>
Nov 17 - Neil Cooper, Owner, Cooper Wine Company, Benton City, WA .
Neil Cooper established Cooper Wine Company in 2009, a family-run winery on Red Mountain in Washington state focusing primarily on Bordeaux-style reds. Neil is a third generation farmer, and his extensive background in farming and agriculture endow him with a special sense for the right terroir to produce the most exquisite and complex varietals. Notable favorites are Cooper’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Fracnc.
<strong>Steve Ledson</strong>, <i>Owner & Winemaker, Ledson Winery, Sonoma, CA</i>
Nov 20 - Steve Ledson, Owner & Winemaker, Ledson Winery, Sonoma, CA.
Steve Ledson, a fifth generation Sonoma County farmer, entrepreneur, and master winemaker is the owner of Ledson Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma, California. Ledson’s farming background endow him with a keen instinct for making things grow, and grow well, and his hands-on care of the vineyard and winemaking technique have brought Ledson Winery & Vineyards critical acclaim . The award winning winery, or "The Castle" as it is better known in the area, is nestled in the heart of the Sonoma Valley and specializes in small varietals that showcase the distinctive character of the valley’s appellations.
<strong>Barry Wiss</strong>, <i>VP of Trade Relations, Trichero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA</i>
Nov 20 - Barry Wiss, VP of Trade Relations, Trichero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA.
Bary Wiss is a Certified Wine Educator and VP of Communications & Trade Relations for Trinchero Family Estates, which represents more than 28 brands in the US and Australia, including Trinchero Napa Valley, Terro d’Oro, Folie á Deux and Napa Cellars. A veteran of the food and wine industry, Barry is the creator of such innovative wine games as the World Wine Challenge® and is one of only 120 Certified Wine Educators in the world.

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Rhone & Saone
Rising in the Swiss Alps and traveling south to the Mediterranean, the mighty Rhone River links thousands of vineyards and wineries throughout southeastern France. In the north, wines are based on red Syrah or white Viognier grapes, while the Southern Rhone’s red, rose, and white wines are blends of many different grapes, including the acclaimed Châtauneuf-du-Pape. Your cruise itinerary takes you on an excursion to the village of the same name, where you will sample the offerings of several Châtauneuf-producing wineries. You’ll also learn about wine production in the Beaujolais region, famous for its delicious fruit-driven wine, and sample flavorful Cotes du Rhone table wines. Onward to the historic city of Lyon, the undisputed capital of French gastronomy. To the south lies sun-drenched Provence, a delightful region with a rich soil that produces some of the world’s most popular wines. Enjoy a Champagne tasting in Paris, then wander the bustling streets lined with museums, cafes, and chic boutiques.

ITINERARIES

Europe’s scenic wine regions have long held a special allure for our passengers. Our latest wine-themed cruise series is more extensive than ever, with new 2013 excursions on Portugal’s Douro River and the Seine River in France. We will also continue to offer our unforgettable itineraries through acclaimed wine regions along the Rhine, Danube and Mosel rivers. All cruises feature informative onboard wine tastings, inspired wine and food pairings, tours of historic vineyards and wineries, and onboard lectures from renowned wine experts. It’s a unique opportunity to experience centuries-old wine heritage aboard the most luxurious ships on Europe’s fabled rivers.





Enticing Douro (Wine Themed) (2014)

Spend 3 nights in Lisbon, then enjoy a relaxing 7-night cruise through the Douro River Valley
12 Days - Travel to Lisbon & return from Porto
Countries Visited: Portugal, Spain
River(s): Douro

Port Wine & Flamenco (2014)

Spend 3 nights in Madrid, enjoy a 7-night Douro cruise & then 3 nights in Lisbon
15 Days - Travel to Madrid & return from Lisbon
Countries Visited: Portugal, Spain
River(s): Douro

Paris & Normandy (Wine Cruise) (2014)

Enjoy a 7-night Seine cruise and then spend 2 nights in Paris
11 Days - Travel to Paris
Countries Visited: France
River(s): Seine

The Romantic Danube (Wine Themed) (2014)

7 night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest (or Reverse)
Optional 3 night stay in Prague available.
Countries Visited: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary
River(s): Danube