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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 - Melodies of the DanubeMarco Piccoli, Winemaker, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Marco Piccoli has worked in Italy, Germany and Argentina, where he acquired invaluable winemaking knowledge and expertise that he later brought to the Jackson-Triggs winery. Jackson-Triggs has been named “Best Canadian Winery” an unprecedented number of times in international and domestic competitions. Marco also successfully launched a méthode classique line of sparkling wines called Entourage.
<strong>Todd Graff</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Frank Family Vineyards, Calistoga, CA</i>
Mar 25 - Enticing DouroTodd Graff, Winemaker, Frank Family Vineyards, Calistoga, CA.
Todd Graff spent twenty years spent working as a winemaker in Germany, France and Australia before joining Frank Family Vineyards 2003. His unique expertise in still and sparkling wines has greatly contributed to the winery’s impressive wine portfolio and helped solidify its reputation as a world-class producer of Napa Valley-grown Cabernet and Chardonnay.
<strong>Preston Mohr</strong>, <i>Wine Specialist</i>
Mar 25 - The Enchanting RhinePreston Mohr, Wine Specialist.
Preston Mohr is an American-born wine expert now based in Paris, France, where he has made his home for over 10 years. Preston specializes in old-world wines and has a special passion for Champagne. His company, Paris by the Glass, arranges wine tastings, vineyard tours, lectures and gourmet food adventures. He received the prestigious Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is an associate member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits.
<strong>Bruce Nicholson</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario</i>
Mar 27 - Paris & NormandyBruce Nicholson, Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Born and raised in Ontario’s leading wine region, the Niagara Peninsula, Bruce Nicholson was intrigued by the winemaking industry from an early age. He was selected to lead Jackson-Triggs’ Okanagan Winery in 1993 and is credited for creating its award-winning Okanagan VQA wines. Now Winemaker for Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Inniskillin Winery, his award-winning VQA wines and ice wines have earned more than 1,500 medals and trophies over the course of his career.
<strong>Matt Viotto</strong>, <i>VP of Sales & Marketing, Talbott Vineyards, Carmel Valley, CA</i>
Mar 31 - The Romantic DanubeMatt Viotto, VP of Sales & Marketing, Talbott Vineyards, Carmel Valley, CA.
Expert winemaker Matt Viotto joined Talbott Vineyards in 2010, bringing extensive experience with high-end Monterey County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A veteran of the Chalone Wine Group and Diageo, Chateau & Estate Wines, Matt now nurtures the careful growth of the family-owned Talbott winery. All Talbott wines are produced with grapes grown in two of Monterey County’s most respected winegrowing areas, the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Carmel Valley.
<strong>Markus Niggli</strong>, <i>Winemaker, Borra Vineyards, Lodi, CA</i>
Apr 1 - The Enchanting RhineMarkus Niggli, Winemaker, Borra Vineyards, Lodi, CA.
Swiss-born Markus Niggli joined Borra Vineyards in 2006 and quickly ascended from cellar master to winemaker. Markus blends old-world winemaking techniques with progressive viticultural practices, a unique and natural approach to winemaking that has created critically-acclaimed whites which distinctly showcase the Lodi wine appellation.
<strong>Kim Pullen</strong>, <i>Proprietor, Church & State Wines, Vancouver, British Columbia</i>
Apr 1 - Enticing DouroKim Pullen, Proprietor, Church & State Wines, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kim Pullen began his career as a lawyer in Vancouver and entered the wine business about nine years ago. He quickly realized that the best wines were grown and produced in the south Okanagan Valley and began acquiring land in the Oliver/Osoyoos area. Since that time, Kim’s winemaking instincts have earned the winery recognition for the “Best Red Wines in Canada” on three occasions, and Church & State wines are now revered around the world.
<strong>Sam Pillsbury</strong>, <i>Owner/Winemaker, Pillsbury Wine Company, Cottonwood, AZ</i>
Nov 9 - The Enchanting RhineSam Pillsbury, Owner/Winemaker, Pillsbury Wine Company, Cottonwood, AZ.
Former film director and New Zealand native Sam Pillsbury owns an acclaimed Arizona winery specializing in complex and distinctive wines that he calls “100% Arizona and 100% original.” Just two years after releasing his first wines, Wine Spectator dubbed him a "Rising Star of the Southwest."

 

 

 

 

Curt Dunham & Peggy Fiandaca, Owners, Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, Pearce, AZ
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards creates hand-crafted, award-winning wines that reflect the distinctive characteristics of southern Arizona and the area's unique high-elevation terroir. Owners Peggy Fiandaca and Curt Dunham are long-time wine collectors who love to share their passion for making quality Rhone-varietal wines that pair well with food. They will co-host with Sam Pillsbury of the Pillsbury Wine Company.


<strong>Holly Howell</strong>, <i>Journalist & Wine Expert – Corning, NY</i>
Nov 11 - The Romantic DanubeHolly Howell, Journalist & Wine Expert – Corning, NY.
Holly Howell writes a wine column for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester and is a well-respected New York-based authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region, particularly Rieslings. She spent a year in France studying French food and wine, teaches wine and food pairing classes, and has served as a judge for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and also writes a popular blog. Holly is currently pursuing her Wine Spirit Education & Trust diploma.
<strong>Gerry and Rosie Wilson</strong>, <i>Wilson Creek Winery,Temecula, CA</i>
Nov 12 - The Romantic DanubeGerry and Rosie Wilson, Wilson Creek Winery,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, but today their famous Almond Champagne and other unique vintages have earned 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</i>
Nov 13 - Paris & NormandyPeter Marks, Master of Wine, Constellation Brands.
Peter Marks is one of only 24 Masters of Wine residing in the U.S. and was the first American to win the Madame Bollinger Foundation Award for having the highest tasting score on the rigorous MW exam. He has served as Director of Wine at the upscale Draeger’s Supermarkets in the San Francisco area, Chief Wine Merchant for online 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, sits on the Board of Directors of the Napa Valley Wine Library and judges many international wine competitions.
<strong>Paul Wagner</strong>, <i>Wine Educator, Lecturer, Author</i>
Nov 16 - The Enchanting RhinePaul Wagner, Wine Educator, Lecturer, Author.
Paul Wagner has been a college instructor in Napa Valley for the past seventeen years, is a regular columnist for wine publications, and serves as the president of Balzac Communications and Marketing. He is also a highly regarded guest lecturer at universities throughout the world on wine and wine-related business, communications and marketing. He co-authored Wine Marketing & Sales: Success Strategies for a Saturated Market and was honored in 2009 with a “Life Dedicated to Wine” award at the Feria Nacional del Vino in Spain.
<strong>Neil Cooper</strong>, <i>Owner, Cooper Wine Company, Benton City, WA</i>
Nov 17 - The Enchanting RhineNeil Cooper, Owner, Cooper Wine Company, Benton City, WA.
Neil Cooper established Cooper Wine Company in 2009, a family-run winery on Washington State’s Red Mountain that focuses primarily on Bordeaux-style reds. Neil is a third generation farmer and his background in agriculture has given him a savvy instinct for the optimal terroir to produce exquisitely complex varietals. Notable favorites are Cooper’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.
<strong>Steve Ledson</strong>, <i>Owner & Winemaker, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Sonoma, CA</i>
Nov 20 - Provence & SpainSteve Ledson, Owner & Winemaker, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Sonoma, CA.
Fifth generation Sonoma County farmer, entrepreneur and master winemaker Steve Ledson and his skillful winemaking techniques have brought the Ledson Winery critical acclaim. The award-winning winery, nestled in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, specializes in unique varietals that showcase the distinctive character of the valley’s appellations.
<strong>Barry Wiss</strong>, <i>VP of Trade Relations, Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA</i>
Nov 20 - Paris & NormandyBarry Wiss, VP of Trade Relations, Trinchero 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 also the creator of the World Wine Challenge® board game and is one of only 120 Certified Wine Educators in the world.
<strong>Steven Mackey</strong>, <i>Winemaker – Notaviva Vineyards, Purcellville, VA</i>
Nov 11 - Steven Mackey, Winemaker – Notaviva Vineyards, Purcellville, VA.
Stephen Mackey is the co-founder and wine composer at Notaviva Vineyards, a Virginia farm winery. With an extensive background in the music industry, his exposure to diverse cultures, cuisines, wines and music around the globe has greatly influenced the Notaviva brand identity – which prides itself as being the only winery in the world that pairs wine with music. Stephen and his wife Shannon founded Notaviva in 2003. To this day, they create wine using sound viticultural techniques and healthy, clean fermentations. Notaviva’s high-quality wines have earned medals in regional, national and international competitions.

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Rhone
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
11 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, followed by 3 nights in Lisbon
14 Days - Travel to Madrid and return from Lisbon or reverse
Countries Visited: Portugal, Spain
River(s): Douro

Paris & Normandy (Wine Themed) (2014)

Enjoy a 7-night cruise on the Seine River, and then relax for 2 nights in Paris
10 Days - Travel to Paris
Countries Visited: France
River(s): Seine

The Romantic Danube (Wine Themed) (2014)

Spend 3 nights in Prague, then enjoy a fascinating cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest
11 Days – Travel to Prague & return from Budapest
Countries Visited: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary
River(s): Danube