AmaWaterways continues to build on the success of its In Celebration of Wine theme cruises through some of Europe’s most renowned wine-producing regions. Recently, the company introduced its full lineup of wine-themed voyages for 2014.
“The great thing about our wine cruises is you don’t need to be a wine aficionado to enjoy them,” says AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Kristin Karst. “These seasonal departures are offered only in the spring and fall, when there are fewer tourists, milder weather, and beautiful flowers or colorful autumn foliage. And if you do drink wine or just want to try something new, that’s all the more reason to love these cruises!“
Each In Celebration of Wine theme cruise features private wine tastings, discussions and on-shore excursions that are designed to educate guests about Europe’s rich legacy of wine production. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with renowned local vintners and sample wines produced in the very regions through which they are sailing.
These special activities are offered to guests as complimentary alternatives to each of the regularly scheduled excursions on each itinerary, ensuring that each voyage can be enjoyed as a wine cruise or as a stand-alone exploration of some of Europe’s most fascinating ports of call.
Here’s a look at the In Celebration of Wine itineraries that AmaWaterways has developed for the coming year:
- Provence & Spain | November 20, 2014 – This 15-day itinerary begins with three nights in Barcelona. Guests board the AmaDagio in Arles for a 7-night cruise through France’s legendary wine regions, with visits to Les Baux de Provence, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Vienne and Trevoux. Shore excursions along the way include tastings with local vintners, an olive farm tour, a chance to see Roman ruins, and stops at Provencal shops and marketplaces. After disembarking in Lyon, guests take a high-speed TGV train ride to Paris for a 3-night stay.
- Paris & Normandy | March and November, 2014 – This 11-day round-trip itinerary includes two nights in Paris and a 7-night cruise along the magnificent Seine aboard the AmaLegro. Guests enjoy wine lectures, samplings and food pairings, as well as visits to the beautiful cities of Vernon, Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys and Conflans before returning to the “City of Lights.” Cruise highlights include strolling through Monet’s beloved gardens and seeing the infamous D-Day beaches of WWII.
- The Enticing Douro | March 25 and April 1, 2014 – This 12-day itinerary begins with three nights in Portugal’s lively capital of Lisbon before embarking the AmaVida for a 7-night cruise through the dramatic Douro River Valley. Lined by deeply cleft gorges, charming fishing villages and lush vineyards, this cruise begins and ends in Porto. Itinerary highlights include winery visits and tastings, an excursion to the Spanish city of Salamanca, a tour of the Palacio de Mateus, a chance to visit the Portuguese pilgrimage site Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies), and the centuries-old Alpendurada Monastery.
- Port Wine & Flamenco | October 28, 2014 – This 15-day itinerary begins with three nights in cosmopolitan Madrid. Guests board the AmaVida in Vega Terrón and enjoy a scenic 7-night cruise through the pristine and picturesque Douro River Valley. Highlights include a special dinner and wine tasting at Quinta Avessada, excursions to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Salamanca and Guimarães, and a visit to the Portuguese pilgrimage site Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. After disembarking in Porto, the journey concludes with three nights in Lisbon, Portugal’s vibrant capital city.
- The Romantic Danube | March and November, 2014 – This 12-day itinerary, available on the AmaPrima, AmaCerto, and AmaSonata, travels along one of Europe’s most captivating rivers. Following a 3-night stay in majestic Prague, guests embark upon a 7-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest that offers views of rolling hillsides, lush vineyards and medieval castles. Itinerary highlights include a walking tour of a 2,000-year-old fairy tale city, a visit to one of Europe’s largest and most historically significant monasteries, and an excursion to Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace and the setting of the “Sound of Music.”
- Melodies of the Danube | March 24, 2014 – This 12-day itinerary starts in Budapest aboard the AmaCerto and cruises through Austria’s beautiful Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site lined with lush hillsides, medieval castles and distinctive architecture. Guests visit cities rich in culture and tradition – including stops in Vienna, Dürnstein, Melk, Passau and Regensburg – before disembarking in Vilshofen. The journey concludes with an optional 3-night stay in Munich that includes a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle.
- The Enchanting Rhine | March and November, 2014 – This 13-day itinerary begins in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, where guests embark the beautiful AmaCello. Traveling through the legendary Black Forest area en route to Zurich, guests are immersed in the stunning scenery of the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Excursions include a tasting of Kolsch beer, a visit to Heidelberg’s red-walled castle, scenic lakeside tours and visits to the region’s famous local wineries and markets. This itinerary concludes in Switzerland, with a 2-night stay in the medieval city of Lucerne and two nights in Zurich.
More information on AmaWaterways can be found by viewing our complete line overview here on River Cruise Advisor.