When you think of enjoying a glass of wine, it’s always with pleasure. Beer and spirits just don’t bring that same image.
Now, think of how pleasurable and romantic enjoying that perfect glass of wine would be if you were standing next to your spouse in a candlelit wine cellar, underneath a grand European castle. Incredible.
You can do that with AMA Waterways new wine cruise “In Celebration of Wine – Europe’s Rivers and Castles” booking now for November 6th through 13th, 2011. The cruise departs from Nuremberg, weaves through the inland waterways of Germany and arrives in Luxembourg a week later. Click here for a video tour.
The cruise runs through the Main-Danube Canal, an engineering marvel that takes the ship through 16 locks that parallel the Franconian Alps. It takes you on the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, meandering through the countryside.
Upon arrival in Bamberg, once the center of the Holy Roman Empire, you and the other guests will enjoy the local Rauchbier, or smoked beer, before departing that night for Würzburg. In Würzburg, you will enjoy their famous white wines in the Hofkeller, the wine cellar beneath the Residenz Palace. After a day in Wertheim, you arrive in Rüdesheim, to visit and taste wine at the Winery of Dr. Nägler.
The afternoon is spent cruising through the spectacular Rhine Valley past ancient castles to arrive at Koblenz, which dates back to Roman times. The next day, enjoy a tour through Reichsburg Castle in Cochem and an 18th Century wine festival in Zell where you will learn all about the local wines and enjoy free-flowing samples of all. The final day of the cruise will be spent visiting the Bergweiler Winery in Bernkastel, tasting five locally-produced wines.
Your in-depth exploration of Europe’s viticulture will be led by one of America’s leading wine experts, Barry Wiss. New Orleans-born Wiss is the Vice President of Communications and Trade Relations for Trinchero Family Estates in St. Helena, California. The Trinchero family owns the iconic Sutter Home Winery and manages over 27 brands in the United States and Australia. Bob Trinchero, son of one of the founders, invented the ubiquitous White Zinfandel varietal.
With his roots in southern hospitality and his experience in the wine and hospitality industry, Wiss makes the perfect host for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with the wines of Europe. He is one of only 320 Certified Wine Educators in the entire world and has authored several innovative wine education programs including Vine to Dine® and the Aroma Wheel of Fortune.
Because the rivers were the “highways of old,” the cities built up around them. Unlike the large cruise ships, which are limited to docking at the coast, AMA Waterways’ river cruising offers passengers the opportunity to disembark their cruiser right into the heart of the city they are visiting.
And because many of the wineries are small, family-owned operations, their market reaches only locally, which makes this cruise so special. You will have the opportunity to taste wines that few Americans have ever enjoyed since the distribution is so exclusive, according to Gary Murphy, Vice President of National Accounts for AMA Waterways and co-host of this incredible river cruise. Murphy tell Family First that guests will be able to bring wine back with them or ship it home if they find one they particularly enjoy.
Wiss will lead guests in lectures and wine tastings to help them appreciate better the fabulous experience they will have at the wineries. He will help them understand the aromas of the regional wines and teach them how to pair the best wines with the gourmet meals served on the ship.
Wiss tells Family First his mission is not to overwhelm the guests with information but to help make a pleasurable experience with wine even better. With expertise in the regions, Wiss can speak about the soils, grapes, history and climate to bring the entire wine experience to life. “The real winemaker is Mother Nature,” he says. The winemakers simply guide that process in the right direction, according to Wiss.
Besides the fantastic gourmet meals, guests of the ship also enjoy luxury accommodations including plush bedding, private marble-appointed bathrooms, slippers and robes, free wireless internet and in-room movies available on the flat-screen televisions, land tours led by local guides and nightly on-board entertainment while sailing to the next destination. Only 148 passengers can sail on these ships, unlike the thousands of passengers on a large cruise liner.
In addition, you can add two nights on the front end of this trip on land in Prague, Czech Republic, and three additional nights in Paris, France, at the end of the cruise.
AMA Waterways is one of the oldest river cruise companies around, founded in 2002 by travel veterans Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy. Besides this cruise, there are 5 other fall departures also featuring wine expert hosts. As a special offer, companions can fly free to accompany you on your journey.
Please check out www.amawaterways.com for more information and to book your great European adventure today.
Marijo Tinlin is the editor in chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of the new book “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American” available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.]]>