AmaWaterways has announced the return of several popular wine hosts – as well as a few new surprises – for its 2021 season. With more than 60 Celebration of Wine River Cruises through Europe, AmaWaterways will welcome aboard notable wine experts, certified sommeliers, and vineyard owners as hosts, connecting guests with lectures and tastings to complement the extensive array of included shore excursions. As an additional highlight, two all-new itineraries will showcase the epicurean traditions and historic sights of Normandy and take guests for the first time into the famed vineyards of the country’s Burgundy region.
“As demand continues to grow for our wine-themed sailings, we are happy to welcome back some very popular wine hosts and also very excited to introduce engaging new hosts,” said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-founder. “Our intimate ‘Celebration of Wine’ river cruises provide an added dimension to the river cruise experience as guests are able to explore both New World and Old World varietals through the lens of an esteemed wine expert while traveling through Europe’s most renowned wine regions.”
Each itinerary features enhanced epicurean experiences and is hosted by a qualified wine expert from North America or a featured destination. The hosts bring hand-selected wines on board to serve during a special meal, tastings or seminars, all included in the price of the cruise. Some wines come from the expert’s own winery and other selections are sourced from wineries located along the river cruise itinerary.
Marking AmaWaterways’ first entrance in the Burgundy region of France, the Essence of Burgundy & Provence itinerary showcases traditional French wine and cuisine in one delectable river cruise. Guests will uncover the Roman history of Chalon-sur-Saône and delight in charming Tournus with its towering Romanesque abbey and historic apothecary shop. This wine cruise will explore French châteaux from Burgundy to Provence, while inviting all those on board to taste their way through the French culinary capital of Lyon.
With the new Impressions of the Seine & Paris itinerary, guests will discover the most renowned Parisian sites as well as gardens memorialized by famous Impressionist painters. Sailing on board AmaDante from Paris to Le Havre (or reverse) guests are immersed in the best of Northern France, with an itinerary designed to provide more free time to enjoy the quaint towns and meandering bike paths along the Seine River. Beyond idyllic scenery at every turn, guests will discover traditional culinary treasures including the rich chocolate, cheese, apple-based Calvados and local cider from the region. Guests can enjoy an optional fully-escorted four night land package in Brittany visiting the historic port of St. Malo and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont St. Michel.
Guests looking for an enhanced wine experience on these two new itineraries can join the following esteemed wine hosts:
- Dr. Douglas Garman, wine expert from Europa Village Winery, on the July 8 Impressions of the Seine & Paris sailing
- Jason McClain, owner of McClain Winery, on the August 5 Essence of Burgundy & Provence sailing
- L. Paul Vezzetti II, co-owner of The Vineyard at Hersey, on the August 12 Essence of Burgundy & Provence sailing
- Peter Marks, Master of Wine, on the November 4 Essence of Burgundy & Provence sailing
- Jody Elsom, owner and winemaker Elsom Cellars, on the November 4 Impressions of the Seine & Paris
- Kevin Gott, wine expert and educator for Wente Vineyards, on the November 11 Essence of Burgundy & Provence sailing
Also for the first time ever, guests can join England’s leading wine producer, Chapel Down Vineyards on November 13, 2021 for a Melodies of the Danube, Celebration of Wine cruise. Chapel Down Vineyards is a supplier to many prestigious venues across the UK and beyond including Harrods and Selfridges as well as being an official wine supplier to No.10 Downing street. Based in the picturesque market town of Tenterden in Kent, Chapel Down sources fruit across the South East of England and produces traditional method sparkling wines, crisp, aromatic white wines, delicate rosés and elegant light red wines.
“While on board, our knowledgeable wine hosts take our guests on a journey between the Old World and the New World of winemaking. Through wine tastings, exclusive vineyard tours and wine-paired dinners, our guests are completely immersed into the fascinating world of wine,” said Karst. “Some of my absolute favourite travel memories are on board our AmaWaterways specialty wine cruises, and we look forward to sharing these one-of-a-kind epicurean experiences with our guests in 2021."