Visit vineyards and discover European wine on themed cruises from AmaWaterways


Kenneth
Due to high demand, cruise lines are opening bookings up to two years out – plan early to get the dates you want.
Thanks in part to the intimate size of the ships, river cruising presents an ideal option for special interest cruises aimed at affinity groups. To appeal to these groups, Rudi Schreiner, president of AmaWaterways, has created many themed river cruises over the years – including a series that appeal to his personal passion for wine.

AmaWaterways offers more than 20 wine itineraries each year, typically in March, April, and November. The cruises take place on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Seine, and Douro Rivers. The cruise line finds wineries to feature on these cruises, and arranges special shore excursions to local vineyards and wineries.

A recent cruise onboard the AmaCerto on the Danube River, for example, worked in conjunction with Honig Vineyard and Winery based in Napa, California. The owners of the winery, Stephanie and Michael Honig, were onboard the ship to host daily lectures and tastings. In one popular seminar, the audience was broken up into small groups and used as instructional aids to teach passengers about how aromas help define wines.

Other aspects of the itinerary included wine-themed shore excursions, such as a visit to a traditional winery near Melk, in Austria’s Wachau Valley, for a tasting. In Vienna, guests could choose to visit a typical wine tavern to try local wines and enjoy folk music and dancing. On another excursion, travelers could go to Winzer Krems, one of the most successful wine exporters in Austria, for a look into the company’s operation and, of course, wine tastings.

A terrific selection of wines is also offered onboard during meals, particularly local wines to enhance discovery of the region.

Schreiner, a wine-lover himself, can often be found on AmaWaterways’ wine itineraries. When onboard, he participates in every lecture, goes on every excursion, and shares meals with most of the guests. His participation gives passengers the opportunity to interact with the president of the company face to face, a special touch rarely found on any vacation.