by, Jan Ross

Today I do the final packing for our fabulous wine-tasting river cruise with AmaWaterways. One more day to make sure I have thought of absolutely everything I might possibly need. Make-up? Check. Vitally important hair products? Check. Clothes, jewelry, shoes? Check, check, check. Oh. And voltage converters? Check. I guess they are probably more important than pretty much anything else in my suitcase. I have to be able to charge up my iPad. And our camera. And our computer, just for a backup in case I can’t do everything on the iPad. And our iPhone. Seriously, I think we have enough technology to run a small company. We have one carry-on that is JUST for technology.

So. I’m ready.

Ready for this cruise!

And in case you think you might be interested? I just got an email with a press release about the cruise, as well as information that they will be offering several similar wine-tasting cruises in 2011. I was really interested to see this because, even though I thought I knew all about the cruise, I didn’t realize we would be taking a high-speed train from Luxembourg to Paris after the cruise portion of the trip. This trip just sounds better and better! Remember to start checking tomorrow for our experiences in Montreal on our way to Amsterdam or just subscribe by email up there on the left so you can keep up with our adventures.

Now, to get some of the basics about river cruising with AmaWaterways, watch this video of Gary Murphy, VP of National Accounts for AmaWaterways talking with Jane DeGrow, host of the syndicated Travel Queen Radio Show out of Michigan.


And here’s the press release.

Amongst the hottest segment of the travel industry, river cruising, one will find a number of specialty cruises offering all sorts of interesting activities. One new program from AmaWaterways, the Wine River Cruise, is about to set sail from Amsterdam on November 12 en route to Trier, Germany and Jan Ross, the blogger and social media director for the Travel Authority chain of travel agencies, will be on board with AmaWaterways co-owner and President, Rudi Schreiner.


Jan Ross’ blog posting of October 25 gives a quick look at her feelings and itinerary: “One week from Friday, my husband and I will embark on what I keep referring to as “the trip of a lifetime.” A few days in Montreal, which was originally intended as simply a stop to make our Europe flights shorter but has turned into an important part of the trip, then a few days in Amsterdam before we embark on a wine-tasting river cruise with AmaWaterways which will culminate in three days in Paris. We have never been to Montreal, Amsterdam, Germany (where most of the wine-tasting part of the trip will happen) or France. Everything is new to us. We have only flown internationally once before.”

AmaWaterways Wine Cruise, officially known as “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” will take place on the luxurious MS AmaLegro and involve a number of interesting wine experts. The special 7-night itinerary includes visits to world-famous wineries, off-site dinners hosted by renowned winemakers, onboard lectures and more. Hosted by AmaWaterways President Rudi Schreiner, the 7-night cruise will travel from Amsterdam to Trier, Germany, followed by three nights in Paris.

Accompanying the cruise will be winemaker Jim Clendenen, owner of the internationally-acclaimed Au Bon Climat winery in Santa Maria, California and Archie McLaren, founder and chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic. A portion of the cruise proceeds will be donated to charities supported by the Central Coast Wine Classic, one of the country’s preeminent wine auctions. Cruise Highlights Include Dinners & Wine Tastings Highlights of the “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” itinerary include a dinner and wine tasting with a representative from the renown Georg Breuer winery at the Ruedesheimer Schloss in Rudesheim, Germany.

The scenic Rhine Gorge town of Rudesheim is famous for its quaint wine taverns and surrounding vineyards, including the family-owned Breuer estate. In Koblenz, guests will discover a 2,000-year old wine town at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers. Mosying Along The Mosel Continuing through the Mosel river valley, the world’s steepest vineyards and certainly one of the world’s most beautiful rivers, picturesque villages and charming wine towns appear at every turn.

During the cruise from Koblenz to the riverside wine town of Winnigen, guests will enjoy an exceptional luncheon, with menu items paired with wines from the HeymannLowenstein winery. In Cochem, guests will discover perfectly preserved timber-framed homes, medieval squares and the spectacular Reichsburg Castle perched above the Mosel. A welcoming wine fest awaits in the Mosel town of Zell, famous for its “Zeller Schwarze Katz” (Black Cat) wine. An evening wine tasting in a local underground wine cellar showcases the area’s famous varietals.

In Bernkastel, guests will enjoy a walking tour followed by a wine tasting at the Wine Museum hosted by Michael Stahlmann from the famous Dr. Loosen winery. Strategically located in the heart of the Mosel wine-producing region, Bernkastel boasts more than 500 years of documented wine history, and is known as “the international town of vine and wine.”

A similar cruise is now open for booking in 2011. Here are the details. Amsterdam to Paris (Vineyards of the Rhine & Mosel): MS AmaDante 12 Days – Enjoy a 7-night cruise from Amsterdam to Trier, then spend 3 nights in Paris. Visit some of Europe’s most fascinating cities as you sail the Rhine River from vibrant Amsterdam to splendid Cologne with its magnificent Cathedral.

Admire vineyards and picturesque Rhine castles on your way to charming Rudesheim. Continue to historic Koblenz and cruise through the world’s steepest vineyards along the Mosel River Valley to quaint Cochem and Bernkastel. Tour colorful Luxembourg before your splendid finale in Paris.

Included Features:


•7 Nights Deluxe Cruise Accommodation in an Outside Stateroom – 82% of the Staterooms with large French Balconies
•Daily Sightseeing Program as outlined in the Itinerary
•Infotainment System in all Staterooms with Free Internet, Hit Movies, Music Library and English Language TV Stations
•Terry Bathrobes and White-on-white plush Bedding in all Staterooms
•Superb Dining with all Meals included during your Cruise
•Free-flowing Red & White Wines from Europe’s great Wine Regions, beer and soft drinks with every Dinner on board the Ship
•Bottled Water in every stateroom replenished daily
•Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner
•Transfer from the Ship to Luxembourg, followed by high-speed TGV train to Paris
•3 Nights Hotel Accommodation in Paris including daily Buffet Breakfast
•Special Highlights including Folklore Dances, Lectures, Theme Dinners, onboard Music Performances and afternoon & evening Piano Music
•Use of Bicycles to explore on your own
•Services of Professional Cruise Manager
•All English Language on board in a non-smoking Environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
•All Transfers with the Purchase of Cruise, Land & Air package
•All local Taxes


AmaWaterways is the innovative river cruise industry leader, offering all-inclusive river cruise vacations in Europe, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The line’s luxurious, state-of-the art fleet in Europe consists of the MS Amadolce (2009), the MS AmaLyra (2009), the MS AmaCello (2008), the MS AmaDante (2008), the MS AmaLegro (2007) and the MS AmaDagio (2006). The high-tech and amenity filled MS AmaBella joined the fleet in the spring of 2010 and the MS AmaVerde will be launched in Europe next year.

In addition to its core fleet of ships based in Europe offering river cruise vacations on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Mosel rivers, AmaWaterways offers destination cruises to the Provencal sojourn on the romantic Rhone river in France, and an exhilarating journey through the legendary waterways of Russia. In the fall of 2009, the line launched the new Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong program in Southeast Asia, featuring a 7-night cruise on the beautiful new ms La Marguerite. Due to the tremendous success of the program, AmaWaterways will debut a second new ship on the Mekong River in 2011.



When you are ready to book one of these wonderful wine tasting river cruises with AmaWaterways, the The Travel Authority is ready to help you plan it. You can call 1-877-AXP-1515 for information and details about these cruises. Be sure to print out this post or mention the code BLAMA to get the best deal on your trip. I would love to hear your suggestions for future blog posts. You can comment below or contact me by email at Thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!

Safe travel!