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AMA Waterways has announced a unique variation of its popular Fall river boat cruise between Amsterdam and Paris.  Designated the “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” cruise, it is aimed in particular at wine enthusiasts.

From their press release:  “Europe’s Rhine and Mosel rivers are famous for their bucolic scenery, historic destinations and hillside vineyards. This fall, AMA Waterways showcases this spectacular region with a unique wine-themed cruise on the luxurious MS Amalegro.  Departing November 12, 2010, the “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” cruise will sail a special itinerary that includes visits to world-famous wineries, off-site dinners hosted by renowned winemakers, onboard lectures and more.  Hosted by AMA Waterways President, Rudi Schreiner, the 7-night cruise will travel from Amsterdam to Trier, Germany, followed by 3 nights in magnificent 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.

Highlights of the “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” itinerary include the scenic Rhine Gorge town of Rudesheim, famous for its quaint wine taverns and the setting for an exclusive wine tasting dinner sponsored by renowned local vintner Georg Breuer.  In Koblenz, guests will discover a 2,000-year old wine town at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers.  Continuing through the Mosel river valley, the world’s steepest vineyards, picturesque villages and charming wine towns appear at every turn.  Guests will enjoy a wine tasting at the small riverside wine town of Winningen, followed by a visit to Cochem, known for its 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.  Guests will also enjoy a wine tasting at the Wine Museum in Bernkastel hosted by the famous Dr. Loosen winery.  Strategically located in the heart of the Mosel wine-producing region, Bernkastel boasts over 500 years of documented wine history, and is known as “the international town of vine and wine.”

Of course, throughout the cruise, guests will enjoy gourmet dining accompanied by complimentary local wines (plus beer and soft drinks) at dinner. Additional AMAWATERWAYS amenities include French Balconies, complimentary 3G high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi; complimentary first-run Hollywood films; complimentary specialty coffees and bottled water, a fleet of bicycles on board plus much more. After the 7-night cruise, guests will head to Luxembourg for a city tour of the Grand Duchy, followed by a high-speed TGV transfer to Paris. The three-night stay in the City of Lights includes a guided city tour, plus an exclusive excursion to the Champagne region.”

For this special river boat cruise, AMA Waterways is offering very attractive airfares from select gateways in the United States.  Passengers can fly from New York Kennedy for $500, or from Los Angeles and San Francisco for $700.  Airport transfers, air taxes, fuel surcharges and fees are all included.  This cruise must be purchased by August 30, 2010 to qualify for the airfare promotion.

In addition, passengers will receive complimentary upgrades from select cabin categories to a French Balcony cabin and a $100 per cabin spa credit.

This sounds like a delightful river boat cruise.  Learn about wines while enjoying the cruise , and maybe even do a bit of holiday shopping.  How efficient is that?

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