Themed cruises—focusing on everything from specific culinary styles to various styles of music and just about anything else you can think of—are all the rage today.
A wine cruise is a great idea on a number of levels, especially when one deals with a cruise company with some experience in the field, such as AmaWaterways.
For one, it provides an opportunity to focus on one’s passion—namely, wine—with few distractions.
For another, there’s no “down time” between ports of call.
And perhaps most important of all, it eliminates the need for a designated river.
This year, AmaWaterways—just one of several cruise companies now offering wine-themed trips—hosted eight wine cruises. Next year, it will host twice that number, an indication that wine cruising has become popular and the economy is finally rebounding.
Here’s how AmaWaterways describes its 12-day “Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel” cruise:
“Experience the unforgettable beauty and centuries-old vineyards along two of Europe’s most renowned waterways, the Rhine and Mosel. Begin in Paris, the ‘City of Light,’ then continue via high-speed TGV train to Luxembourg, where you will board your vessel. View the steepest vineyards in the world along the Mosel River; visit ancient wine villages and vineyards while enjoying wine tastings along the way. On the Rhine, you will arrive at historic Cologne where you can discover the city’s magnificent cathedral. Conclude your river cruise vacation in vibrant Amsterdam, amidst legendary canals.”
The company’s website details everything that’s included, and it’s a lot. Other companies offer similar programs, and most are all-inclusive or nearly so.
For closer-to-home cruising fun, Napa Valley Adventure Tours offers cruises on the Napa River, which has been undergoing extensive rehabilitation in recent years.
These cruises are more about education than gluttony, and take only a few hours instead of a few weeks. Cruising the Napa River gives one a greater appreciation for the roles Mother Nature and we humans play not only in winegrowing, but in the care of the environment.