Friday, October 22, 2010

See and experience Europe from a whole new perspective and taste local cuisine, wines and beer

Two York County, SC based small businesses are joining forces for a wonderful epicurean adverture: Grapevine and Incantato Tours are offering an exciting European tour - on the water! Explore Europe by ship on the Danube River from Budapest to Vilshofen with AMA Waterways. See the very best of Europe’s highlights and experience centuries of art, history, and culture, plus last but not least amazing food, wine, and beer. From Budapest, a famous haven for wine-makers, musicians, writers and artists, cruise through the cultural cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Passau. Along the way, visit artisan food and wineproducers, learn about the art of European wine- and beer-making and have a great time with friends. Your hosts will be David and Melanie Sills and together with Ted and Sandra from Incantato, we look forward to welcoming you aboard.

Grapevine River Cruise Overview

Budapest (Hungary)

Bratislava (Slovak Republic)

Wien (Austria)
Dürnstein (Austria)

Melk (Austria)



Vilshofen (Germany)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grapevine Wine Cruise itinerary

DAY 1 Saturday, April 2, 2011
Overnight Flight to Budapest

DAY 2 Sunday, April 3
Welcome to Central Europe
Your Incantato Tour Manager welcomes you at Budapest airport and brings you to the cruise ship for a champagne reception and check-in at the MS Amalyra river cruise ship. The afternoon is at leisure to rest and explore the Hungarian capital city before you gather for a welcome dinner aboard with traditional Hungarian fare and Gypsy music. Don’t forget that typical local wines are served complimentary aboard during dinner every night.

DAY 3 Monday, April 4
Budapest Sightseeing – Sunset Sail
Enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour with a local guide ending in the Castle District. Lunch will be served on the ship and the afternoon is at leisure for additional sightseeing and shopping. After another gourmet dinner, and once the sun sets over the Danube, your floating hotel will start the journey to Slovakia, and seeing Budapest by night from the water is a very special treat. Some of you may even want to experience the sunset sail-away from the rooftop hot-tub where a local brandy will be served as you bid farewell to Hungary.

DAY 4 Tursday, April 5
Bratislava - City Tour & Beer Tasting, Vienna by Night
Good morning in Slovakia and welcome to Bratislava. After an orientation tour of the
historical city center, a special Slovakian beer tasting awaits the Grapevine Group. Learn
about and taste the two traditional styles from various local breweries. After some free time, the ship continues on to Vienna and docks in the Austrian capital for two nights.

DAY 5 Wednesday, April 6
Vienna Sightseeing & Heurigen Evening
“Willkommen in Wien˝: Your guided tour includes the city‘s highlights followed by a Vienna brew pub visit and talk with an Austrian brew master. The afternoon is at leisure to visit museums, shop or just people watch. Upon return to the ship, a traditional Heurigen evening with Austrian specialties and live music awaits you.

DAY 6 Thursday, April 7
Beautiful Danube Valley: Dürnstein & Melk -Abbeys and Apricot Delicacies
Visit the picturesque town of Dürnstein and taste some of the local products like Marmelade or Schnaps made from the indigenous Marille, an Austrian apricot, then take a guided bicycle tour or visit the stunning Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Today will feature not only one, but two wine-tastings, first off the ship at Weinresidenz Sonnleitner, then aboard your floating hotel as the journey continues towards Linz.

DAY 7 Friday, April 8
Visit Linz and Optional Excursion to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov
Prior to saying “Auf Wiedersehen Austria”, visit Linz- home to Bruckner, Mozart, and some really good beers. Those of you who don’t mind a few hours bus ride, can choose between an optional excursion to Salzburg or crossing the border to the Czech Republic and South Bohemia to experience Cesky Krumlov‘s historic city centre and a medieval-style luncheon in a cellar restaurant that was a former prison. Tonight, continue on to Germany.

DAY 8 Saturday, April 9
Hallo Deutschland: Ancient Passau & Vilshofen “Oktoberfest”
Upon arrival in Germany and Bavaria, visit the historical fairy-tale town of Passau, founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago. See how the locals eat, drink and dress. If there is still space in your suitcase, you may want to add some Lederhosen or a Dirndl for special occasions like tonight’s “Oktoberfest” in charming Vilshofen. Eat, drink and be merry in the rustic atmosphere of a local beergarden, accompanied by folk music, song and dance. Upon return to the ship, the party continues as this is your last night on the cruise.

DAY 9 Sunday, April 10
Scenic Drive to Prague
Embark from the ship after breakfast and head to the heart of the Czech Republic by bus to visit its capital city Prague with a local guide. Your tour includes the Royal Castle District, Charles’ Bridge and historical city center. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for some last minute shopping, a final beer tasting and is followed by a fun farewell dinner.

DAY 10 Monday, April 11
Departure home to Charlotte or Prague Extension.
As the official Grapevine Incantato Tour comes to an end, the flight group returns home today via Munich airport which features its own brewery. However those of you making your own travel arrangements may well decide to stay a few days longer in or around Prague.

Your floating Hotel for the Grapevine River Cruise: MS Amalyra, a four star boutique vessel

Built in 2009, 360 feet long and 38 feet wide - that could be your home on the Danube river during your performance tour 2011 from Budapest to Vilshofen. The MS Amalyra was designed and built in Holland by Europe's best ship builders and under the watchful eyes of Europe's top Caterers. There are 2 lounges located on the Upper Deck from which you can enjoy panoramic river views, the Panorama Lounge which accommodates up to 150 passengers, and the smaller Adagio Lounge in the Aft of the ship, which can also be reserved for group meetings. A wellness area is located in the aft area of the Violin Deck. This generously designed space includes a glassed-in fitness room, massage and beauty salon. Each ship has an elevator, which very few river cruise ships feature. The onboard culinary staff offers menus comprised of soups, fresh produce, high quality choice cut meats, and fresh fish and seafood. Start your day with a breakfast buffet and choose from a rich assortment of breads, croissants and pastries, a variety of fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, and smoked salmon. In the evening, be the guest for an elegant dinner or a traditional theme night with a feast of regional specialties.

Your Vineyards of the Danube travel route through Central Europe

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home away from home: Hotel Maximilian, Prague

After spending the nights on the ship, the travelers of the 2011 Grapevine Dolce Vita Tour will stay at Hotel Maximilian (4 stars) in Prague on April 10. The hotel was designed by Eva Jiricna - one of the world's finest architects. The two buildings ("Black House" and "Red House") contain six floors with 70 rooms and 1 suite. Chairs, sofas tables and lightning follow the designs of Pierre Chareaou, Guiseppe Terrani, Eileen Grey, Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd, as well as Eva Jiricna. Graphics by Czech artists of the era are exhibited throughout the hotel. All rooms are equipped with 7" rainfall shower heads, telephone and analogue data port with high-speed internet connection free of charge, plasma-TV, DVD and CD Player, fully stocked mini-bar, bathrobe and slippers, hairdryer, toiletries, air-conditioning with individual temperature control and a safe.