Exclusive Wine Cruise ROMANTIC DANUBE NOVEMBER 20-27, 2017


Hosted by Dick Lancaster, Owner & Winemaker
Black Widow Winery, Penticton, BC
AND Tony Holler, Owner
Poplar Grove Winery, Penticton, BC

Black Widow Winery is a boutique producer of premium quality wines using grapes from the Naramata Bench wine region in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Dick’s background in Biology, MBA, and CPA complement over 40 years of wine making experience. From the outset, their wines have won awards at Nat’l and Int’l competitions. Now over 10 years old, their gravity flow winery produces 16 different varieties of wine in small lots ranging from 25 to 500 cases showcasing the regional style.

Poplar Grove Winery is located on the slopes of the Naramata Bench, a premier wine growing area just outside Penticton, BC. One of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench, Poplar Grove was founded in 1993. Tony Holler purchased Poplar Grove and became the winery president in 2007. His wife, Barbara Holler, owns and operates the Holler’s 100 acres of estate vineyards allowing Poplar Grove wines to be made from 100% estate grown grapes.

Q&A With Dick Lancaster

Why do you believe you are the right wine host for this cruise? Share your credentials and passion for wine.

I started making wine when I was 18, attending college and studying sciences. With BSc, MSc, MBA, and CPA credentials, we ventured into the wine business with purchase of our vineyard 17 years ago. Last year, we were the top BC winery at one of Canada’s largest wine competitions – the All Canadian Wine Championships. We have travelled many wine regions of the world, and been with AMAWaterways on 2 European wine themed river cruises. As wine hosts, Shona and I enjoy meeting other wine lovers and making new friends.

How do you stand out from our other incredible wine hosts?

I have a lot of fun presenting our wines, and like to engage the audience. Play the “mystery wine game” with us, and learn some new facts about wines at the same time.

How did you first fall in love with wine?

I travelled quite extensively in Europe in my early 20’s, and remember enjoying my first Gevrey-Chambertin in the Cote-d’Or region of Burgundy, over an expensive lunch. Cost me 3 days of my food budget, but it was amazing!

What are you most looking forward to on your river cruise?

Discovering the wines in small towns along the Danube, and sharing those experiences with fellow travelers.

What is something fun/unique you wish to share?

I really do not like spiders.

What is one of the most interesting places you have traveled to?

We have visited wine regions in California, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, France, Germany, and Italy – but one of our most memorable trips was to the scenic Southwest of Scotland where Shona was born. Meeting her relatives and learning more about Scottish history was very interesting. Her uncle made sure we got a taste of Pub life too - Scotch hangovers are something you never forget.

If you were stranded along on a desert island and could only have one bottle of wine, what would it be and why?

The largest bottle of red wine I could find – perhaps a Nebuchadnezzar (equivalent to 20 bottles) of Penfold’s Grange, as I’ve been to the winery, but just missed out on the tasting.

Q&A With Tony Holler

Why do you believe you are the right wine host for this cruise? Share your credentials and passion for wine.

I was born in Summerland, a small town in the Okanagan Valley and grew up farming my family’s apple orchard which makes me no stranger to the beauty and bounty of the Okanagan Valley. About 15 years ago, my wife Barb and I decided that the Okanagan Valley was the most beautiful place we had ever been. My passion is great wine and I knew that the Okanagan Valley could produce the fruit that would allow us to make world-class wines. We decided then and there to move back to the Okanagan Valley to get back to my farming roots and start a winery. I love sharing the story of the Okanagan Valley with people from around the world.

Tell us something special about yourself that would make someone unfamiliar with you want to travel with you on this river cruise?

I started my career path as an Emergency Doctor, receiving my Medical Degree from the University of British Columbia. I worked at the University Hospital for 11 years as an Emergency Room Physician. So on your wine cruise with us there will truly be a “Doctor in the house!”

What was your “Aha Moment” when you fell in love with wine?

I have been an avid wine drinker and collector for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have collected approximately 5000 bottles from wineries all over the world. My interest in Okanagan wines started in the early 2000s when I starting tasting wines from some of the top producers in the valley. This lead me to believe that the Okanagan is capable of producing world class wines and led to the purchase of Poplar Grove Winery and the beginning of Holler Estate Vineyards.

Today, I have completely immersed myself in the BC wine industry. In addition to being president of Poplar Grove Winery, I hand tend a 1.5 acre Chardonnay vineyard that surrounds my home. Because the Okanagan summers are so hot it generally means that I am in the Vineyard before 5am just after the sun rises. The Chardonnay grapes are used to make the limited edition Poplar Grove Brut – a sparkling wine that is made specifically as a treat for our Wine Club members.

What is one thing you are most looking forward to on your river cruise?

Meeting new people and hearing the stories of what brought each person to the cruise. One of the best things about wine is that it brings people together to share stories and experiences.

What is something fun/unique you wish to share—perhaps something nobody knows until now?

I have four sons and they are all following in my farming footsteps. Chris, Andrew, Matt and Eric all work in the Vineyards to ensure that only the best fruit makes it into the winery at Poplar Grove. For my wife Barb and I, it is a wonderful thing to see the boys working together in the vineyards.

What is one of the most interesting places you have traveled to and why?

Barb and I went to Belize 8 years ago and we loved it. From swimming with the sharks to exploring the islands it was magic.

If you were stranded on a desert island, and could only have one bottle of wine, what would it be and why?

One long weekend in July, as great friends and I were sitting at Poplar Grove on the Vanilla Pod Restaurant patio waiting for the fireworks, we opened a bottle of the 2007 Legacy and paired it with Chef Bruno’s seared rare beef tenderloin topped with warmed olive oil and finished with sea salt. It was a perfect Okanagan summer evening with the greatest of friends, and the food and wine couldn’t have tasted any better… One thing… can I bring my friends with the 2007 Legacy to the island?


Immerse yourself in the many flavors of Europe on one of AmaWaterways unique Wine Cruises, which let you add a unique, epicurean dimension to one of our European itineraries. Like our standard river cruises, guests have the opportunity to join tours that highlight the famous sights in each port of call. These special itineraries, however, offer guests a perfect blend of wine-related experiences and excursions in grand capitals and charming towns. You’ll taste local cuisine, discover how wine is made and, of course, partake in tastings — all at no additional cost. Whether you have a seasoned appreciation for fine wine, or simply indulge in a sip here and there, this is a wonderful way to uncork the traditions of the local culture and learn about the region you’re visiting.

About the Wine Region – Wachau Valley

Brilliant architectural masterpieces and vine-strung hillsides on the Danube River have inspired artistic creations for hundreds of years. The Romantic Danube journeys through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, so you can experience some of the most celebrated wines and sights in Europe’s heartland.

Over 3,700 acres of terraced vineyards rise from Austria’s illustrious Wachau Valley. Located between the towns of Melk and Krems, this cooler-climate wine region brings a wide variety of refreshing, peppery white-grape wines to fruition. Grüner Veltliner is considered to be the most important grape in Austria. Grown in loess soils by the river’s edge, these favored wines offer aromatic stone fruit flavors reminiscent of the terroir. Riesling, the second most popular grape, loves rocky inclines, so it is extensively sewn into the rich hillside. Fruity notes and floral scents surface from these unique whites.


CRUISE FROM : Vilshofen to Budapest
Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists and poets throughout the centuries. Travel to legendary destinations on a 7-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. Explore a 2,000 year-old city, savor Wachau Valley wines, and experience the timeless beauty and fascinating history of Vienna and Budapest.
COUNTRIES: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
RIVERS: Danube


On our cruises, you will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours. In many cases, you will have a choice of excursions, such as standard tours, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. We always include a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.
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  • 7 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom (most with twin balconies)
  • Computer for internet access
  • Entertainment-On-Demand system featuring, movies, TV shows, news and music
  • Mini-fridge, desk and sitting area
  • Bottled water replenished daily
  • Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
  • Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Sun deck pool with swim-up bar and walking track
  • Fitness room, massage services and hair salon
  • Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances
  • All onboard dining in a variety of venues
  • Regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
  • The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Dinner
  • La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs exclusive dining experience
  • Unlimited fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast
  • Tapas, sandwiches, snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
  • Immersive tours in every destination
  • Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options
  • Bike tours and hikes
  • Special Interest Tours
  • Knowledgeable guides
  • Personal headset for easy exploration
  • Airport transfers with purchase of air from AmaWaterways
Europe River Cruises
Europe River Cruises

Dates & Prices

EMBARK November 20
7-NIGHT CRUISEVilshofenBudapest
Save $750 Per Person
ImportantDates, prices & itineraries are subject to change.

Port Charges not included in cruise price$168 per person.

Single Supplement for Cruise50% of twin price; A+, AA+ & Suites 100% of twin price. Please see terms below for details.

Single Supplement for Land$480 per person.

BeddingPlease select bedding configuration at the time of booking. The Options are: Option A: Two twin beds Option B: One large bed (larger than queen size).

Itinerary ChangePlease note that due to local closures, we will not visit Bratislava during cruises departing in November or December. Guests will instead spend this time in Vienna and the Wachau Valley.

Terms & Conditions:

All rates are per person for cruise only, based on double occupancy in an entry level category stateroom unless stated otherwise. Offer is valid on select sailings only and applicable to new bookings only. Unless explicitly stated that single supplement is waived, solo travelers in a double occupancy stateroom must pay an additional single supplement amount before receiving any discounts. Ask about Solo Traveler promotions. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions/discounts, limited to availability, capacity controlled and subject to change or termination without notice. Port charges, land programs and round-trip airfare are not included in cruise price. Other restrictions apply. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. CST#2065452-40.

This 164-passenger vessel incorporates the most advanced design offering spacious staterooms featuring our exclusive twin balconies, multiple dining venues, heated pool, Internet/WiFi access and more.Learn more


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