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Alban Vineyards Japan to Alaska, May, 2018


Separated by a world of differences, it’s easy to forget how close Japan, the eastern frontier of Russia, and the western reach of Alaska actually are.  Alban Vineyards owners John and Lorraine Alban and Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of the girl & the fig in Sonoma have selected this cruise for it’s very uniqueness, and you are invited to join them on this luxury sailing through a breath-taking but often overlooked region.  Your journey will begin in one of the most modern and frenetic cities on Earth, Tokyo, before heading northeast, toward stunning vistas, stellar wildlife, and rugged human history.  One highly appealing element of this journey is the juxtaposition it offers, the culmination of human progress against the quiet charm of  underpopulated landscapes,  the busy-ness of interesting ports and the relaxed pace of sea days, the passage of time, even as you gain a day in crossing the international date line. It’s an itinerary worth considering, even if you’ve never heard of Kamchatka Peninsula.  Our hosts are shipping a selection of their favorite wines to the ship, to share exclusively with you, an MmMmtravel guest. We can almost guarantee you’ve never had such interesting wines paired to such delectable culinary treats in such outlandish places.  

Exclusive MmMmTravel Offer:
-Early Booking Savings: Our guests save 10% off fares if booked & Paid in Full by October 31, 2017!
To make a reservation please contact us directly at 831.659.0151 or email us at infoATMmMmTravelDOTcom.

Highlights

Guests of MmMmTravel will:  

  • Enjoy receptions featuring Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig wines hosted by John and Lorraine Alban and Sondra Bernstein.
  • Participate in multiple Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig wine dinners lead by John and Lorraine Alban and Sondra Bernstein.
  • Savor an included 6-course Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig wine paired dinner in Le Champagne by Relais & Châteaux sponsored by MmMmTravel.
  • Celebrate and delight in culinary treats, workshops and skills classes on this L’ecole des chefs sailing.
  • receive added shipboard credit for guests paying with unbranded American Express Platinum or Centurion cards.

 

All-suite, All-inclusive 15-day Silversea Silver Whisper cruise Includes:

  • Exclusive Culinary and Wine activities hosted by John & Lorraine Alban and Sondra Bernstein (MmMmTravel guest Exclusive!)
  • Spacious suites – most with private verandas aboard an intimate vessel with only 382 guests
  • Personalized service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Butler service in every suite – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Diversity of dining venues – casual, romantic, regional delicacies, and gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and 24-hour room service – always complimentary, always available
  • Sophisticated entertainment from live music to production shows
  • Enrichment lecturers, acclaimed chefs and destination consultants
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Free WiFi throughout the ship (daily limit applies)

 

Itinerary

DATE PORT ARRIVE DEPART
Thursday, May 10 TOKYO, JAPAN Embark 6:00 PM
Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig Welcome Reception & Wine Dinner*
Friday, May 11 DAY AT SEA 
  Alban Vineyards Wine Tasting*
Saturday, May 12 AOMORI, JAPAN 8:00 AM 11:00 PM
Sunday, May 13 HAKODATE, JAPAN 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Monday, May 14 KUSHIRO, JAPAN 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Tuesday, May 15 DAY AT SEA   
  Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig  6-course Wine Dinner in Le Champagne by Relais & Chateaux*
Wednesday, May 16 DAY AT SEA
  Alban Vineyards Wine Tasting paired to the girl & the fig cooking demo*
Thursday, May 17 PETROPAVLOVSK, RUSSIA 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
Friday, May 18 CROSS THE DATE LINE GAIN A DAY   
  Alban Vineyards Blind Tasting*
Saturday, May 19 DAY AT SEA
Sunday, May 20 DUTCH HARBOUR, ALEUTIAN Is., AK, USA 8:00 AM 2:00 PM
Monday, May 21 DAY AT SEA
Tuesday, May 22 KODIAK, KODIAK ISLAND, AK, USA 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig  Final Wine Dinner
Wednesday, May 23 HOMER, ALASKA, USA 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig Farewell Reception*
Thursday,  May 24 SEWARD (ANCHORAGE), AK, USA Disembark AM

*Events, times, locations subject to final confirmation once aboard ship.  All Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig onboard culinary and wine events are included for you as a guest of Alban Vineyards, the girl & the fig, and MmMmTravel.  Finalized Guest Itinerary will be mailed with cruise documents. As a reminder, only guests booked through MmMmTravel may participate in all Alban Vineyards and the girl & the fig events.

 

Pricing

Offers:

  • Reduced Airfare: Guests that book by September 29, 2017 may choose to take advantage of Silversea’s reduced airfare pricing, with Business Class Air from $1,999 each way, or fly economy from $499 each way.
  • Early Booking Savings: Guests save 10% Booked & Paid in Full by October 31, 2017, as reflected in fares below.

    Fares below are per person based on double occupancy. Solo traveler fares and triple rates available upon request.
Suite Dimensions MmMmTravel Fares with 10% savings
if Paid in Full by October 31, 2017!
OWNERS SUITE 2bdrm: 1,264 ft² Midship, including veranda, second bedroom has picture window $16,480
OWNERS SUITE 1bdrm: 919 ft² Midship, including veranda $14,680
GRAND SUITE 2bdrm: 1,286 FWD, including veranda $16,030
GRAND SUITE 1bdrm: 941 ft² FWD, including veranda $12,790
ROYAL SUITE 2bdrm: 1,312 ft² FWD, including veranda $15,400
ROYAL SUITE 1bdrm: 967  ft² FWD, including veranda $12,250
SILVER SUITE: 653 ft² including veranda $10,270
MEDALLION SUITE: 521 ft² including veranda $9,460
V4: VERANDA SUITE: 345 ft² including veranda $6,490
V3: VERANDA SUITE: 345 ft² including veranda $6,310
V2: VERANDA SUITE: 345 ft² including veranda $6,130
V1: VERANDA SUITE: 345 ft² including veranda $5,950
TERRACE SUITE: 287 ft² shared terrace (no seating) $5,230
VISTA SUITE: 287 ft² ocean-view windows $4,780

*Fares above include a $100 per person add-collect over Silversea’s promotional cruise fares to help offset shipping and other expenses associated with getting the wines to the ship for our private events. Fares are per person based on double occupancy in US dollars.  Solo traveler fares and triple rates available upon request. Fares will increase as ship fills.  A 25% deposit secures you the best available pricing and suite locations. Deposit is fully refundable, minus a $200 per suite administrative fee, if cancelled more than 121 days prior to sailing. Fares shown does not guarantee availability.  Promotional Economy Class Air and Business Class Air rate are offered from select U.S. and Canadian gateways and are valid through September 30, 2017. Fares are expected to increase after October, 2017. To receive American Express Amenities, guests must use an unbranded American Express Platinum or Centurion card for final payment. Other conditions may apply, see Silversea’s Terms & Conditions for more details. CST# 1005871-40

 

Ports

Lights, sushi, manga! Sprawling, frenetic, and endlessly fascinating, Tokyo, Japan’s capital is a city of contrasts. Shrines and gardens are pockets of calm between famously crowded streets and soaring office buildings. Mom-and-pop noodle houses share street space with Western-style chain restaurants and exquisite fine dining. Shopping yields lovely folk arts as well as the newest electronics. And nightlife kicks off with karaoke or sake and continues with techno clubs and more. Whether you seek the traditional or the cutting edge, Tokyo will provide it.

Located in Mutsu Bay, Aomori city retains its Edo Period grid pattern, though the city was heavily bombed in World War II. The area has abundant nature: the Shirakami Mountains (which embrace the world’s largest virgin forest of beech trees, a World Heritage Site), Oirase (famous for the beauty of its valley), Lake Towada-ko (known for its mystic beauty), Tsugaru Quasi-National Park (which boasts beautiful scenery), and Shimokita-hanto Quasi-National Park on the northernmost tip of Honshu. You can also indulge in the ancient atmosphere of the Sannai-Maruyama Ruins (Japan’s largest, which are said to have been established in 4,000 to 5,000 BC), the Korekawa Ruins, and the Kame-ga-oka Ruins.

Hakodate is designed for tourism, and a day is not nearly long enough to experience all that even the city center has to offer. Strolling the streets – much wider than those in more densely populated areas of Japan – lends a feeling of ease.  It would take an effort not to run across one the sightseeing spots that pepper the streets such as temples both modest and grand, museums as small as that chronicling Hakodate’s history of photography or large enough to introduce the cultures of the world’s Northern Peoples, thaking in the stunning view from Mount Hakodate, and parks dedicated to historic figures like Commodore Matthew Perry who opened Hakodate in 1854 as the first port in Japan for trade with the west.

Kushiro, known as the “town of mist”, is situated in the south eastern part of  the island of Hokkaido. With about 200,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the region and the base for deep-sea fishing. The marine products industry of Kushiro has flourished since the early 20th century and many streets of this port town retain features of this era. Thanks to its strategic location on Hokkaido’s Eastern Pacific seaboard and the area’s only ice free port, Kushiro is experiencing steady growth as an important economic, social and cultural centre. A literary atmosphere can be attributed to the poet and novelist Takuboku Ishikawa, who lived here in the early 20th century.

Petropavlovsk in the Kamchatka Peninsula is part of the Eastern frontier of Russia. Due to its close proximity to the United States, the region has played a strategic role in the defense of Russian territory throughout modern history. As a result, the territory was closed for many years to foreigners and Russians alike. Fortunately, the region’s isolated position played a significant role in preserving and protecting its unique wilderness and rich biodiversity. With few roads, most regional transportation is by plane, boat, or helicopter.  Guests wishing to explore Petropavlovsk on a Silversea Shore Excursion will not be required to arrange a Russian Visa.    Guests wishing to explore independently will require a visa.

The crumpled peaks, and tranquil scenery, of Dutch Harbor belies its history as one of the few places on American soil to have been directly attacked by the Japanese – who bombed the significant US military base here during the Second World War. Located on a string of islands, which loops down into the Pacific from Alaska, a visit to this Aleutian Island destination offers comprehensive military history, and extraordinary ocean scenery. Hike the volcanic, gloriously green landscapes, and look out for wonderful wildlife, like bald eagles, as they survey the surroundings. You can also watch on in awe, as incredible marine mammals crash through the waves just offshore.

Today, commercial fishing is king in Kodiak. Despite its small population—about 6,475 people scattered among the several islands in the Kodiak group—the city is among the busiest fishing ports in the United States. The harbor is also an important supply point for small communities on the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula.Visitors to the island tend to follow one of two agendas: either immediately fly out to a remote lodge for fishing, kayaking, or bear viewing; or stay in town and access whatever pursuits they can reach from the limited road system.

At the southern end of the Sterling Highway lies the city of Homer, at the base of a narrow spit that juts 4 miles into beautiful Kachemak Bay. Glaciers and snowcapped mountains form a dramatic backdrop across the water. Founded in the late 1800s as a gold-prospecting camp, this community was later used as coal-mining headquarters. Chunks of coal are still common along local beaches; they wash into the bay from nearby slopes where the coal seams are exposed.

It is hard to believe that a place as beautiful as Seward exists. Surrounded on all sides by Kenai Fjords National Park, Chugach National Forest, and Resurrection Bay, Seward offers all the quaint realities of a small railroad town with the bonus of jaw-dropping scenery. This little town of about 2,750 citizens was founded in 1903, when survey crews arrived at the ice-free port and began planning a railroad to the Interior. Since its inception, Seward has relied heavily on tourism and commercial fishing. It is also the launching point for excursions into Kenai Fjords National Park, where it is quite common to see marine life and calving glaciers.

 

John Alban

John Alban Vineyards located near Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo in Central California.John S. Alban: Winemaker, Owner, and Head Groundskeeper

In 1986, John started Alban Vineyards- the first American winery and vineyard established exclusively for Rhone varieties.  Widely recognized as the leading patriarch of the American ‘rhone renaissance’, Robert Parker dubbed John “…the spiritual and qualitative leader of the movement.”  Alban Vineyards is also one of only 170 wineries to be featured in Robert Parker’s book, “The World’s Greatest Wine Estates”.  Jim Laube wrote in the Wine Spectator, “Leading the pack is John Alban…His [Syrahs] are stunning, among the most distinct and compelling I’ve had in more than 30 years of drinking wine.”

Besides introducing Roussanne, and Grenache Noir to California, John Alban is the Founding Director of Hospice du Rhone– the world’s largest international celebration of Rhone varieties.

 

Sondra Bernstein

Sondra Bernstein – Proprietor, the girl & the fig

Just like a plump ripe fig, the girl & the fig food is fresh, healthy and bursting with flavor. With a seasonal menu featuring sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, garden vegetables, herbs, and an abundance of creativity, the rustic Provencal-inspired cuisine allows Mother Nature’s true and natural flavors to flourish.

Owner Sondra Bernstein quietly opened the girl & the fig in 1997 originally in Glen Ellen, California. Slowly people began to discover the rustic French food and the distinctive way of marketing and presenting it. In 2000, she relocated the restaurant into more upscale quarters on the northwest corner of the Plaza in Sonoma in the historic Sonoma Hotel. Over the past twenty years, the girl & the fig has made its mark in Wine Country becoming a favorite for both locals and visitors. the girl & the fig continues to be featured in many magazines as well as on national television.

Sondra believes the dining experience should continue after your time at the restaurant. She wants her guests to be able to take home a tangible piece of the girl & the fig and something to remember their visit to wine country. December 2011 brought the release of Sondra’s celebration of Sonoma’s bounty—Plats du Jour—a coffee-table style book featuring full page color photos and intimate stories of local food purveyors along with over 100 recipes, as a follow-up to the girl & the fig Cookbook, published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster. The other way to extend the “fig experience” is with the “FIGfood” product line, which includes jam, chutney, compote, vinegar, vinaigrette and herb blends that are sold nationwide. These are all natural, artisan-produced gourmet food products available in the restaurants, at www.thegirlandthefig.com and in stores across the country.

Sondra sets the tone at her restaurants—just the right balance of quirky and elegant—to create a casual yet very singular dining experience. And the impeccable attention to the flavor and freshness of the cuisine, as well as your service, culminate in a memory that will linger long after the meal itself.

Sondra Bernstein’s acclaimed Sonoma restaurants have been cited by food lovers and national media as iconic wine country destinations. the girl & the fig and the fig café and winebar offer country food with a French passion. Both restaurants are ingredient driven and in 2012 The Huffington Post observed, “Sondra Bernstein’s restaurants have focused on seasonality since 1997.” Her commitment is enhanced by an award-winning in-house salumi program, hand made pastas, the FIGfood line of gourmet food products and their 2+ acre biodynamic farm that supplies the restaurants. In 2012, Sondra was celebrated “Person of the Year,” by the Hospice du Rhone, an international vintners association at their 20th anniversary event for her commitment to promoting Rhone wines. the girl & the fig was the first restaurants to offer a “Rhone-Alone” wine list in 1997, introducing patrons to new varietals and expanding their palettes. Along with her partner Executive Chef John Toulze, Sondra has created the only restaurants in the California Wine Country that offer you the California version of Wine Country cuisine from both Italy and France–two wine country regions whose micro climates match that of Sonoma.

Her short story … D.C. born, Philadelphia bred, BFA from Philadelphia College of Art (photography), TGI Friday’s Trainer & Team Leader for their national restaurant openings, graduate of The Restaurant School (culinary & restaurant management),  Operations Manager for several restaurants in Philadelphia (The Fish Market & Marabella’s) and Los Angeles (Alice’s Restaurant & Tavern on Main), and Director of Operations for Viansa Winery in Sonoma County.

The long story … Sondra has spent over twenty years dedicated to the hospitality business. With a passion for food and wine, the trip from Philadelphia to Sonoma County was inevitable. Having restaurants in Sonoma County is a tribute to the efforts of the farmers, ranchers, cheese makers and, of course, grape growers & vintners in this bountiful landscape.

One sure thing that can be said about Sondra Bernstein is that, as a true Restaurateur, her restaurants are a real expression of her personality. Many of the guests who frequent Sondra’s establishments feel as if she is a friend of theirs, which is understandable given her close attention to ensuring that their experience is distinctive and memorable. Her passion for the hospitality business is her driving force and continues to inspire her to create and recreate.

For more information about Sondra, visit www.thegirlandthefig.com and check out her article in Sonoma Magazine at: www.sonomamag.com/sondra-bernstein-the-girl-the-fig/

 

About Silversea

About Silversea Cruises

Headquartered in Monte Carlo,  Silversea’s small luxury ships are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery while indulging mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable. All accommodations are spacious, ocean-view suites and most  include butler service and private verandas. Silversea voyages and cruise expeditions sail to over 800 destinations on all seven continents, more than any other cruise line. Our intimate, ultra-luxury ships can sail up narrow waterways into the heart of a city, or tie up right at the pier while others must anchor off shore.   Enjoy the convenience, ease and comfort of an  all-inclusive cruise fare that includes almost all of your discretionary onboard expenses.

shipIntimate Boutique Ships: Our 8 small luxury ships can show you the world in a far more personal, meaningful way. They can glide into small, secluded harbors or transport you on an expedition to some of the most remote regions of the globe.  In the evening. return to gracious hospitality reflecting our Italian heritage and cherish the relaxed, friendly camaraderie  among guests in the lounges and open bars where faces quickly become familiar and conversation strikes a common chord.

 

polishedPolished to Perfection: Silversea is passionate about service and profoundly committed to maintaining the highest standards. Service is richly personalized, genuine and caring, every wish, every need is discretely anticipated. With the experienced, highly trained personnel of a top luxury cruise line and a staff to guest ratio of nearly one to one, service excellence is guaranteed aboard Silversea ships.

 

flavorGlobal Flavors for Worldly Travelers: Renowned for culinary excellence Silversea’s luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.   Silver Spirit has six restaurants to choose from; rather remarkable for a ship hosting only 540 guests.  Changing daily menus present a wide range of offerings including Continental, vegetarian and healthy selections, as well as regional specialties unique to the destination.

 

sanctuaryYour Suite is Your Sanctuary: Silversea offers one of the highest space-per-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodations. All of our suites feature ocean views, and many, a private teak veranda. That’s why every Silversea suite is indulgently spacious, and beautifully furnished. Freshen up in your Italian marble bathroom with a choice of luxury amenities to suit your personal taste.

 

 
 

To make a reservation please contact us directly at 831.659.0151 or email us at info@MmMmTravel.com. For additional information about this enchanting voyage, please fill out the form below and we will respond to your request within 1 business day via email. Please remember that our response to your query may accidentally be directed to your junk mail folder.