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Grasing’s, The Enticing Douro July 18-25 2017

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Join Chef Kurt Grasing on a sojourn on the enticing Douro river. Choose from 7 or 10 days with the option to begin your journey with three nights in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, before boarding the AMAVida to sail the Douro River, with its dramatic gorges, lush vineyards and tranquil fishing villages. Embark in Porto and continue on to the ancient and picturesque city of Lamego, known for its historic charm. Enter Spain to visit Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the beautiful inland countryside and the palace and gardens of Mateus – before concluding your cruise in Porto.  Each day is filled with action packed included shore excursions, and beer & wine with each meal.  Guests wishing to participate in all Grasing’s events must book through MmMmTravel. Review Kurt’s  invitation video for a brief overview of this cruise.

Cruise Highlights

AMAWaterways Wine Cruise Highlights:

  • Only guests who make their reservations through MmMmTravel will experience onboard events with Chef Kurt Grasing.
  • Enjoy receptions, tastings & discussions hosted by Chef Kurt Grasing.
  • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom – most staterooms with balconies
  • Fine dining including complimentary local wine, port wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
  • Life enriching tours and excursions daily with personal headset included
  • Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
  • Complimentary Internet access in all staterooms & complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • Sail Away Mimosa and Sun Deck BBQ
  • Services of professional Cruise Manager
  • Optional 3 nights hotel accommodation in Lisbon at the InterContinental Lisbon (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast (with optional pre-cruise program)
  • Transfer from the hotel to Lisbon to the ship in Porto (with optional pre-cruise program)
  • Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways.

 

 

 

Itinerary

2017 Date Destination Activities
July 15, Sa Lisbon Hotel check-in
July 16, Su Lisbon City tour
July  17, M Lisbon Sintra excursion
July 18, Tu Lisbon High-speed train to Porto
Porto EMBARKATION PORTO
July 19, W Régua Lamego city tour
Or – Bolas de Lamego tasting
Wine Museum
July 20, Th Barca d’Alva Castelo Rodrigo tour
July 21, F Barca d’Alva Salamanca excursion
Vega Terrón Flamenco show
July 22, Sa Pinhão Wine tasting and lunch at Quinta da Roeda
July 23, Su Régua Mateus Palace
Or – Quinta da Pacheca picnic
Or – Port wine tasting at Quinta do Seixo
Entre-os-Rios Dinner at Casa de Vila Verde
July 24, M Porto City tour and port wine tasting
Or – Hike Porto
Or – Seaside walk
Taste of Matosinhos tour
July 25, Tu Porto DISEMBARK PORTO

 

* Text in Bold = Douro River Cruise. Text in Italics = optional pre cruise extension in Lisbon. Flights and transfers are only included if flight arrangements are purchased through AMA Waterways in conjunction with the cruise.

 

Pricing

Included in your AMAWaterways cruise fare are complimentary shore excursions daily in every port, tours & tastings at local wineries, onboard wine pairings with award-winning cuisine, complimentary WiFi, Unlimited select local wines, port wine & beer and soft drinks with every lunch & dinner on board, all meals included, all meals included, bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours,  lectures, theme dinners, onboard music performances & evening piano music.

Fares are per person based on double occupancy.  Chef Kurt Grasing’s activities will take place during July 18-25, 2017. Only guests booking through MmMmTravel will have access to all events with Chef Kurt Grasing. Past Guests of AMAWaterways will receive a $100 per person savings!

Stateroom Category 7-night Cruise 11-day Cruise
& Land
Category E: Douro Deck
Panoramic Window, 161 sq. ft.
Waitlist Waitlist
Category D: Douro Deck
Panoramic Window, 161 sq. ft.
$3,798 $4,578
Category C: Lisbon Deck
Balcony
, 215 sq. ft.
Waitlist Waitlist
Category B: Lisbon Deck
Balcony
, 215 sq. ft.
Waitlist Waitlist
Category A: Porto Deck
Balcony
, 215 sq. ft.
$5,198 $5,978
Suite: Porto Deck
Balcony
, 323 sq. ft.
$6,698 $7,478

All rates are per person in USD, based on double occupancy. Port charges are an additional $168 per person. Pre/Post land programs, roundtrip airfare, and gratuities are additional. AmaWaterways reserves the right to change the itinerary. Other restrictions apply.

 

Detailed Itinerary

July 15, ARRIVE IN LISBON, PORTUGAL: Arrive in Lisbon and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day and evening is free to explore this historic city on your own.
July 16, LISBON: One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon sprawls across several hills along the Tagus River. See Belem Tower, a fortified 4-story tower made of limestone, and visit the Late Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, the burial place of many Portuguese kings and heroes. You will also see the Discoveries Monument, the city’s most famous monument, built in honor of Portugal’s greatest maritime explorers. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city’s other top sights, such as the Castle of São Jorge or the Santa Justa Elevator that overlooks the castle, river and Rossio Square. (B)
July 17, LISBON – SINTRA: Enjoy a morning excursion to Serra de Sintra, one of the loveliest mountain villages in Portugal and a favorite summer residence of the Portuguese royal family for more than 500 years. Long an inspiration for artists and poets, Lord Byron once called it “perhaps the most delightful village in Europe.” High up on a rocky peak, you will tour the Castelo da Pena, a wonderful fairy tale castle dating from Portugal’s Romantic period. Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting or free time on your own. (B)
July 18, LISBON – EMBARKATION – PORTO: After breakfast, board a high-speed train to Porto to embark your ship. Gather on board tonight for a Welcome Dinner. (B,D)
July 19, PORTO – RÉGUA: This afternoon, you will have an excursion to ancient and picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). The shrine features a staircase of nearly 700 steps, beautifully decorated with white and blue tiles. Other attractions include a Gothic cathedral, a museum, and charming cafés. Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to sample local traditional specialties such as Bolas de Lamego, bread filled with smoked ham, Presunto, a type of dry-cured ham, and Espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine. Late this afternoon, you will visit a Wine Museum in Régua, where the ship will overnight. (B,L,D)
July 20, RÉGUA – BARCA D’ALVA: Spend some leisurely time soaking up the beauty of the Douro River as you cruise to Barca d’Alva, where you will visit Castelo Rodrigo. Tour Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop with centuries-old walls, steep narrow streets and fantastic views. We will stop to admire the Chafariz dos Pretos, a truly unique fountain decorated with black faces, and taste some delicious locally grown produce. (B,L,D)
July 21, SALAMANCA, SPAIN – VEGA TERRÓN, SPAIN: Drive to Salamanca today for a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. Built of golden sandstone, Salamanca is known as a “living museum,” an opportunity to step back in time to the Middle Ages. During your guided tour, you will see the city’s elegant university buildings, the twin-towered Cathedral, the intriguingly decorated House of Shells, as well as Plaza Mayor, considered the most magnificent main square in Spain. Later, enjoy a Flamenco show in Vega Terrón. (B,L,D)
July 22, VEGA DE TERRÓN – PINHÃO, PORTUGAL: Today we have something special planned. You will indulge in an exclusive wine tasting and lunch at Quinta da Roeda, a famous estate that is home to one of the Douro Valley’s finest vineyards. (B,L,D)
July 23, RÉGUA – ENTRE-OS-RIOS: This morning, cruise to Régua for a morning excursion to the Baroque-style Palacio de Mateus and its gardens, located in the beautiful Trás-os-Montes region near the city of Vila Real. Inside the house you’ll see exhibits of religious images and beautiful furnishings, paintings and ceiling of intricately carved wood. The gardens here are considered some of the most beautiful in Portugal. Alternatively, you may either wish to visit  Quinta da Pacheca where you will enjoy breathtaking views over the Douro River and picnic in a terraced vineyard, or enjoy a port wine tasting at Quinta do Seixo. Return to the ship for lunch while the ship cruises to Entre-os-Rios, arriving this evening. Tonight, you enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal off ship at Casa de Vila Verde. (B,L,D)
July 24, PORTO: Your ship arrives in Porto, the capital of northern Portugal, early this morning. Your guided tour of the historical quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes a number of iconic sights: the Porto Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest and most impressive monuments, the bustling main square & the Sao Bento Railway Station, renowned for its magnificent blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. More active guests may wish to instead take part in a guided hiking tour of Porto where they will explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto, and cross the Dom Luis Bridge by foot. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of port wine, which derives its name from this very city. A third option is a walk along the Atlantic coast and Porto’s seaside promenade, with a stop at a local café for Portuguese coffee. This afternoon, we take a short journey to the nearby coastal town of Matosinhos, where we will visit a traditional restaurant for a cooking demonstration of Pataniscas, a traditional Portuguese cod fish cake, and other typical regional snacks. The ship moors overnight in Porto. (B,L,D)
July 25, PORTO – DISEMBARK: Your cruise comes to an end this morning as you prepare for your ongoing plans. (B)

 

AMAVida Deck Plan

About AMAVida: The AmaVida brings AmaWaterways’ distinctive standard of excellence to the Douro River in Portugal. This grand 106-passenger vessel features balconies in the majority of its spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 323 sq. ft. Guests on the AmaVida will enjoy fine dining in the main dining room, plus al fresco dining for up to 32 guests. The AmaVida also features a Sun Deck swimming pool; fitness center and spa; complimentary in-stateroom Internet access on a 42” flat-screen and ship-wide Wi-Fi.

 

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Room Layouts:

Suite: 323 sq. ft.

Stateroom Floor Plan

Category A, B & C: 215 sq. ft.

Stateroom Floor Plan

Category D & E: 161 sq. ft.

Stateroom Floor Plan

 

 

Chef Kurt Grasing

grasingChef Kurt Grasing, Owner of Grasing’s Restaurant
Chef Grasing has worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world. His apprenticeship began at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, after which he refined his craft at Narsai’s in Berkeley, first as a saucier and then as chef. Afterward he worked at the Pierre Hotel in New York as Executive Sous Chef. In the years that followed he was at the three-star La Gavroche in London and Four Seasons in Boston, then left to open 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo in 1986, which was soon considered one of the top restaurants in California. In March of 1998 Kurt opened the door to his namesake restaurant: Grasing’s.

In an impressive first year it received enthusiastic reviews and was voted Best New Restaurant and Best Chef by the readers of Adventures in Dining Magazine. Grasings has been featured in Bon Appétit Magazine’s Best of the Year issue in 2004, and was awarded Carmel Business Association’s Business of the Year award that same year. Carmel Magazine proclaimed Grasing’s the Critic’s Choice. More recently, Grasing’s was awarded Carmel Business Association’s Restaurant of the Year as well as a Celebrated Chef of the Year Award from the American Culinary Federation – Monterey Chapter, in 2007. In 2013 Grasing’s was voted Best Restaurant in Carmel by the readers of the Monterey County Weekly.

As a restaurant with a most impressive contemporary menu, it offers the finest coastal cuisine paired with a Double Goblet Wine Spectator awarding winning wine list featuring the best California wines. Grasing’s has honored by Wine Spectator for “having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world”, bestowing the Best of Award of Excellence for eleven consecutive years.

In 2010, Kurt revamped Grasing’s by constructing a new bar and lounge along with completing a restaurant make-over. The warm hues and contemporary décor in the restaurant and bar gives Grasing’s an even more inviting atmosphere, giving it a new look with the same great food and first-rate service to which guests are accustomed.

Growing up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Kurt’s love of food began early, from buying raspberries bushes to grow and sell berries in the neighborhood, to cooking apples from the family tree in four different methods, Kurt has always gravitated to great tasting food. One highlight of Chef Grasing’s career was to do a cooking show with Julia Child, an icon in American cooking history. She was an inspiration to millions and helped shape Kurt’s lifelong love of food. It was a once in a lifetime experience and one he will always treasure.

In the last several years Kurt and Christine have enjoyed traveling, experiencing the best food and drink the world has to offer. Recent highlights include trips to Patagonia, Chile and to Scotland where a tasting at the Macallan Estate was a rare treat. Recent cruises have included Istanbul to Greece, Budapest to Prague and Paris to Provence and a Fall Foliage cruise from Montreal to New York.

 

About AMAWaterways

About AMAWaterways

When you travel with AmaWaterways, you do more than simply visit a destination – you experience it in a truly authentic and in-depth way. It begins with a champagne welcome as you step aboard and meet our courteous crew and your fellow passengers, many of whom you will consider friends by the end of your journey. You will also meet a personable and knowledgeable Cruise Manager who will be with you every step of the way, even on your optional pre-cruise or post-cruise land program. It is this attention to detail that distinguishes AmaWaterways from all the rest and keeps our satisfied guests coming back again and again.

We thoughtfully plan our itineraries to maximize your enjoyment of the scenery, history and atmosphere of your chosen destination. Marvel at the ever-changing views through the panoramic windows in your ship’s Main Lounge or from our expansive outdoor decks. Visit famous landmarks and explore “hidden gems.” Taste bold new flavors and delicious regional specialties, with menus designed by our revered team of classically-trained chefs. And every evening, there is onboard entertainment provided by local musicians and performers for you to enjoy.

Rest assured you will have ample time for socializing and relaxation, too. Our ships feature comfortable lounges, lively bar areas, swimming pools or whirlpools, salons and fitness rooms. At the end of the day, you will be pampered with turn-down service, plush linens, and peace and quiet for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, there is more to see and experience.

A Hotel That Travels with You: Rivers were once Europe’s “highways” across the continent, serving as life-sustaining links between the continent’s grandest capitals. Nowadays, your river cruise ship is a “floating hotel” that can often dock right in the heart of these historic cities, steps away from top cultural attractions and historic sites. Beautiful river views and superb locations…and you only have to unpack once! Daily shore excursions with expert guides will show you the “must see” sights of your destination, visiting famous landmarks as well as hidden gems.

An Intimate Onboard Setting: Every vessel in our luxurious European fleet has a capacity limited to no more than 164 passengers, allowing for truly personalized service in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

State-of-the-art Public Spaces: AmaWaterways’ custom-designed ships offer comfortable lounges with panoramic windows, inviting dining rooms, cozy libraries stocked with books and games, and a choice of enticing dining venues.

Onboard Entertainment: Whether it’s traditional Bavarian music, a “Sound of Music” sing-along, a classical quartet, or contemporary piano favorites, you will enjoy an eclectic schedule of onboard entertainment every night.

With Our Compliments: AmaWaterways offers a generous selection of complimentary amenities on all European voyages, including in-room Internet access, Wi-Fi and Infotainment (with movies, music and satellite TV). All of your onboard meals are included, along with unlimited fine wine, beer and sodas with lunch and dinner. AmaWaterways also provides complimentary bottled water, specialty coffees and teas throughout your cruise. In addition, your cruise price includes enriching shore excursions with expert guides in every port and bicycles for exploring on your own or on a guided bike tour.

Health & Beauty: Pamper your body and rejuvenate your spirit any time during your river cruise. Our Massage, Beauty and Hair Salon offers a variety of treatments. Your ship also has a Fitness Studio, Sun Deck walking track, sauna (select ships), and a heated whirlpool or swimming pool with swim-up bar.

 
 

For additional information, please fill out the form below and we will respond to your request within 1 business day. Please remember that our response to your query may accidentally be directed to your junk mail folder.  To make a reservation please contact us directly at (831) 659-0151 or info@MmMmTravel.com.