Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards: Italian Riviera, Sept 2018

Website Header Savannah Chanelle, Serenity
Celebrate ‘la dolce vita’ along the Italian and French Rivieras.  There is so much to see and do on this 7 day cruise between Rome and Marseille.  Visit the picturesque villages of  the Cinque Terre; channel your inner Napoleon on Elba; discover a new favorite wine in Tuscany’s Bolgheri wine region, or see THE David in Florence; pretend you are 007 at the casino in Monte Carlo;  explore art galleries, cafes and views in St. Paul de Vence; find a chaise on a beach in St. Tropez and lounge the day away… your imagination is the limit!  Each night you will sail in comfort aboard the award-winning Crystal Cruises Serenity.  Between daytime adventures & luxurious evenings relaxing aboard you will participate in private receptions, wine-paired dinners and events hosted by Kyle Ritchie of Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards.  Guests wishing to participate in all Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards events must book through MmMmTravel, reservations elsewhere (including directly with Crystal) will be excluded from winery events.

Crystal Clear Choice Offer: Guests who make reservations by June 29, 2018 may select one of the following options:   $400 per person Cruise Fare Savings, OR   $500 per person Crystal Air Travel Credit, OR  $600 per person Shipboard Credit!

Cruise Highlights

Why Crystal Cruises by MmMmTravel?

Exclusive events hosted onboard by Kyle Ritchie of Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards include private receptions, food & wine pairings, dinners & more.

Crystal Cruises’ all-inclusive value provides:

  • Complimentary fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water,
    specialty coffees, soft drinks and fresh juices
  • Dining; including specialty venues Prego by Piero Selvaggio of Valentino’s and Silk Road by Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu
  • Pre-paid gratuities throughout for housekeeping, bar and dining staff
  • 24-hour room service
  • Award-winning Broadway-style entertainment, piano bars and dance clubs
  • Recent-release films in spacious surround-sound theatre
  • A wide range of enrichment classes such as art, music, computer/technology, dance, and foreign language
  • Comfortable shuttles to town in most ports and concierge services for personal arrangements ashore
  • Gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and classes including yoga, Pilates, cycling, Kinesis systems & Tai Chi




Sep 23, Su Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy Embark 6 pm
Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards Welcome Reception & Wine Dinner*
Sep 24, M Elba Island/Portoferraio, Italy 8 am 6 pm
Sep 25, Tu Florence/Livorno, Tuscany, Italy 7 am 7 pm
Sep 26, W La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Italy 7 am 6 pm
Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards Wine Paired Dinner*  
Sep 27, Th Monte Carlo, Monaco  7 am Overnight
Sep 28, F Monte Carlo, Monaco  12 m
Sep 29, Sa St-Tropez, France 8 am 6 pm
Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards Farewell Reception & Wine Dinner* 
Sep 30, Su Marseille, France Disembark am

*Events, times, locations subject to final confirmation once aboard ship.  Invitations will be delivered the evening prior to event to MmMmTravel guests and a Guest Itinerary will be mailed with guests Final Cruise Documents. Guests wishing to participate in all Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards events onboard must book through MmMmTravel. Anyone making their reservation elsewhere (including directly with Crystal) will not be included in all Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards events.



Cruise-Only Fares include all beverages including fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees; gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary evening of specialty restaurant dining in Prego and in Silk Road or The Sushi Bar (additional reservations or visits available for a modest fee.); 24-hour room service; personal Penthouse Butler service, enrichment workshop classes and much more.

Crystal Clear Choice Offer: Guests who make reservations by June 29, 2018 may select one of the following options:   $400 per person Cruise Fare Savings, OR   $500 per person Crystal Air Travel Credit, OR  $600 per person Shipboard Credit!


Category MmMmTravel Fare* Past Guest Savings
C3-Deluxe Stateroom 226 sq. ft with Picture Window $2,385 $60
C2-Deluxe Stateroom 226 sq. ft with Picture Window $2,590 Waitlist $65
C1-Deluxe Stateroom 226 sq. ft with Picture Window $2,770 Waitlist $70
B3-Deluxe  Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,330 $85
B2-Deluxe Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,410 $85
B1-Deluxe Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,475 Waitlist $85
A2-Deluxe Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,530 $90
A1-Deluxe Stateroom  269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,580 $90
P2-Deluxe PURE Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,635 Waitlist $90
P1-Deluxe Stateroom 269 sq. ft with Verandah $3,690 $90
PH-Penthouse 403 sq. ft with Verandah $5,530 $140
PS-Penthouse Suite 538 sq. ft with Verandah $7,470 $185
CP-Crystal Penthouse Suite 1,345 sq. ft with Verandah $14,940 $375

Place a 4-day courtesy hold by calling (831) 659-0151 or emailing us at with passengers names and preferred room category. To receive additional information about this voyage, please fill out the form below. 

*MmMmTravel Fares are per person based on double occupancy in US dollars.  Single and triple rates available upon request. Guests wishing to participate in all Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards events aboard must book through MmMmTravel. Guests booking elsewhere, including directly with Crystal,  will be not be included in all Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards events.  Cruise-Only Fares are per person in U.S. dollars, double occupancy and do not include cruise port, security and handling charges of $301 per person. Optional air add-ons are available from Crystal Cruises’ designated gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada, and include all government fees and taxes. All offers may not be combined with other promotions, apply to first two full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, are capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. Click here for complete terms & conditions. Crystal Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, promotions and programs at any time with or without notice.

Crystal Clear Choices Offer applies to the first two full-fare guests (third berth not eligible) and requires each guest to choose his/her choice of credit/benefit to apply to the booking. Crystal Clear Choice Offer is valid for new bookings made through June 29, 2018. Solo Traveler Fares are available upon request. Maximum Cruise Fare credit/savings of $400 per person, Air Travel credit/savings of $500 per person and Shipboard spending credits of $600 per person are non-transferable, non-refundable, and may not be reimbursed for cash value or used in the casino or for Bingo. Cruise Fare Savings and shipboard credit offer is only applicable to the first cruise of back-to-back bookings including featured Explorer Combination voyages and Full World Cruise voyages. Crystal Clear Choices Offer, including air-add-ons, is not combinable with Crystal Getaway voyage bookings and/or any promotional reduced-fare bookings. All offers may not be combinable with other promotions, are capacity controlled, are subject to availability, and may be withdrawn or changed at any time at the discretion of Crystal Cruises without notice. Optional Personal Select Air program is available from Crystal Cruises’ designated gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada only, and includes all government fees and taxes. 1Air Add-ons and Crystal Air benefit are available from select gateway cities only and must be booked by a Crystal Air  Representative. Ask for details.



8319Civitavecchia was founded by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century. Today this port is noted for its fine seafood and attractive monuments. It’s  located on the coast 90 minutes away is the Eternal City of Rome. Steeped in 2,500 years of history, Rome was for many centuries the center of Western civilization. It was both the focal point of the Roman Empire and of Christendom. Landmarks such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps are reminders of the legacy of its rich past.

Perhaps most famous for its exiled inhabitant, Napoleon Bonaparte, the island of Elba is a haven for the inquisitive traveler. Situated between the Northern Italian Coast and the French Island of Corsica, Elba’s geographical location, combined with its mild climate, fertile valleys and cliff-fringed coasts, leaves little to be desired. Sweeping views of azure bays and scenic countryside meld with the fascinating history of this island to provide a visit that will not be forgotten.

Goethe once observed that Tuscany “looks like Italy should [look].” Fortunately, little has changed in the two centuries since the German poet was himself a tourist in Tuscany. The Tyrrhenian port of Livorno was founded in the 15th century. It is the gateway to Italy’s Tuscan region and to many spectacular sights; including the extraordinary Leaning Tower of Pisa, the charming medieval village of Lucca, the lovely hill town of San Gimignano and the timeless city of Florence. This city’s wealth of architectural and artistic treasures includes works by Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Truly Florence, cradle of the Italian Renaissance, is one of the world’s most enticing cities.

Situated between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea, La Spezia is ideally positioned for day trips, most notably to the villages of the Cinque Terre, or the “Five Lands— Clinging to the rugged coast that unfurls west of La Spezia, the villages and hillsides of this section of the Italian Riviera are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and reputed to be some of the most picturesque destinations of Italy, if not in the world. That is not to say that the town of La Spezia isn’t worth spending some time in. It has an impressive nautical history, with the Naval Arsenal being developed here in the 1860s. Today, many nautical-themed diversions can be enjoyed, including a visit to the naval museum, or Museo Tecnico Navale, which exhibits an interesting collection of ships’ figureheads. On display at the seafront are boats, parks, and people who gladly take in the Italian sunshine and demonstrate how to live “la dolce vita.”

Monaco is an ancient principality steeped in rich and colorful history. Its proud monarchy is presided over by Prince Albert, who assumed the throne after his famed father Prince Rainier died in 2005. Today when gazing on its modern skyline, it is hard to imagine that Monaco endured a turbulent past. Once a Greek settlement conquered by the Romans, it was bought from the Genoese in 1309 by the Grimaldis, who still rule as the world’s oldest monarchy.  Monaco covers less than one square mile and is known primarily for its Grand Casino.

St-Tropez has earned its glamorous reputation as a summer playground for celebrities, artists and writers. At the height of its popularity during the 1950s and 60s, one could easily find Pablo Picasso, Francoise Sagan, Jacques Prévet and the classic movie actress Brigitte Bardot vacationing here. Its famous beaches are still frequented by affluent guests who seek a lively night life and a piece of the “St-Trop” allure. Magnificent yachts line the port, as their owners rival to achieve titles for who has the biggest, the most luxurious or the best-kept vessel, or for which vessel has the most enthusiastic crew. You will certainly be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of this “Gem of the Provençal Culture.”

The queen of the Côte d’Azur, Marseille is France’s oldest city and one of the Mediterranean’s premier ports. Amid the big-city bustle, the old port is a quaint landscape of historic charm: colorful fishing boats sail past the imposing Fort Saint-Jean, narrow streets wander among ancient churches and cobbled squares, while the venerable Basilica overlooks the scene from the hilltop above.


Pre & Post Cruise

MmMmTravel can help you with more than just your cruise. We are here to assist you with all of your vacation plans including pre & post cruise hotels, transfers, tours and more to ensure you truly experience a “Taste of Life”.  You can search through our luxury partnered hotels, transfer and touring options using the tool below, and by visiting our Pre & Post Cruise Planning Tool. If you need any assistance or have any questions regarding your pre and post cruise travel plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (831) 659-0151 or 



Kyle Ritchie


Kyle1Kyle T. Ritchie, Manager of Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

Kyle comes to Savannah-Chanelle from many years of experience within the wine industry from harvest to sales. He started his career in Livermore pouring in tasting rooms and worked his way into the cellar. As his experience grew he was brought on as a partner with a small winery where he started making wine as well as building the tasting room and wine club. After several years of building the business Kyle decided to leave Livermore and further his career in wholesale sales and inventory management. In 2013 he came to the Santa Cruz Mountains to get back to his roots in tasting rooms. When not at the winery, Kyle can be found sitting on the beach, hiking through the redwoods, or sailing Monterey Bay…usually with a glass of wine.


Savannah Chanelle Vineyards


In 1996, when Kellie and Mike Ballard purchased the property that was to become Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, they assumed far more than the rigorous demands that any winery requires. The Ballard family also became the stewards of a legacy full of adventure, adversity, and ultimately acclaim.

Motivated by the dream of owning his own land, Pierre Pourroy left his homeland for the new world by booking passage on the Steamship La Gascogne in January of 1887. In the late 19th century France a burgeoning population had made land both scarce and expensive, especially for young men such as Pierre. Arriving at the port of New York, Pourroy then endured an arduous train trip across the United States. He was all but penniless when he finally arrived in California, but he would soon begin to realize his dream. After working as a sheepherder, a miner, and a manual laborer, Pourroy was down to his last seven dollars – money he raised by selling his watch. Unable to pay for his room and board, the proprietor of the hotel where he was staying convinced Pourroy to approach fellow Frenchman Jean Narcisse Aubry. Sweetening the proposition, the hotelier also informed Pourroy that Aubry had two beautiful daughters. Aubry had purchased vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains after being forced to flee France following the 1852 coup d’etat. It was more than a fortuitous meeting. For Pierre Pourroy, it was the first step on his new path.

After joining Aubry’s winery, Pierre fell in love with one of the beautiful daughter’s, Marie Louise, and the two were married in 1891. One year later, Pierre’s brother Eloi joined the couple. He was soon married as well, and together the two couples were able to do what Pierre alone could not: They saved enough money to buy a full 80 acres to clear and plant their first vineyard. Building on the strength of their solid family foundation, after the death of Jean Aubry in 1899, Pierre and Marie were able to purchase the 200-acre estate in 1901.

Pierre and Marie had eight children in their small house, and the work of a vineyard was hard and physical. But the land was beautiful and the times full of possibilities. Each day had it’s own reward, with time spent tending the vines, growing vegetables, picking apples and walnuts, and baking bread. The couple constructed a “four-banal” outdoor oven in the style of Pierre’s ancestral home in France. Marie used it almost continuously.
By 1916, a winery building was constructed. The Pierre C. Pourroy Winery was given bonded license #170. The winery prospered with a business model similar to that of the Savannah-Chanelle Winery today. Quality wine was made—especially noted was a “Claret,” a French–style blended red wine—and the family charged a day-use fee for picnics on the grounds. Sadly, this bucolic paradise would soon be threatened.

The success of the Pierre C. Pourroy Winery would be short-lived for reasons far beyond the control of the determined Pourroy family. The Volstead Act, the informal name of The National Prohibition Act, was approved in 1919. Prohibition would have a devastating effect on the Pourroy family. The act stated: “No person shall manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, or furnish any intoxicating liquor except as authorized by this act.” Unfortunately the act did not define what an “intoxicating liquor” was, and the details were left to the states to interpret individually.

For the Pourroy’s, and hundreds of vintners like them throughout California, this meant restricting sales to the ambiguous “altar wine.” After years of intense physical and monetary investment, a few pen strokes all but ended the wine business in California. Yet Pierre and Marie soldiered on, even finding the resources to build the “Villa,” the large family home that was completed in 1923. Taking its architectural cues from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris in Montmartre, Pierre commissioned the Villa to be built on a hill overlooking the vineyards. Yet the project went wrong from the beginning; Pourroy had to switch builders shortly after the project began. The original builder had no written plans, and subsequent craftsmen could only guess at what the Villa ultimately was to look like. Fortunately the project was successfully completed. As a permanent memento of the challenges of building the house, the Villa still carries the original misspelling of Montmartre etched above the entry way. Perhaps because the middle “t” in Montmartre is not pronounced, the builders did not bother to include it when carving the stone banner!

Pierre re-applied for, and was granted, his winery license in 1936, three years after the repeal of prohibition. The entire wine industry in California had been dealt a crippling blow, and the Santa Cruz Mountains area was now just a shadow of the prosperous and promising region of thirty years before. Soon the country’s attention would turn to the more pressing matters of the war in Europe, and it would be decades before the wine industry in the region would again flourish. Marie died in 1946, and Pierre would retire from winemaking in 1955. Pierre Pourroy would join his beloved Marie at his passing in 1960. With Pierre gone, it appeared his dream would also die.

In 1960’s, the estate was all but abandoned. Yet in 1971, Victor Erickson purchased 53 acres, the Villa, and the winery building. Five years later the Congress Springs label was created when Erickson teamed with the talented winemaker Daniel Gehrs. Even though the property had been seriously degraded by years of neglect, Gehrs immediately made an impact with wine made from estate fruit. Dan’s 1978 Pinot Noir earned honors from The Wine Spectator. The 1985 vintage Estate Chardonnay would became the most awarded wine in California at that time, surpassing all other varietals according to the annual California Grapevine survey.

Even so, Erickson and Gehrs may have been a little too far ahead of their time. While the 1970’s were a time of growth in the California wine business, it was focused on the more famous regions of Napa and Sonoma to the north. Gehrs would leave Congress Springs to found his eponymous winery in Santa Barbara at almost the same time the Santa Cruz Mountains would witness the birth of another important industry in California – high technology. The Silicon Valley is easily seen from the Villa on the Savannah-Chanelle property.

Even through a history of adversity, Pierre and Marie set a course for the future on their estate. Two acres of Zinfandel were planted in 1910 and grown in the classic “head-pruned” fashion. These remain some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in California as witnessed by their rich, gnarled appearance. The estate Cabernet Franc vineyard  was planted in 1919 and is thought to be the oldest vineyard of this grape variety found outside of France. The grape Carignane is also planted here. Known primarily for adding color and “grip” to southern French blends, Carignane from this site can deliver a wine of surprising depth and completeness in a favorable vintage. The Chardonnay grown on the estate was first planted in 1977. The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to the “Mt Eden Clone” of Chardonnay; and Savannah-Chanelle boasts two acres of the noble varietal.

The Mt. Eden clone (particular variation) of Chardonnay has its own fantastic history: The winemaker/adventurer Paul Masson brought budwood from the Grand Cru vineyard of Corton-Charlemange in the early 1900’s, planting it first at the historic La Cresta winery. The clone was known for intense varietal character, but also very small yields. The pioneering vintner Martin Ray bought the La Cresta winery in 1936, and planted a vineyard of Chardonnay using the historic clone in 1943. This site would later become the world-renowned Mt. Eden Vineyards.

When Kellie and Mike Ballard visited the property in 1996 they felt an immediate emotional connection to the estate. Mike was aware of the property from a friend who was making small amounts of wine at the facility. When the question was asked of the Ballard’s if they would be interested in purchasing the historic property, Kellie gave Mike her two word answer – buy it!

Today the Ballard’s divide their time between their home in Potomac, Maryland and the Savannah-Chanelle winery.



About Crystal

All-inclusive cruises include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout both ships as well as gratuities for housekeeping, bar, dining and Penthouse butler staff. In addition to our Taste of Life amenities, Crystal’s all-inclusive value provides:

Fine Dining

  • Up to eight evening dining venues
  • Complimentary fine wines, champagne and premium spirits as well as dining in all restaurants, including specialty venues Prego, and Silk Road & The Sushi Bar by Nobu Matsuhisa
  • Open-bar service throughout the ship
  • Gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff throughout the ship
  • The Bistro, a European-style sidewalk café, now with extended hours into the late evening
  • All non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks, fresh juices and Afternoon Tea service
  • Early embarkation luncheon
  • Welcome champagne
  • 24-hour room service


Enrichment & Entertainment

  • Computer University@Sea® classes with software instruction
  • Technology Concierge “how to” tips on latest high-tech gadgets and apps
  • Digital USC School of Cinematic Arts Filmmaking classes
  • Experiences of Discovery® theme cruises with focused programming on music, film & theatre, wellness, golf and more
  • Crystal Visions® lecture series featuring renowned speakers, authors, celebrities and destination experts
  • Interactive Ocean Views™ , and new Local Insights on select voyages where native experts come on board to share their unique, niche knowledge about the destination’s art, politics, archaeology or history
  • Award-winning Broadway-style entertainment including new productions Rocket Man!: a tribute to Elton John and Divas, plus piano bars and chic nightclubs
  • Magic Castle® at Sea offering intimate performances and educational classes
  • Recent-release films in spacious surround-sound Hollywood Theatre
  • Dance lessons
  • Art classes with Odyssey Art At Sea
  • Dedicated Junior Cruiser facilities and programs
  • Comfortable shuttles to town
  • Concierge services for personal arrangements ashore



  • Gym with state-of-the art fitness equipment
  • Well-appointed separate men’s and women’s steam, saunas and whirlpools in the only Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea
  • Fitness classes including yoga, Pilates, “Tour de Spin” cycling, cutting-edge Kinesis™ systems and Tai Chi courses
  • Golf lessons with PGA pros
  • Walk-on-Water® weighted vests and Nordic Pole walking equipment
  • Paddle tennis
  • Exclusive 360° (wraparound) teak Promenade Deck for uninterrupted walks, jogs and sweeping ocean views
  • Ambassador Hosts, cultured and well-traveled gentlemen, are available on every cruise to socialize and dance the night away


Ship Specifications

Crystal Serenity
Crew: 655
Guests: 1,070
Length: 820 ft
Width: 105.6 ft
Speed: 20 Knots
Tonnage: 68.870


To make a reservation please contact us directly at 831.659.0151 or email us at 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.