A gluten-free river cruise

By Michelle Baran
InsightIt’s no surprise that special interest groups often partner with river cruise lines: The not-too-big, not-too-small ships are well designed to accommodate charters and groups.

Now a group of gluten-free advocates and experts have teamed to take that concept a step further and offer a river cruise charter itinerary that is entirely gluten-free, marrying two top trends in travel and health.

Lynda McHenry, the owner of Willamette Tours and Cruises, and Nadine Grzeskowiak, a registered nurse, have partnered with Ama Waterways to offer a gluten-free river cruise on the 164-passenger AmaPrima for its May 22 sailing of the seven-day Romantic Danube itinerary from Budapest to Vilshofen, Germany.MichelleBaran

According to the Mayo Clinic, a gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It is often used to treat celiac disease, which causes inflammation in the small intestines.

McHenry, who eats a gluten-free diet, and Grzeskowiak, who has celiac disease, believed that the best way to assuage concerns of cross-contamination in the kitchen would be to offer an entirely gluten-free river cruise.

They will work with Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free, a baker and consultant, and Anne Roland Lee, director of nutrition at gluten-free food producer Schar, to create the meals for the cruise. The river cruise will be the inaugural cruise of McHenry’s new travel company, Gluten Free Cruises, which plans to offer luxury gluten-free travel.

Prices for the gluten-free river cruise start at $2,899 (plus $147 in port charges) per person, based on double occupancy and include gourmet gluten-free dining onboard, wines and soft drinks with dinner, shore excursions, lectures, cooking demonstrations and other entertainment.
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