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Monday,  March 4, 2024 10:25 PM 

Stewart Travel Group brings Blue Rodeo to the AmaSerena

  • Buzz
  •   12-04-2023  2:36 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Stewart Travel Group brings Blue Rodeo to the AmaSerena
Blue Rodeo and Stewart Travel Group with the donation cheque. From left: Duke Foster, Bazil Donovan, Travis Stewart, Paula Stewart, Colin Cripps, Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Michael Boguski, Glenn Milchem, Frances Gertsch. Missing from photo: Lee Chomiak. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

The AmaSerena may have been the location of the biggest party on the Rhine on Saturday (Dec. 2) as iconic Canadian band Blue Rodeo performed an energetic two-hour, final concert on board the AmaWaterways-operated ship. 

Many of the 156 guests — who are from across Canada, the United Kingdom, Cayman Islands, and the USA — have been anticipating this trip for more than a year, when they first booked, and many are returning to sail with Stewart Travel Group and Jim Cuddy for the second, or even third, time, according to a press release. 

Guests have come together to experience intimate and moving concerts by 12-time Juno winner, Blue Rodeo, while sailing the Rhine River on the AmaSerena, a gem in AmaWaterway’s award-winning fleet. 

While sailing, Blue Rodeo performed a selection of original songs in two planned evening concerts as they continued to celebrate 30 years of their best-selling album, Five Days in July

Guests on board the AmaSerena in Strasbourg, France. (Supplied)

Guests were also surprised by a welcome performance on the first evening, once they’d boarded in Amsterdam.

Glorious cruise down the Rhine. Beautiful sights and sounds. Music and wine were flowing and everyone had an amazing time. Nice way to usher in the Christmas season,” said Jim Cuddy, lead singer of Blue Rodeo.

“One of the most magical moments on board was the intimate Songwriters’ Circle,” said Paula Stewart, co-founder of Stewart Travel Group. “Not only did every member of the band perform their own piece or a favorite song, but we also heard the story behind each one, which was a real privilege.”   

“As a small business from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, our team at Stewart Travel Group aims to give back to the community,” added Frances Gertsch, a trusted senior travel advisor. “On board, guests were given chances to have a private dinner with Blue Rodeo in the Chef’s Table restaurant on the ship with a donation.”

Nearly $25,000 will be donated to the Stars for Life Foundation for Autism in P.E.I. 

The Stars for Life Foundation is committed to creating a quality of life for young adults with autism spectrum disorder, fully included in their community; with a commitment to continued education, life and job skills training and inclusion.

In addition, Stewart Travel Group donated $1,000 to Aspire Richmond, a similar program for adults with special needs in British Columbia, in the name of Reid Scally, who has been on numerous sailings with Stewart Travel Group. 

Reid is such a massive fan of Jim Cuddy — one of Blue Rodeo’s lead singers — that he’s stored his own name in his cellphone as “Reid Cuddy.”

“Each morning when I drive Kobe to Stars for Life he has the biggest smile on his face which in turn starts my day off in the most amazing way,” said Travis Stewart, co-founder of Stewart Travel Group. “It’s truly a wonderful safety net and one of the places he is the happiest: with his ‘Stars Friends.'"

Mike Boguski, who plays piano, organ, and accordion with Blue Rodeo, also offered a magnificent jazz performance on Friday — the day he released two new spoken word albums — to raise over $2,600 for “BrandAid,” a fundraiser for long-term tech (roadie poet extraordinaire), John Brandham who suffered a career-ending stroke. 

This is the third chartered river cruise – and third sold out sailing – that Stewart Travel Group has presented since 2022, with more than 450 thrilled passengers. 

Due to the generosity of cruise guests, Stewart Travel Group has coordinated donations totalling more than $80,000 to ‘Stars for Life foundation for Autism of PEI,’ a goal that the Stewart Travel Group team has been humbled about adding to this week. 

“Blue Rodeo and their fans are so kind and generous, and they have all been very supportive of our efforts to give back, which means the world to us,” said Paula.

Songwriters’ Circle on board the AmaSerena. Members of Blue Rodeo - L to R: Colin Cripps, Glenn  Milchem, Bazil Donovan, Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor. Not visible (seated at the piano), Michael Boguski. (Supplied)

With their exceptional attention to detail, Stewart Travel created an experience that was both intimate and grand. It felt like they had tailored the journey just for us, blending the warmth of Christmas markets and towns along the Rhine with the thrill of spending a week rocking with Blue Rodeo. This trip was a treasure trove of memories for three generations of our family, and we're already looking forward to our next adventure,” said Keir Pollard, from Prince Edward Island. 

For Paula, Frances and Travis a personal highlight was when Jim Cuddy asked them to join the band  on stage to sing the iconic ballad “Lost Together” to close Blue Rodeo’s final concert on board. 

They also got Reid Scally to join them on stage for the song so that he could be part of the moment. 

"It will be a memory that will stay with them all forever," the company said. 

Stewart Travel Group is next hosting Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley, Anne Lindsay, and Rose Cousins from October 17-24, on the Rhône and the Saône rivers. 

This trip will be followed the next week with the Colin James Blues Trio on the same river cruise itinerary in the Provence and Burgundy regions of France – just in reverse – from October 24-31. The 72 staterooms available on each of these two sailings are nearly sold out. 

For details visit www.stewarttravelgroup.ca


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