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USA 16th Floating Assemblage

Bordeaux-Amsterdam-Hamburg, August 31-September 9, 2014

Inducted on the ocean wave!

On the open sea between Bordeaux and Amsterdam the M/S Crystal Symphony was inducted into the Bailliage of Hillsborough (California).

Captain Mark Symonds received the Maître Hôtelier ribbon with many of his officers observing the ceremony and learning the history of the Chaîne. An international group of members and guests gathered on the pool deck to participate in the Induction Ceremony officiated by Michael Martello, Bailli Provincial Honoraire, Pacific Northwest.

Chaîne officers William Solomon, Bailli Provincial Southwest, Lois Ferrero Gogol, Bailli of Hillsborough, Allison Reams, Bailli of Connecticut, and Vivian Ray, Bailli of San Antonio, took part in the induction.

Following the outdoor ceremony and champagne reception, a private dinner was served in the Lido. Executive Chef Peter Degner and Head Sommelier Christian Mondaca paired a feast for the senses.

Whilst docked in Bordeaux we met Bertrand de Boutray, Bailli Honoraire of Seattle, and his ‘France with Bertrand’ group for dinner at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a Graves Grand Cru Classé in the Pessac-Léognan appellation.

The following day we toured and tasted at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (2nd Growth, Pauillac) followed by lunch at Cafe Lavinal, a pretty, old-fashioned feel bistro in the heart of the village of Bages. After which we toured and tasted at Château Lynch Bages (5th Growth, Pauillac).

In Amsterdam we were the guests at a dinner organised by the Bailliage of Netherlands. (Ed. which has been reported separately in the Past Events of the Chaîne News On-line)

Disembarking from the ship in Hamburg we then embarked on a ‘Rolling Assemblage’ to Berlin on the ‘Gourmet Liner’, a luxury coach with full restaurant facilities on board. 

This cruise celebrated the Bailliage of Hillsborough’s 45th anniversary and the 16th ‘Floating Assemblage’.  The objective of the Floating Assemblage is to raise funds for the Chaîne Foundation and to strengthen the links with members around the world. For example, on this voyage, we gathered together with Bailliages in London, Bordeaux, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Crystal Cruises generously donated a suite that was auctioned at the 2013 Bailliage of USA National Grand Chapitre in Washington DC. The funds from this auction went to the Chaîne Foundation to support scholarships for students of culinary and oenological programmes.

The 17th Floating Assemblage will sail from Venice to Istanbul with Silversea May 4 - 15, 2015.

Michael Martello, Bailli Provincial Honoraire, Pacific Northwest