Category: Luxury Cruising

Silversea Cruises announces a new sister ship to be built by Fincantieri

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The cruise line orders one sister ship of Silver Muse Expected to be delivered in 2020

(Monte Carlo, Monaco – September 13, 2017) Silversea Cruises and Fincantieri have announced the signing of a contract worth approximately 310 million euros for the construction of a new ultra-luxury cruise ship. The ship is due to
join the Silversea fleet in 2020.

The new ship, tentatively named Silver Moon, will be the sister ship of Silver Muse which was delivered in April 2017 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa).

At 40,700 gross tons and with a capacity to accommodate 596 passengers on board, Silver Moon will  maintain the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodation, which is the hallmark of the Silversea experience. The new build will expand Silversea’s fleet to 10 ships and will significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury segment with a wealth of enhancements to the on board experience while satisfying the uncompromising requirements for comfort, service and quality of the world’s most discerning travellers.
Among the highlights of the new ship, the “Green Star 3 Design” will be a stand out feature. It is assigned to ships that are designed, built and equipped in order to prevent air and water pollution. Furthermore, the “COMF-NOISE A PAX” and “COMF-NOISE B CREW” are assigned on the basis of the noise levels measured on the ship. Results have shown that new-builds assigned these standards offer the very best levels of comfort to guests on board.

“Based on the high praise Silver Muse has earned with our guests, we are eager to build on our flagship’s success and move forward with a sister ship, which will bring us closer to fulfilling my father’s dream of a 12-ship fleet,” said Manfredi
Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman, Silversea. “We pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding luxury cruise experience, and are delighted to partner once again with expert luxury shipbuilder Fincantieri as we continue to grow and evolve our
fleet”.

“We have a trusted relationship with Silversea which was born many years ago and is renewed today thanks to this important order. We are very proud to build a new ship for the Silversea fleet, and follow on from the success of Silver Muse,” said  Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri. “In recent years Fincantieri has continued to show that it is at the forefront of luxury ship building and we look forward to working with Silversea on this exciting build”.

Since 1990 Fincantieri has built 78 cruise ships and 55 since 2002, of which 31 are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

About Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, is recognized as an innovator in the ultra-luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels:  Silver Wind,  Silver
Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Muse – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ships Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer, and with Silver
Cloud joining the Expedition fleet in 2017, Silversea’s itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both Polar Regions and over 900 fascinating destinations in
between. Silversea was recently voted the ‘Best Cruise Line – Small Ships’ by readers of Condé Nast Traveller at the Condé Nast Reader Traveller Awards 2017.
For more information about Silversea please visit: www.silversea.com

About Fincantieri
Fincantieri  is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and innovation. It is a leader in cruise ship design and construction, and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry’s sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega-yachts, ship repairs and conversions, systems and components production and after-sales services. Headquartered in Trieste (Italy), the Group has built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of maritime history. With more than 19,400 employees, of whom more than 8,200 in Italy, 20 shipyards in 4 continents, today Fincantieri is the leading Western shipbuilder. It has among its clients the major cruise operators, the Italian and the U.S. Navy, in addition to several foreign navies, and it is partner to some of the main European defense companies within supranational programs.
www.fincantieri.com

Seabourn kicks off 30 year Anniversary celebration

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A look back at the remarkable history of Seabourn, and ahead to exceptional savings on select voyages

SEATTLE, September 6, 2017 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, will mark 30 years of delivering unparalleled guest experiences in 2018 with a 30th Anniversary Celebration.

A pioneer in ultra-luxury cruising, Seabourn has earned wide acclaim and numerous accolades from cruise industry observers, travel professionals and travelers alike since launching its first vessel in 1988. Now, with an active four-ship ultra-luxury fleet and a fifth new ship, Seabourn Ovation, on the way in spring 2018, Seabourn presents to its guests curated voyages to all seven continents delivering award-winning experiences in the newest and most consistent fleet in the industry.

“Through three decades, Seabourn has earned its reputation as the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line by providing guests with opportunities to experience culture and natural beauty around the globe on the most desirable ships at sea,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “As we have grown, those opportunities to visit incredible destinations have as well. With Seabourn Ovation set to join the fleet next spring, now is the perfect time for guests to experience hundreds of ports on all seven continents with Seabourn.”

To kick-off the celebration, the line is offering a 30th Anniversary Event promotion, featuring a range of exceptional savings and value-added enticements. Savings will be available on select voyages departing through March 31, 2019 for bookings made by November 14, 2017. Offers may include:

Complimentary Three Veranda Suite category upgrade
Complimentary Veranda for Ocean View category upgrade
Complimentary 300-minute Internet Package per person
$300 per person Air Credit
$300 per Suite Shipboard Credit
50% Reduced Deposit
Up to 30% Combination Cruise Savings on select voyages
Book Penthouse and Premium Suites on select sailings and receive:

Complimentary Unlimited Internet Package per Suite
$1,000 per Suite Shipboard Credit for Penthouse and Premium Suites
With the first ship launched in 1988, Seabourn introduced luxury travelers to a fleet of intimate ships that emulated the world’s finest yachts. Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home onboard. The ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Guests who sail on Seabourn will continue to find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’, the new evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50’s and 60’s. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. Guests will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes, as well as a range of other favorites like premium steaks, whole roasted chicken, and Lobster Thermidor, presented à la carte.

Air credits and other promotional amenities are available on select voyages and subject to availability. Certain other restrictions apply.

Regent Seven Seas seeks name for next ship

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seeks Name for Next Most Luxurious Ship to Launch in 2020
MIAMI, Sept. 5, 2017 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the most inclusive luxury experience, is asking loyal guests and valued travel agents: “What will be the name of the world’s next most luxurious ship?” That name will grace the hull of the line’s new ship, launching in early 2020, and three lucky participants will receive a complimentary suite aboard the christening voyage. Regent’s new ship will add to the current fleet of the world’s four most luxurious ships: Seven Seas Explorer – holding the title of the most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner – the industry’s first two all-suite, all-balcony cruise ships, and Seven Seas Navigator, the line’s most intimate and beloved ship. As plans are being finalized for the highly anticipated ship, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is on track to raise the standards of luxury cruising once again.

“We’re seeking the perfect name for our next new ship, and who would know better than our loyal guests and valued travel agent partners?” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for our fleet of the world’s most luxurious ships, our exciting worldwide itineraries, and the most exceptional staff and crew, who tirelessly deliver highly personalized service every day. The name of our new ship will embody all of these qualities, as well as our quarter-century legacy of the world’s most inclusive luxury experience.”

Loyal guests and travel agents are welcomed to submit name suggestions from September 5 through 29, 2017. Qualifying submissions must be in English, begin with “Seven Seas”, and end with either “er” or “or”. Three winners will be randomly selected and announced by November 15, 2017.

Each winner will receive a complimentary suite for themselves and a guest aboard the christening voyage of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new fifth ship. The sweepstakes is open to U.S. and Canadian residents, except in Quebec, and additional restrictions may apply. For complete rules and to submit an entry, consumers should visit www.RSSC.com/LuxuryPerfected, and travel agents should visit www.RSSC.com/LuxuryShipName.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s most inclusive luxury experience with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 450 destinations around the world. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a $125 million fleetwide refurbishment that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognized as the most luxurious ship ever built. The cruise line’s next industry game-changing ship will launch in early 2020.

A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip domestic air and business-class air on intercontinental flights from U.S. and Canada, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, ground transfers and a pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher. For more information about the world’s most inclusive luxury experience, or to make a reservation, please contact a professional travel agent

Seabourn announces new “Extended Explorations” sailings

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SEATTLE, August 9, 2017 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is offering new Extended Explorations voyages aboard Seabourn Sojourn during its fall 2018 and winter/spring 2019 season presenting you with an opportunity to explore more of Seabourns extraordinary world.

Ideal for those who prefer longer cruises and more exotic destinations, the new Extended Explorations voyages will include a range of unique itineraries ranging from 12 to 128 days in length in exotic locales such as the South Pacific, Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand, as well as Africa & Southeast Asia. Seabourn Sojourn, your “home away from home,” will visit more than 30 new and notable ports during these voyages.

Extended Explorations offers travelers a variety of ways to uncover new destinations by allowing them to have an in-depth experience in a specific region or effortlessly move from one region to another. Adding a week, month, or an entire season offers many benefits, including the opportunity for overnight stays in major ports with accommodations on board and ashore.

“Each Seabourn itinerary is designed to provide a world-class luxury experience and some travelers prefer a longer, relaxed cruising schedule to explore some very interesting parts of the world in-depth,” noted Chris Austin, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for Seabourn. “Each of these voyages shows the travel professional and their clients our ongoing dedication to providing memorable experiences in noteworthy destinations that are rich in culture.

Your can enjoy a wide range of added values and amenities throughout your Extended Explorations, including:

~ Seabourn Conversations enrichment program featuring a line of up of distinguished speakers and personalities discussing topics of regional and cultural interest

~ Wines produced in the various regions will be sourced and served for guests to enjoy in many venues on board

~ Seabourn chefs will create special menus featuring distinctive regional dishes and cuisines to tease curious palates

~ Regional guest chefs creating special dinner menus as well as hosting cooking demonstrations

~ Special events taking place on the ship to celebrate local cultures and arts
~ Itineraries feature frequent extended stays and overnights in select marquee ports, allowing guests to spend more time exploring unique destinations

~ Optional mid-cruise Seabourn Journeys packages take guests to see significant area highlights and landmarks ashore

~ Extended Explorations are combinable with other sailings for additional savings

The longest Extended Explorations voyage spans 128 days, from October 15, 2018 to February 21, 2019, departing from Los Angeles to Cape Town, South Africa.

For those who are not able to sail the longer voyages, you can choose or in some cases combine shorter segments that best fit your schedule and interests, including:

Fall 2018:

“Isles of Polynesian Paradise” and “Isles of the Southern Cross”: Los Angeles to Auckland Exploration (Departs October 15; 34 Days) – Explore Hawaii, Kiribati, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji, with three crossings of the International Date Line en route to Auckland. This itinerary is comprised of an 18 day and 16 day segment.

“Landfalls of Captain Cook”: Auckland to Sydney(Departs November 19; 22 Days) – Explore New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Queensland, Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef).

“Holiday Australian Exploration”: Sydney to Singapore (Departs December 11; 36 Days) – Sail to destinations throughout South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, as well as East Timor, and Komodo, Bali and Java in Indonesia.

Winter/Spring 2019:

“Passage to the Seychelles” and “African Isles & Cape Coast”: Singapore to Cape Town (Departs January 16; 36 Days) – Travel to ports in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Victoria, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Mayotte, Mozambique, and South Africa. This sailing is comprised of a 14 day and 22 day segment.

“South Africa & the Skeleton Coast”: Cape Town to Cape Town (Departs February 21; 12 Days) – Visit ports in South Africa including Langebaan, Port Elizabeth and Mossel Bay before passing the Cape of Good Hope for Walvis Bay and Luderitz in Namibia en route to a round-trip return to Cape Town.

“African Nights & Indian Ocean Isles” and “Myanmar & Malaysian Marvels”: Cape Town to Singapore (Departs March 5; 36 Days) – Explore ports in South Africa, as well as in Madagascar, Réunion, Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Malaysia, with an Equatorial crossing along the way en route to Singapore. This sailing is comprised of a 20 day and 16 day segment.

“Jewels of Southeast Asia”: Singapore to Shanghai (Departs April 10;18 Days) – Sail to ports in Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the People’s Republic of China including Hong Kong, as well as Taiwan, and Ishigaki, Japan.

“Gems of China, Korea & Japan”: Shanghai to Kobe (Departs April 28; 18 Days)- Visit various ports in the People’s Republic of China, South Korea including Incheon (Seoul), and Japan including Hiroshima, en route to Kobe.

“Kamchatka & Kuroshio Route”: Kobe to Vancouver (Departs May 16, 21 Days) – Discover Aomori and Otaru in Japan, Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka) in Russia, and various ports in Alaska including Kodiak Island and Ketchikan, plus scenic cruising on Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage en route to Vancouver.

Seabourn Expedition Bow of ship

Ventures by Seabourn

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Ventures by Seabourn are a select series of optional excursions offering exceptional opportunities to enhance and extend the ways you experience destinations. During select cruises, Seabourn takes advantage of the insider knowledge and relationships of their expedition team members to gain access to exclusive sites and experiences. It’s all part of the Ventures by SeabournTM mission.

ENHANCE

On sailings featuring Ventures by Seabourn™ excursions, share your entire voyage with a knowledgeable, experienced expedition team of scientists, scholars, and naturalists. These fascinating, accomplished experts will be part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing you in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places you visit. On your intimate Seabourn ship, their valuable insights are offered both in formal presentations and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure.

EXTEND

The Venture adventures will vary depending on your itinerary and include thrills such as cruising picturesque fjords and waterways, trekking on scenic islands, viewing birds, seals, whales and other wildlife up-close, and surveying massive, white-blue icebergs.

Destinations and Featured Excursions 

Ventures Excurstions are available on cruises to Alaska, Antartica & Patagonia, Amazon, Australia & South Pacific, Northern Europe, Iceland and Greenland.

Flightseeing in Alaska

Alaska: Misty Fjords Flightseeing & Zodiac Exploration

With geology and glacial morphology similar to that of Yosemite, Misty Fjords inspired explorer John Muir to name it one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. Today’s combination zodiac and flight adventure will offer you the chance to see the remote parts of Misty Fjords at sea level, feeling the spray of the waterfalls on your face, and then later seeing the same waterfalls from above. A 20-minute flight from Misty Fjords showcases the very best of this two-million-acre national treasure. An added bonus? Of course — your ship stars in your photos for an excellent indicator of scale. Each zodiac has a qualified zodiac driver/naturalist who skillfully offers insights and information.

Alaska: Klemtu Coastal Kayak Exploration

Kayaking in the waters of British Columbia offers an exhilarating way to see a wealth of scenery and wildlife. Transfer by zodiac a mile south of Klemtu to a small archipelago. This sheltered area offers calm, protected waters — ideal for kayaking. Several streams wash out into the ocean nearby, so it’s a great location for observing bird life and possibly bears as well. The latter tend to congregate around the lower reaches of streams and rivers in search of easy meal pickings. A zodiac and guide follow the kayaks at all times for safety and to lend assistance as required. All sea kayaks are doubles.

St Joseph Island

Antartica: St Joseph Island/French Guiana by Zodiac

It’s no coincidence that the Salvation Islands are also known as the Devil’s Islands — this volcanic archipelago off the coast of French Guiana represents a significant dichotomy. Join the Ventures team to visit St Joseph Island — once considered a healthy retreat for people from the mainland but later the solitary confinement venue of a French penal colony (1852 – 1946). Today, the ruins are being taken over by the tropical vegetation, creating an eerie ambience. A guided tour shows you the ruins; then, you will have some free time to explore on your own.

Patagonia:  Botanic Gardens Bird Watching: A UNESCO Partner Tour

UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Ventures team and local a birding guide take you on a slow-paced stroll through the Botanic Gardens of Rio de Janeiro. Your specific objective is to observe the marvelous birdlife here. Bordering Tijuca National Park, the gardens attract thousands of birds. In fact, more than 200 species have been recorded in the area, from toucans to tanagers. Both aspiring and serious birdwatchers will enjoy and learn from this outing. You will step inside the Visitor Center and souvenir shop afterwards.

In the Wake of Ponant-A tale from L’Austral

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Aboard L’Austral, Australia’s Kimberley region,6 July 2017

Certain discoveries or encounters create unforgettable moments!!! PONANT, the world leader in luxury expeditions, shares these moments with you, as experienced on one of our ships

6 July 2017, For the very first time, PONANT sails to the heart of Kimberley!

“Day One in the Kimberley: L’ Austral’s day starts early with Zodiacs readied ,expedition team primed, guests settled onboard and we are away heading between the stunning gorges up the King George River towards the massive cliffs that mark the highest single  dropwaterfall in the of Kimberley region. King George falls

The temperature is milder than usual, with scattered cloud, stark white gum trees with bright green foliage line the edge of the precipitous cliffs-nature at her magnificent best-this feels like man expedition into the unknown.

Some of us climb to the top of the falls, rewarded with a cooling swim in the freshwater pools, others enjoy a refreshing shower as their zodiac nudges beneath the water falls ,cool in the heat of the day.

Pontant Cruise-Iconic Kimberley

Next departures:

In 2018 and 2019, Ponant will return to this wild and wonderful region with its 10 meter tides, ancient aboriginal rock art, saltwater crocodiles and grand vistas both ashore and at sea.

Experiencing a PONANT luxury expedition means going on more than just a journey.

Sometimes, in the most remote places on Earth, we get to know ourselves better.

Ponant Explorers: Blue Eye, the first multi-sensory underwater lounge worldwide

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May 2017 ,The only French-owned cruise line and the world leader in luxury expeditions PONANT, in keeping with its pioneering spirit, is launching a world-first: Le Lapérouse will be the first cruise ship on Earth to be equipped with a multi-sensory underwater space, called Blue Eye.

The other 3 yachts of the PONANT EXPLORERS series, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville, will be the next.

BLUE EYE: THE GENESIS OF A GLOBAL FIRST

In a world exclusive, the four ships of the PONANT EXPLORERS series are equipped with an underwater

Passenger lounge, called Blue Eye, located within the hull beneath the water line.

The design of this technical prowess was entrusted to architect Jacques Rougerie, who is deeply passionate about the sea. Rougerie’s mission is to enable PONANT guests to perceive and feel the underwater universe that has never ceased to amaze and inspire him throughout his career.

THREE INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS FOR A WORLD FIRST

Bionic & biomimetic

Jacques Rougerie drew inspiration from his observation of nature in order to determine the key elements that would underpin the design of the underwater lounge.

The space’s graphical references evoke cetaceans and jellyfish. This inspiration is evident in the lines of the lounge, the positioning of the body, the furniture and the fittings. All focus is drawn towards the two portholes, shaped like the eye of a cetacean and looking out upon the subaquatic world.

The lighting in the lounge is developed through touches, disseminated in the space, allowing the spirit and the gaze to dive into the spectacle unfolding outside.

The mural décor disappears to make way for the integrated digital screens projecting the images filmed live by three underwater cameras.

Placed at the ship’s strategic points, these cameras enable guests to witness, for example, the spectacle of dolphins playing in the bow waves.

Global listening

The sound staging has been entrusted to Michel Redolfi, a contemporary music composer and sound design expert.

A result of his research into subaquatic music and his own inventions, the sound design of the underwater lounge develops state-of-the-art technology and offers guests an experience in acoustic immersion that is unique in the world.

Comfortably ensconced, guests can listen to the underwater world thanks to hydrophones, developed in

Consultation with specialists from the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) that are integrated beneath the keel. The natural symphony of the deep sea is thus captured across a five-kilometre radius and transmitted live into the lounge in the form of acoustic waves spreading through the three dimensions of Jacques Rougerie’s architecture.

An immersive sound experience can be felt in the Body Listening sofas, which discreetly vibrate in unison while offering unique sensory listening through corporal resonance.

This global listening through the entire body, in harmony with the ocean’s natural cycles, will bring guests closer to the marine mammals they might see and hear behind the giant portholes.

This exclusive sound experience is also offered through subaquatic concerts broadcast at sea or in the swimming pool.

Innovative underwater vision

The non-intrusive underwater projectors developed expressly for the PONANT EXPLORERS enable the

observation of the of the seabed and photo-luminescent organisms from the Blue Eye lounge as well as from the outside decks, balconies and the marina-without any risk to the marine biosphere.

ABOUT THE PONANT EXPLORERS

PONANT, the polar expedition leader and pioneer, is expanding its unique luxury expedition cruise concept with the arrival of four new sisterships, the PONANT EXPLORERS.

PONANT guests will be able to enjoy new travel experiences, such as tropical and subtropical expeditions.Offering a unique blend of discovery and exceptional comfort, even in the most remote corners of the world, is our hallmark.

Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville

The four new stars of our fleet pay tribute to the great French explorers and will carry guests in the wake of these men who, long ago, set off for adventure in search of new lands. Taking inspiration from these navigators was a natural choice for PONANT, the only French cruise line to sail to little-known, remote lands that are inaccessible to larger ships.

Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain will join the fleet in 2018, followed by Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville in 2019.

In keeping with our cruise line’s philosophy, each ship combines a limited guest capacity, sleek design, cuttingedge technology, and respect for the environment. They will enable PONANT to offer an ever-wider range of destinations.

Celebrity Chef Massimo Capra Joins The Gauguin for a Culinary-Inspired Voyage

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BELLEVUE, WASH. – April 20, 2017 – Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to announce that celebrity Chef Massimo Capra will join The Gauguin’s September 23, 2017, Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage, for a lecture and culinary demonstration, along with meet-and-greet photo opportunities.

Italian native Capra has been delighting food lovers through his fine dining establishments, TV appearances, and award-winning cookbooks. Capra began his culinary career in a famous trattoria near Venice before turning his talents to the hotel industry in northern Italy. In 1982, he relocated to Toronto, Canada, where he began working at a restaurant owned by a family member. From there, he became an acclaimed chef at Prego della Piazza restaurant, where he remained for nine years.

His next venture occurred in 1997, when he joined forces with Paolo Paolini to open Mistura Restaurant of Toronto, offering upscale Italian dining. Sopra Upper Lounge, an exclusive event venue located above Mistura, opened in 2006.

Chef Capra’s culinary empire continued to expand in 2010, when he licensed his name to the famous Rainbow Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. More recently, he became chef/brand owner of Boccone Trattoria Veloce and Boccone Pronto at Pearson airport in Toronto and of Soprafino Restaurant at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. And last year, he opened Capra’s Kitchen—a casual Italian eatery with a heavy emphasis on pasta, pizza, and antipasto—in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario.

In addition to his restaurant empire, Chef Capra is also a cookbook author. Three Chefs: The Kitchen Men, which he co-wrote with Michael Bonacini and Jason Parsons, took the gold in the cookbook category of the Canadian Culinary Book Awards (now called Taste Canada—The Food Writing Awards), and he is also the author of One Pot Italian Cooking. He also serves as the food editor for Canadian Home Trends magazine.

And he is a familiar face on Canadian television, serving as the host of his own show, Gourmet Escapes, and as a regular guest expert on the long-running CityLine talk and lifestyle show, chef host of the hit series Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network, and now a judge on the hit show Chopped Canada.

SeaDream Yacht Club Announces 2018 Wine Voyages

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-Total of Nine Wine-centric Voyages offered in Caribbean and Mediterranean in 2018-

MIAMI, February 21, 2017 – Continuing its commitment to and enhancing the superbly established level of award-winning culinary experiences, SeaDream Yacht Club announces nine Wine Voyages for the 2018 season. Showcasing the most picturesque yachting ports of the Mediterranean, and Caribbean for 2018, on five-to-ten day sailings, each itinerary pairs the ultimate wine experience with the regions’ most scenic backdrops. Whether a seasoned wine connoisseur or new to learning about and liking wine, these voyages are a perfect occasion for developing a passion and knowledge of wine and cuisine.

Guests onboard these vino-centric sailings will explore the flavors and history from some of the world’s most renowned wineries, as well as several less familiar, but equally notable vineyards. Exclusive wine tastings are followed by the popular Winemaker’s hosted Dinner, where SeaDream’s Executive Chef’s degustation menu is complemented with top cuvees from the visiting Winemaker. A different selection of wines will be offered for the Winemaker’s Dinner, an evening unique to the Wine Voyages; an unforgettable culinary experience that is incomparable to other wine cruises.

“We are eager to announce the 2018 Wine Voyages, offering our guests enhanced culinary experiences they have come to expect from SeaDream,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “With newly unveiled additions, we hope to welcome new travelers as well as familiar faces onboard.”

Two new wine sailings in the Caribbean, which will bookend the 2018 wine voyage season, have been added as well as a unique land adventure in the Mediterranean of truffle hunting in the Italian forests of Castello Delle Regine followed by a delicious meal with the “catch of the day” paired with exquisite wines from the vineyard. Guests onboard the Mediterranean wine voyages will also have the pleasure of meeting Clovis Taittinger, whose family is recognized worldwide for producing some of the finest champagnes available and is notably one of the last remaining family-owned and operated champagne houses. Andrea Mullineux, South African winemaker and Swartland revolutionary who was recently named “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast, will also be onboard for wine tastings and the Winemaker’s Dinner. In 2018, SeaDream will be honored with the presence of Angelo Gaja of Gaja Winery, an Italian wine producer from the Piemonte region whose history and legacy started over 150 years ago.

Below is a full listing of SeaDream’s 2018 Wine Voyage itineraries:
· Bridgetown, Barbados to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, departing January 13 – January 20, 2018. Seven days including boutique ports of Mayreau, Port Elizabeth, Le Marin, Deshaies, Saba, and Gustavia.

· Nice, France to Civitavecchia (Rome), departing May 12 – May 19, 2018. Seven days calling on Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Portofino, Portoferraio (Elba) and Porto Ercole.

· Monte Carlo round trip, departing May 28 – June 2, 2018. Five days including ports of San Remo, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Calvi and Corsica.

· Civatavecchia (Rome) to Venice, departing June 16 – June 26, 2018. Ten days including boutique ports of Capri, Amalfi overnight, Taormina (Sicily), Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik, Korcula and Hvar.

· Athens (Piraeus) to Civitavecchia (Rome), departing August 4 – August 11, 2018. Seven days calling on Hydra, Monemvasia, Elafonisos Island, Taormina (Sicily) and Capri.

· Civitavecchia (Rome) to Athens (Piraeus), departing September 1 – September 8, 2018. Seven days including ports of Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Taormina (Sicily), Itea (Delphi), Corinth Canal (Transit) and Hydra.

· Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice, France, departing October 6 – October 13, 2018. Seven days including boutique ports of Porto Ercole, Portoferraio (Elba), Livorno (for Florence), Portovenere, Portofino, and Monte Carlo.

· Barcelona to Malaga, departing October 20 – October 27, 2018. Seven days including ports of Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Cartagena, Puerto Banus and Gibraltar.

· Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas roundtrip, departing November 17 – November 24, 2018. Seven days calling on Cruz Bay (St. John), Sandy Ground (Anguilla), Gustavia, Spanish Town and North Sound (Virgin Gorda), Soper’s Hole (Tortola), Norman Island and White Bay (Jost van Dyke).

On all SeaDream voyages, bar drinks and selected wine are complimentary. Wine packages by-the-glass during Winemaker’s dinner and Wine Land Adventures are offered for an additional cost. During the Wine Voyages, a representative from the visiting winery will be present, to host the scheduled wine tastings and the Winemaker’s Dinner.
SeaDream Yacht Club 2018 voyages begin at $5,900 per person based on double occupancy. The inclusive fare includes ocean view accommodations, gourmet meals, gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner and so much more.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer: The world’s most luxurious ship

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 636 0

Anytime a new ship is launched it is very exciting for everyone involved: the lucky guests that are the first few to experience it; the CEO of the cruise line; the cruise line sales staff; the staff and crew on board; the travel agents that sell it.

There is an anticipation of what we will all find when it is finally revealed.

On Regent Seven Seas Explorer they thought of everything.

It is one of the reasons they can call it “The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built”.

A few of the other reasons: the table settings, the linens. the pool side grill, the theatre setup, the lighting throughout the ship, the magnificent foyer, the amenities in our suite, the new twist on the main dining room menu, tea time, the incredible artwork, the remarkable food in EVERY restaurant. Everything was clearly thought through and built to exceptional standards.

Our 5-day inaugural cruise on board the Explorer exceeded my expectations and cemented Regent as a leader in luxury cruising.

On the page ahead I hope a mix of words and photos can re-create my experience and help you decide if the Regent Seven Seas Explorer is going to be in your future travel plans.

The Anticipation of Embarkation

People say that the anticipation leading up to a cruise is almost as good as the cruise itself. While I completely agree with this I also believe that the day you board your ship sets the tone for the entire cruise.

Our cruise embarked from Barcelona. The cruise port in Barcelona is about 30 minutes from the airport. When we pulled in we were greeted by smiling faces eager to help with our bags in a very orderly manner. The embarkation process was smooth and we were on board in 30 minutes.

For anyone who cruises regularly you are aware that the majority of people head straight to the food when they get on board. It is typically around lunch time and your cabin is not ready – so food is clearly the obvious choice. It is also typically very crowded and a bit stressful as you have a carry on of some sort and you need to find a table.

On Regent Seven Seas Explorer, Le Veranda is located on the 11th deck at the aft of the ship and is was not crowded, the food was spectacular and there was a nice variety. The staff was ready to help and there were plenty of tables available – both inside and on the “veranda”. A refreshing and civilized way to begin a cruise.

The Suite

The first thing that struck me as I entered into my suite was the space. Nothing was cramped or tight, nothing was awkward because they had to figure out how to fit it in.

We were lucky enough to enjoy a one bedroom Seven Seas Suite onboard the Seven Seas Explorer. It has a foyer with a powder room (which was very useful when my wife was busy “getting ready”) and a living room area with a sofa and two chairs, a wet bar, a dining table and a desk (which overlooked the balcony – a very peaceful way to get a bit of work done).

The bedroom is perfect. It starts with the bed. Regent obviously believes every guest should get a perfect night’s sleep and their beds certainly achieved that for me. It is extremely comfortable and the linens are of the highest quality.

There is a vanity beside the bed with plenty of space and two bedside tables – each with storage in them. One of the best features of the suite is the bathroom. With a Jacuzzi tub, two sinks and a sizeable shower, the bathroom is as comfortable as my ensuite at home – maybe even more so.

The walk in closet provides plenty of space for outfits for 10 nights. Given that we were only on board for 5 nights, we actually had empty shelves and an empty drawer.

My experience in cruising is that a cabin is always well thought out from a storage perspective but not always convenient. Ship designers have a way to make every small space useful for good reason. The difference in our Regent suite was that every single piece of storage was convenient and it was plentiful. The impact this has on your everyday life on board the ship is remarkable. I never really felt like I was on a cruise ship – and I mean that in the most positive way.

I would be remiss not to mention the incredible butler that accompanies the Seven Seas Suite. Our butler was incredibly attentive without being overbearing and his attention to detail was impressive. I expected a high level of service on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer but a butler took it to a new level.
The Restaurants and overall food experience

I have dined on many cruise ships and for the most part the food experience has been outstanding. I was curious as to how Regent could elevate my food experience to be that much better than the premium cruise lines.

They did not disappoint.

The food was outstanding. I was not able to dine in each venue but here was my experience:

Compass Rose

Compass Rose is the main dining room and it was amazing. The décor was magnificent and was highlighted by a central lighting feature that was stunning. I would try and describe it in words but it would not do it justice – you will just have to go find out for yourself.

The highlight for me is the new menu concept. You can essentially build your own meal from a plethora of options. The possibilities are endless and any compromises are completely removed. They still have the chef features, which are typically off the charts in appearance and taste. I ate the lamb with a perfect wine pairing chosen by the sommelier and it was spectacular.

La Veranda

A buffet that does not feel like a buffet. Well laid out with a nice variety of food for breakfast and lunch and never a challenge to find a table that suited my mood (inside, outside, quiet, etc). The service was really a highlight at La Veranda, always attentive to drinks and clearing away dishes and engaging in conversation when appropriate. The staff on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer really made you feel like you are at home.

Sette Mari

La Veranda by day turns into Sette Mari at night, a fine Italian restaurant with the option of eating outside. We started with a delightful compilation of anti pasto followed by our appetizer, a tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad, pasta, dessert and coffee – a true Italian feast.

Chartreuse

A beautiful setting that made me feel like I was in the middle of Paris. Chartreuse is the French restaurant and it features a very traditional menu with Soufflé, rich foods and fantastic wines. While this is the least adventurous menu, the food was delicious.

 

Room Service

We ordered room service twice. Once for breakfast and once late at night. The breakfast came promptly at 7:30am and it was hot, fresh and our butler laid it out for us. This is when the extra space of a Regent Suite can be appreciated. We were able to sit and enjoy our breakfast before heading out on our 8:30am shore excursion. At night we ordered and simple sandwich and it came on time and was clearly made fresh upon ordering.

 

Pool Side Grill

I love a freshly made hamburger. The Pool Side Grill features a menu of 8 different burger options including basic, salmon, chicken, veggie and more. You find your table, order your burger at the grill and someone brings it to you. You can really order any variation of burger you want and they will make it. Fresh. Accompany it with an ice cold lager and you have yourself and fantastic lunch at sea!

 

The Café

The Café features all your typical coffees and teas but also a nice array of food, both fresh and sweet. The baristas are available throughout the day and you can use the self serve machine late at night

 

Public Spaces

One of the highlights of Regent Seven Seas Explorer is the public spaces and décor. I would describe it as a 1920’ s design with a modern twist. The public spaces are very open and welcoming. All of the lounges are spacious but intimate, the Casino is small but had a nice energy to it after dinner and into the night.

The theatre is outstanding – almost a cross between a 1920’s café and theatre. The seating is arranged is 2’s 4’s and 6’s with tables so that you can sit on your own or with a group of friends and have a drink and be comfortable as you enjoy the entertainment.

On the top deck they have a sports area with a sports court for tennis and basketball and a 9 hoe mini putt as well.  A great facility to spend an afternoon at sea.

One of the highlights was the puzzle table. It was in a very public space so that it drew attention and would not be missed but set back so that it was not in the way of those passing by. Very well done.

I found the ship very easy to navigate the first day as the layout is straight forward and logical. This may seem like a minor statement but I have been on many ships that take a few days to become familiar.

 

The Canyon Ranch Spa and The Gym

I could write a blog on the Canyon Ranch Spa alone. While I did not have a chance to experience one of their services, the spa and their water treatment rooms are open to all guests – you just need to book a time.

I had a tour of the spa and the treatment rooms are spacious and they even have a couples treatment room – a perfect way to start your cruise!

The water treatment rooms are spectacular. They have a sauna, a cold room, a steam room and a showering system with multiple stations – very cool. I personally enjoyed spending time in the steam room with aromatherapy followed by the cold room and back and forth.

After my hot and cold treatment, I laid down on the mosaic heat beds to read for a while before heading out to the infinity pool on the deck. A perfect way to spend the morning before my previously mentioned burger and lager at the Pool Side Grill.

The gym was enormous – I have never seen a gym like this on a cruise ship. The equipment was state of the art and view off the stern of the ship made you forget the workout you were putting yourself through. They have spinning classes and yoga classes all lead by professionals. They will also spend time curating a personal workout regime for you.

The thing that stands out the most about the spa and gym are the amount of space they have allocated – even the spa lobby is wide open and welcoming. Combined the two facilities take up almost a third of the ship on two decks.

 

Overall Atmosphere

When you think of a luxury ship you might think of it as being stuffy and lacking atmosphere. Quite the opposite is true of Regent Seven Seas Explorer. From Cruise Director Ray’s opera singing at tea time to the deck party on the last evening to live music in all of the lounges, there is always something to do or somewhere to go to be entertained or to unwind.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer absolutely lived up to “The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built” but it goes beyond the physical ship; the overall experience is one you will never forget and will be calling your travel advisor to plan your next cruise as soon as your return!