Regent Seven Seas Cruises® to Debut New Serene Spa & Wellness™ Fleetwide
A new experience in travel wellness, Regent guests will enhance their voyage with exclusive, destination-inspired spa treatments, rejuvenating fitness classes, nutritionally balanced cuisine and wellness tours as they journey around the world
Serene Spa & Wellness™, originally designed to perfect luxury on board Seven Seas Splendor™, will launch fleetwide ahead of Seven Seas Splendor’s maiden voyage
On October 1, 2019 Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, the world’s leading luxury ocean cruise line, announced they are introducing a new globally inspired spa brand that will debut across its five-ship fleet this winter. Serene Spa & Wellness™ will offer exclusive treatments integrating techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world, creating a tranquil haven of health, beauty and wellness that offers restorative treatments and services to soothe both the body and mind.
The groundbreaking menu of services reflects treatments originating from many of the 450 destinations to which the cruise line sails, and includes globally renowned ELEMIS facial therapies, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, luxury Kérastase salon services, fitness classes, and personal training, plus a series of wellness tours and nutritionally mindful cuisine selections served in restaurants on board.
“Regent is deeply inspired by the peace and serenity that can be found in every region of our globe, and we are bringing the beautiful traditions and tried-and-true techniques of the world’s cultures into the exclusive experiences of Serene Spa & Wellness™ through spa treatments, cuisine and captivating shore excursions,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We originally developed this innovative experience for Seven Seas Splendor™ in our pursuit to perfect luxury for our newest ship, and then decided to expand Serene Spa & Wellness™ for guests to embark on a global journey of relaxation on all Regent ships. Serene Spa & Wellness™ will set a new benchmark in luxury spas at sea.”
Experience the best of destination-inspired body and beauty treatments
Serene Spa & Wellness™ integrates globally sourced, natural ingredients that promote health and balance for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to traditional spa services, examples of globally inspired techniques and treatments offered exclusively at Serene Spa & Wellness™ on Regent Seven Seas Cruises include:
- The Regent Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Sea Buckthorn from the Mediterranean coast)
This bespoke full-body therapy features a synergy of rosemary, sea fennel and sea buckthorn from the Mediterranean coastlines worked into areas of tension to ease and soothe muscles while helping to detoxify. Warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts and boots enhance this signature experience, deeply nourishing and hydrating hands and feet.
- Around The World Massage. (Destination Inspirations: Basalt from China, Coconut Poultice from Caribbean, Bamboo from Asia)
Fusing techniques from the corners of the world, this choreographed therapy is one of optimal wellness: the earthly scents of Indian cardamom, Egyptian coriander and eucalyptus soothe the mind; Swedish massage movements work freely throughout the body to relax; volcanic rocks release muscle tension and stagnant energy in the legs; bamboo stalks glide over muscles to deeply alleviate discomfort; warmed coconut poultices are delicately worked over the face, neck and shoulders; and argan oil from Morocco conditions the scalp.
- Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Polish. (Destination Inspiration: Samphire from Northern Europe)
Hydrate skin with a nourishing, exfoliation duo. Nutrient-rich extracts from sea lavender and samphire smooth parched, dry skin cells while a moisturizing milk of macadamia nut and sea salt moisturize to allow a thirsty skin to replenish. This lavish body experience includes half or full-body massage.
- Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Bladderwrack Seaweed from Baltic Coast)
Recharge your body with a detoxifying treatment designed to alleviate deep-seated tension and muscular distress. Rich in minerals and trace elements, an aromatic, warm mask with potent algae from the Baltic Sea is applied on to the back to release tension and ease aches and pains while a back or full-body massage relaxes the body.
- Calming Rose Facial. (Destination Inspiration: Hand-picked Organic English Roses from the United Kingdom)
Comfort sensitive skin with a natural blend of delicate rose absolute to intensely hydrate the dermis. Luxuriously indulgent, precious rose extracts smooth fine lines, strengthening and protecting the skin’s barrier. A warm rose balm is massaged onto the hands and arms to induce relaxation. Skin is left feeling soothed and replenished with a petal softness.
- Kérastase® Elixir Ultime 24-Carat Indulgent Ritual. (Destination Inspiration: Rose from Morocco)
This indulgent hair ritual nourishes, protects and instantly restores hair. Relax with the aromatic scent of rose during a luxurious treatment in which camellia and marula oils and white tea extracts are massaged deep into the scalp. This highly concentrated experience provides a sublime transformation, leaving hair silky, weightless and beautiful.
- Regent Manicure and Pedicure. (Destination Inspiration: Frangipani from the South Pacific)
Hands and feet are soaked in a hydrating milk protein while a vitamin-rich oil strengthens nails and cuticles. Warmed frangipani oil is massaged to further replenish moisture. Includes filing, cuticles and polish.
Ask one of our Cruise Specialists for a full menu of treatments is available
Focusing on holistic wellness, both on ship and on shore
Serene Spa & Wellness™ services extend beyond the physical spa venue:
- Fitness experts at Fitness by Serene Spa & Wellness™ lead popular exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga and meditation and are available to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment.
Equipment includes spinning bikes, dumbbells, treadmills, Technogym® strength machines, workout mats and step benches. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor.
- Savor the best of world cuisine with Serene Spa & Wellness™ Selections in many restaurants on board. Drawn from a globally inspired approach to healthy living, these culinary dishes are as flavorful as they are nutritious. An extensive array of innovative options is available in restaurants across Regent’s fleet, featuring exquisite dishes influenced by a myriad of global fares including delectable plant-based cuisine.
- Serene Spa & Wellness™ Tours offer curated shore excursions designed to enhance wellness through immersive experiences. Soak in a restorative, mineral-rich thermal spring in Rome or experience a taiji (tai chi) class on a beautiful and serene beach on Palma de Mallorca. Guests can refresh with a Mediterranean breeze as they calm their mind and strengthen their focus through a yoga class overlooking the seaside town of Taormina.
- Experience the healing, detoxifying and tension-releasing power of the European-inspired Serene Spa & Wellness™ Hydrothermal Suite, exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor™ and Seven Seas Explorer®. Relax before or after spa treatments and enjoy Regent’s multisensory aromatherapy steam room, chill room, infrared sauna and experiential showers.
Serene Spa & Wellness™ opening schedule
Serene Spa & Wellness™ will launch on each Regent ship during these voyages:
Seven Seas Explorer® – Dec. 7, 2019 voyage
Seven Seas Mariner® – Jan. 6, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Voyager® – Jan. 7, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Navigator® – Jan. 23, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Splendor™ – Feb. 6, 2020 voyage
NEW Seven Seas Splendor™ Destination Experiences Unveiled
Experience something new in 2020, sailing aboard Regent Seven Seas newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, with 65 New Shore Excursions. Spanning 9 countries in various ports across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, these new explorations — 28 of which are FREE — offer more excitement, deeper learning and even more enriching opportunities than before.
Soar in a helicopter over the gorgeous countryside outside Monaco en route to an unforgettable meal at La Bastide de Moustiers, created by the famed French chef Alain Ducasse, or stay grounded on an electric-bike tour of La Cadiere d’Azur, savoring the bouquets of the many vintages found throughout the vineyards around Toulon, France. Tour the stunning beauty around Sorrento, Italy and edify your soul as you take in Caravaggio’s masterpiece, The Seven Works of Mercy, on display at Pious Mount of Mercy Church in Naples, or come under the tutelage of a master chef in Greenock, Scotland to discover there is much more than just haggis to Scottish cuisine.
Whatever new experience you’re seeking, find it with Regent Seven Seas next year, as you sail aboard the resplendent Seven Seas Splendor. Beginning in 2021, these experiences will be available on European voyages across the fleet.
Here’s a sample of some of the Destination Experiences
OTTOMAN EMPIRE CHALLENGE | FROM SPLIT, CROATIA
Learn about the Croatian victories over the invading Ottomans in the 16th and 17th centuries.Visit a museum in the town of Sinj with enlightening military exhibits. See two centuries-old fortresses where the Croatians battled the Ottoman army. Sample local delicacies such as fresh-baked bread, flavorful cheeses and wine at Stella Croatica.
MAY 12, 2020 – Venice to Rome
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
CRUISE TO DELOS & RHENIA | FROM MYKONOS, GREECE
Cruise to the uninhabited island of Delos and explore the wealth of excavated ruins. Peruse the Sanctuary of Apollo, named for the god that was supposedly born on Delos. Enjoy the solitude and beauty of uninhabited Rhenia Island during a leisurely beach break.
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
SEP 24, 2020 – Rome to Athens
OCT 4, 2020 – Athens to Istanbul
AN EXCLUSIVE VISIT TO GLENARM CASTLE | FROM BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND
Take in the lovely scenery of the Antrim Coast on the way to Glenarm Castle. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the castle, which has been in the same family for 400 years. Stroll through the castle’s spectacular walled garden on your own.
AUG 18, 2020 – London to London
WITH A SIDECAR THROUGH BARCELONA | FROM BARCELONA, SPAIN
Ride in a motorcycle with a sidecar through Barcelona, taking in the absolute landmarks. See Antoni Gaudí-designed World Heritage sites such the Church of the Sacred Family. Drive down the luxury shop-lined Passeig de Gràcia, the so-called Champs Elysees of Barcelona.
JUN 26, 2020 – Monte Carlo to Rome
SEP 14 , 2020 – Monte Carlo to Rome
MUSSEL TASTING TOUR BY SPEED BOAT | FROM KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Cruise the typically calm, protected waters of Boka Bay in a speed boat. Meander around the orthodox chapel on the teeny islet Our Lady of the Rocks. Sample freshwater mussels at a farm on the bay that grows and harvests the bi-valves.
APR 30, 2020 – Barcelona to Venice
JUL 6, 2020 – Rome to Venice
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
JUL 23, 2020 – Venice to Barcelona
OCT 14, 2020 – Istanbul to Venice
OCT 24, 2020 – Venice to Rome
Many other exciting new experiences are available. One of our Luxury cruise specialists will be pleased to assist you in planning your Regent Seven Seas cruise.
The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences
Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.
Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.
Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.
1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine
Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.
Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.
2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow
Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.
3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In
You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.
4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat
There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.
5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat
Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.
Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.
6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut
Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.
7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony
Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.
Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.
8 – Spend All Day At The Spa
Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s
9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat
Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.
Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.
10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces
Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.
Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.
11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi
The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.
Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.
12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River
From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.
Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.
13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef
The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.
Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue
Gourmet Explorer Tours with Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas invites you to taste the cultures of the world with specially curated, Master Chef-led, Gourmet Explorer Tours, offered exclusively aboard Seven Seas Splendor™ and Seven Seas Explorer®.
When you choose one of these Gourmet tours you’ll have to opportunity to experience the culinary culture in some of the world’s most delicious destinations. Experiences will include exploring local markets for authentic flavours, learning new techniques in local cooking classes, sip on delicious wines and savour expertly prepared gourmet meals. You’ll please your palate and expand your culinary knowledge with each of these delectable Gourmet Explorer Tours.
We’ve selected a few of our favourite Gourmet Explorer Tours that Regent Seven Seas has curated. For a complete list, connect with one of our luxury cruise specialists
CHEF MARKET TOUR AND TAPAS CLASS – FROM BILBAO, SPAIN
Accompanied by the Chef Instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen, participants of this tour visit the Mercado de la Ribera in central Bilbao, followed by tapas and pintxos snacks in Plaza Nova. Guests will also enjoy a short photo stop at the exterior of the famed Guggenheim museum, and then back to the ship for a 90-minute Tapas and Pintxos cooking class for lunch.
*Class fee included in price of Gourmet Explorer Tour
MASTER CHEF, PROVENCE LUNCH & WINES – FROM PROVENCE, FRANCE
Renowned Michelin-starred Master Chef Rene Berard hosts guests at his private property where they enjoy a tour and Provencal cooking demonstration. An elegant lunch at Le Bistrot de Jef is included and it features the very best of seasonal Provencal wines. Under the glass rooftop, guests enjoy the view of beautiful Provence and savor Mediterranean inspired dishes prepared especially for our group.
CHEF’S MARKET TOUR & LATVIAN COOKING – FROM RIGA, LATVIA
Along with the Chef from The Culinary Arts Kitchen and a local Latvian Chef, participants of this tour enjoy a tour through the Central Market of Riga – deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered Europe’s largest market and bazaar – where they’ll shop for produce and ingredients that will be used later for a Latvian cooking class and lunch once back on board the ship.
*Class fee included in price of Gourmet Explorer Tour.
CHEF MARKET TOUR: CANNOLIS & LUNCH WITH WINES – FROM TAROMINA (SICILY), ITALY
Accompanied by the Chef Instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen, guests visit the renowned fish and produce market in Catania, learn how to make delicious cannoli from a Sicilian pastry master and cap off the day with lunch and a cooking demonstration at a famed Taormina restaurant with slow food Chef Turi. Wines from Etna’s award-winning Benanti winery will be paired during lunch by the winemaker himself for an authentically Sicilian wine-and-food experience.
MARKET-TO-TABLE CHEF TOUR & COOKING CLASS – FROM CORFU, GREECE
Guests embarking on this tour receive a shopping assignment from their Chef Instructor to gather produce, cheeses and specialties at the local market. They also get to enjoy a light lunch at a famed local taverna, before returning on board for a cooking class on Corfu cuisine using the bounty of their foraging efforts.
*Class fee included in price of Gourmet Explorer Tour
HYDROPONIC FARM TOUR & ONBOARD TROPICAL COOKING CLASS- FROM ROATAN, HONDURAS
An authentic and eco-friendly culinary experience, this tour immerses you in Roatán’s unique gastronomic scene, marked by a fusion of rich influences from Africa, Spain and Central America. Visit the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum for insider access to the indigenous gardens and hydroponic greenhouse and enjoy a cooking class led by a local Chef. Master authentic recipes, such as the famed Roatán pink shrimp and savor an island-fresh lunch with a special dessert cocktail.
Due to their unique itineraries, Gourmet Explorer tours require a discounted, supplementary charge.
PLEASE NOTE: Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Tours are based on availability and subject to change at any time without notice.
Port of Call: Navigating Italy’s Cinque Terre
When the ship docks, a crowd-dodging plan is key in these coastal Italian postcard villages.
Briny sea breezes carry the scent of sun-warmed lemons and fresh basil along the Riviera di Levante on Italy’s northwestern coast. A favorite holiday destination, this 80-mile stretch of the Italian Riviera begins east of Genoa and ends just beyond the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the “Poets’ Gulf,” for the number of writers its beauty has inspired. This warm-weather paradise, which I’ve called home for more than a decade, is now a popular cruise destination due to its proximity to the Cinque Terre, five ancient fishing villages perched amid wave-battered cliffs on a rugged stretch of coastline. A UNESCO World Heritage site and fragile natural treasure, the Cinque Terre is largely car-free, but easily accessible by train or boat, and on foot. To avoid the tourist crowds and delve deeper into this fascinating region, arrive with a strategy and sturdy sneakers. An extensive network of hiking trails links the villages, while ferries ply the glittering coastal waters, making for an easy day of outdoor exploring from smaller Portovenere or La Spezia, where larger ships dock.
Whether you arrive by boat or train, make Vernazza your first Cinque Terre stop. Arguably the most beautiful of the five villages, it fills early with day-tripping visitors, so enjoy the morning calm on a stroll through the narrow lanes and arched porticoes, past the lemon-hued church, and along the tiny harbor, where bobbing turquoise-and-white dinghies line the stone quay. Sip a cappuccino on the seaside piazza, or join tanned retirees wading into the crystal-clear water for their first swim of the day. Then climb the narrow staircase up to Castello Doria, an ancient seaside fortification with spectacular coastal views.
Fill a water bottle before leaving the tourist masses behind for the two-mile hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost Cinque Terre town, along the popular Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail). The ascent is moderately strenuous along a dusty trail, but your effort will be rewarded with stunning bird’s-eye views of Vernazza. Continue through the lush landscape, past citrus groves and terraced vineyards equipped with rickety monorail cars that haul the handpicked harvest up vertiginously steep slopes. After a hike of about an hour and a half, Monterosso will come into view.
A promontory divides Monterosso, the Cinque Terre’s largest town, into two parts, old and new. Begin exploring the Old Town, nestled between green hills, with its multicolored houses, pebbled beach, and medieval carruggi (ultra-narrow alleys). Stop at Focacceria Il Frantoio for a snack of pan fritto (fried pizza dough stuffed with cheese), then admire a collection of artworks that include a van Dyck painting inside the bluff-top monastery. A tunnel leads to the newer part of town, known as Fegina, where rows of sun loungers and colorful parasols line the long sand-and- pebble beach. Cool off with a gelato or a dip in the Mediterranean, then join locals taking a relaxed passeggiata along the beach-side promenade.
The most pleasurable way to see the Cinque Terre is from the water. Whether aboard a private yacht or public ferry, the views are the same: stupendous. The easiest route is to hop on the hourly ferry departing from the quay beside Monterosso’s Old Town (look for signs for Consorzio Marittimo Turistico), and sail down the coast admiring the unparalleled panorama of postage-stamp-size villages tucked amid sheer cliffs. Along the way, spy hidden coves, lone hilltop chapels, acres of olive trees, and vineyards climbing the hillsides. Admire Vernazza from new angles, spotting the hilltop town of Corniglia (the only Cinque Terre town without a harbor), before arriving in Manarola.
Alight in Manarola for an afternoon aperitivo at Nessun Dorma, a clifftop café that serves spritzes in an outdoor garden overlooking the town harbor and its cluster of pastel houses perched above the turquoise sea. If you’re eager to tick off one more village, take the train a stop south to Riomaggiore and climb the steep steps above the station to A Pié de Ma, a wine bar situated on rocks jutting above the water, where you can sip rare natural wines from local producer Walter De Battè on the terrace as waves swirl and crash below.
As charming as any of its northern neighbors, Portovenere deserves a detour for its impressive historic sights, including the hilltop Castello Doria; the striped, twelfth-century Chiesa di San Pietro; and a wave-battered grotto dedicated to the English poet (and legendary swimmer) Lord Byron. Those returning to ships in La Spezia should head into the city center for farinata, a thin, pancakelike local specialty made from chickpeas. At La Pia Centenaria, a farinata specialist since 1887, giant copper pans pulled from the wood-fired oven yield pancakes that are sliced for take-away orders; try the savory version slathered with pesto or creamy stracchino cheese.
This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Virtuoso Life. Written by Ingrid K. Williams
New Guest Experience Enhancements with Regent Seven Seas
Miami (Mar. 28, 2019) – Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, the leading luxury ocean cruise line, today announced three guest experience enhancements.
- The cruise line is nearly doubling internet bandwidth size across its fleet by January 2020. Significantly increasing bandwidth compared to 2018 will make free internet surfing more enjoyable for Regent guests as the internet will be faster and even more reliable on all devices. Guests will begin to benefit from bandwidth expansion starting April 2019. Signing on to Wi-Fi will be smoother through a log-in webpage that appears when guests connect to the ship’s network, and guests will have a more streamlined log-in process enabling unlimited complimentary and effortless web surfing.”
- Free unlimited valet laundry service for guests sailing in Master and Grand Suites. All guests who sail in a Master Suite or Grand Suite on the cruise line’s ships will enjoy the added benefit of free unlimited valet laundry service starting in April 2019.
- A new Digital Guest Survey will help Regent track guest experiences and feedback in real-time. The digital survey replaces end-of-cruise paper guest satisfaction questionnaires. Guests may easily provide feedback through this web-based questionnaire during the voyage and the feedback is automatically sent to the ship’s officers and company leaders in Miami. This new system will be deployed fleetwide by October 2019.
“Nearly doubling bandwidth provides Regent guests with an even faster and easier free internet experience to stay in touch and share their travel experiences with their family, friends and business associates at home while sailing around the world,” says Jason Montague, Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and chief executive officer. “Across our fleet we continue to refine the small details, such as creating a faster internet, including free valet laundry service for Master and Grand Suite guests, and deploying a tool for real-time guest feedback. This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to providing guests with an unrivaled experience.”
These three initiatives are Regent’s latest guest experience enhancements. Over the past year Regent has completed a $125 million fleet refurbishment program, unveiled its 2020-2021 Voyage Collection with 167 itineraries and new ports, introduced new relaxed outdoor evening dining fleetwide at the Pool Grill, debuted the most immersive luxury Cuban voyage itineraries, and revealed Go Local Tours and Regent Choice small group shore excursions – all while readying to launch its fifth ship, Seven Seas Splendor™, in February 2020.
Guide to Cruise Line On board Gratuities
Figuring out how much to tip and who to tip while on a cruise can be confusing, even if you are a seasoned cruiser. Some lines automatically charge gratuities to your onboard account, others include them in your cruise fare, or have a special promotion where you get FREE gratuities. It seems that every cruise line has a different amount they charge and where those gratuities go.
Here is a break down of cruise line on board gratuity charges with some of the top cruise lines
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara Club Cruises includes gratuities in its fares.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line charges $13.99 per person per day for guests in standard rooms; and $15.99 per person per day for guests in suites.
All of the gratuities collected go to Carnival’s shipboard staff. According to its website, the amount is spread between its housekeeping team, dining team, and alternate staff.
Carnival recently announced that it would start charging 18 percent, up from 15 percent, on the automatic gratuity it charges for onboard beverages and a la carte dining outlets.
Celebrity Cruise Line
Celebrity charges $14.50 per person per day for those in standard accommodations; $15.00 per person per day for Concierge Class and AquaClass guests; and $18.00 per person per day for those in suites.
On its website, Celebrity says that collected gratuities are shared between stateroom attendants, dining services staff, and housekeeping staff.
The cruise line also adds an 18 percent gratuity to all beverages, spa, salon, and minibar purchases.
Cunard automatically charges $11.50 per person, per day, to passenger shipboard accounts in Britannia accommodations. For passengers in Grill Class accommodations the charge is $13.50.
An automatic 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar bills. A 15 percent charge also applies to spa treatments and services.
All of Crystal Cruises’ sailings are all-inclusive, so gratuities for its staff — housekeeping, restaurant, bar, and Penthouse butler staff — are already included in the cruise fare.
Holland America Line
Holland America increased the cost of its automatic gratuities in October, announcing that it would start charging $14.50 per day per person for all guests staying in standard rooms; and $16.00 per person per day for suite guests, starting in 2019.
Holland America states that 100 percent of gratuities go toward compensating onboard crew members.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL is increasing its gratuities starting on April 1, 2019. For all sailings after that date (excluding guests booked before on sailings before April 1), Norwegian guests sailing in any stateroom category up to a mini-suite on most ships will be charged $15 per person per day. Those sailing in any suite, Concierge, or The Haven stateroom will be charged $18 per person per day.
Standard guests on Norwegian Sky and Sun, two ships that sail with an all-inclusive price, will be charged $20.50 per person per day. Suite guests will be charged $23.50 per person per day.
Oceania automatically adds $16.00 per person per day for standard guests; and $23.00 per person per day for suite guests.
Oceania also adds an 18 percent charge to all beverage purchases, spa services, and specialty dinners.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
All onboard gratuities are included in Paul Gauguin’s all-inclusive fare.
A discretionary gratuity of $15.50 per guest for suites, $14.50 per guest for mini-suites and club class, and $13.50 per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms. This gratuity will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet.
A 18% gratuity is added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts, and Lotus Spa® services. This is shared amongst the beverage staff, their support staff and Lotus Spa® personnel.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Gratuities are included in the cruise fare for all of Regent’s sailings. The line also offers another option for guests who want to go above-and-beyond for their crew: donations to the Crew Welfare Fund, which is used for crew events, are welcomed at the Purser Office onboard.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean’s automatic gratuity is $14.50 per person per day for standard guests; and $17.50 per person per day for suite guests.
Gratuities are shared among dining, bar and culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.
According to Seabourn’s website, “Gratuities are neither required nor expected on Seabourn ships.”
All gratuities onboard, including all service gratuities except spa, are included in Silversea’s all-inclusive fare.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
When it officially launches in 2020, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer a fare that includes onboard gratuities for all restaurant, bar and housekeeping services, along with multiple dining venues, 24-hour in-suite dining, beverages such as beer, select spirits and wines, soft drinks, coffee, tea and bottled water in-suite and throughout the yacht, onboard entertainment and enrichment, use of the marina-style platform with access to watersports, and Wi-Fi.
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking adds a discretionary hotel and dining charge of $15.00 per person per day to shipboard accounts. Those charges are shared among the waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff, and others.
That fee does not include Viking’s 15 percent gratuity for bar and deck service.
As part of the lead up to the 2020 launch of its first ship, Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages revealed that all of its onboard gratuities will be included in the cruise fare.
Windstar raised its daily gratuities in January of this year — now, the luxury line charges $13.50 per person per day for gratuities for all guests.
Windstar also adds a 15 percent service charge for bar service.
While it’s important to recognize that gratuities are a primary way of rewarding on board crews that make the experience of sailing special, most cruise lines allow guests to adjust (either increase or decrease) the amount paid in gratuities by going to guest services during the cruise. So you can feel confident that you are paying what you feel is fair.
Gratuity and service fee amounts valid at time of publishing
Third Explorer-Class Ship Has Been Announced For Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has just announced that Italy’s Fincantieri S.p.A will be building another stunning Explorer-Class Ship. Delivery is scheduled for late 2023, the new vessel will be a sister ship to the award-winning Seven Seas Explorer ™, the most luxurious ship ever built, and Seven Seas Splendor™, the ship that perfects luxury.
Sailing with up to 750 guests, this intimate and spacious new ship will be Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ sixth-all-suite vessel. Details about her itineraries, suites, restaurants, amenities and onboard experiences will be revealed leading up to her 2023 debut. Voyages for the ship’s inaugural season will go on sale in 2021.
“Since debuting in 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has solidified her reputation as the most luxurious ship ever built based on the continuous awards and guest accolades she earns,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “When Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season went on sale in April 2018 we set a new single-day booking record for our 26-year-old company, demonstrating the anticipation for her 2020 arrival. Each new ship is progressively more successful. Our growth is a reflection of the amazing people who work across our fleet, our valued shoreside employees, our loyal guests and their trusted travel advisors.”
Montague added, “Over the past 12 months Regent Seven Seas Cruises has completed a $125 million remodeling of our fleet, started construction on Seven Seas Splendor™, unveiled our 2020-2021 Voyage Collection with 167 itineraries and new ports, introduced new relaxed outdoor evening dining venues on our ships, debuted the most immersive luxury Cuban voyage itineraries, revealed Go Local Tours and Regent Choice small group shore excursions, and now we announce one more category-defining luxury cruise ship. These are exciting times for everyone associated with Regent Seven Seas Cruises and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.”
The contract price for the vessel is approximately €475 million. The Company has obtained export credit financing with favorable terms to fund 80 percent of the contract price of the ship, subject to certain Italian government approvals. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which also owns Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises.
“We are excited to build on the spectacular success of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor™ as we embark on bringing to life a new vessel that will set an even higher benchmark for elegance, luxury and style,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This new ship further strengthens our Company’s robust yet measured growth profile with vessels now on order for all three of our award-winning brands, enabling us to expand our presence globally, further diversify our product offerings and continue to drive shareholder returns.”
Fincantieri is currently building Seven Seas Splendor™ at its Ancona, Italy shipyard, with relentless focus on perfecting every detail during construction so the ship’s inspired design truly dazzles guests as a work of art.
“This agreement is the perfect seal of the work our Group has carried out over the years and the role we have gained in the market. We are able to enter and maintain a reference market presence in every niche, including the most unique and competitive ultra-luxury one in which Regent Seven Seas Cruises operates. Quality is the shipowner’s hallmark and it entrusted Fincantieri once again,” stated Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.
New Go Local Tours With Regent Seven Seas
Cruise line curates 122 local tours for guests to visit locals’ homes, farms, workplaces, markets and studios across the world
Miami (Dec. 6, 2018) – Today, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line, announces two shore excursion innovations designed to offer luxury travelers the most bespoke experiences in destinations around the world: Go Local Tours and Regent Choice small group tours.
“Our guests’ desire to learn about the people, cultures and natural wonders of our world is the inspiration behind Go Local Tours,” Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague said. “Their fascination for immersive exploration, and the fact that many guests return to some of the same ports they’ve visited before and are looking for distinct authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences, led to our groundbreaking approach to elevate luxury travel shore excursions. These local experiences will be exceptional.”
Go Local Tours. Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests will enjoy a more direct way to experience the culture of a destination through Go Local Tours. Now, guests can spend a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia to learn the generations-old way of making cheese, or discover the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino, or observe skilled artists in their studios in Palma de Mallorca. Guests will experience the world through the eyes of those who live in the community and discover the best of a favorite destination.
The cruise line worked for seven months to curate 122 small local experiences for guests, nearly 50 of which are included in its FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions®. Go Local Tours are available on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages, along with 2019 voyages calling on Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay. Examples of Go Local Tours include:
Spain – Visit the mountain village of Alfarnate, located in the province of Málaga in Andalusia. Here, a local guide escorts guests through the village shops to introduce them to the local artisans. The next stop is the nearby town of Alfarnatejo, to an ancient, restored house, where guests enjoy a glass of local wine before a host escorts guests to their own home for a traditional Spanish lunch and an introduction to Spain’s gastronomical culture.
Finland – Guests will experience the unique and beautiful sights of central Helsinki. The day starts with a visit to the most popular food market, Kauppahalli, to observe and taste the variety of local fish, meat, and cheeses. Next, guests take a local tram toward Kamppi Center to visit the two most famous Finnish supermarkets before touring the underground Central Bus Station, which connects Helsinki with the surrounding towns. One more level under the ground, guests will take a Metro to the Hakaniemi Market Hall for a tour. Following a typical Finnish snack, the tour ends with a relaxing walk through Kaivopuisto Park, the oldest and best-known park in Helsinki.
Greece – Visit the Monastery of Agia Irini south of Heraklion and close to the traditional village of Kroussonas. The Monastery serves as a nunnery and is amongst the oldest in Crete. At the completion of the guided visit the nuns will offer guests traditional hand-made sweets. In the village of Kroussonas guests will visit the traditional Cretan boot maker, Stivania, and tour the oldest bakery in the village. A host will introduce guests to traditional Cretan music accompanied by a lesson in folk dances such as the Ballos. The demonstration will also show how families prepare cheese and make Cretan cheese pies. Afterward, guests are treated to olive oil and wine tastings, and a demonstration in Cretan weaving. A traditional Cretan lunch will be served at the end of the tour.
Regent Choice small group tours. In 2009, Regent Seven Seas Cruises elevated the luxury cruise industry by introducing FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions, an innovation which demonstrated the tremendous value Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers with one all-inclusive voyage price. Regent Choice small group tours are smaller versions of the cruise line’s existing popular FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions and Regent Choice® tours. Hosting no more than 16 guests, for a subsidized, supplementary fee Regent Choice small group tours allow for more personal destination engagement with a knowledgeable guide. These excursions are curated to provide additional ways to engage luxury travelers’ interests and passions, from food and wine to art and architecture, and include access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
About 250 excursions on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages will be offered as Regent Choice small group tours.
“Imagine the intimacy of you and only 15 others in your small group walking through the beautiful sites in Dubrovnik, observing the historic town’s unique marble-paved squares, tall houses, steep-cobbled streets and fountains as you engage in conversations with a local guide. Small group tours allow for deeper, more meaningful conversations, interactions and explorations during many of our most popular tours,” Montague said.