Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and Ferdinand Magellan didn’t have umbrella drinks in their hands or a midnight buffet to dine off of when they set out on maritime adventures of discovery to exotic, new worlds. But exploration and excitement still exist on the high seas. Port visits don’t have to be seashell shopping and beach books. Today’s travelers want a spoonful of medicine with their sugar – and Regent Seven Seas Cruises presents a prescription for sophistication. The clichéd Hawaiian print shirt and on-deck shuffleboard games will be vanquished to history when, in 2016, the cruise line will debut “Explorer.” Intriguing ports of call will include historical, complex cities such as Istanbul, Jerusalem, Athens and Rome.
“Our guests are seasoned world travelers who enjoy exploring exciting destinations,” says Regent spokesperson Jason Lasecki, who explains a new partnership with the Smithsonian Institute. “This new enrichment program brings charismatic experts – from noted art historians to prominent authors and geopolitical experts – onboard to lead spirited discussions about the people, politics, and customs of the destinations we visit.”
Imagine the intellectual satisfaction of knowing why Istanbul, a city divided by the Bosphorus River putting parts of town in either Asia or Europe, was first called Byzantium and then Constantinople. How about understanding that the modern tension you’ll feel in the Old City of Jerusalem is due in part to the fact that the world’s three major religions each stake claims to parts of the walled city and coexist there? You’d know how to recognize evidence of the Greek financial crisis before you set foot in Athens. The estimated value of the Vatican art collection? $17-billion, you may be told, just before you see it for yourself. Regent cruises also explore Lisbon, Venice, Monte Carlo and nose through the Panama Canal.
“We closely monitor the geopolitical situation at our destinations and if we have any concerns about the well-being of our guests we make itinerary changes,” Lasecki says.
It won’t likely be security matters that have its’ 750 passengers eager to return to “Seven Seas’ Explorer.” It’s already touted as the most luxurious ship ever built. “Our passengers come back after a day of touring to gourmet restaurants and pampering with an unmatched level of service,” Lasecki says. An all-inclusive booking can include business class airfare and airport transfers; unlimited, in-suite spa treatments; specialty dining; unlimited shore excursions; fine wines and beverages (yes, including the mini-bar); free wifi and pre-paid gratuities. Each cabin is a balcony suite and culinary instruction is available by on-board master chefs if your want to explore like Captain Cook and then…cook. Regent’s Seven Seas Cruises are sizzling.
Michael Patrick Shiels may be contacted at InviteYourself@aol.com or via TravelTattler.com His talk show can be heard weekday mornings in Lansing on 92.1 FM.