Journey to Jerusalem

Visit the home of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Mount of the Beatitudes and Tabgha. As a vast spiritual center, Jerusalem is one of the most fascinating places you’ll ever visit. You can fully experience all of the wondrous sites of this holy land with FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions during your overnight stay. Stop at the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, believed to have been closest to where the Holy Ark once stood. Tour the Christian Quarter, which rests beside a part of the famous Via Dolorosa. And observe the pilgrimage of Muslims visiting the golden-topped Dome of the Rock, with its stunning blue and gold ceramic tiles, considered the third holiest site in Islam. Whatever your credence, it is difficult not to be moved by the history that runs deep though Jerusalem.

To encapsulate the magic of Jerusalem, we compiled seven of our favorite landmarks – all of which you can experience with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®  FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions.

Dome of the Rock 

Dome of the Rock

Take the “Eternal Jerusalem” excursion and experience the majesty of the Dome of the Rock, with its stunning blue and gold ceramic tiles.

Basilica of the Annunciation 

Basilica of the Annunciation

suronin / Shutterstock.com

On the “Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee” excursion you will marvel at the 170-foot-high cupola of the Basilica of the Annunciation that allows the interior to be illuminated with natural light.

Tomb of King David

Tomb of King David

Embark on a comprehensive tour of the ancient sites on “A day in Jerusalem,” and visit the venerated final resting place of King David on Mount Zion.

Mount of Beatitudes

Mount of Beatitudes

Visit the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus is said to have preached his famous Sermon on the Mount while on the “Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee” excursion.

City of Safed

City of Safed

Discover the city of Safed, founded in the 2nd century A.D. during Roman times, on the “Safed, Winery Visit and Golan Height” excursion.

Western Wall

Western Wall

On the excursion “Eternal Jerusalem,” you will be able to visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site of the Jewish tradition.

Church of the Nativity

Church of the Nativity

Take the “A day in Jerusalem and Bethlehem” excursion and visit the renowned Church of the Nativity. This extraordinary church is built over a grotto that is believed to be the location of Jesus’ birth.

Your turn

Did your favorite landmark make the list? Share your absolute, must-see historical site of Jerusalem in the comments below.

Newly Refurbished Seven Seas Mariner Sets Sail

We recently completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment and upgrade to the all-suite, all-balcony ship Seven Seas Mariner.  The renovated ship sailed from Monte Carlo yesterday and will call the Mediterranean home for the remainder of the season.

The refurbishment of Seven Seas Mariner added a fresh, elegant and luxurious new look, while retaining the warmth and charm for which Regent Seven Seas Cruises is acclaimed.  Seven Seas Voyager recently underwent a similar refurbishment and Seven Seas Navigator was similarly upgraded in 2012. The refurbishments underscores our commitment to providing our guests with the ultimate, ultra-inclusive experience on the most luxurious and stylish ships. Highlights of the Seven Seas Mariner transformation include:

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  • The ship’s Grand, Master, Mariner, Seven Seas, Horizons and Penthouse Suites received all-new furniture, upholstery, lighting and wall coverings to exude Park Avenue elegance.
  • The ship’s two-deck high, state-of-the-art show theatre was renovated and will feature our largest and most ambitious production to date.   Titled “Cirque Rock ‘n Roll” this stunning spectacle is filled with aerial theatrics choreographed to music from Michael Jackson, Pink, Queen and more.
  • The Stars Lounge features a dramatic new décor and ambiance. A new stone-topped bar anchors the room and the décor of plum, smoky-grey, gold, black and cream creates a subdued yet elegant atmosphere.
  • The Horizon Lounge received a distinctive new stone-fronted bar, chic new furnishings, tony carpeting, lustrous wall coverings, and new lighting.   While the Mariner Lounge was reconfigured with a spacious “open” floor plan and features a new bar, new stone flooring, lamps and tables.
  • The Observation Lounge sports a stunning new décor of rich ivory, ebony and wine tones. A dramatic new back-lit bar serves as the room’s centerpiece which offers sweeping 270 degree views.
  • The Canyon Ranch Spa received new steam rooms, new stone flooring in the reception area, refurbished changing rooms and the Fitness Center was equipped with brand new state-of-the-art exercise equipment.
  • The Pool Deck, as well as the ship’s outdoor relaxation areas were furnished with brand new resort-style sofas, chairs, and loungers. The Pool Grill and La Veranda also received eye-catching upgrades with new mosaic tiling, new wall coverings draperies, lighting and awnings.

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We can’t wait to host you aboard the newly enhanced Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet.   What new elements are you the most excited to experience?

Captain Stanislas de Lacombe | Master of Seven Seas Navigator

Captain Stanislas de Lacombe is the master of the Seven Seas Navigator, which is currently sailing the beautiful ports of the Caribbean. Since 2009, the French native has served as captain for Regent Seven Sea Cruises, sailing in and out of the world’s most amazing port cities. For this Insider post, he shares his four favorite ports.

Captain Stanislas de Lacombe As a captain for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, I have sailed through the world’s most wondrous waters, like the Panama Canal, Cape Horn and the Suez Canal. I delight in the opportunity to learn about new cultures and customs in every country I visit. As a seafarer, there is always a sense of excitement when arriving to a destination for the first time. However, there are certain ports that no matter how many times you visit, simply take your breath away. Here are four of my favorites:

Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska
Skagway is one of the main ports of call during our Alaska season. I’ve celebrated six seasons in Alaska as captain of Seven Seas Navigator, and have enjoyed each thoroughly. I believe that a cruise in Alaska should be a must-do in everyone’s lifetime, especially aboard Seven Seas Navigator. Our guests enjoy an incredible scenic passage from Vancouver and, aboard an all-balcony ship; they can spot wildlife right from their suite. For a true Skagway experience, take the White Pass train and not only see the inland, but experience one of the world’s greatest accomplishments in civil engineering.

Cape Town, AfricaCape Town, South Africa
Arriving in the southernmost port of South Africa with the Table Mountain in the background is visually spectacular. The historical importance of Cape Town certainly contributes to my love for this amazing city and, of course, its landscape is breathtaking. One of my fondest experiences was visiting the Cape of Good Hope, which is home to a diverse group of animals, including ostriches, baboons and several species of antelope.

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg is amazing, from the renowned art collection housed in the State Hermitage Museum to the iconic architecture of the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. One of the things I enjoy most about “over-nighting” in this city is that there is hardly any night at all. Throughout the month of June, the sun will rise at 4:30 a.m. and set at 11:30 p.m.

St. Malo, FranceSaint-Malo, France
Situated in the region of Brittany, my home country, Saint-Malo is an important maritime city. It was once home to the corsairs, infamous French privateers and sometimes pirates. The city was also home to Jacques Cartier, who explored Canada and sailed the Saint Lawrence River. I lived for a year in a fisherman city called Cancale, situated between Saint-Malo and Mont St-Michel while I prepared for my final exam to join Maritime Academy of France. So, whenever I have the opportunity to sail into Saint-Malo, I am not only reminded of France’s rich maritime history, but it brings me back to my personal history.

Although these ports are very different from one another, one thing is true about my top four – or any of the 200 ports visited by our fleet – these places are best enjoyed in good company, whether with family or the new friends you’ve made on board.

I look forward to welcoming you aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Sail, Sip & Savor Northern Europe & The Baltic

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Amsterdam

When sailing on Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, the summer beauty of Northern Europe and the Baltic beckons from captivating London to beautiful Tallinn. Architectural splendors abound in each city from medieval buildings in Gdańsk to the modern buildings of Stockholm to the breathtaking and ornate palaces of St. Petersburg. Museums in Amsterdam highlight artistic wonders from masters like Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer. On the food front, the region’s culinary tapestry serves up smoked fish and meats, dairy like yogurt, rich cream, butter and cheeses as well as potatoes, root vegetables, grains, herbs, apples, berries and jams.

Potatoes have a real purpose! Not only are they served on Scandinavian and Russian tables – baked, boiled, mashed or roasted – but its remnants are readily poured into a glass. Try a chilled shot of aquavit, a clear and potent Scandinavian liquor distilled from potatoes and flavored with dill or caraway seed. Grains like barley, malt, rye and wheat are not only good in bread, soups and stews but when distilled are a vital element in beers. And Danish, Dutch and Finnish brews deliciously deliver. Vodka is one of the biggest commodities of Northern Europe and well worth sipping while in port or taking a bottle home, especially from Finland or Russia.

A Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish smorgasbord is a traditional buffet offering a little bit of everything. Smoked salmon, pickled herring, cured meats, cheeses, boiled potatoes and salads are presented alongside butters, mustards and local lingonberry or cloudberry condiments. Favorite desserts are jam tarts and butter cookies. In Russia, it is all about caviar or borscht, a cold or warm beet soup. Taste and enjoy!

Scandinavian Delft SAIL: Scandinavia & St. Petersburg, Russia. Before sailing away, bring Scandinavian or Russian flavors and flair home. Shop for Danish, Swedish or Finnish tabletop items or trinkets of traditional blue and white porcelain or modern designs in silver or cut crystal. Carved blonde wood pieces in Scandinavia are prominent while black lacquer boxes with colorful designs are Russian signature mementos. Scandinavian butter cookies make a great gift. For vodka, buy Finlandia in Finland or Stolichnaya in Russia.

Vodka & CaviarSIP: Aquavit, Beer or Vodka. In Norway and Sweden, it’s all about aquavit. The Dutch and the Danes love their beer and it remains both Holland and Denmark’s number one export. In Amsterdam look for Heineken or Amstel and in Copenhagen sip the local star Carlsberg. And for a true sipping adventure, the Danes enjoy a shot of aquavit followed by a beer chaser! The Finnish appreciate beer too and the local labels are Koff, Kahru or Lapin Kulta. With vodka, the Finnish sip Finlandia and the Russians sip Stolichnaya.

CheeseSAVOR: Smoked Fish, Cured Meats, Potatoes & Hearty Cheeses From smoked salmon or white fish to pickled herring, fish is a main component at any meal in this part of the world. Cured meats from hams to reindeer complement milky cheeses like Gouda and Edam and boiled potatoes on their own or in salads are ever present too.


Mara Papatheodorou Mara Papatheodorou is a Master Foodie, a Tastes & Traditions Expert and a nationally established entertaining specialist. She has interpreted the cuisine and experienced the culture of over 65 countries worldwide. As an 11 year Contributing Editor at BON APPETIT Magazine, Mara scouted and produced the Entertaining with Style section that highlighted how real people entertain around the country and the world and was editor of their international editions. She works as a consultant with food companies developing recipes, menus and promotional campaigns.

Mara is the Tastes & Traditions Expert for Regent Seven Seas Cruises where she lectures regularly about the history of cuisine and culture and what to sip and savor in various ports. Mara will sail on Seven Seas Voyager from Australia to New Zealand in January 2014 and on Seven Seas from New England to Canada in October 2014. You can read more about her at www.marapapa.com

Sneak Peak: Seven Seas Mariner’s Stunning Makeover

On April 7, 2014, Seven Seas Mariner® will debut her stunning new look and upgraded amenities. Upon completion of her multi-million dollar refurbishment, the all-suite, all-balcony ship will—with her sister ships Seven Seas Voyager® and Seven Seas Navigator®—redefine superlatives as the most luxurious and stylish ships afloat.

Highlights of the transformation include:

  • Upper suites (Grand, Master, Mariner, Seven Seas, Horizons and Penthouse Suites) will boast all-new furniture, upholstery, lighting and wall coverings. Each will feature sophisticated, timeless décor with new sofas and chairs, new dining tables, new lamps and accent lighting. Rich, luxurious fabrics have been chosen to give each category of suite their own unique look and character.
  • The Stars Lounge will feature a new stone-topped bar that anchors the room and the décor of plum, smoky-grey, gold, black and cream creates a subdued yet plush and elegant atmosphere. Rich woolen carpets, supple leather, dark hardwood paneling and hammered-copper accents will create an air of distinction, taste and elegance.
  • Horizons, the ship’s nightclub and bar, will receive a distinctive new stone-fronted bar, chic new furnishings, tony carpeting, lustrous wall coverings, and new lighting throughout while the Mariner Lounge will be reconfigured with a spacious “open” floor plan and feature a new bar, new stone flooring, lamps, and tables.
  • The Observation Lounge will sport a stunning new décor of rich ivory, ebony and wine tones. A dramatic new back-lit bar serves as the room’s centerpiece which offers sweeping 270 degree views.
  • The Canyon Ranch SpaClub® receives new steam rooms, new stone flooring in reception area, refurbished changing rooms and the Fitness Center will be equipped with brand new state-of-the-art equipment.
  • The exterior decks and al fresco lounges will receive just as much as attention as the interior spaces. New teak will be installed on the balconies of all 350 suites and teak decking in common areas will be re-surfaced and re-finished to brand-new condition. The Pool Deck, as well as the ship’s outdoor relaxation areas will be furnished with brand new resort furniture and stylish accents. The Pool Grill and La Veranda also received eye-catching upgrades with new mosaic tiling, new wall coverings draperies, lighting and awnings.
  • The ship’s two-deck high, state-of-the-art show theatre will be rejuvenated with new carpeting, all new upholstery, wall coverings, cocktail tables, wall sconces, banquettes and chairs.

The multi-million dollar investment in the refurbishment of Seven Seas Mariner is a testament to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ ongoing commitment to deliver the most inclusive luxury cruise experience. This dramatic transformation is part of a comprehensive upgrade program that began in October with Seven Seas Voyager. By the beginning of this summer, each ship will boast dramatic, stunning new interiors and refreshed exterior decks, and suites will have received new décor with custom-crafted elegant furnishings, while lounges and public spaces will exude a renewed sense of style and elegance.

Realm of the Vikings

There is no other country in the world that personifies the old adage “seeing is believing” more accurately than Norway. Not only will you witness magnificent fjords and glaciers, and immerse yourself in a sophisticated cultural life, but Norway is also the gateway to the top of the world. And there is no better way to journey to the northern most point cruise vessels may travel than in the lap of luxury.

Departing from Oslo on a 16-night voyage, you will be able to discover cosmopolitan Kristiansand and historic Bergen where a funicular ride up scenic Mount Floyen will take your breath away. In Spitsbergen (Longyearbyen), an active wildlife will surprise you at every turn. And after cruising the Magdalena Fjord, you will venture as far north as the Polar Ice Barrier, the nearly vertical seaward edge of the ice cap of the North Pole.

Spitsbergen

Above the Arctic Circle, you will visit picturesque Harstad and witness the gorgeous Hellesylt Waterfall that plunges over the granite face of the fjord, cascading in thousands of feet of rainbows and foam. All of this in addition to an unforgettable visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site Geirangerfjord, before arriving in the royal capital of Denmark, Copenhagen.

Hellesylt Waterfall

Embark on a journey to the top of the world on the Realm of the Vikings itinerary beginning on July 10 aboard Seven Seas Voyager

New Summer Destinations for 2015

Throughout Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 22-year history, guests have sailed across oceans and seas to all corners of the world. And today the world just got a little bigger. The 2015 Summer Collection is officially open for reservations and features brand new ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite additions from this exciting collection.

Jewels of the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea is surrounded by so many unforgettable places, such as the ruins of Knossos on Crete, the volcano of Santorini and the marvels of Ephesus, just to name a few. The addition of the new ports-of-call of Izimir, Turkey and Gythion, Greece, enhance our repertoire of Mediterranean locales.  Be sure to try one of Izmir’s delicious shish kebabs or a traditional kumru sandwich as you head off to explore its beautiful beaches. And when in Gythion, be sure to enjoy a delicious seafood lunch alfresco in a traditional ouzerie.

Izmir, Turkey

Izmir, Turkey

Gythion, Greece

Gythion, Greece

English Accents From a hip northern city to the home of the Beatles to a historic town in the south coast, three new English ports offer contrasting views of the “Land of Hope and Glory.” Visit fantastic art galleries in Tyne (Newcastle). Tour the world’s largest Anglican cathedral in Liverpool. Or enjoy a delicious lunch at an oceanfront café in Plymouth. These ports indulge your summertime wanderlust.

Tyne (Newcastle), England

Tyne (Newcastle), England

Liverpool, England

Liverpool, England

Plymouth, England

Plymouth, England

A shade of French Blue Home to one of France’s most beautiful natural harbors, Brest is a perfect destination for summer exploration. A stroll across the Pont de l’Iroise will give you an unparalleled view of the city. And Sète is an exquisite village in the French Mediterranean with beautiful beaches and a network of waterways that give it its nickname, “the little Venice of Languedoc.”

Brest, France

Brest, France

Sète, France

Sète, France

Lights on Norway There is no other country in the world that personifies that old adage “seeing is believing” more accurately than Norway. Throughout your travels you will visit magnificent fjords and glaciers and immerse yourself in a sophisticated cultural life. And in Trondheim, there is no shortage of historical sites and avant-garde art galleries and museums – all in a beautiful and natural setting.

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim, Norway

From Russia with Love Discover the land of czars, palaces and monuments between the Black and White Seas. Two new ports will satiate your sense of adventure and passion for travel. In the south, journey to Batumi and soak in the cosmopolitan atmosphere and its unique charm. For a dramatic change in landscape and climate, head north to the Solovetsky Islands where watching beluga whales in the wild will take your breath away.

Solovetsky Islands, Russia

Solovetsky Islands, Russia

Untamed Spain There is no better place to feel the summer’s warmth than in Spain’s Costa Brava. Both Palamós and Almería are the perfect additions to the 2015 Summer Collection. Discover these new ports of call and understand why they inspire so many artists, from Salvador Dalí to John Lennon.

Almería, Spain

Almería, Spain

Palamós, Spain

Palamós, Spain

Wonders of Namibia Traveling through Namibia, you will undoubtedly experience a joyous world that is both rich in tradition and wildlife. In the new summer port of Lüderitz, you can enjoy authentic German beer, as they continue to honor their founders by brewing it in compliance with Germany’s strict beer purity laws. And in Walvis Bay, you will witness the migration of hundreds of thousands of birds, including Greater and Lesser Flamingos that feed in the Walvis Bay wetlands.

Lüderitz, Namibia

Lüderitz, Namibia

Walvis Bay, Namibia

Walvis Bay, Namibia

There are still many more new ports featured in our 2015 Summer Collection – a total of 27 new locations to be exact. And these cities will not only pique your curiosity, but they will ignite your passion for travel. Paired with our FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions, you can explore the natural wonders of Trondheim or the relaxed atmosphere of Batumi – all while sailing in all inclusive luxury aboard our elegant, all-suite ships with gourmet cuisine, impeccable service and the camaraderie of like-minded travelers. Take a look and let us know which new port you are most looking forward to visiting in the comment space below.