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.

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 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, 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 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.

Saint-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.