Taking Time for Thanksgiving

Millions of families and friends across the U.S. will celebrate Thanksgiving at home this Thursday, while Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ guests enjoy a chef-prepared gourmet dinner in the company of like-minded luxury travelers, eager to sail to exciting destinations.

From the prominent Elephanta Caves to a dazzling exploration of Bombay at night, guests aboard Seven Seas Voyager® will spend Thanksgiving in Mumbai (Bombay), India.  Guests aboard Seven Seas Navigator® will bask in the sun on a tranquil beach in Castries, St. Lucia and Seven Seas Mariner® guests will relish a Thanksgiving at sea as they sail toward Richards Bay, South Africa.

Whether celebrating the U.S. day of thanks at home or at sea, we wish our loyal guests a joyful Thanksgiving!


What is the history of Thanksgiving?

The English sailed on the Mayflower to New England in the 1600’s. Those travelers, known as Pilgrims, settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they were taught by the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to cultivate and harvest the land for food and crops. With a successful bounty in November 1621, Pilgrim Governor William Bradford organized the first “giving of thanks” feast and invited the Native Americans to share the meal as a show of appreciation for their help.

What was served at the first Thanksgiving?

There wasn’t a bit of turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie in sight! When the Pilgrims gave thanks for a plentiful harvest and their safe arrival to New England, they ate what they sowed, caught and hunted. The sharing of that first meal lasted three days. There was lobster, rabbit, venison, chicken, beans, corn, carrots, onions, cabbage and eggs. Sweet desserts came from honey and maple syrup, chestnuts and dried apples, cranberries and pears.

How did it go from a harvest feast to a national holiday in the United States?

Colonies and states were already holding autumn feasts of thanks and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday of November as the national day of giving thanks, calling it Thanksgiving. In the 1940’s, Congress passed a federal law confirming Lincoln’s declaration.

What are the popular side dishes?

The abundant autumn crops are squash, corn, sweet and white potatoes, pumpkins, carrots and beans. Back then, developing colonies throughout the East Coast and the South put their own flavors and flair on them creating diverse regional options.

What about pumpkin pie?

Pumpkins are the symbol of autumn since they are ripe and ready for picking in October and November. When the Pilgrims arrived to New England, they recognized the pumpkin and turned it into a dessert. Its texture and flesh made it the perfect pudding and it was delicious when seasoned with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin pudding went on to become pumpkin pie, where it remains as the traditional finale of the Thanksgiving meal.

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