11 New Immersive Culinary Programmes Bolster Brand Promise for World Class Culinary Experiences
Seven New Immersive Epicurean Spotlight Voyages Revealed with Further Culinary-Focused Initiatives to be Announced
Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, leading luxury ocean cruise line, has unveiled its new immersive culinary programme - Epicurean Perfection - inspiring culinary exploration and experiences with a myriad of opportunities for guests to satiate their inner gourmand and savour their journey onboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™.
To launch Epicurean Perfection, Regent has unveiled 11 Epicurean Spotlight Voyages that will sail in 2023, 2024 and 2025. All 11 cruises will offer discerning travellers incomparable experiences with some of the world’s most talented and successful culinary figures.
“Nothing enhances travel like cuisine. That is why we are unveiling our new Epicurean Perfection programming, so our guests have an unrivalled culinary experience both onboard and ashore with our collection of world class restaurants, immersive shore excursions, tours, classes, and tastings,” said Andrea DeMarco, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We’re excited to launch our new Epicurean Spotlight Voyages with world-renowned chefs, vintners and sommeliers who will provide fascinating insights and unforgettable moments for our guests.”
Epicurean Perfection gives guests the opportunity to taste the world around them through Unrivalled Cuisine, Epicurean Explorations and Epicurean Enrichment. The new concept, perfected by Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ seasoned culinary teams, features exquisite cuisine in up to five speciality restaurants, immersive shoreside excursions, private fine wine and spirit tasting sessions, enriching hands-on cooking classes as part of its state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Kitchen, plus enlightening demonstrations, talks and presentations.
In addition, guests may discover more about the personal experiences and influences from around the globe that have inspired Regent’s culinary teams in the cruise line’s video series Heritage Stories.
More about Regent’s pursuit for Epicurean Perfection at RSSC.com/experience/epicurean-perfection.
New Epicurean Spotlight Voyages
The first of several culinary initiatives to be launched this year, includes a collection of 11 immersive Epicurean Spotlight Voyages featuring world-class chefs and masterful vintners specially curated for voyages onboard Seven Seas Grandeur™, Seven Seas Splendor® and Seven Seas Explorer®, Seven Seas Mariner®, and Seven Seas Voyager®.
all images provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises® image - Compass Rose - American Paddlefish Profiteroles ©RSSC
Epicurean Spotlight with Chef Mark Bittman and Executive Culinary Director Wolfgang Maier
Seven Seas Explorer® - June 21, 2023
Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia
Epicurean Spotlight with Chef Alain Roux & Chef Michael Nizzero
Seven Seas Mariner® - August 14, 2023
Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice (Fusina)
Epicurean Spotlight with Chef Vincent
Seven Seas Explorer® August 30, 2023
Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia
Epicurean Spotlight on Wine with Doug Frost, Master Sommelier
Seven Seas Splendor® October 8, 2023
Barcelona (Tarragona) to Venice (Fusina)
Epicurean Spotlight on Wine with Honig Wineries
Seven Seas Splendor® November 6, 2023
Athens (Piraeus) to Rome (Civitavecchia)
Epicurean Spotlight on Wine with Caldwell Vineyard
Seven Seas Voyager® March 9, 2024
Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro
Epicurean Spotlight on Wine with CAST Wines
Seven Seas Splendor® April 14, 2024
Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia)
Epicurean Spotlight on Wine with Sbragia Family Vineyards
Seven Seas Voyager® May 8, 2024
Istanbul to Athens (Piraeus)
Epicurean Spotlight with Chef Tommaso and Celebrity John O’Hurley
Seven Seas Grandeur™ August 14, 2024
Athens (Piraeus), Greece to Barcelona, Spain
Epicurean Spotlight with ZAP: Zinfandel Advocates and Producers
Seven Seas Explorer® March 31, 2025
Tokyo to Tokyo
all images provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises® Prime 7 Layered Cake ©RSSC
Regent’s onboard culinary experiences go well beyond the inclusion of most speciality restaurants on any luxury or premium cruise brand. Special tastings, deck-top regional barbecues and enriching cooking classes are just a few of the ingredients that come together to create discernibly unrivalled culinary experiences.
Signature restaurants include Compass Rose, Regent’s largest speciality restaurant featuring exquisite selections where guests to customise their meal; Chartreuse, offering classic French fare with a modern twist; Prime 7, intimate and elegant steakhouse exuding class and glamour while elevating classic American fare; Pacific Rim, a dramatic speciality restaurant with a diverse array of Pan-Asian dishes; La Veranda, offering ocean views while enjoying elegant breakfast and lunch buffets in the chic indoor dining room or al fresco on the shaded, open-air deck; and Sette Mari at La Veranda, featuring a dinner menu of authentic Italian specialities and fine wines.
all images provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises® Pacific Rim - Salmon & Tuna Sashimi ©RSSC
Epicurean Explorer Tours: Step ashore to taste and discover ancient markets and world-class restaurants before returning to the ship to incorporate new learnings in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Wine & Spirits Tours: Experience delectable beverages produced in the destination, from vineyards in Bordeaux to an Irish distillery.
Food & Wine Tours: Led by knowledgeable culinary professionals and in partnership with Food & Wine Trails, these curated tours include various delectable food and wine experiences.
Local Flavours Tours: Dine in the spots favoured by discerning locals for authentic culinary experiences
Epicurean Spotlight Voyages: These Spotlight Voyages specially curated are crafted around particular culinary interests and guests including vintners and chefs.
Culinary Arts Kitchen Experience: Expanding on the success of Regent’s world-class Culinary Arts Kitchen – a professional-grade culinary teaching facility aboard Seven Seas Grandeur, Seven Seas Splendor, and Seven Seas Explorer – the Culinary Arts Kitchen Experiences offer hands-on classes, special demonstrations and tours.
Epicurean Engagements: Part of the luxury cruise line’s enriching Speaker Series, talks and presentations offer insights from culinary experts.
The fascinating culinary expedition surrounding the refined menu in Sette Mari was documented in a short film which can be viewed here.
Long-standing culinary traditions of the south of France used to inspire new recipes and wine options in Regent’s French restaurant Chartreuse can be viewed here.
For more information visit RSSC.com , call 023 8068 2280 or contact a professional travel advisor.
Swan Hellenic and SETI Institute announce programme of lecturers onboard specific expedition cruises throughout the year for the ‘Explore Space at Sea’ series
Swan Hellenic is the expedition cruise company to travel with to see the Arctic, Antarctic and indeed, the rest of the world – from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, Norway to New Zealand, Australia to Africa, Madagascar to the Mediterranean. It has two state-of-the-art expedition ships, SH Minerva and SH Vega and a brand-new expedition cruise ship SH Diana will be launched on 4 May 2023, bringing Swan Hellenic’s cutting-edge fleet to three.
Incorporated as a Californian non-profit corporation, the SETI Institute is a space and earth science research organisation supporting NASA and NSF programmes and partnering with private industry and academia to answer some of humanity’s most profound scientific questions. SETI stands for 'search for extra-terrestrial intelligence'.
Swan Hellenic teamed up with the SETI Institute to take its cruise explorations further and deeper, including into the far reaches of space. Now Swan Hellenic has announced further details of its partnership with the SETI Institute to provide guests with expert insights into the history and latest discoveries in astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology and planetary science – and the quest to find other forms of life within and beyond our solar system. This quest takes SETI Institute researchers to the planet’s most remote and inhospitable corners to explore life, including Antarctica, where the Swan Hellenic fleet is present for several months every year.
The new partnership will engage Swan Hellenic's many adventure travellers with never-before-seen presentations on explorations around Earth and beyond, adding an extra dimension to their journey.
Riviera Travel is offering a free drinks package on all European river cruises departing in July and August 2023.
The deal, available now, is applicable on bookings made up to February 28, 2023 with 82 departures to choose from, across 11 different itineraries. The itineraries, ranging from seven to 14 nights, cover countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. The drinks package includes a selection of wines, draft beer and soft drinks at both lunch and dinner onboard.
Riviera offers complimentary tea and coffee making facilities in cabins, suites and public areas of the ship, on all their sailings.
Katja Hildebrandt, Riviera Travel head of product river and ocean cruise, said: “There’s no more relaxing way to explore Europe than on a luxury river cruise. River cruises already offer great value for money - with regional flights, transfers, guided tours and visits along with all meals all included in the price and now with free drinks, there’s never been a better time to book.”
Itinerary: The Blue Danube river cruise
Ship: MS Thomas Hardy
Departure date: July 20, 2023 Duration: 7-nights Price: £2089pp
Departure city: Budapest Calls at: Esztergom, Bratislava, Durnstein, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest
What's included: drinks package, return flights / transfers, full board, guided visits and tours, Wi-fi, expert Cruise Director and Concierge.
For more information: The Blue Danube River Cruise | 2022/2023 River Cruises | Riviera Travel
Via: www.rivieratravel.co.uk or call 01283 523431
So there I was, perched precariously on an uncomfortable narrow seat in the tractor-hauled cart as it bumped its way up the hill heading for the main street ‘The Avenue.’ A few minutes earlier I had alighted from a rocky, one hour crossing on the boat from Guernsey. The rain had stopped, which renewed my enthusiasm for exploring tiny Sark, an island which is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It is unique in that it is a fiefdom granted to the Seigneurie of St Ouen in Jersey back in 1565, with the proviso that he kept the island free from pirates.
click on any image to enlarge words/images (c) Gilly Pickup
The ride in the tractor-hauled buggy, nicknamed the ‘toastrack’ due to its design, is one of three ways visitors can get to the village after alighting from the boat – the other two involve walking up a steep hill or hiring a horse and cart (£10 pp per hour when I was there). Even the ambulance and fire engine operate on the towed-by-tractor basis. There are no roads, just dusty, stony tracks and rural pathways, so for walkers, good footwear is essential. Those who prefer to cycle can hire one from a shop on The Avenue. Although most people visiting the island are day trippers like me, there is accommodation available for those seeking a chill out break including a couple of hotels, guest houses, self-catering properties and a few campsites.
Alighting thankfully from the buggy, I walked passed the prison, possibly the world’s smallest with only two cells – a local told me that it is still used for rare, overnight stays. I was heading for historic manor house, ‘La Seigneurie’ built around 1675. Though the house, permanent residence of the present Seigneur – the head of Sark, is not open to the public, the grounds are open daily and it is one of Sark's most popular attractions. There is a café in the gardens where I had coffee and cake then suitably refreshed, set off again past deep winding valleys bursting with wild flowers, white washed cottages and berry-laden hedgerows to the Hog's Back headland, a favourite spot with picnickers. Dixcart Wood is worth a visit too, in spring it is carpeted in bluebells and it remains a blaze of year round colour thanks to the profusion of celandines, primroses, three-cornered garlic, red campion and ferns which grow here. Those seeking more adrenaline fuelled pastimes can try coasteering, geocaching or kayaking while at low tide, there are coastal caves to explore.
Sark has no street lights so if locals go out at night they have to carry a torch to see where they are going. Since there is no light pollution, the night sky can be viewed in all its glory and Sark was designated the world’s dark sky first island in 2011. No special equipment is needed to enjoy the starry display but there is a powerful telescope in a small observatory – well, a shed really - primarily designed to keep star-gazers warm at night. If you go, you’ll be bound to see the creamy rich Milky Way, a display of shooting stars is almost guaranteed and you will be mesmerised by the twinkling lights of Guernsey far across the sea.
Read about Guernsey's wildlife here
The rest of my brief visit to the Channel Islands was spent in Guernsey, famed for its flowers and fabulous seafood and one of the few places in the world where Santa Claus arrives by lifeboat, rendering Rudolf redundant. It’s a small island, only 25sq miles, but has a variety of landscapes from rocky inlets to high-sided woodland and curving pastures. It’s easy to get whisked back in time as almost everywhere you look here there is evidence of a fascinating past, from medieval castles, forts and watchtowers to landmarks providing memories of the years when Hitler’s forces invaded the islands, particularly La Valette German Underground Museum and the Occupation Museum with its hoard of war relics. No modern fast food outlets are allowed on Guernsey either, it has stuck to its guns. No MacDonalds, Pizza Hut or Starbucks. Well maybe that’s no bad thing.
Victor Hugo was so enamoured with the island that he was inspired to write most of Les Miserables there during his 15 year stay. He described his new homeland as ‘the rock of hospitality, this corner of old Norman land where the noble people of the sea reside.’ I wanted to visit his house but it was closed so had to make do with standing outside and imagining what it might look like from the inside. I did get inside Castle Cornet though, last remaining royalist stronghold during the last throes of the English Civil War. Unfortunately for the governor’s wife, an explosion in 1672 in the gunpowder store blew off the top of the tower and she was killed. Today, it contains several museums, including one devoted to all things seafaring while its gardens are great for wafting round on a pleasant day.
Foodies should know that everywhere you go in Guernsey you’ll enjoy fantastic fare. Personally I like 'gache’, the local finger-licking fruit loaf traditionally eaten smothered with rich golden Guernsey butter. Fish fans must savour a bumper bowl of seriously fabulous ‘moules’, probably the freshest you’re likely to find. Add to that friendly locals, interesting scenery and inexpensive car rental and you’ll wonder, as I did, why it took you so long to visit.
images (c) Gilly Pickup
Sark Visitor Centre Guernsey Tourism
Condor Ferries operates year round services from Poole to Guernsey
Isle of Sark Shipping Company operate regular sailings from Guernsey to Sark
image (c) Cunard
Inspiring voyages sailing 2023 and 2024, including special maiden voyages on new ship, Queen Anne.
Luxury cruise brand Cunard unveils over 110 international voyages, sailing on its iconic fleet between 23 October 2023 and 14 May 2024, including maiden voyages on new ship Queen Anne.
Across the new itineraries, the four-ship fleet - Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne, will call at 126 ports in 51 countries, with voyages ranging from two-night city breaks to a 108-night world voyage.
Queen Anne is scheduled to call at more than 32 ports during her maiden season, all sailing out of Southampton. Following her maiden voyage to Lisbon, the newest Queen will embark on sailings in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Northern Europe as well as an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing.
In 2024, Queen Victoria will embark on a 107-night World Voyage, departing Southampton on a full circumnavigation. The ship will sail westbound to North America, including a transit of the Panama Canal onwards to Australia, Asia, returning to Europe via South Africa, visiting 32 unique destinations.
Queen Mary 2, the world’s only ocean liner, will begin her season with an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing from New York, before setting off from Southampton on a 108-night World Voyage. The liner will sail to the Mediterranean, Asia via the Suez Canal, Australia returning to Europe via South Africa.
Following a fly-cruise season in Barcelona, Queen Elizabeth will relocate to Singapore before starting her Australian residency with a 6-night voyage from Fremantle. She’ll embark on a series of short break and roundtrip voyages from Melbourne and Sydney, including a Christmas and New Year voyage to New Zealand, 10-night exploration of Queensland and a new 14-night voyage calling in the South Pacific.
“Announcing every new programme for Cunard is always exciting, but this year is even more so, as guests will be able to choose itineraries across four magnificent ships in the fleet for the first time since 1999,” said Sture Myrmell, President, Carnival UK. “In the newly announced programme, each ship offers a unique experience with distinct itineraries. With Queen Anne based out of Southampton, Queen Elizabeth out of Australia and Japan and Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 both sailing world voyages, one with a full circumnavigation, the other exploring destinations across the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and Africa. Our new voyages bring opportunities to explore all corners of the world in luxurious surroundings while enjoying our White Star Service and all the other special touches that make a trip with Cunard so special.”
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Welcome to The World 2023 & 2024 New Voyages - Key Itineraries Maiden Voyage (H403)
Guests join an illustrious guest list on board Queen Anne’s maiden voyage to Lisbon, celebrating a new chapter of Cunard history. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton on 4 January 2024, this 7-night voyage will offer an overnight port call in which to savour Lisbon’s UNESCO-listed Belém Tower, palaces of Sintra, and the atmospheric nightlife of the Barrio Alto. On her return to Southampton, the newest Queen will be joined by sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, marking the first time these three Queens will come together. A fitting end to a voyage filled with celebratory moments. Inside staterooms from £1,299 per person.
Eastern Caribbean (H405)
Guests can take pleasure in all that the newest ship has to offer on this 35-night Caribbean adventure taking in Barbados and St Lucia. Queen Anne departs Southampton 27 January 2024. Inside staterooms from £5,299 per person.
Western Mediterranean (H408)
This 16-night voyage comprises a mix of days at sea and time in port, offering the chance to discover the on board delights as well as the fascinating histories of Lisbon, Cadiz and Rome. Queen Anne departs Southampton 29 March 2024. Inside staterooms from £2,299 per person.
Full World Voyage (V404D)
This 107-night World Voyage provides the opportunty to see the four corners of the world. Destinations including San Francisco and Fiji plus overnights in Hong Kong and South Africa. Queen Victoria departs Southampton 11 January 2024. Inside staterooms from £12,499 per person.
Southampton to Sydney (M403B)
Blissful days at sea provide a relaxing balance between time ashore in Portugal, South Africa and Australia on this 47-night sailing that includes three overnight port calls. Queen Mary 2 departs Southampton 11 January 2024. Inside staterooms from £5,699 per person.
The white sands of the Whitsunday Islands and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Great Barrier Reef are among the natural highlights of this 10-night voyage. Queen Elizabeth departs Sydney 22 January 2024. Inside staterooms from £1,399 per person.
Southern Islands (Q417)
The 10-night round trip from Tokyo transports guests from neon-lit streets to historic shrines, stately castles and natural habitats. Queen Elizabeth departs Tokyo 14 May 2024. Inside staterooms from £1,399 per person.
2023 and 2024 new voyages sailing on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are available to book from 24 May 2022, Queen Anne’s maiden sailings are bookable from 17 May 2022.
Cunard, luxury British cruise line, is renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic since 1840, celebrating 182 years of operation. A pioneer in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. Destinations include Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia.
There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria and a fourth ship, Queen Anne, will be entering service in early 2024. This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel/ cruise writer & author of 13 books. Credits incl: Daily Telegraph, CNN, Daily Mail, BBC magazines, Country & Town House, The Scotsman, Scots Magazine, Love Exploring, Sunday Mirror, The Sun, Cruise Trade News and many more .....