We don’t often spotlight just one company, but Regent Seven Seas Cruises is making us—the behind the scenes travel aficionados—very excited. The latest addition to the fleet, the Seven Seas Explorer, is cited as “the world’s most luxurious cruise ship” and is opening it’s inaugural Mediterranean season this Spring with a particular culinary focus. As the company announces something new, they are also upgrading something ‘old,’ committing $125 million to remodel the other three ships, bringing a consistent look and feel across the intimate fleet. But what we are really excited about is the Gourmet Explorer Tours offered this Spring with the Seven Seas Explorer.
Each of the ships has a strong Culinary Arts Kitchen, which allows guests to explore the destination and local culture through its culinary offerings, wherever the cruise may take you. The newest ship joining the fleet this Spring, the Seven Seas Navigator, will take that program to the next level. “Our tours were expertly crafted to provide our guests with unique opportunities to dine at a highly coveted and world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, visit iconic markets and palatial vineyard estate homes, and learn from some of Europe’s premier chefs with personalized, hands-on instruction,” says Jason Montague, president and COO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
These trips, called the Gourmet Explorer Tours, are designed for guests seeking unique, one-of-a-kind epicurean adventures ashore to complement the unrivaled culinary experiences found aboard. To take the experience above and beyond, each Gourmet Explorer Tour will be accompanied by the chief instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen and a local guide, often a chef, with intimate knowledge of the region’s agriculture, wine and cuisine, to add an extra layer of authenticity to this immersive culinary experience.
So you can feel as excited as we are, see some of the highlighted stops to be found along this dream voyage in the Mediterranean. Foodies beware!
- Sorrento, Italy – Become immersed in the unique cuisine of Campagnia by making cheese at the artisanal fromagerie, watching a culinary demonstration by a master chef, and wining and dining amid the luxury gardens of the stunning Don Alfonso.
- Monte Carlo, Monaco – Wine tasting at Cave Bianchi in Nice followed by dinner at the famed La Chèvre d’Or restaurant highlight a special night out with fellow foodies. Guests gain an appreciation for local and traditionally-inspired dishes hand-selected for the evening affair.
- Saint Tropez, France – Bask in an evening of ultimate gourmand indulgence on the luxurious French Riviera. Taste three Provence varietals at the famed La Croix winery, and then enjoy a gourmet dining experience at the renowned La Vague d’Or, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in the heart of Saint Tropez.
- Barcelona, Spain – Enjoy the gloriously rich Catalan culinary scene with guided strolls through the famed Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets, followed by an unforgettable lunch and kitchen tour from Chef Jordi Cruz at ABaC, a famed 2-star Michelin restaurant.
- Palamos, Spain – For an intimate look at this beguiling region, guests enjoy a tasting at an artisanal olive oil producer before enjoying a cooking demonstration and 7-course tasting menu luncheon in the magical, stone-walled village of Madremanya.
Tip from a Travel Agent: Usually “all-inclusive” implies a sliding scale of amenities you select (and pay for) beforehand, but Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the only truly all-inclusive cruise line, meaning everything from airfare to unlimited shore excursions (unheard of) to all-access gourmet dining to gratuity is paid for in your initial fare. To those looking to really getaway for a once in a lifetime experience, this company offers it.
Update: Santa Barbara Travel Bureau is hosting an event February 2nd! Wine and Food with a Travel Twist, where you can learn about all-inclusive sailing and life on board luxurious Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Discover their new itineraries and special offers. Meet the travel experts of Santa Barbara Travel and the Sales Manager from Regent Seven Seas Cruises. RSVP details here on our events page.