Everything is first class, and everything is included: best seats for Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ at the world famous Arena Di Verona in an eagerly awaited new classical production by Zeffirelli, 10 years in the making, and starring one of the great Verdi sopranos, Lisette Oropesa; during a two-night stay in Verona; followed by a palatial 10-night cruise from Venice enveloped by the summer sun and ocean breeze. We shall swim in warm crystal clear turquoise seas, drink Champagne and fine wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and gaze on the beauties of the Cote d’Azur and Dalmatia from our luxurious private veranda and suite. This will be a holiday to dream about.
We shall see Europe’s idyllic landscapes, seascapes, towns and cities, while being pampered on this fully inclusive, multi-award-winning, six-star cruise with Regent Seven Seas.
The dates are August 7 to August 19, 2019. Everything is included: your luxurious suite with your private veranda on the 350-suite Regent Seven Seas Voyager, return flights and transfers, excellent and unlimited wines, fine dining in gourmet speciality restaurants, private dining in your suite,
And as a CountryClubuk Member you will not only have an exclusive opportunity to enjoy this special performance at the Opera Festival in Verona from the best seats in the house, as well as a three-day stay in Verona prior to your cruise, but you will save up to 47% off the full rates. For full details, please read on . . .
We are thrilled to continue our new World Travel and Artistic Events by inviting you to join us on a fabulous trip not open to the public at large. We shall have best seats for the hugely anticipated Franco Zeffirelli stage production of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ in the world-famous amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona, during the prestigious Opera Festival. It will be part of a two-night holiday in Verona, followed by a 10-night six-star cruise of the Cote d’Azur, the Dalmatian and the Amalfi Coast.
The opera will be a breathtaking performance in one of the most spectacular open-air venues in the world, directed and designed by the Maestro, who has been working for 10 years on his production. Zeffirelli, now aged 96, is renowned for works of emotion and unprecedented beauty. And after two blissful nights in this wondrous Italian city, having been among the very first to see this spectacular new production, we shall be whisked to Venice to board our luxurious yacht Regent Seven Seas Voyager for our six-star cruise on the Riviera. What could be more wonderful, or more memorable?
Also wonderful is the exclusive Club rate, which starts at £5,389 per person for the whole holiday, all-inclusive. The full value starts at more than £10,000. For details, read on …
The itinerary begins on Wednesday, Aug 7, when we fly from the UK to Verona for our three-day, two-night, fully escorted stay, transferring to Venice to board Voyager ready to embark on Aug 9, after which the dates and ports of call are: Aug 10, Zadar, Croatia; Aug 11, Kotor, Montenegro; Aug 12, Corfu, Greece; Aug 13, Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Aug 13, Cruising the Strait of Messina; Aug 14, Amalfi/Positano, Italy; Aug 15, Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Aug 16, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Aug 17, Cannes, France; Aug 18, Palamos, Spain; Aug 19, Barcelona, Spain. With just a single full day at sea, the pre-cruise visit to Verona and the 57 port excursions really come into their own. At each port of call you can partake in as many shore excursions as you wish—and have energy for!—among the variety of visits and events, historic insights, entertainment, wine and food tastings, dancing and discovery.
Take, for example, our visit to Verona. An elegant city of picturesque streets and stunning architecture, Verona was built by the Romans more than two centuries ago. It is a beautiful and enthralling city, and a wonderful place in which to see Italian opera in general—and this opera in particular: Verona is already spellbound in anticipation, awaiting the much loved Maestro Zeffirelli’s ‘La Traviata’ to be performed.
On the day of the Opera, after breakfast you are invited on a dedicated walking tour of Verona, to include Piazza Bra, Juliet’s House and Piazza Erbe, after which the day is your own in which to relax before the highlight of your stay, the performance at the Arena di Verona, where you will have the best seats, the Gold Poltronissima. Doors open at 7.30pm, and though the performance is not until 8.45pm, to arrive early will be to soak up the atmosphere of this historic Italian opera house.
This will be a special Opera night. One of the most loved of Verdi’s operas, La Traviata’s glorious arias and soaring choruses vividly depict the ravishingly decadent but glamorous world of Parisian high society, and the emotional roller-coaster that is ‘La Traviata’. It is one of Verdi’s most dazzling showcases—and also among the most moving in all opera. To be here in person to witness all this, together with Franco Zoffirelli’s bewitching production, will be unmissable.
As to the beautiful and tempestuous Oropesa, as Violetta she has brought audiences to their feet, one critic naming her ‘among the role’s great exponents in her generation’. Alongside her will be ‘Una voce per l’Arena’, the glorious rising star tenor Raffaele Abete, a darling of Opera Verona and another whose soaring path to fame has been meteoric. They will lead an impressive international cast, including another multiple award-winner who has hit recent headlines: the young Mongolian baritone Badral Chuulunbaatar.
Next day we shall take the 90-minute drive from Verona to Venice, to board our luxurious yacht Voyager for the spellbinding ocean cruise to come. As the sun goes down over the lagoon we shall sail away from Venice, setting course for the Dalmatian Coast—our first taste of the Mediterranean sun and sea holiday ahead. We shall have time to relax and explore the ship—which is exceptionally large for the small number of passengers she carries. We shall wine and dine to our hearts’ content, in gourmet restaurants and in our own private suite whenever we prefer, remembering that on board Regent Seven Seas Cruises we can simply leave our wallets behind—everything we need is complimentary, from sundowner Champagne cocktails to foie gras and caviar and delicious six-star cuisine in four exceptional restaurants and more.
At sunrise over the stunning northern Dalmatian coast of Croatia, we shall arrive at our first port of call, Zadar. Ruled at various times by the Romans, Ostrogoths, and Byzantium, the city is rich with thousands of years of history, a hub of commerce and naval power rivalling Venice. Here we can simply enjoy exploring the old town, the architecture and the tiny shops, sampling the local food and wine along the way. Or we can take a trip to famous Krka, to navigate the wilderness of dense forests criss-crossed by wild rivers and thundering waterfalls. Here we shall lunch in a local village before taking a cruise upriver to see the wildlife at close quarters. With luck we’ll watch wild otters play and Cleopatra butterflies dance—while golden eagles soar above our heads.
After a night of relaxed wining and dining aboard Navigator, our next port of call is Kotor, which caused George Bernard Shaw to proclaim, ‘I have heard that the road to Cetinje via Kotor is one of the most beautiful in the world, and that is the reason I have come.’ We can follow in Shaw’s footsteps and take that road, we can simply stroll the beautiful town, and we can take another spectacular drive to an olive estate on the Lustica peninsula to watch the oil being made, and sample the local cuisine. A highlight of the region is Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans and one of Europe’s largest bird habitats, where huge flocks of migrating birds can be seen: more than 280 species and up to 200,000 birds including the rare and endangered Dalmatian Pelican and Ferruginous Duck. It’s a magnificent sight.
Then it is time for some island life—we shall sail on to the sun-soaked Greek islands, arriving as dawn breaks over the beautiful scene that is Corfu. Known as Greece’s own ‘Isle of Capri’, here we can sail through enchanting grottoes in a crystal clear sea, sunbathe on the white-sand beaches, swim and snorkel, explore the wild coast, the monasteries and the old town, and taste the local food and wine. Relaxation is the key, here and aboard Voyager—for tomorrow we shall explore Mount Etna.
Our destination on Sicily is Taormina, stunning resort town dominated by the majestic silhouette of the great Mount Etna. Europe’s highest and most active volcano, Etna was named by the Ancient Greeks ‘Pillar of Heaven’, and now the locals refer to it as ‘A Muntagna’. Etna is a sight to behold, with statistics at which to marvel. It has erupted 300 times since the first recordings 3,000 years ago.
The best views of Mount Etna are from the gorgeously sited Greek Theatre in Taormina, and so it is to here that we shall take a scenic drive in order to view Etna in all her glory. Taormina clings to the side of Mount Tauro, giving superb views, splashed with the vibrant colours of bougainvillea and oleander, of the Mediterranean, Isola Bella and a snow-capped Etna. We shall explore Taormina, its historic monuments and baths, as well as Teatro Antico, built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC and used by the Romans as a gladatorial arena.
Having viewed Mount Etna from afar, we can, if we wish, explore her, taking the scenic road that winds around the slopes of the mountain. Along the way, we’ll pass towns and villages, orchards, vineyards and woods, driving across the remnants of past and recent eruptions—and see the streams of solidified lava cascading down from the top of the mountain. After lunch in a restaurant at Mount Etna, we can see the spectacular 6,400ft Silvestri Craters, formed when Etna erupted in 1892. Or we can take a 4×4 off-road trip and a cable car down Mount Etna. The impact is stunning—as is the quality of wines on Mount Etna: also on the itinerary here, some fabulous wine tasting events!
Returning to Voyager, we shall set sail through the night and the following day sail the Straits of Medina, bound for the glittering Amalfi Coast. Famously known as ‘heaven on earth’, the Amalfi Coast is one of the great natural beauties of Italy, and we shall drop anchor off Positano, surely one of the world’s most enchanting coastal towns. All the names here create a frisson of excitement: Ravello and Villa Rufolo, Sorrento and Amalfi, and Positano itself. These places inspired the great composers, writers and artists: Richard Wagner, D H Lawrence, Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf, to name but few. So many places to explore and sights at which to wonder, all laid on for us to revel in and enjoy: This is indeed a country which ‘memory painted as paradise’.
There is more, much more, to come: days spent exploring the beauty, history and culture of Rome, Monte Carlo and Cannes are awaiting us before we reach Palamos and Barcelona. And, meanwhile, the pleasures aboard Voyager are many and various.
So if it is your preference to enjoy a glass of chilled Champagne with canapés on your private balcony each evening as the sun sets over yet another beautiful seascape, consider it done: a bottle will arrive, on ice, at the appropriate moment. Whole Maine lobster and Alaskan king crabs? Fresh truffles and foie gras? Caviar with your scrambled eggs? All are yours for the ordering—and for Sunday brunch the caviar and Champagne bar awaits. Private dinner for two in your suite? Certainly: any time of the day or night. Roulette? The casino is open for play. Whisky and cigar? Time to visit the Connoisseur Club. Golf? Bocce? Tennis? Cabaret? A good book or film? Swimming? Sunbathing, iced cocktail to hand? All, and more, await your pleasure. But then of course, we have arrived at the port of Civitavecchia, and Rome is calling . . .
Rome: an achingly beautiful city of eternal chaos, rich history, and life’s pleasures. The narrow cobblestone alleys, the world-famous monuments and their imposing architecture, the masterpieces of Renaissance art, the smell of freshly-baked cornettos and the small artisanal shops still run by elderly Romans, all connect to make the Eternal City an Eternal Discovery. It is more than a dream destination, and we shall be treated to insider views, from a slow, leisurely walk across the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, where remains of once luxurious palaces and temples surround us as we walk down to the Colosseum—or we can leave the city for the cool of the Roman countryside, and ancient Bracciano Lake where we can taste the local wine and see the Etruscan ruins: the choice of things to do is as wide as the imagination, and Voyager awaits to transport us through the Italian night, in time for lunch in Monte Carlo.
With its sparkling azure waters dotted with superyachts, its vertigo-inducing drives along the coast and its luxury, celebrity-sightings, casinos and nightlife, the glamorous playground of Monte Carlo awaits our delight. The old world shines through in its art and architecture. Palaces, cathedrals and museums dot this small municipality in an old town full of rich history. It is so small it is a perfect place for a walk—or drive along the Grand Corniche, passing coastal scenes of indescribable beauty to visit the Rothschilds at Villefranche, or the Fragonard perfumery, the village of Eze, 1,300ft above the cobalt-blue Mediterranean, and the Garden Exotique. And don’t forget the Grand Casino, on which Monaco’s fortunes are built—happily our own superyacht does not sail until 11pm . . .
We awake as dawn breaks over the dazzling French Riviera: the allure of Cannes awaits. In a gem-like setting along the sparkling Mediterranean, stroll along the Royal Palm tree lined Boulevard de la Croisette lined with designer boutiquws. Look for haute couture and antiques. Enjoy cocktails in the grand hotels. Take lunch in a fashionable café on the boulevard. Visit the gardens and parks. Hike up the hill to Le Suquet, the mediaeval old town. Enjoy a coffee at an outdoor café with expansive views of the harbour. Or drive to St Paul De Vence, inspiration for so many legendary French artists and enjoy a private view of works by Picasso, Matisse and Braque. Then capture your own essence in a perfume designed for you by the expert ‘nose’ at the famous Galimard Perfumery. And for those who enjoy the wines of Provençe, Château St Martin awaits, serving wines with food pairings in its own Michelin-starred restaurant on a Vence hilltop.
From France, we sail to Spain, and the Catalan port of Palamos where we can relax on golden beaches, take a swim, or simply stroll down a seaside promenade and breathe the Mediterranean air. This is a beauteous part of Spain, inspiration of artists including Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali: visit Tossa de Mar, which Chagall called ‘Blue Paradise’ for the spectacular quality of the light; or Girona, and the extraordinary Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, where lies Salvador Dali’s greatest collection of works. There is wine tasting too, historic villages and beautiful drives. It’s a place in which to relax, and take stock of the days past, for as evening falls we shall be back on Voyager for our final magical night aboard ship. The following morning, we are bound for Barcelona—to fly back to the UK or add a night or two in the fabulous beachside Catalan capital. As with so much about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the choices are great, the style is elegant, cultured and relaxed, with freedom to be yourself.
YOUR EXCLUSIVE CLUB RATES
As a CountryClubuk Member you have special rates on all Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For you this 12-night holiday includes two additional nights in Verona and best seats for ‘La Traviata’, followed by the 10-night six-star luxury cruise from Venice to Barcelona. The dates are August 7-19, 2019. Below are some of the suites and Club savings. If you wish to book the cruise only, the rate will be £1,000 less. All rates are per person for two sharing, with all the same all-inclusive benefits of passengers paying full fare, including free flights and transfers. Only limited tickets to the opera are available, so please don’t delay!
Deluxe Veranda Suite H (limited availability): Full fare £9,399. CCUK £5,389 (for the cruise without the Verona trip, but including flights etc, your CCUK price is £4,389). Click here to register interest and request further details.
Deluxe Veranda Suite F: Full fare £10,019. CCUK £5,827 (cruise, £4,827). Click here to register your interest and request further details.
Concierge Suite E, including additional free one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay and more: Full fare £10,409. CCUK £6,089 (cruise, £5,089). Click here to register your interest and request further details.
Penthouse Suite C, including additional free one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay, Business Class flights, personal butler and more: Full fare £11,349. CCUK £6,715 (cruise, £5,715). Click here to register your interest and for further details.
To compare the benefits and other details of three of the above suites on this Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona, please click here. For more information, call the Member Services team on 020 7399 2960 or click here to email your request.
THE LUXURIOUS, ALL-SUITE, ALL-BALCONY CRUISE SHIP, SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER
In an era when mass-market cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger, Regent Seven Seas Voyager is a refreshing option: she carries only 700 passengers and 447 crew, making her one of the most spacious luxury cruise ships afloat and creating a beautifully intimate sailing with personally tailored service and gorgeous private suites and public spaces. The Regent staff-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.6 provides one of the industry’s highest levels of personal service.
WITH REGENT CRUISES, IT’S TRULY, GENEROUSLY ‘ALL INCLUDED’
Regent Seven Seas is the cruise line which invented ‘all-inclusive’ and has won every accolade: Best for Luxury; Best for Luxury Cabins; Best for Excursions; and a host of awards too numerous to list here.
Regent have the most spacious, relaxing accommodation, cuisine so haute it is heavenly . . . and they are totally, generously, no-holds-barred all-inclusive, meaning everything, from unlimited shore excursions in every port of call, to return flights, to excellent wines and spirits, and more:
Free economy flights;
Free unlimited shore excursions
Free transfers between airport and ship;
Free unlimited beverages including fine wines and spirits;
Free open bars and lounges plus in-suite mini-bar replenished daily;
Free prepaid gratuities;
Free fine dining in a choice of speciality restaurants;
Free Wifi throughout the ship;
Free 24-hour room service
All onboard activities.
VOYAGER, THE HEIGHT OF LUXURY AT SEA
The all-suite, all-balcony, 670ft Seven Seas Voyager is fresh from her complete and total refurbishment, and boasts a refreshed elegant style in her restaurants and lounges, as well as luxurious new décor across her 354 suites—all with spacious balconies. Voyager has re-emerged with dramatic new suite designs and elegant guest spaces which make her a floating palace.
As with the rest of the Regent Seven Seas fleet, Voyager isn’t about glitz and bling. Everything looks valuable, impressive and sophisticated rather than showy. Then there is that space ratio, which sounds boring but on a ship is essential to make you feel relaxed and less crowded. Space to breathe, and wind down, is a vital element on a truly relaxing cruise . . .
As to space in your personal suite, even the lowest category is over 350 sq ft and has its own private 50 sq ft balcony—large when compared with other luxury ships—and the Penthouse Suite is a full 386 sq ft with an 80-plus sq ft balcony. All suites include indulgent touches—marble and granite bathrooms with rainfall showers, walk-in wardrobes, European Kingsize Sleep Slumber beds, high-end linens and luxurious French toiletries by L’Occitane.
All 354 suites are more spacious than many competitors—and this living space makes the entire cruise feel more tranquil: Voyager is not a place for stress, nor for queuing.
As for the food, there is gourmet cuisine throughout the ship. Guests can choose to lunch or dine in fabulous restaurants—all serving excellent and distinctive dishes. Guests enjoy Parisian dining in the new Chartreuse restaurant, steaks in the surroundings of a private London club in Prime 7, the contemporary look of fine dining restaurant Compass Rose (only plates by Versace are good enough for this restaurant!), a casual, intimate dining experience with Italian flair in Sette Mari at La Veranda, which has open-air dining—the ultimate sea-view table!—as well as the Pool Grill for day-long delicacies. Speciality coffees are served in the new-look Coffee Connection. Cognac and cigars are offered in the leather-seated, wood-panelled Connoisseur Club. The choices are wide, and nothing is too much trouble for the excellent butlers and waiters aboard ship.
The spa is the celebrated Canyon Ranch Spa Club, suitably ritzy in style and decorated with silk fabrics, crystal and twinkling lights. The treatment menu is vast and impressive.
As well as excellent expert lectures, entertainment ranks high on Voyager: the Constellation Theatre has the vibe of an upmarket jazz club and the nightly shows—more elaborate than on many other vessels—range from American jazz to London dance, a Parisian-style burlesque that blends dance, song and spectacular costumes, and Tony Award-winning music and comedy from Hollywood’s golden age.
If you think it all sounds just a little expensive, you might think again. Because Regent’s fares include flights, multiple shore excursions, excellent wines, spirits and other drinks, speciality restaurants, free Wifi and gratuities, the cost per person per day can actually work out less than taking a smaller suite on a premium cruise line ship twice the size. This is even more obvious when you factor-in your exclusive savings as a Member of CountryClubuk.
The itinerary begins on Wednesday, Aug 7, when we fly from the UK to Verona for our three-day, two-night stay. The three-day, fully escorted trip includes best seat at the Opera Festival in Verona for ‘La Traviata’ on Aug 8. The following day we transfer to Venice to board Voyager ready to embark on Aug 9, after which: Aug 10, Zadar, Croatia; Aug 11, Kotor, Montenegro; Aug 12, Corfu, Greece; Aug 13, Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Aug 13, Cruising the Strait of Messina; Aug 14, Amalfi/Positano, Italy; Aug 15, Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Aug 16, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Aug 17, Cannes, France; Aug 18, Palamos, Spain; Aug 19, Barcelona, Spain.
With just a single full day at sea, the pre-cruise visit to Verona and the 57 port excursions really come into their own. At each port of call you can partake in as many shore excursions as you wish—and have energy for!—among the variety of visits and events, historic insights, entertainment, wine and food tastings, dining, dancing and discovery. Of all those outlined here, only the two actual Mount Etna visits and the personal fragrance event at St Paul de Vence attract a small charge.
For more details, click the links above, or call Member Services on 020 7399 2960.
Interested in different dates and destinations, from Alaska to the Caribbean, Asia, USA, South America and the South Pacific: click here to see dates, itineraries and exclusive Club rates currently saving you up to 51%. Some sailings are in a few days’ time—perfect, if you have time, to escape the last of the British winter. Others are later this year, in 2020, and even into 2021.