This six-star no-fly 10-night ‘Fantastique France’ cruise on Regent Seven Seas new flagship Splendor might be just the thing to get away in style without taking to the air. It offers two days and a great overnight stay in Bordeaux—with wining and dining at an historic Margaux château—and visits to Paris, Deauville, the D-Day landing sites, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and more. With only one sea day, there is plenty of time to spend in lovely ports less frequently visited (many Southampton cruises have 2-3 days at sea to get to the Med, and the same on the way back).
And because this is a no-fly cruise you will have more days and nights to fully experience the style, the pleasures, the facilities and the gorgeous surroundings of Seven Seas Splendor—already tagged ‘luxury perfected’, a challenge to her fabulous sister ship, Seven Seas Explorer as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship. Once experienced, never forgotten!
Everything is included—if your taste is for a bottle of Champagne delivered to your suite each evening, consider it done! Caviar for brunch? Alaskan lobster? Regent is famed as the most inclusive luxury cruise line in the world: and you will experience the comforts of a new luxurious suite with your private veranda, enjoy fine dining in the new speciality restaurants, the new shows in the theatre and the casino, the viewing decks, the luxurious bars and coffee houses, the spa and all the ravishing new décor—including the art gallery, which includes original art by Picasso and Miro for your own private view.
This is a luxurious 10-night cruise encompassing art, history, archaeology, culture, gardens, fine wine, gourmet cuisine, elegance, style and beauty. Everything is first class, and everything is included: a palatial 10-night cruise enveloped by the summer sun and ocean breeze. We shall stroll under turquoise skies, drink Champagne and fine wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and gaze on the beauties of the French and Spanish coasts from our luxurious private veranda and suite on a magnificent cruise ship which is breathtaking: the art gallery alone is worth a fortune. This will be a delight.
We shall see some of Europe’s idyllic landscapes, seascapes, vineyards, towns and cities, while being pampered on this fully inclusive, six-star cruise aboard Regent Seven Seas Splendor, launched last year in a blaze of publicity.
The dates are May 10 to May 20, 2021. Everything is included: your luxurious suite with your private veranda on the 375-suite Regent Seven Seas Splendor, excellent and unlimited wines, fine dining in gourmet speciality restaurants, private dining in your suite, up to 58 free port excursions, all-inclusive gratuities, free car parking in Southampton, $1,000 shipboard credit, the Regent Reassurance Scheme and more. And as a CountryClubuk Member your exclusive all-inclusive price starts at only £4,397 per person for the whole holiday, fully all-inclusive, and on the world’s newest, most luxurious cruise ship. To put this in perspective, the full value starts at more than £9,000 per person, so our Members will save some £4,800 per person—more if you book the higher suites! Veranda Suite: Full Fare from £9,209, CCUK from £4,397pp (all rates per person for two sharing); Superior Suite from £9,939, CCUK from £4,797pp; Penthouse Suite from £6,797—for full details, read on!
The itinerary begins on Monday, May 10, when we board Splendor at Southampton, England, ready to sail at 6pm, after which the dates and ports of call are: May 11, Paris (Le Havre), France; May 12, St Peter Port, Guernsey; May 13, Lorient, France; May 14 and 15, Bordeaux, France; May 16, Bilbao, Spain; May 17, Gijon, Spain; May 18, Cruising the Atl;antic Ocean; May 19, St Malo, France; May 20, Southampton, England. With just a single full day at sea, the 58 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.
We shall set sail for Paris, via Le Havre, from where you can choose to explore the French Capital in May—or instead take the excursions along the French Riviera coast to Deauville and Cote Fleurie. This delightful trip takes you along a chic stretch of the Parisian Riviera, then inland to a venerable Calvados brandy château. The pleasure begins with a scenic drive along the Côte Fleurie passing tiny resorts which will be bursting with vibrant colour. Foremost among these sunny, stylish gems is Deauville itself, transformed into an early vacation mecca by Napoleon III’s half-brother more than 150 years ago. After a panoramic orientation spin through town, you’ll have free time to see for yourself the Deauville’chic along the Promenade des Planches. Then it’s off to the lush inland Pays d’Auge region, ripe with apple orchards and home to lovely slate-roofed Château du Breuil. Dating from the 16th century, this elegant estate has been home to many notable families – and continues to produce a notably award-winning family of Calvados brandies. Each is aged in oak casks in the castle cellars and, by the end of your tour, you will have sampled the delectable result. It’s sure to put a smile on your face, as will the scenery on the return drive to Le Havre. It’s all included: who could resist?
During a night of gourmet dining and pleasures on board Splendor, we shall sail for the Channel Islands, and St Peter Port, Guernsey. Hilly St Peter Port, with its cobbled streets and Regency architecture, is one of the prettiest harbour towns in Europe. It includes two of the island’s top attractions, Castle Cornet, the 800-year-old fortress which guards the harbour, and Hauteville House, eccentrically designed by its one-time owner Victor Hugo. Elsewhere, you’ll find several absorbing museums dedicated to the German occupation of Guernsey in World War Two. All can be explored—or of course you can go to the beach! For most visitors, the island’s coast is its greatest draw. There are 27 very different bays to choose from—some with long and popular stretches of sand, others hidden coves which rarely attract tourists. The beautiful south coast is lined with stunning cliffs—and there are free excursions to make sure you do not miss anything, from history to archaeology, sun, sand and sea.
As the sun rises on the following morning, Splendor sails into France’s historic, thriving fishing port of Lorient. There is plenty to do here—but you might choose to waken your senses on a visit to the beguiling village of Pont-Aven, where generations of artists including Paul Gaugin have paid tribute to its unspoiled beauty. You’ll wend along picturesque country byways to this impossibly quaint village, which straddles the estuary of the Aven River. Immerse yourself in the unspoiled hamlet on a guided walking tour, seeing the charming Chapelle Notre-Dame de Trémalo, whose sloping roof nearly reaches the ground. Inside the sanctuary, ponder the Yellow Christ, notably put to canvas by Gauguin. Stroll along the river to the heart of the hamlet, once home to a colony of artists led by Gauguin, who brought fame to the town at the end of the 19th century through the work of the influential school of painting known as L’École de Pont Aven. You’ll see representative examples of this group’s work at the superlative Museum of Pont-Aven. During time on your own, stroll beside the village’s verdant riverbanks and find your own inspiration among the tidy Renaissance houses festooned with vibrant blooms.
Splendor will sail out of Lorient on the evening tide, bound for Bordeaux, world capital of wine. And witha night’s stay in store we can thoroughly explore the great vineyards of St-Emilion and Margaux, and sample both fine wine and food. There is much to do and see in Bordeaux—vineyards to explore, historyand wine and food—to savour.
You might like a tour and thoughtfully prepared dinner paired with wine at Château du Tertre in Margaux—a Grand Cru Chateau which has become a rising star with its stunning offerings from the 2000 vintage followed by 2005, 2008 and 2009 among others. You’ll enjoy marvellous views of tidy vineyards and pretty villages as you travel along the Route des Châteaux, so called because of the hundreds of estates scattered throughout the Médoc winemaking region. Turning off the main road, you’ll proceed down a cobblestone drive between rows of carefully tended grapes and see Château du Tertre’s handsome, yellow-stone 18th-century chateau emerge, an alluring start to the evening’s delights. You’ll discover the estate’s vineyards date to the 12th century but reached their heyday during the 19th century when, under the successive ownerships of Henri de Vallande and Baron Henri de Koenigswarter, the château’s wines gained world renown, culminating with their inclusion in the 1855 Médoc classification. You’ll tour the cellars and welcome a wine aperitif from among the estate’s extensive selection of bottles, some of which have received a coveted score of 93 from noted wine critic Robert Parker. As a phenomenal conclusion to your tour, indulge in a luscious four-course meal paired with three of the château’s excellent vintages.
This last incurs a supplement—but for the following day, after another luxurious night aboard Splendor, there are many excursions to choose—including a tour of St-Emilion with tastings. Most, but not all, are free of charge—that usually depends on the quality of the wines we are tasting—we are in Bordeaux, after all!
After which, it is on to Spain—to Bilbao. Skeptics said the drab city of Bilbao would receive a temporary increase in tourism from the curiosity factor of Frank O Gehry’s architectural oddity the Guggenheim Museum on the once-industrial waterfront. Now it continues to be a world phonmenon—and you can visit on one of the exclusive Regent excursions. The strange building seemingly assembled of gargantuan parts from a titanium-clad fish no longer seems so alien. In fact, it has become as iconic as Eiffel’s tower in Paris. The interior is radical and often disorienting (the lack of right angles does that), but the building is essentially a soaring 50m-high (164-ft.) atrium with exhibition floors cantilevered off a central support. Our guide will explain how to navigate. . . as to the art, this is the place for major post-1950 artists including Picasso, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg and Antoni Tàpies—plus contemporary Basque art. For art lovers and historians, the next port of call, Gijon, offers uniquely themed museums, including the Campo Valdés Roman Baths, considered one of the most important Roman remains in northern Spain. But for Nature lovers there are different pleasure: chance to stroll along the beautiful beaches and the famous botanical gardens.
There follows a glorious night and day of relaxation aboard Splendor as she cruises the Atlantic Ocean. We shall have time to 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 and veranda 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. Next day, our port of call is St Malo, best known for the corsaires who used it as a base during the 17th and 18th centuries. During wartime, a decree from the French king sanctioned the seafaring mercenaries to intercept British ships and requisition their cargo—we might like to draw a veil over this, and head instead for Mont St Michel, or make the most of our luxurious Splendor by staying aboard ship for our last full day. The following day we shall sail into Southampton, where our fabulous cruise will end. The good news is, there’s no need to board a flight home!
YOUR EXCLUSIVE CLUB RATES
As a CountryClubuk Member you have special rates on this Southampton-Southampton no-fly-cruise sailing May 10, 2021 (and on all Regent Seven Seas Cruises). Below are some of the suites and Club savings. All rates are per person for two sharing, with all the same all-inclusive benefits of passengers paying full fare.