We are delighted to invite you to join us on a luxurious nine-night Regent Seven Seas cruise showcasing European history, archaeology, culture, art, music, Nature, fine wine, gourmet cuisine, elegance, style and beauty: and all at the exclusive advantageous CountryClubuk rate—with two free suite upgrades if you book by June 30, 2021!
The date is October 2-11, 2022, and we shall enjoy some of Europe’s most beautiful and ancient places, from the treasures of Venice and Rome to awesome Mount Etna, the romance of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano, Ravello and Sorrento, the wines of Sicily, the beauties of Croatia, the mysteries of Albania, the pleasures of a Greek island and the glories of one of Europe’s greatest bird-watching paradises: all these and more.
Everything is first class, and everything is included in this palatial nine-night journey, enveloped by the autumn sun and ocean breeze: your luxurious suite with 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, up to 67 free port excursions, all-inclusive gratuities and more.
And as a CountryClubuk Member you can enjoy this special cruise with a two-suite upgrade and CountryClubuk rates starting at £3,597 per person, saving you up to 50% off the full rates.
We are delighted to continue our World Travel Events by inviting you to join this fabulous cruise of the Amalfi and Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea at a perfect time of year. Also wonderful is the exclusive Club rate, which starts at £3,597 per person for the whole trip, fully all-inclusive, plus the added bliss of a free two-suite upgrade if you book by June 30, 2021. The full value starts at more than £8,000 per person.
This fabulous trip begins when we fly from UK to Rome—and for just £282 extra, you can upgrade to a Concierge Suite and enjoy a pre-cruise night in Rome. On the following day, Sunday, Oct 2, 2022, we shall board South Seas Voyager, ready to set sail on the evening tide; after which the dates and ports of call are: Oct 3, Amalfi/Positano, Italy; Oct 4, Catania, Sicily; Oct 5, Corfu, Greece; Oct 6, Tirana (Durres), Albania; Oct 7, Kotor, Montenegro; Oct 8, Korcula, Croatia; Oct 9, Zadar, Croatia; Oct 10 and 11, Venice, Italy, flying back to the UK on Oct 11.
On this voyage the 67 shore excursions come into their own. There is so much to explore at every one of these fascinating locations. At each port of call you can take as many fabulous excursions as you wish—and have energy for!—among the variety of visits and events, historic insights, entertainment, wine and food, dancing and discovery.
Rome is the perfect opening scene: an achingly beautiful city of eternal chaos, rich history, and life’s pleasures. The world-famous monuments and their imposing architecture, the masterpieces of Renaissance art, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the scent of freshly-baked cornettos and the small artisanal shops still run by elderly Romans, all connect to make the Eternal City an Eternal Discovery.
As the sun sets we shall sail from Citivecchia and its 2nd century port, setting course for the Amalfi 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 lobsters, caviar and delicious six-star cuisine in four exceptional restaurants.
Dawn sees us in ‘heaven on earth’, the Amalfi Coast, one of the world’s most enchanting coasts. 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’.
A feast of pleasures awaits us among the complimentary excursions. We might decide to travel along the magnificently scenic Amalfi Drive, one of Europe’s most spectacular roads, to the alluring town of Sorrento where we’ll discover an effervescent mix of Renaissance palazzi, Romanesque churches and charming alleys. We’ll see a demonstration of intarsia wood inlay, a craft long associated with Sorrento, and admire the intricate, mosaic-like works of art, used to adorn furniture, wall panels and music boxes. Time for a leisurely lunch and then to explore further, or simply to relax at a pavement café, limoncello in hand.
We might explore the mediaeval village of Ravello, discovering the secrets of Villa Rufolo, a monumental complex of buildings described in the 13th century as having ‘more rooms than there are days in the year’. The stunning Moorish-influenced villa, instantly recognised for its iconic tower, has had countless restorations that only add to its appeal and intrigue. Visit Tramonti’s revered Giuseppe Apicella, a family-owned winery producing extraordinary wines and grappa. After a tour of the cellars, indulge in an assortment of traditional Tramonti foods matched with an intensely tropical Tramonti bianco, a full-bodied Tramonti rosso or a velvety passito with fresh notes of pine needles, a perfect way to toast this wonderful day before heading back to our luxurious ship as she sails through the night to Sicily—Mount Etna and delicious Etna wines await.
Our destination on Sicily is Catania, dominated by the majestic 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 scenic drive toward the summit of Mount Etna is almost as amazing as the volcano itself. Ascending the circuitous roads we shall pass tiny mountain villages on the way to Etna’s inactive Silvestri craters, rising more than 6,000ft above sea level. From the slopes of the craters, which bear numerous remnants of lava streams from previous eruptions, we’ll have a stunning panoramic view over the sunlit Gulf of Catania and the surrounding fertile, volcanic landscape.
Or you may prefer to explore and enjoy Sicily’s amazing wines—Sicily is Italy’s third most important wine and food destination after Tuscany and Piedmont, due of course to its terroir—the explosive minerality of that volcanic soil. We shall visit the award-winning Cottanera Estate, whose Francesco Cambria was crowned Winemaker of the Year. Here we shall tour the vineyard and cellars, trying local varietals such as a red nerello Mascalese and white inzolia paired with delectable local food.
As we sail away from Sicily it will soon be time for a different kind of island life—we shall head for 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.
Our next port of call is Tirrana (Durres) in Albania, for a fascinating insight into a country which was once impenetrable and hostile, and is now fashionable; it’s an extraordinary journey through time. Take in the breadth of Albania’s tumultuous history, from mediaeval Kruja, with its legendary bazaar lining cobbled streets, to the dynamic capital city of Tirana. Here we can enjoy traditional Albanian food and wine, rousing music and dance, and see extraordinary features including the controversial Pyramid, built as a museum for Albania’s former Communist leader.
In Berat, exquisite ‘City of a Thousand Windows’, we can enjoy it all—from the emblematic tiered homes to architectural jewels of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires and religious monuments including the 500-year-old Leaded Mosque. We can wander in the grounds of the hilltop Kala, a 13th-century fortress with sweeping vistas, study gilded religious icons within the world-class Onufri Musem and savour Albania’s bounty at a traditional lunch served with local wines.
After a night of relaxed wining and dining aboard Voyager, our next port of call is Kotor, Montenegro, 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.’ Sailing into Kotor is one of life’s magical experiences.
We may follow in Shaw’s footsteps and take that road, or simply stroll around the beautiful town, or take another spectacular drive to an olive estate on the Lustica peninsula to watch oil being processed and sample 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.
There is so much to do here—as so often with Regent Seven Seas excursions we shall be spoilt for choice! A cruise across the cobalt-blue Bay of Kotor to Prcanj for a classical music performance; a leisurely walking tour of Kotor’s walled Old Town; a Savina winery visit; a family estate visit; sailing the Bay of Kotor by tuktuk; mussel-tasting by speedboat; and, literally, a mud bath followed by a pearl bath—the legendary therapeutic peloid treatment, to soothe us, body and soul!
Sunrise next day over the stunning Dalmatian coast of Croatia is a beautiful sight and we shall be here for two blissful days. First port of call is the island of Korcula, said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo and, with its pattern of narrow streets and alleys, like a miniature, more peaceful Dubrovnik. An island of beautiful beaches and fascinating history, it is crowned by a walled mediaeval town rising straight up from the clear blue waters of the Adriatic. Highlights include the Moreska sword dance and the beaches of Lumbarda—and Korcula also produces some rather good wine!
From here we might embark on a leisurely cruise through the channel that separates Korcula from the Pelješac peninsula. We’ll stop in picture-perfect Orebic, its lovely beaches bordered by groves of tamarisk and pine trees. Browse the Orebic Maritime Museum or sip a glass of local wine at an outdoor café. Back at sea, we’ll glide past Maisan Island, known for its prehistoric archaeological site, and tiny Vrnik Island, whose stone quarries provided limestone for some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the White House. In tranquil Lumbarda, we’ll savour a cool drink at the Hotel Borik, once a noble family’s summer palace, and embrace stunning views of the sea and Pelješac peninsula beyond. Korcula’s coastal beauty is marvellous. And next day we are bound for Zadar.
Ruled at various times by the Romans, Ostrogoths, and Byzantium, the city of Zadar 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 tiny shops, sampling delicious 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, lunch in a village before taking a cruise upriver to see the wildlife at close quarters. With luck we’ll watch otters play and Cleopatra butterflies dance—while golden eagles soar above our heads.
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. Whole Maine lobster and Alaskan king crabs? Fresh truffles and foie gras? Caviar with your scrambled eggs? All are yours for the ordering. 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? 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 our final port of call: Venice is calling . . .
Drifting like a mirage within its watery realm, Venice is certainly the world’s most unreal city: beautiful, mysterious, an assault on the senses, itself assaulted by water. Thronged with palaces, churches, bridges and courtyards, it is like walking through a vast museum whose landscape changes with the tides and the ebb and flow of people. As the novelist Henry James once wrote, a visit to Venice becomes a perpetual love affair. Like a scene from Canaletto, very aspect of this city is a work of art; and we shall have time to explore this wondrous city to the full.
Excursions in Venice are many and various: they include a cruise to the islands of Murano, renowned for Venetian glassmaking, and Burano, for lace. And then of course there is the iconic Venetian experience: a tour by gondola, serenaded by musicians, one of the most enduring pleasures of Venice. Sit back and allow the sights of Venice to slip by as the music contributes to our rhapsody. Or live it up like a local in Venice’s bacari, animated wine bars frequented by the city’s dwellers. Try small plates known as cicchetti, which often feature the day’s fresh catch. Gain a better understanding of life in Venice beyond the fabulous sightseeing.
Or enjoy a classical performance of Baroque music and opera in Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, built in 1580 as a charitable school and today the impressive setting for our concert. Seated in the first-floor salon, surrounded by paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, we’ll delight in a performance by the orchestra, I Musici Veneziani. Dressed in period costume, they will perform signature pieces from the era, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, accompanying opera soloists—sopranos, tenors and baritones. It’s a true representation of the dazzling recitals which in centuries past would have been accessible only to wealthy patrons.
In Venice, our cruise will end with our flight back to UK. For those who don’t want the enchantment to end so soon, extra nights in an historic Venetian palazzo can be arranged at a moment’s notice. Or you can remain on board Voyager for her 10-night cruise onwards to Monte Carlo, also at exclusive CountryClubuk rates. As always with Regent Seven Seas and CountryClubuk, the choice is yours and the pampering is guaranteed!
For the savvy traveller, too, the all-inclusive price of all these pleasures often makes a Regent Seven Seas cruise work out financially more advantageous than cruises where you must pay for things separately. As you can tell, these are important benefits, particularly with the seriously good Club savings. You are warmly invited to join us, and enjoy!