Regent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled two shore excursion innovations designed to offer luxury travellers the most bespoke experiences in destinations around the world.
Dubbed Go Local Tours and Regent Choice small group tours, these elevated shore excursions are designed to show off “distinct, authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences” to guests who may have already visited a port previously.
“These local experiences will be exceptional,” Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague said.
Go Local Tours
Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests will enjoy a more direct way to experience the culture of a destination through Go Local Tours. Now, guests can spend a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia to learn the generations-old way of making cheese, or discover the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino, or observe skilled artists in their studios in Palma de Mallorca. Guests will experience the world through the eyes of those who live in the community and discover the best of a favourite destination.
The cruise line worked for seven months to curate 122 small local experiences for guests, nearly 50 of which are included in its free Unlimited Shore Excursions. Go Local Tours are available on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages, along with 2019 voyages calling on Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Examples of Go Local Tours include:
- Spain: Visit the mountain village of Alfarnate, located in the province of Málaga in Andalusia. Here, a local guide escorts guests through the village shops to introduce them to the local artisans. The next stop is the nearby town of Alfarnatejo, to an ancient, restored house, where guests enjoy a glass of local wine before a host escorts guests to their own home for a traditional Spanish lunch and an introduction to Spain’s gastronomical culture.
- Finland: Guests will experience the unique and beautiful sights of central Helsinki. The day starts with a visit to the most popular food market, Kauppahalli, to observe and taste the variety of local fish, meat and cheeses. Next, guests take a local tram toward Kamppi Center to visit the two famous Finnish supermarkets before touring the underground Central Bus Station, which connects Helsinki with the surrounding towns. One more level under the ground, guests will take a Metro to the Hakaniemi Market Hall for a tour. Following a typical Finnish snack, the tour ends with a relaxing walk through Kaivopuisto Park, the oldest and best-known park in Helsinki.
- Greece: Visit the Monastery of Agia Irini, south of Heraklion and close to the traditional village of Kroussonas. The Monastery serves as a nunnery and is among the oldest in Crete. At the completion of the guided visit, the nuns will offer guests traditional hand-made sweets. In the village of Kroussonas guests will visit the traditional Cretan boot maker, Stivania, and tour the oldest bakery in the village. A host will introduce guests to traditional Cretan music accompanied by a lesson in folk dances such as the Ballos. The demonstration will also show how families prepare cheese and make Cretan cheese pies. Afterwards, guests are treated to olive oil and wine tastings, and a demonstration in Cretan weaving. A traditional Cretan lunch will be served at the end of the tour.
Regent Choice small group tours
Regent Choice small group tours are smaller versions of the cruise line’s existing popular free Unlimited Shore Excursions and Regent Choice tours. Hosting no more than 16 guests, for a subsidised, supplementary fee Regent Choice small group tours allow for more personal destination engagement with a knowledgeable guide. These excursions are curated to provide additional ways to engage luxury travellers’ interests and passions, from food and wine to art and architecture, and include access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
About 250 excursions on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages will be offered as Regent Choice small group tours.
In Australia, options include the Kangaroos & Koalas Sundown Adventure. Available from Melbourne, this Regent Choice sees guests join an expert nature guide and head You Yangs National Park to see Koalas in the wild and free-ranging Eastern grey kangaroos in a natural bush setting nearby. Guests also see and learn about many other Australian animals and birds on the vast Western Plains near Melbourne, before enjoying a Sundowners’ casual meal out in the wild, including wine and bubbly, sandwiches, crackers, cheese and fruit.
Lead image: Regent Seven Seas Cruises Go Local Food Market Tour in Barcelona