Updated: May 26
Regent Seven Seas Cruises immerse travelers in some of the world’s most delicious destinations.
For Franco Semeraro, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ senior vice president of hotel operations, a recent journey to Italy’s Puglia region was about more than revisiting his homeland. Traveling with Regent’s culinary team, Semeraro was also seeking inspiration for refining the line’s fleetwide Sette Mari restaurant in time for the launch of its newest ship, the 746-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur, which makes its maiden voyage this November.
Semeraro and his crew perfected their pasta-making skills, pondered olive oil production, and studied classic Italian cooking practices in masserias – farmhouse kitchens at centuries-old estates. “Returning to Puglia offered the perfect opportunity to delve into my culinary heritage and absorb the philosophies that run through the region’s kitchens,” Semeraro says. “It’s allowed us to take an authentic approach to dining at Sette Mari.”
For Regent Seven Seas Cruises, cruising and culinary arts pair as perfectly as San Marzano tomatoes and fresh burrata, and cultural immersion is always key. “Regent truly embraces the cuisine of the regions it sails,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Laura Wallace. “The line does a fabulous job of creating culinary memories that reflect where you’ve been.”
This immersive approach lies at the heart of Regent’s new Epicurean Perfection program, which launched earlier this year. One of the program’s marquee elements includes a series of spotlight voyages hosted by culinary experts, with food-themed shore excursions and onboard cooking classes and dining experiences. Here, are the highlights that have us craving time at sea.
Taking in the views from the Regent Suite on Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Explorer.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Set Sail with James Beard Award Winners
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Epicurean Spotlight Voyages, slated for select sailings through 2025, let cruisers rub elbows with renowned chefs, sommeliers, and vintners during cooking demonstrations, shore excursions, and winetastings. “Having these culinary stars on board will make for some especially memorable experiences,” says Virtuoso advisor Stefan Bisciglia. “Enjoying great food and wine is one thing, but being able to meet these people and learn about their craft takes the experience to the next level.”
On a seven-night Seward, Alaska-to-Vancouver, British Columbia, cruise this August, James Beard Award-winning chef Vincent Guerithault of Phoenix’s Vincent on Camelback joins guests on the 746-passenger Seven Seas Explorer to share his secrets of French cooking. And during a 12-night Barcelona-to-Venice voyage in October on the 746-passenger Seven Seas Splendor, master sommelier Doug Frost will host tastings in places such as Tuscany and Aix-en-Provence.
The new Seven Seas Grandeur is getting in on the culinary action too: Next summer’s ten-night Athens-to-Barcelona sailing costars chef Tommaso Barletta of L.A.’s Tuscany il Ristorante and his friend, Seinfeld actor John O’Hurley. The voyage pairs their escorted excursions and cooking demos with a performance of O’Hurley’s one-man show, A Man with Standards.
Alaskan shore excursions allow Regent Seven Seas Cruises' passengers to crack into Juneau's local specialities.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Go Beyond the Standard Food-Focused Shore Excursions
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ epicurean-themed shore excursions – led by Regent chefs – let cruisers craft cannoli with a Sicilian pastry master, tour a Michelin-starred kitchen in Barcelona, meet food producers at Saint Lucia’s vibrant Castries Market, and sample olive oils in a Tuscan villa. “One of the best ways to get to know a region’s culture is to taste its local cuisine and interact with the people who produce and prepare it,” Wallace says. “Regent’s Epicurean Explorations program takes this up a notch.”
New Epicurean Explorations shore excursions created for the Seven Seas Explorer’s inaugural Alaska season this summer include visits to a sustainable oyster and kelp farm in Ketchikan, and a tour of a wild salmon hatchery in Sitka, capped with a seafood lunch by a local chef. Elsewhere on the menu: strolls in Bordeaux vineyards during wine- and spirits-centric excursions and extended explorations of a destination’s culinary heritage à la Semeraro’s Puglia trip on pre- and post-cruise land programs.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Spend Time Perfecting Your Tapas Game
Chef-led market tours often culminate with cooking classes back on board in Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Culinary Arts Kitchens on the Seven Seas Explorer, Splendor, and Grandeur. Tapas lessons, for example, are on the agenda after touring Bilbao’s Mercado de la Ribera or after a trip to the Belize Spice Farm, when cruisers take a course on Belizean cuisine.
“These classes cater to a broad range of tastes and kitchen experience,” says chef Kathryn Kelly, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ director of culinary enrichment (she developed the curriculum). “We teach the core techniques chefs use daily, building a skills and recipe repertoire that can be easily transferred to a home kitchen – all while exploring spices, cuisines, and ingredients from our ports of call, as well as their cultures and histories through food.”
New cooking classes created for the Seven Seas Explorer’s inaugural Alaska season include Master Chef Junior, where parents serve as sous chefs for their kids, plus lessons focused on Northwest cuisine and sustainable seafood.