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Go Local with Regent Seven Seas Cruises


So often we hear cruise deniers (often our closest friends!) sneer at the whole idea of cruising. They are so sure that their way of travelling and exploring a destination is superior to anything a cruise line could offer.

And to be fair, this can sometimes be true. We have all fumed at the so-called 'orientation tours' on huge coaches, creeping through towns far more easily visited on foot. We have all groaned at the inevitable shopping stop, where a load of tat, mostly manufactured in another country altogether, is displayed uninvitingly - we Brits are too polite to complain, so go through the motions although with little enthusiasm on either side.

We invite you, therefore, to take a close look at the Regent Seven Seas excursion programme. Don't make the mistake of imagining that just because Regent's tours are included, they won't be of high quality. And be sure to also look at the specialist supplementary programme at additional cost - there are some great bargains to be had.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises shore excursion in Santorini

Regent always have an excellent choice of varied tours which might appeal more than a straightforward sightseeing tour. One such is the range of Go Local Tours, and you will usually find one in most of your ports of call. The idea is that you get a better idea of what a place is like, its culture, habits, and mores, by meeting the local people and seeing just how they live.

For example you could spend a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia and learn the generations-old way of making cheese, discover the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino or observe skilled local artists in their personal studios on Palma de Mallorca. In Valencia, or just outside, you can learn to make traditional paella and also understand its history and role in gathering families together.

Regent guest in Cinque Terre, Italy

In Bordeaux, have dinner with a local family, learning where they usually shop, the types of products available and perhaps why they chose the particular dish to serve that night, with lively conversation and lots of fun. Or in Helsinki, experience local life by taking local transport (tram and metro) to explore food markets and a shopping mall, and sample Finnish cuisine before a stroll in a waterfront park.

Tram in Helsinki, Finland

Around the world you can explore by bicycle or on foot, by bus or by cart, as you learn more about local life from someone who has lived there all their life. This is just one strand of the range of Regent Choice excursions - look out for these if you are looking for something a little bit different. Wellness Tours are a lovely option for those who enjoy eating and exercising well, enabling you to test local treatments or practise yoga in a beautiful location.

La Boqueria food market in Barcelona

If food is your thing (and if it is, you have chosen your cruise line well - Regent's range of restaurants gives you great options) then look out for the Gourmet Explorer tours: the opportunity to create a menu, enjoy a tasting, or learn more about local ingredients. And if you want a really in-depth option, go for the small group tours where you will be exploring with just a handful of fellow guests. The tour will be great, and you will probably make some good friends too.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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