Get Cruising!

Monday, 27 January 2020

Tale of a Silversea Debutante


I figured it was about time my travel writing pal, Mike Butler, had a taste of proper ocean cruising. While Mike has experienced enviable access to excess while working for numerous men's style magazines, the indulgent pleasure of top-end cruising seemed to have escaped him.

So, in something of an experiment, I convinced him the experience would we worthwhile and to my surprise (not really), he agreed. Below are his off-the-cuff jottings.



MY FIRST EVER OCEAN CRUISE, BY MIKE BUTLER, AGED 51.

Whether it's crewing tall ships across it, diving deeper it into than I should or any other of things I’ve done in salty water, I truly love the stuff that covers 70 per cent of a planet bizarrely named Earth.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Newly Refurbished Seven Seas Navigator back for 2020 Australasian Season



Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the leading luxury ocean cruise line, today welcomes Seven Seas Navigator to local waters following an extensive refurbishment last year. Visiting Brisbane as her first port-of-call, SS Navigator’s 2020 Australasian season features a variety of Asia Pacific itineraries visiting picturesque ports such as Sydney, Auckland, Komodo, Alotau and more.

Over the past four years, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has invested more than US$150 million to modernise its best-in-class fleet, with its four intimate vessels showcasing why Regent is the leader in luxury cruising, offering guests an unrivalled experience both at sea and ashore.

The new-look SS Navigator will be showcasing her revamped restaurants; a redesigned spa; remodelled lounges; fresh suite designs; new artwork; sleek carpeting, Italian marble floors and wallpaper; and a dramatic, elegant new ambience for all guest spaces.

“We are thrilled to have Seven Seas Navigator return to our waters following her stunning transformation. Her recent enhancements mark the completion of our US$150 million refurbishment program, with an ongoing investment in our fleet being one of many reasons why Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s leading luxury ocean cruise line,” said Lisa Pile, Vice President and General Manager, Australia and New Zealand at Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“Since launching our regional headquarters in 2015, we have been committed to strengthening our presence in local waters, showcasing to local travellers both the elevation of our fleet and our all-inclusive luxury offering. In addition to the arrival of Seven Seas Navigator, both Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner will be sailing local waters in early 2020, which is significant given Regent currently operates a fleet of four vessels. Having three of our luxury ships in the Asia Pacific region offers a great taste of what’s to come, with The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™, Seven Seas Explorer, sailing Asia Pacific itineraries for the first time ever at the end of this year,” added Ms Pile.


Highlight Itineraries:

Circle Australia – 23rd January 2020 – 28th February 2020 – Sydney to Sydney.

Departing on the 23rd January 2020 from Sydney, this grand 36-night voyage will circumnavigate the coast of Australia and visit iconic ports such as Airlie Beach, Cairns, Alotau, Darwin, Komodo, Bali, Esperance, Adelaide, Philip Island and Burnie to name but a few. The all-inclusive journey will feature an Australian-orientated enrichment program, including an exclusive performance by Opera Australia in the intimate Constellation Theater, and several other exclusive lectures provided by renowned experts from the likes of Australia Zoo and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

New Zealand Splendor – 28th February 2020 – 13th Mach 2020 – Sydney to Auckland.

Departing Sydney on the 28th February 2020, this 14-night voyage will visit stunning destinations including Melbourne (overnight), Burnie, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier, Rotorua and Bay of Islands before disembarking in Auckland. Guests on this sailing can see the beautiful sights while taking advantage of up to 38 free shore excursions. There is also an option available to extend this sailing for another 15 nights after she reaches Auckland. From there, she will embark on an exotic journey to the South Pacific and visit Norfolk Island, Noumea (overnight), Lautoka, Suba, Apia, Pago Pago, Bora Bora and Moorea before she reaches Papeete, where she will overnight.

An unrivalled, all-inclusive experience:

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ guests enjoy free unlimited shore excursions in every port, unlimited internet access, highly personalised service, a remarkable staff to guest ratio of 1:1.6, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and premium spirits and prepaid gratuities as part of their cruise fare. Guests staying in concierge-level suites and above also receive a one-night pre-cruise hotel package.

Seven Seas Navigator Refurbishment Background:

Restaurants: Guest favourite, Prime 7, a Contemporary American steakhouse, has been completely reimagined with dramatic new appeal. Dark imperial blue walls accented with gold, light leather chairs and rich wood finishes provide a refined and elegant backdrop for prime steaks and seafood. Large artwork, marble sculptures and intricately patterned floors were added to enhance the décor.

Public Areas: The welcoming Navigator Lounge was refreshed with new furnishings, enabling more space for guests to sit and enjoy coffee during the day and cocktails around the piano in the afternoon and evenings. Stars Lounge was completely reimagined with new carpet, new furniture and new wall coverings in light dusty rose and champagne tones highlighted with gold. Marble tables glimmer under evening dance floor lights where guests can enjoy cocktails and dancing before dinner or after the evening performance in the Constellation Theater.

Spa: The spa is a refreshed haven of tranquillity. Treatment rooms have been updated to provide soothing environments for a variety of services. The relaxation area has been updated with light tones, making it a perfect retreat before or after a spa visit. The beauty salon has been enlarged, now featuring a dedicated pedicure and manicure area that has floor-to-ceiling ocean views. Stations for hair treatments and make-up round out the array of services available in the top deck spa.

Guest Suites: Suite entrances are warm and inviting with dark wood doors and new signage. The in-suite closets now feature more chests and drawers for additional storage space to benefit guests sailing on extended voyages. New plush carpeting was added to all suites as well as fresh upholstery, with private balconies boasting refinished teak wood for a refined cruising experience.

Monday, 6 January 2020

MSC's world cruise aboard MSC Magnifica


  • 43 exotic and aspirational destinations across 23 countries and 5 continents
  • An outstanding line-up of 10 international chefs on board
  • 8 content creators hand-selected to share their experience on board
MSC Cruises, the fastest-growing cruise-line in the word has wished ‘Bon voyage’ to guests aboard MSC Magnifica as she departed from Genoa, Italy for the Company’s second world cruise. Guests will discover the world without having to unpack their suitcase during their 117-day trip of a lifetime. They will not only visit 43 amazing destinations across 5 continents but also live a true gastronomic journey through a uniquely international onboard dining programme from ten award-winning chefs from around the globe representing the very best of their respective cuisines from Australia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Peru, Hawaii, China, India and Germany.

The chefs will join the cruise at different intervals to prepare a complete menu from three to four dishes for guests. These special menus have been created to reflect the chef’s culinary flair and bring flavours of the world cruise destinations to life.

During each exclusive dinner, the chefs will be on hand to greet the guests in person, while they enjoy their dishes. If that wasn’t enough, guests will also be able to take part in a culinary demonstration held by most of the chefs, giving them the opportunity to see them in action and learn how to prepare newly discovered cuisines once back on land.

The impressive line-up of chefs includes:

Two Michelin starred Spanish Chef Ramón Freixa

Known for his ability to create a balance between tradition and avant-garde, taking his inspiration from his Mediterranean roots. He will bring his excellence in Spanish gastronomy with an innovative and modern style for guests.

Veteran Brazilian Chef and restauranteur Allan Vila Espejo

Will present his signature menu introducing guests to his rich culture and take on Brazilian fine dining.

Bake Off Argentina star Chef Christophe Krywonis

Trained in Paris, chef Krywonis has pioneered his craft in French cuisine and will bring guests to his own take on French gastronomy at its bests.

MasterChef Colombia jury member Chef Jorge Rausch

Known for his innovative and modern style infused and inspired by his Colombian roots.

Chef James Berckemeyer

This Peruvian chef will introduce guests to a refined and modern spin on comfort food and “hearty meals with a little taste of home”.

Internationally-renowned Japanese-American Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Guests will discover a menu enriched with Asian flavours and Hawaiian fusion cuisine.

Sydney Morning Herald’s “Chef of the Year”, French-Canadian Chef Serge Dansereau

Chef Serge Dansereau
Of Bathers Pavilion, Sydney Australia fame, Dansereau will delight guests’ taste buds with an exclusive menu inspired by France with an international twist.

Acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung

Bringing guests his contemporary interpretation of Chinese cuisine. Along with a modern approach to presentation, guests will be inspired by his mouth-watering menu.

Decorated Indian-American Chef Vikas Khanna

Michelin starred Chef Khanna will create a delicious menu inspired by his Indian heritage.

Three Michelin starred German Chef Harald Wohlfahrt

Joining the ship for the last leg of her journey, Chef Wohlfahrt and will showcase his passion for haute cuisine and love for natural and fresh ingredients.

MSC Cruises has enlisted a team of content creators to take part in the second round-the-world relay race at sea on board MSC Magnifica. The eight content creators will publish their once-in-a-lifetime vacation as they sail different segments of the cruise in a relay with one another. Each a curious traveller, they will capture their experiences, share their passion for travel and bring their fans closer to the worlds that they discover.

These eight avid voyagers will curate stories powered by their own spin on storytelling and on the “made by humans” concept. In partnership with Instax, the content creator disembarking will pass on a Fuji Hybrid Camera, as a “baton”, making this incredible storytelling continue, port after port. Each of these content creators will meet and interact with local people ashore in the 23 different countries, an impressive way of creating inspiring stories on their daily discovery. The MSC Cruises relay team consists of Evan Edinger (US), MolaViajar (Spain), Sami & Vale (Chile), Kenza SMG (France), Travel and Share (Brazil), Emre Durmuş (Turkey), Marcello Ascani (Italy), Ceci De Viaje (Argentina).

View the teaser for the relay race [on YouTube]

Guests are still able to book last-remaining cabins for the MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and January 2022, for more information please visit: msccruises.com.au or msccruises.co.nz