Jo Ann Buening
La Crosse, Wisconsin Travel Agent
‘Welcome Aboard Regent and the Last Frontier’
Are you looking for a very special experience that leaves you refreshed, relaxed and feeling pampered? Do you have a milestone birthday or anniversary to celebrate? Let Regent Seven Seas Cruises take you away.
Re-boarding my Regent ship in Skagway.
This past summer my husband and I wanted a special way to mark our anniversary and so we selected Regent and sailed on the Seven Seas Navigator (a ‘luxury-class’ all-inclusive 490-passenger vessel) from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Depending upon the type of cabin booked, you may receive a complimentary pre-night hotel (as we did) in Anchorage. This allowed us a day to rest after our flight to Alaska as well as an opportunity to experience the city. A two-hour transfer was included the next day from Anchorage to Seward where we boarded the ship. What is labeled a ‘transfer’ is actually much more because the scenery traveling along Turnagain Arm is so beautiful.
Upon boarding the ship it was apparent we were in store for a wonderful experience; the attention to service and detail were outstanding. Our butler, Leslie, was very attentive, but not intrusive and some items with which he assisted: delivering our daily canapés, providing room service from the dining room menu and helping rearrange spa appointments.
Our itinerary included Seward, cruising Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, the inside passage and a three-night stay in Vancouver, BC. The cost of our shore excursions was included in each port of call. These excursions were not pre-selected by Regent, but chosen by us. There were several complimentary selections for each port of call, plus some additional offerings (i.e. helicopter rides) with an additional cost, but offered at a discounted rate, compared to other cruise lines.
My favorite excursions were in Sitka and Juneau. Sitka, the capital when Russia owned Alaska, is a city where they are really trying to keep the Russian influence alive. Since we were on a small ship, we were able to actually dock rather than having to ‘tender’ (take small boats from the ship to the pier). Our visit was on the 4th of July and the community was preparing for their parade; all ages were coming out to celebrate. Here we chose the excursion ‘Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest’ - on a 100-passenger (enclosed) boat with only Regent passengers onboard. During our three-hour journey we saw sea lions, sea otters, whales, a bear and several varieties of birds.
In Juneau we selected a four-hour excursion, ‘Flavors of Juneau’, with a visit to Mendenhall Glacier. The scenery here is very beautiful in July when the flowers are in full bloom. This Juneau shore excursion continued with the Chez Alaska Cooking School where we enjoyed a cooking demonstration as well as samples. Again, it was a Regent exclusive experience, which ended with tasting and touring at the Alaska Brewing Company.
Since Regent is an all-inclusive experience, we enjoyed wine with our meals, whether in our cabin or in one of the restaurants onboard, plus other alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages we selected. The entertainment in the evening was a very nice surprise, including Cirque de Solei, a Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel, plus a Tribute to Broadway.
Our trip ended with a three-night stay in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific Hotel, located in the Canada Place building, adjacent to where the cruise ships dock. It was very easy to disembark, collect our bags and take the elevator up to check in. The location is perfect to explore this cosmopolitan city and we decided to use the Vancouver Trolley “hop on, hop off” tour as our transportation. Riding it for 2 ½ hours for the full city tour educated us as to where we wanted to spend more time (for us - Stanley Park and Granville Island).
This was an anniversary neither of us will forget. Whether Alaska is on your wish list or you prefer another part of the world (Regent sails to many countries and destinations with its three ships and a fourth being built), I would love to assist you in arranging your ‘trip of a lifetime’ and creating memories that you will never forget. Please contact me at 608-791-8358 or [email protected]
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Jo Ann Buening - Alaska