Catching the sites of kitschy Ketchikan from Regent Seven Seas Mariner

arrival Ketichan It was what locals call a bluebird day, a beautiful, sunny day in Ketchikan—one of the rainiest cities in the world with an average yearly downpour of about 14 feet. According to a local, it was the best day in more than two weeks, the sun shining gloriously and the temperature hovering around 70 as passengers disembarked spiffy Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Like Richard and I most of the 700  passengers were taking one of the line’s complimentary shore excursions offered on this all-inclusive seven-day Alaska cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, BC. The voyage lived up to or exceeded expectations.

 Before we even left home we booked our complimentary shore excursions (and made dinner reservations, on Regent Seven Seas web site). We were happy we selected the Rain Forest Expedition tour  in Ketchikan– which proved n easy hike alongside a roaring stream feeding into Ward Lake, about eight miles from the port. It was led by a knowledgeable guide named Carly, who was more naturalist than hiker and explained the glacier-created terrain, the spongy peat bog and identified the spruce, cedar, hemlock and alder trees. She pointed out the broad-leafed skunk cabbage plants that had been nibbled at and uprooted by hungry black bears after their long winter hibernation. In late June the pink salmon endemic to the creek hadn’t yet began their spawning runs, an event the bears no doubt eagerly awaited. But the tour group loved the sight and sound of the pristine water rushing past through dense screens of old growth trees. DSCN1313There was the usual warning that if a bear was spotted one must remain avoid screaming and particularly running, something that signals prey to the poor-sighted blacks, smaller and less aggressive than their brown bear (grizzly) cousins passenger had seen in Sitka, but still dangerous wild animals. No furry animal was sighted, however.

Following the two-hour walk  we strolled around Ketchikan, which is Alaska’s fourth largest city, despite its small population of about 14,000, and stopped for lunch at a local spot called Annabelle’s.  Annabelle's frontThis is a city of water, where even the airport must be reached by ferry and with no land connection to the outside—the only highway ends 10 miles in either direction beyond the center of town. What it is best known for, besides salmon and rain, is the size of its floatplane fleet, the largest in the world. Every day around 1,000 takeoffs and landings occur in the same tight sea lanes used by ships much larger than Mariner and were as easily seen as the curious juvenile bald eagle that flew within feet of the anchored ship.

Annabelle’s  was a bit of a disappointment. The  salmon  was over-cooked, the olive oil had a strange taste but the bread and salad was good. We popped for wine and a beer (which is proffered free on Mariner, but hey one isn’t in a Ketchikan restaurant every day). The typical Alaska eatery was filled with what looked like locals but also passengers from Marina, Holland America’s Voledam and the Coral Princess which were also docked there. After lunch it was back on a launch that took passengers back to the anchored Mariner for a night and one more day at sea before arrival in Vancouver.

Once back in our deluxe veranda suite 805 we sat on the veranda and watch while the captain sailed out of Ketchikan to the final stop  in Vancouver B.C. I love this ship so much that I can’t wait to do another  cruise on her, perhaps in Caribbean or Med next time. But Regent Seven Seas is well-known for getting things right and everything about this seven day journey was ideal.  Remember RSSC fare are truly ALL INCLUSIVE with everything covered from tips to shore excursions, drinks, alternative dining venues Prime7 (that serves kick ass steaks) and Signatures which offers continental cuisine in a romantic setting (most ships charge extra for meals outside the dining room, except this one and Seabourn.brunch buffet ketichan arrivalAbove is a buffet served on the Mariner during arrival in Ketchikan.

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Just a few of the many reason to book a Crystal Serenity cruise

The Sea Horse pool
The Sea Horse pool
Teak Promenade deck
Teak Promenade deck
Free wines and spiris
Free wines and spiris
The food
The food
More food
More food
Prego Italian restaurant
Prego Italian restaurant
Buckwheat pancakes with nuts and raspberries served in your penthouse stateroom y a butler
Buckwheat pancakes with nuts and raspberries served in your penthouse stateroom y a butler

??????????Read more here: http://www.examiner.com/list/a-few-of-the-great-things-on-board-a-crystal-serenity-cruise-part-2

A gorgeous well-kempt ship
A gorgeous well-kempt ship
Engin our Turkish butler
Engin our Turkish butler

Grab a luxury cruise on ultra posh Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a sea of specials, check it out and book your cruise, these are fabulous ship with everything included in the fare from wines and spirits to shore excursions, WiFi and more. Plus matties the food’s fantastic, no kidding, we’re talking fine dining at sea.

Book your 2015 European voyage and take advantage of FREE Air* and Early Booking Savings of up to $6,000. Behold the wonders of the Old World and azure Mediterranean waters.
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Rome to Lisbon
Oct. 3, 2014 | 10 Nights | Seven Seas Mariner®
 
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Roundtrip Barcelona
May 17, 2015 | 10 Nights | Seven Seas Mariner®
 
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May 27, 2015 | 8 Nights | Seven Seas Mariner®
 
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Monte Carlo to Rome
June 4, 2015 | 7 Nights | Seven Seas Mariner®
 
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Silversea Toasts 2009 With Wine-soaked Gala Cruises

Silversea Cruises is toasting the New Year with an enticing new collection of 11 Wine Series voyages for 2009.

On each wine-themed cruise, discerning travelers with a passion for fine wines will enjoy sampling great vintages and learning about the tradition and art of winemaking in special tastings and lectures conducted by wine professionals, vineyard owners, winemakers and other epicurean specialists from renowned establishments, including California’s Justin and Wente wineries, Italy’s Castello Banfi and Chile’s Santa Alicia Winery, to name a few.   On many voyages, guests will also have the chance to explore some of the world’s most celebrated wine regions on guided shore excursions. 

Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the Italian fashion visionary, also known for their signature handbags and footwear, (the Ferragamo family also owns Il Borro, an acclaimed wine-producing estate in Tuscany) is slated to host Silver Wind’s July 6 wine-themed sailing from Lisbon to Monte Carlo.

“Our Wine Series cruises are a great way for guests to broaden their understanding and appreciation for one of life’s most cherished luxuries – fine wine,” said David Morris, Silversea’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “We’ve invited top experts from some of the world’s most acclaimed vineyards and wineries to visit and interact with our guests, guiding them through entertaining tastings and lectures that add a unique and enriching dimension to their cruise experience.”
2009 Wine Series cruises (rates are per person, double occupancy and do not include port charges):

Alaska & Pacific Coast

Silver Shadow departs July 20 on a 12-day, roundtrip voyage (#3917) from San Francisco with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria.  WINE SERIES HOSTS:  Eric and Arel Wente, owners of California’s Wente Vineyards.  Silver Sailing fares start at $6,646.

Silver Shadow departs August 25 on a 9-day, roundtrip voyage (#3921) from Vancouver with calls in Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Master Sommelier Joe Spellman of California’s Justin Vineyards and Winery.  Early Booking Incentive fares start at $5,775.

Mediterranean

Silver Wind departs May 28 on a 9-day voyage (#2917) from Monte Carlo to Athens with calls in Livorno, Sorrento, Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Bodrum.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Stanislas Marchal, public relations representative for Vranken-Pommery Monopole.   Early Booking Incentive fares start at $7,305.

Silver Whisper departs July 4 on a 7-day voyage (#4918) from Venice to Athens with calls in Split, Kotor, Corfu and Itea.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Georges Muller of Riedel Crystal (the wine glass company), expert on pairing wines with stemware.  Silver Sailing fares start at $4,896.

Silver Wind departs July 6 on a 12-day voyage (#2921) from Lisbon to Monte Carlo with calls in Cadiz, Malaga, Ibiza, Barcelona (overnight), Cannes, Menton, Livorno and Corsica.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Salvatore Ferragamo, owner and managing director of Il Borro estate, Tuscany, Italy.  Silver Sailing fares start at $5,797.

Silver Wind departs August 14 on a 7-day voyage (#2925) from Venice to Athens with calls in Hvar, Sibenik, Dubrovnik and Santorini.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Philip di Belardino, Castello Banfi Vineyard Estate & Winery, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy.  Early Booking Incentive fares start at $6,115.

Northern Europe & The Baltic

Silver Cloud departs June 25 on a 9-day, roundtrip voyage (#1914) from Stockholm with calls in Helsinki, St. Petersburg (3 days, 2 nights), Tallinn and Gdansk.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Gary Eberle, owner of California’s Eberle Winery (will co-host with a European winery, exploring Old and New World wines).  Silver Sailing fares start at $6,646.

Silver Cloud departs August 26 on a 10-day, roundtrip voyage (#1921) from London with calls in Edinburgh (overnight), Invergordon, Oban, Dublin, Cork and Fowey.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Gordon Bell, brand ambassador and master of Scotch whisky.  Silver Sailing fares start at $7,486.

South America

Silver Cloud departs January 4 on a 16-day voyage (#1901) from Santiago to Buenos Aires with calls in Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Laguna San Rafael, Punta Arenas (overnight), Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Punta del Este and Montevideo.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Daniel Soto, Santa Alicia Winery, Santiago, Chile.  Voyage co-hosted by GUEST CHEF Luis Gonzalez Morales, chef/owner of El Remezon restaurant in Punta Arenas, Chile, specializing in traditional Patagonian cuisine.  Silver Sailing fares start at $8,606.
 
Silver Cloud departs February 5 on a 16-day voyage (#1903) from Santiago to Buenos Aires with calls in Puerto Montt, Laguna San Rafael, Punta Arenas (overnight), Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn and Montevideo.  WINE SERIES HOSTS:  Silvina Barros of Trivento Winery and Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina; Fernando Mediano of Emiliana Vineyards, Casablanca Valley, Chile; and Jofre Duran of Concha y Toro Vineyards, Maipo Valley, Chile.  Early Booking Incentive fares start at $10,450.

Transoceanic

Silver Cloud departs April 15 on a 15-day voyage (#1910) from Barbados to London with calls in St. Lucia, Antigua, La Horta, Ponta Delgada, Falmouth and Cherbourg.  WINE SERIES HOST:  Trevor Burnett, brand ambassador for Grey Goose Vodka.  Voyage co-hosted by GUEST CHEF of the Viking Cooking School.  Silver Sailing fares start at $5,337.

(877) 215-9986, www.silversea.com