The 20-night cruise departs Dubai April 16th, 2023, with prices from US$13,349 for passengers sharing a Deluxe Verandah Suite, although at the time of writing availability was waitlisted due to demand.
As is customary with Regent, the cruise fare includes the usual such as food and entertainment, as well as a pre- or post-cruise land program, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited beverages (including fine wines and spirits), gratuities, specialty dining and Wi-Fi.
Abu Dhabi in the UAE and Salalah in Oman are the only Middle East ports on the itinerary (in addition to Dubai of course, where the cruise begins), with Seven Seas Mariner heading directly south from Salalah bound for Praslin Island in Seychelles.
Regent offers a pre-cruise Marvels of Dubai & Sharjah shore excursion in Dubai, but those wanting to really experience the city would do well to book a multi-night pre-cruise stay.
The modern shopping malls and traditional souks offer some of the best bargains in the world on luxury items like gold jewellery and designer creations, while those looking for history can explore the museum at Al Fahidi Fort or venture out into the Old Quarter of Bastakia.
Abu Dhabi, the first port of call after departing Dubai, is the capital of the UAE with 11 shore excursions on offer, from a city tour and High Tea at Emirates Palace to dune bashing in the Al Khatim desert, which includes a traditional Bedouin dinner.
After Abu Dhabi, Seven Seas Mariner heads out into the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz, and down the coast of Oman, bound for Salalah. There are 12 shore excursions available here for guests to explore the greenest city in the region and its mountainous rock swimming pools known as wadis.
Salalah is also a gateway for visitors to explore the site of “Jebel Qarra,” fabled to be the tomb of the biblical Job.
After four nights and three days at sea, Seven Seas Mariner docks in Praslin, the second largest island of the Seychelles, to the northeast of the capital Mahe.
Originally a hideaway for pirates and Arab merchants, the island is today a popular tourist destination, but the tropical forests in which the pirates of yore hid remain. The island also features nature reserves housing the unique coco de mer and vanilla orchids.
Seven Seas Mariner then sails overnight for Mahe island and the Seychelles capital of Port Victoria, where reefs and pristine marine national parks are a snorkeler’s paradise, and the city is approached against steep and magnificent mountains, creating an impressive backdrop.
The ship stays overnight in Port Victoria so that guests can divide their time between walking tours of Port Victoria itself, and the nearby coral reefs for snorkelling at verdant Moyenne Island.
After two nights and a day at sea, Seven Seas Mariner arrives in Nosy Be, Madagascar, with its glorious beaches and air rich with native spices and flowers. On neighbouring Nosy Komba there is also a lemur population found only in this part of the world.
The French island of Mayotte and its capital Mamoudzou is next, where guests can explore the dense jungle that covers much of the island or take a tour of the capital to get a taste of the local way of life. There’s also a volcanic mountain range runs through the centre of the island, providing great hiking trails through protected natural reserves full of indigenous flora and fauna.
After another two days at sea Seven Seas Mariner makes landfall on the coast of Africa, docking at Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The city is a mix of wide, European style boulevards, lush with jacaranda, bougainvillea, and other tropical foliage, with old colonial palaces and modern high-rise buildings.
Visitors can explore the Cathedral built in 1944 in the shape of a cross, or the lively Mercado Central where they can have a snack of freshly roasted cashews and a cold bottled drink. The National Museum of Art and the main shopping and entertainment promenade the Avenida Julius Nyerere, are also highlights of the city.
“Look for African waxprint and woven fabrics, beautiful wooden boxes and picture frames. Seek out the surreal Pancho Guedes buildings, reminiscent of Gaudi. Visit the Praça de Trabalhadores designed by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century. Sip coffee in one of the many outdoor cafés as you watch the world go by in this vibrant seaside capital,” suggests Regent Seven Seas.
After sailing overnight for South Africa, Seven Seas Mariner arrives in Richard’s Bay, a large commercial port that is primarily used as a gateway to the nature reserves of the Zululand interior. The Zulu were once the mightiest of the sub-Saharan African Kingdoms and their monarch remains a force in local politics.
Richards Bay has some of the most spectacular wetland scenery and pristine beaches on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal and Regent offers shore excursions to explore the land of King Shaka, as well as safaris to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve to see the Big Five.
Making for Cape Town, Seven Seas Mariner spends a day and two nights cruising along the South African Wild Coast, but makes a penultimate port call in Mossel Bay on the second-to-last day of the cruise. Here, the location where the first Europeans made landfall on South African soil in 1488, visitors will find some of the best beaches on the continent and a plethora of outdoor adventure options across the 37 miles they occupy.
Cape Town lies at the end of the 20 day voyage, where Seven Seas Mariner arrives on May 5th for a final overnight before passengers disembark on April 6th, 2023. The city is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful, with museums, lush parks and shops all backed by impressive mountains, and fronted by magnificent beaches.
Passengers can ride a cable-car to the top of the famous flat-topped Table Mountain and gaze at the mosaic of towering mountains, verdant valleys and the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and then head out into the bay to Robben Island, a former prison that housed anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela and others.