Cruise to 5 of Europe’s Best Fests this Summer
Summer's a double-edged sword for Europe-bound travelers: The weather is gorgeous, the daylight long, the produce sublime and the events calendar overflowing. At the same time, the best hotels often sell out, flight prices soar -- and the hottest event and tour tickets are snapped up fast.
But there is a way to experience the best of Europe's summer festivities, minus the downsides: on an extraordinary cruise.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises — an all-suite, all-balcony fleet — not only takes you to some of the most prestigious ports across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, but also includes your roundtrip business-class flights, unlimited shore excursions, gourmet meals and premium wine and spirits at no additional charge.
Here are five fabled summer events you can access from the comfort of a Regent Seven Seas Cruise, plus some bonus fun in each port:
Venice Film Festival
The only prospect more beguiling than a trip to the Floating City is one that coincides with the renowned local film festival. Celebrating 75 years this summer, the celebrity-studded Venice Film Festival is the oldest and one of the most prestigious in the world. Sail aboard Seven Seas Voyager and land in the middle of the excitement on Sept. 5. This year's lineup includes everything from cutting-edge virtual reality films to retrospectives of revered geniuses. Because you have a full day and night in town -- and Venice marks the end of the cruise -- binge-watching is certainly an option. Just be sure to check the festival box office for tickets as they become available.
If the romance of the city known as La Serenissima has you yearning for Vivaldi rather than Fellini, nessun problema: Regent Seven Seas Cruises will whisk you off to a 16th-century concert hall, where an esteemed orchestra in period costume will perform some of the world’s most celebrated Baroque music.
Beach Bonfires in Tallinn
In commemoration of the Republic of Estonia's 100th year, the country has packed 2018 with all manner of festivities -- and Seven Seas Explorer docks in Tallinn just in time for a particularly fun one: the Night of Ancient Bonfires on Aug. 25. First, the city will cap off a weeklong festival of song with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra performances at nearby Kakumae Port and on Naissaar Island. Then at sundown, as your ship makes its way to St. Petersburg, you'll see the entire northern coast light up with beach bonfires in celebration of the country's inextricable link to the Baltic Sea.
Before the festivities, you can stretch your legs (and feast your eyes) with a mountain biking tour of rural roads outside the city. Arranged by Regent Seven Sea Cruises, the excursion includes a guided ride to a replica of an 18th-century Estonian fishing village, a taste of traditional sweet barley bread -- and a chance to browse the local shops.
La Festa Gracia in Barcelona
For one week in August, Barcelona's bohemian Gracia district undergoes a total transformation as each local street vies to be the best-decorated. Performers and food vendors take over the barrio -- and Seven Seas Voyager will put you in the center of the action on Aug. 16, the second day of the party.
For a break from (or a low-key alternative to) the fiesta, consider a fine-wine-fueled excursion courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises: a trip outside the city to the Jean Leon winery atop vineyard-carpeted hills. Enjoy a sampling of tintos reservas while you're regaled with tales of the vintner's Hollywood past before ending your day with a panoramic city tour.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival
Denmark's formidable jazz scene reaches a fever pitch each July, when musicians from around the world descend on Copenhagen for one of the planet's largest celebrations of the genre. You can catch the 40th anniversary of this festival if you're aboard Seven Seas Explorer when it arrives for day three of the extravaganza. You won't have to look hard to find a show: There's quite a lineup that afternoon, with performances taking place in cafes, plazas and parks (not least, the venerable King's Garden).
To help you see the classic side of the city as well, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers private canal boat rides that take you past the Little Mermaid and Danish Parliament, among other icons. The tour is followed by a trip to Tivoli Gardens, where you can ride the 104-year-old roller coaster and wander the legendarily whimsical grounds.
Fireworks Fest in Monte-Carlo
With a stunning casino that's been featured in three James Bond films, a cliffside royal palace full of priceless art and a population that's one-third millionaires, Monaco has plenty of baseline bling. But when the largest pyrotechnics competition in the world engulfs the second smallest country in the world, the flash factor is off the charts. See this spectacle for yourself from the deck of the Seven Seas Voyager on July 21, when the International Fireworks Festival lights up the yacht-studded sea as you enjoy cocktails and canapes.
There's no more dazzling end to a day of medieval village-touring or wine-tasting -- just two of the local excursions included with your Regent Seven Seas Cruise.