My Travel Blog

The Regent Seven Seas – Our Journey To The Northern European Ports

We boarded the Regent Seven Seas Explorer in Copenhagen, Denmark. Without question it was the most beautiful ship I’ve ever been on. Lisa especially appreciated the huge walk-in closet in our room. Our itinerary included Lithuanian, Latvia, St. Petersburg Russia, Helsinki Finland, Estonia, and ended in Stockholm Sweden.

Getting ready to board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer.

The Explorer’s grand staircase.

A small portion of the Explorer’s impressive galley.

One of the highlights was a walk through the forest in Lithuania. During the Soviet era Lithuanian artists produced over 70 wood sculptures that were placed along a trail. As artists tend to do, many of their pieces had two meanings. There was the obvious one, and then there was the more subtle meaning, which was usually a protest against the Soviet regime.

Who’s looking at who?

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia was charming, and the chocolate making tour was delicious. The Hermitage in St. Petersburg was of course spectacular. When we arrived the St. Petersburg Marathon was being run. Many of the streets and bridges were blocked. The traffic was a nightmare. We visited the Hermitage seven years ago. I had forgotten that the museum was once a palace. The rooms were as impressive as the art. Well maybe not quite as impressive when you consider the Da Vinci’s, Rembrandt’s, The Crouching Boy by Michelangelo, and works by Raffaello, and Ruben were all housed there.

Showing us how to make chocolate candy.


The St. Petersburg Marathon.

One of the many beautiful rooms at the Hermitage.

For me the most memorable tour was a visit to the Vassa in Stockholm. The Vassa is a 400-year-old ship that sank after traveling less than a 1,000 meters. The designers did not know how to calculate the ship’s stability when the Vassa was launched. A gust of wind hit her sails, and she just rolled over. The ship spent 333 years on the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor until she was rediscovered and then raised in the 1960’s. Because the salinity of the Baltic is so low the organisms that would normally devour a wooden vessel cannot survive. Ninety-five percent of the original ship is on display.

We entered a huge darkened, humidity controlled room. As my eyes began to adjust the prow of the Vassa materialized above me. Then the masts and rigging rising to the ceiling, well over 100 feet high, came into to view. I could only imagine the white water rolling off the bow as the billowing sails pushed this massive ship through raging seas. I’ve been a sailor my entire life, and couldn’t imagine what it would be like to sail on such an amazing vessel. Of course that rolling over and sinking thing might have been a distraction.

The impressive prow of the sailing ship Vassa.

The Vassa.

Lisa and I had such a great time on the Explorer that we booked another trip on her. Next year instead of flying to Europe to meet Rabelo we will cruise in style. I hope the ship can handle all of our luggage.

– Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.