Josh Lewis/Courtesy Regent Seven Seas
For many, experiencing a destination's nightlife is an integral part of travel—from exploring the brightly lit streets of Tokyo for an evening of karaoke and street food to bringing out the black tie attire for a posh night out at Monaco's Casino de Monte Carlo. However, when it comes to cruises, passengers usually end up spending most of their nights at sea.
But this year, luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas is launching a new array of itineraries specially designed for travelers to be able to experience port cities after dark. Called “Immersive Overnights,” the new voyages offer the industry's first-ever itineraries for which the ship stays overnight (sometimes two) in every port of call, according to Regent. The sleepover sailings will take place in fall 2024 and 2025 in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Asia.
Traditionally, cruises depart each port in the late afternoon, meaning that travelers can only see a destination by day. When traveling this way, cruisers can miss out on iconic experiences in many cities—like Tokyo, Barcelona, and Berlin—where the nightlife is a huge part of the local culture.
Overnight port stays have been a growing trend in the cruise industry over the last few years, with many of the top lines offering one or two sleepover stays in some of the more bustling cities in Europe and Asia. “It’s something travelers are demanding more of,” says Tom Baker, a travel specialist at Cruise Center. “Clients are looking for longer port times to enrich their cultural experiences ashore and some even will overnight ashore in a hotel in a key city [if it’s] farther inland to maximize port times,” Baker adds.
While overnighting in port has become increasingly popular throughout the industry, Regent says these are the first cruise itineraries to feature overnight stays in every port along the way.
The first of the Immersive Overnight sailings will take place in the Mediterranean in early October 2024, with three different voyages offered in the region through October and November. Each voyage will give passengers the opportunity to experience some of Europe’s most glamorous coastal cities after dark. The first sailing, a 10-day voyage on board Seven Seas Voyager features overnights in Trieste, Italy; Zadar, Croatia; and two nights in Athens, Greece. Later in October, Voyager will offer another 10-day cruise, this time departing from Istanbul, with overnights in Dubrovnik, Rome, and Barcelona.
In spring 2025, Regent's second Immersive Overnights itinerary will launch in Asia, with a 14-day cruise from Japan, giving passengers the chance for nighttime revelry in some of the region’s most exciting cities. That voyage, which is on board Seven Seas Explorer, will spend the night in Kyoto, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai; and Tokyo.
The new overnight-focused itineraries “will change the way luxury travelers cruise,” Andrea DeMarco, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, said in a statement. “These extended overnight experiences will allow guests unparalleled immersion in a range of incredible global destinations."
Each Immersive Overnight sailing will also feature special evening shore excursions, so passengers can make the most of seeing port cities at night. Regent has created 26 new excursions focusing on activities that are best experienced at dusk or nighttime, including sunset wine tasting in a Tuscan villa, an evening tour of Athens followed by a seaside dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a night spent in Split gazing at the city lights with a traditional a cappella performance over dinner.
The after-dark activities are a chance for cruisers to be immersed in their voyage’s destinations, instead of feeling rushed to explore a new city in just a few hours. According to Linda Speer, founder of Cruises by Linda, more travelers are seeking out slow travel experiences like these. “Passengers really like to dine locally as well as stroll, shop, and just experience a destination unhurriedly,” Speer says.
Spring and summer 2025 will also see Regent’s overnight itineraries return to Europe. Among the highlights on those voyages are two-night stays in Berlin, Stockholm, and Salerno, Italy, on the iconic Amalfi Coast. Single-night stays will also be offered in Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Monte Carlo.
Fares for the Immersive Overnight voyages currently start at $4,799 per person based on double stateroom occupancy.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler