|The countdown has commenced for the debut of ultra-luxe cruise line Regent Sevenseas’ new ship, Regent Sevenseas Explorer. She is scheduled to make her maiden voyage in July 2016. Built at a cost of US$450 million, she will be the most expensive luxury liner ever built. She can legitimately boast one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry along with one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios, reinforcing the line’s widely acknowledged position as the leader in the luxury cruise segment.
She is currently being built by prestigious Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri who are world leaders in marine design, architecture and engineering. At 56,000 gross-registered tons Explorer will be the largest of Regent Sevenseas’ vessels. When she joins Regent Sevenseas fleetmates Mariner, Voyager, and Navigator the company’s capacity will expand by 40%.
Explorer will accommodate 750 guests in 369 suites ranging from 300 to 1500 square feet. There will be six open-seating gourmet restaurants, Regent’s signature nine-deck atrium, and a Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Other venues are the two-tiered Constellation Theatre, a multifunctional space designed to deliver a variety of entertainment options; the Observation Lounge which references The Great Gatsby era in décor; the country club style Explorer Lounge; a Casino, and European-style Café. Throughout the ship, interior finishes will feature polished wood and exotic stone complemented by sumptuous soft furnishings, designer furniture and carefully selected art works.
Regent Sevenseas Cruises are renowned for exceptional itineraries. These will be further enhanced by the Smithsonian Institution’s new enrichment program, The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys. The legendary Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex has been recognised for nearly 170 as an authoritative resource within academic communities. Charismatic speakers will present a series of lectures on wide-ranging subjects on more than 80 scheduled sailings for the 2025/2016 season.
Explorer’s maiden voyage will be a 14-night sailing from Monte Carol to Venice on July 20, 2016. She will remain in Europe for her inaugural season sailing 11 voyages crisscrossing the Mediterranean and visiting sought-after destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza, St Tropez, Venice, Istanbul, Alexandria and Jerusalem.
While TLTB couldn’t inspect Explorer yet, we did visit Mariner on her recent visit to Sydney. What we found was a classy, contemporary ship (and clientele to match) where comfort, elegance, and glamour co-exist harmoniously. A clubby atmosphere prevails as well it might, as fellow shipmates are well-travelled, articulate, sophisticated and are most likely repeat guests.
As for Regent Seven Seas award-winning cuisine, guests have a wealth of choice. The main dining room Compass Rose offers European-inspired dishes as well as Canyon Ranch SpaClub cuisine. But for melt-in-the-mouth USDA steak supremacy, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab legs, Prime 7 triumphs.
Another dining option is Signatures, which is overseen by chefs wearing the distinctive white toque and blue riband of Cordon Bleu. Here exquisitely prepared and presented French food is on the menu. We settled in for our Signature lunch: Ceviche of lobster with fennel, herb aioli and orange vanilla syrup; Tuna Loin, Belgian Endives Compote, Meuniere-style; then grilled filet of beef with crisp potato, vegetable pancake and tarragon sauce and the grande finale, a Mousse Grenobloise with coffee macaroon and chocolate sauce.
It became perfectly clear why Regent Seven Seas continuously top the charts in the ‘world’s best’ categories of influential publications. They have elevated luxury cruising to art form status.
Maggy OeHlbeck 10/4/15