Cruise Line Focus

Cruise line focus: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is perhaps the most inclusive cruise line, offering a traditional luxury cruise experience at high-end prices that include almost every aspect of the voyage, from airfare to laundry.

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Like so many of the world’s leading specialty cruise lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the result of a merger. It was formed when Radisson Cruises and Seven Seas Cruises joined together in 1992.

It became Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, but was re-branded in 2006 to its current name.

A year later, the brand was acquired by Apollo Management LP. Regent Seven Seas Cruises, along with Oceania Cruises, was put in Apollo’s Prestige Cruise Holdings division, which was later acquired by Norwegian Cruise Line in 2014.

None of these changes of ownership have affected the cruise line and its growth trajectory, although the purchase by Norwegian did give it the capital needed to invest in the building of two new cruise ships, Seven Seas Explorer (delivered in 2017) and Seven Seas Splendour (due in 2020).

Seven Seas Navigator joined the fleet in 1999 and Seven Seas Mariner, the world’s first all-suite, all-balcony ship, was delivered in 2001. Seven Seas Voyager, the line’s second all-suite, all-balcony ship, entered service in April 2003.

These three ships were all rather divergent in terms of the on-board experience and quality of the cruise product, because of their different ages.

But, great expense was invested during the previous decade, and again more recently, into creating consistency across the fleet.

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The library aboard Seven Seas Mariner.

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All three ships have received upgrades to wireless capabilities (and improved computer connections though it’s still slower than it should be), while cabins have flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies available for free.

Suites have iPod music systems with Bose speakers and free-to-borrow iPads.

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Regent Seven Seas Owner’s Suite.

Regent Seven Seas cruise experience

Across the fleet a rich, modern decorative theme has been created. Public rooms and staterooms are characterised by bold contrasts rather than the muted colours favoured by other luxury lines.

Regent is a high-end line that balances traditional onboard ambiance with contemporary features and amenities.

It could most obviously be compared to Oceania Cruises, its sister premium line under the NCL banner, but unlike Oceania, Regent is uniquely inclusive with cruise prices covering airfare, pre-cruise hotel stays and transfers, gratuities, shore excursions and beverages, from premium spirits and house beverages to sodas.

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Galileo dining room aboard Seven Seas Mariner.

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In other ways its very similar to Oceania, its spas are even managed by Canyon Ranch, like its sister line. And like Oceania, many aspects of the cruise experience are decidedly traditional.

Passengers change for dinner into elegant evening wear, and on nights when there isn’t a Broadway-inspired production in the show lounge, there will be lectures or trivia.

It’s evolved the cruise experience though with a Culinary Arts Kitchen on Explorer and culinary- and wellness-themed tours in certain destinations.

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Compass Rose aboard Seven Seas Navigator.

Dining aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Compass Rose is the main dining room aboard all ships, while Prime 7 steakhouse is a speciality restaurant found throughout the fleet and La Veranda is the buffet restaurant on-board by day, metamorphosing an Italian-influenced Sette Mari by night.

Then there is the French-inspired Chartreuse restaurant aboard all ships except Seven Seas Navigator, while the new Seven Seas Explorer has all these as well as the Pan-Asian dining option Pacific Rim.

As one would expect from a line like Regent, food and service is generally well above average, with a plethora of menu choices.

House wines are served at lunch and dinner, and other liquor-based drinks, with premium spirits, are available throughout the ship. And its all included in the fare.

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Regent Seven Seas balcony cabin.

Regent Seven Seas accommodation

Staterooms aboard Regent Seven Seas are spacious and all-suite – Seven Seas Navigator is the only ship in the fleet that isn’t all-balcony.

The Regent Suite on Explorer is one of the largest and most luxurious at sea. The horse-hair mattress alone is worth US $90,000, and it has its own spa offering unlimited, private treatments.

Passengers aboard a Regent Seven Seas cruise

Regent Seven Seas is a luxury cruise line, and its passengers are therefore less diverse than other mainstream operators.

Guests tend to be affluent and seasoned cruisers 60 years old and over, although there are also a smattering of younger couples.

Regent Seven Seas primarily markets to North American travellers, but also has a loyal following in Britain, Spain, Japan, France, Portugal and Brazil.

Regent’s 7-night Mediterranean voyages attract a slightly younger, more active demographic than do lengthier cruises, which are more popular with repeat passengers.

Cruise ships in the Regent Seven Seas fleet:

Seven Seas Explorer

Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Navigator

Seven Seas Voyager

Due in 2020: Seven Seas Splendour

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