The most luxurious ship at sea
Date Posted: 24/06/2015
Lea Beaumann reveals what we can expect from Regent Seven Seas Cruises' new super ship.
Chalk July 2016 in your diary because that’s the date the new Seven Seas Explorer, already heralded the most luxurious cruise ship in the world, sets sail on her inaugural season in the Mediterranean.
It will be an exciting moment, the culmination of years of planning by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a six-star company already well versed in the meaning of luxury. After all, this is the cruise line that brought the world the first all-suite, all-balcony ships and delivers truly all-inclusive prices, from flights and transfers to drinks, gratuities, shore excursions, even wifi.
But the best just got even better. Seven Seas Explorer might be another all-suite, all-balcony ship, but in terms of personal space, and quality of materials and craftsmanship, she will be one of a kind, rivaling the best hotels in the world. For those into numbers, at 56,000 tons, she holds just 750 passengers, which gives a space ratio of 74.6, one of the highest in the industry.
Regent has pulled in some of the top teams in the world from renowned architectural and interior design firms Tillberg Design AB, RTKL Associates and ICRAVE to design this ship and the result is breathtaking, with fantastic attention to detail and clever use of vibrant colours and plush textiles to lend more than a touch of glamour to the ship.
Highlights include the beautiful inlaid marble floor, elegant columns and ornate crystal chandelier in the atrium, and the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Observation Lounge, itself themed on the Roaring Twenties with stunning Art Deco styling.
Step into the Explorer Lounge for a pre-dinner cocktail are you’re in a country club-style setting with rich mahogany woods that are complemented with leather chairs and blue fabrics.
The Constellation Theatre, on the other hand, takes you back to Hollywood’s Golden Age, with eye-catching vivid blue seats, all with unobstructed views, matched to handy side tables topped by Murano glass lamps. It is said you’ll be able to see the motif of a swan woven into the theatre’s design as you enter the room, which will be used for everything from Broadway-style shows to cookery demonstrations and lectures.
The Café is the place to relax over a coffee while enjoying views of the sea, or you can curl up with a good book in the library. The casino has gaming tables and slots machines for those looking to gamble with lady luck.
The Compass Rose main dining area
There are lots of amazing new features on Seven Seas Explorer including a Culinary Arts Kitchen with 18 individual cooking stations where you can learn to create scrumptious dishes under the guidance of expert chefs and the Meridian Lounge entertainment venue near the theatre.
But top billing has to go to the Regent Suite, a one-off luxury apartment that easily eclipses some of the best pads in Manhattan. Indeed it has already proved to be the most sought-after piece of real estate at sea after being snapped up the moment Seven Seas Explorer’s inaugural season went on sale.
At 3,875 square feet, it is not only the biggest suite at sea but the only one with its own spa complete with a sauna, steam room and even heated loungers. Unlimited spa treatments are included in the cost, as are airport transfers and shore excursions by private limos.
Passengers staying in this exclusive suite will be able to entertain friends at a swanky black marble bar to the sounds of live music played on the suite’s custom-made Steinway piano (they will even provide someone to tinkle the ivories if needed). Occupants can share the captain’s 270-degree views of the ocean from their glass-enclosed Vista Garden at the front of the ship or just lie in bed and enjoy the expansive sea views.
There is only one Regent Suite, but naturally there is plenty of other sumptuous accommodation to choose from, from spacious entry-level Veranda Suites to Park Avenue-styled Master Suites, all kitted out with the quality fittings and furnishings you’d expect from the world’s most luxurious ship. Choose a suite at Penthouse level or above and you’ll be looked after by a private butler; opt for a Concierge or higher suite and you’ll enjoy unlimited free wifi so you can keep in touch with family and friends.
Step outside your suite and you’ll find many of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ signature dining venues, but all featuring the spectacular new look and feel that really sets this ship apart.
There is certainly something to suit every taste, from succulent steaks and Italian favourites to the delicious multi-course menus served in the Compass Rose main dining room and Gallic classics in a stylish new French restaurant, Chartreuse.
Star billing in the Compass Rose - apart from the food and service - has to go to the stunning chandelier made from a cascade of aqua-blue glass ‘teardrops’ that brings the feel of the ocean into the room. As befits a luxury ship, the restaurant has an open-seating policy so diners are free to eat when and with whom they wish.
La Veranda self-service provides a casual dining alternative with indoor and al-fresco seating for breakfast and lunch. Come evening it converts into Sette Mari at La Veranda, an upscale Italian restaurant offering a combination of buffet and waiter service.
With its leather chairs, dazzling white table cloths and intimate alcoves, Prime 7 steakhouse will exude the style and sophistication of a London private members’ club. The library to one side of the restaurant doubles as a private dining room for those in search of the ultimate in exclusivity.
And then there is Chartreuse, which promises a touch of Parisian romance with its ‘cobblestone’ entrance, sophisticated restaurant and al-fresco-like courtyard garden with marble flooring and decorative lanterns. Speciality cocktails are infused with the French liquor Chartreuse - bien sur! - while iron sculpting pays homage to, what else but the Eiffel Tower. On the menu, French classics such as steak tartar, rack of lamb and lobster tail take a modern twist.
The icing on the cake is that all dining, including the specialty restaurants, is included in the price. But then what else would you expect from the winning combination of a cruise on the world’s most luxurious ship with the most-inclusive cruise line in the world?
For more information call 02380 682158 or visit www.rssc.com.