When the Seven Seas Explorer debuted in 2016, it was christened “the most luxurious ship ever built.” Now, Seven Seas Splendor, its highly anticipated sister ship, aims to take everything that works about Explorer and dial in the luxury even more. Is that possible? Here are six reasons we’re looking forward to Splendor’s debut next February.
1. There’ll be more Explorer-style cruising to go around.
When Joan Novack boarded Seven Seas Explorer for its preinaugural sailing three years ago, the Virtuoso travel advisor was blown away. “As I walked onto the ship, the most magnificent lobby surrounded me,” she says. “From that point on, I was in awe of how beautiful this ship is. The amenities are lavish in the suites, the dining venues, the spa, and all the public rooms.” A longtime fan of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Novack has since enjoyed three – soon to be four – additional voyages on her favorite ship. “Until someone builds something to top it, Explorer truly is the most luxurious ship ever built,” she says. And that someone, she adds, “will probably be Regent, with the Splendor.”
2. When Regent strives, opulence wins.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO Jason Montague described the approach to creating Splendor as “obsessing over large and small details.” Those large details likely include the 46,000 square feet (we’re talking more than an acre) of Italian marble that will adorn Splendor’s interior – including the posh bathrooms in the 375 suites. As for those small things, look for specially commissioned original artwork throughout the ship and thoughtful touches such as lined jewelry drawers and designated spaces for designer handbags in the Penthouse Suite.
Like Explorer, the 750-guest Seven Seas Splendor will offer the maximum space and an emphasis on service, boasting one of the highest space ratios and lowest guest-to-crew ratios among cruise lines. Guests will also have plenty of room to stretch out in the fresh air, thanks to nearly 52,000 square feet (larger than a football field) of balcony space.
3. Regent Suite shatters records in a big way.
Palatial doesn’t begin to describe the Regent Suite, the largest suite ever constructed on a luxury cruise ship. Commanding the 14th deck, above the bridge and overlooking the bow, this splurge-worthy accommodation offers more than 3,000 square feet of interior space and a 1,300-square-foot wraparound veranda, complete with a hot tub on the forward balcony. (This is where you’ll catch those gorgeous sunsets, a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand.)
Expect sweet dreams while sleeping on the custom, handcrafted, $200,000 Vividus bed; the king-size mattress took over 18 months to complete to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ exacting standards. Splendor’s Regent Suite boasts a master bath and spa 30 percent larger than its predecessor on the Explorer in order to incorporate a floor-to-ceiling ocean-view shower.
“The Regent Suite, for those lucky enough to experience it, is over the top,” Novack says. “Guests never have to leave, as meals and spa services are available in their plush surroundings at all times. This suite even comes with a private car and driver in every port on the sailing.”
Ready to indulge? Don’t hesitate. The Regent Suite is already sold out for nearly all of Seven Seas Splendor’s 2020 inaugural season sailings.
4. The captain, too, is breaking records.
Someone we can’t wait to meet: Captain Serena Melani. The first woman in cruise history to captain a new cruise ship at launch, she’ll helm Seven Seas Splendor when it debuts next year. Melani joined the cruise line in 2010 and has led Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Navigator since becoming the company’s first female master captain in 2016. “Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries,” Montague says. “She is an international role model and admired by our guests and crew.”
5. Regent’s all-inclusive amenities are still around and still awesome.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has made a name for itself by offering guests an unrivaled, all-inclusive, luxury cruise experience. That includes complimentary business-class air on international flights for all guests, regardless of suite category.
6. Stellar onboard dining is paired with exclusive, hands-on culinary excursions.
Please your palate and expand your culinary knowledge while exploring the world’s top foodie destinations. Chef-led Gourmet Explorer tours, available for Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor passengers only, invite you to experience a region’s culinary culture with market visits, winetastings, cooking demos, hands-on classes, and meals at acclaimed local restaurants.
In Bilbao, Spain, tour Mercado de la Ribera; back on board, don an apron for a tapas and pintxos cooking class. During the call at Taormina, Italy, learn how to prepare cannoli with a Sicilian pastry chef. Experience an extra-virgin olive oil tasting in Barcelona, followed by lunch at Michelin two-starred restaurant ABaC. And in Saint-Malo, in Brittany, France, sit down to a meal prepared by chef Julien Hennote, recipient of the prized Escoffier trophy.
Regent currently offers 19 Gourmet Explorer tours as part of the Regent Choice Shore Excursion program.