Though Regent Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer will not debut until Summer 2016, the ship’s top category Regent suite had already been booked for 14 of the ship’s first 15 sailings back in August. The $10,000-a-night price tag apparently did not deter fans of Regent’s brand of all-inclusive luxury as they purchased a cruise experience that was bound to be unique and memorable.
At 54,000 gross-registered tons and at a cost of $450 million, the all-suite Seven Seas Explorer will be the most expensive luxury ship ever built. Carrying only 750 guests, the ship will have the highest space ratios and staff-to-guest ratios in the cruise industry.
The aforementioned Regent Suite (billed as the most luxurious cruise suite ever) is bigger than many houses; it measures 3,875 square feet and includes a spacious balcony, two bedrooms, an expansive living room and a private spa retreat (the first ever on a cruise ship), complete with a sauna, a steam room and a treatment room.
The Explorer’s 55 Penthouse Suites vary in size, ranging up to 626 square feet; each has an entertainment center that separates the living room and bedroom, a marble-top bar, a cozy dining area and a luxurious bathroom.
The 140 Concierge Suites measure up to 460 square feet and feature European king-size beds that face the furnished verandas and offer ocean views.
The ship’s 88 Superior Suites share a similar design.
Luxurious accommodations are complemented by gourmet dining. Joining Regent Seven Seas’ signature steakhouse, Prime 7, is Chartreuse, a new French specialty restaurant which derives its name from the chartreuse-colored glass panels that decorate the room’s walls.
“A luxury cruise experience is incomplete without gourmet dining,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “With our sights set on building the world’s most luxurious ship, we challenged our design and culinary teams to develop some extraordinary and exquisite dining options for our guests aboard Seven Seas Explorer. The team exceeded that high mark with Chartreuse, an extremely elegant restaurant where the ambiance and cuisine is sure to stir fond Parisian memories, and help create new ones.”
Carrying out the mandate to evoke memories of a Parisian restaurant along the Seine or off the Champs-Élysées, the design team at ICRAVE created a curved panel entryway with flooring that resembles a rain-dappled cobblestone street.
A zinc bar top placed atop a softly illuminated frosted glass base sits near a backlit wine display filled with the finest French wines and selections from boutique vineyards of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône and Loire Valleys. Decorative iron sculpting throughout the bar pays a subtle homage to Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower; a silver-leafed ceiling is interspersed with gold-bordered black lacquered lines to enhance the Parisian motif.
Celebrating French gastronomy, the menu features dishes using both classic and modern techniques and includes such dishes as hand-cut Charolais steak tartare in a hazelnut-Dijon emulsion topped with Perlita caviar d’Aquitaine; roasted Cévennes rack of lamb with rosemary-mint persillade and sugar snap pea sauce; and poached Brittany blue lobster tail glazed with caramelized lobster roe butter on a bed of Sologne white asparagus and Romanesco. The dessert menu includes a frozen Chartreuse parfait with almond crumble and classic savarin cake made with aged Martinique rum and topped with vanilla cream.
Details about the ship’s third specialty restaurants will be available later. A signature grand dining room and multiple other options (such as outdoor dining) will all feature vintage wines and premium spirits at no additional charge, and each dish will be prepared à la minute and cooked to order.
In keeping with the growing trend of offering guests the opportunity to cook at sea, the Explorer will showcase the Culinary Arts Kitchen, the brand’s first culinary instruction center. It will feature 18 cooking stations with white quartzite countertops and stainless steel accents, top-of-the-line induction cooktops, stainless steel sinks and a comprehensive collection of additional cooking essentials. Guests attending classes will receive individualized instruction and authentic hands-on training, as they cook from their personal workstations.
The instruction will cover such topics as healthy cooking, fish and shellfish preparation, perfect food and wine pairings for entertaining, delectable mini-desserts and high-heat grilling; there will be classes inspired by the destinations visited by the ship.
Also new is the Meridian Lounge, a stylish entertainment venue featuring taupe leather furnishings and dark wood accent tables, a curved bar with an antique silver finish and back-let alabaster top and a rosewood parquet dance floor which leads to an intimate stage that will be used for live musical performances.
Seven Seas Explorer will embark on its maiden voyage from Monte Carlo on July 20, 2016 and sail 10 destination-rich Mediterranean itineraries before traversing to North America, making a 16-night Atlantic Retreat voyage from Rome to Miami. From Miami, the ship will make a 14-night Serene Islands roundtrip voyage on December 4, followed by a 10-night Caribbean Dawn roundtrip on December 18. The ship will ring in the New Year with a 16-night Grand Canal Crossing from Miami to Los Angeles, with stops throughout the Caribbean and Central America.
For more information, call 1.844.4REGENT (1.844.473.4368), visit https://www.rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_explorer/ or consult a travel professional.