Composite photo of Silver Explorer and Seven Seas Navigator

Comparing Silversea vs. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is much like comparing lobster to filet mignon. Most cruisers would agree that both are divine. These two luxury lines pile on bliss-inducing amenities, each in its inimitable style. How to choose between the two? Check out the goods on how Regent stacks up against Silversea, and vice versa. After that, choosing your dream cruise should be as easy as, well, caviar pie.


A Regent Alaska cruise

The Fleet

Silversea

In Silversea's nine-ship fleet, five are traditional ocean liners and four are expedition ships. For purposes of this article, we'll focus solely on the traditional cruise ships.

The 296-passenger Silver Wind debuted in 1994. The 382-passenger Silver Shadow launched in 2000; twin ship Silver Whisper debuted in 2001. In 2009, 540-passenger Silver Spirit launched as the next-generation flagship. In 2017, the line's newest flagship, 596-passenger Silver Muse, made its inaugural splash. Its twin debuts in 2020.

Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas' first-of-four cruise ships, 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator, launched in 1999. Twin 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner followed in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In 2016, the line took a luxe leap by unveiling 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, billed by Regent as the most luxurious ship at sea. In 2020, Explorer's twin debuts.


Silver Muse in Santorini

Price

Comparing fares is tricky; both lines call themselves all-inclusive yet each interprets the term differently. Regent Seven Seas' fares are generally higher, but Regent bundles in big-ticket items, such as airfare and shore excursions.

Silversea

Alternative dining, 24-hour room service, gratuities, all beverages including alcohol and spirits (excluding a premium list), in-suite mini-bar with daily restocking (including wines and spirits), enrichment programs, laundry room use and town shuttles in most ports are included for all passengers. Depending upon the suite level, complimentary Wi-Fi (from one hour per passenger per day up to unlimited), pressing, laundry, ship-to-shore phone calls and other such perks are also included.

Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas' all-inclusive perks match Silversea's, except entry-level suite mini-bar alcohol is limited to beer. But Regent also adds round trip coach airfare for transcontinental flights and business class airfare for intercontinental flights, with departures from most major U.S. cities. Also included? Ground transfers between airport and ship, unlimited shore excursions (excluding premium excursions, like fancy French chateau wine dinners) and unlimited Wi-Fi. A one-night pre-cruise hotel stay is another perk if booked in a Concierge Suite or higher.

To determine which line really offers the biggest bang for your buck, pick two similar cruises on Silversea and Regent Seven Seas, say, a 10-day Rome to Athens sail in October, and note the fares for similar-size suites. Add airfare, and estimated shore excursions and Wi-Fi use to the Silversea cruise fare. Then see how the two measure up.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You prefer using miles or points for airfare, or controlling exactly which airline and route you fly.
  • You like exploring ports solo, or on private excursions.
  • You plan on staying onboard much of the cruise.

Choose Regent Seven Seas if:

  • You hate the hassle of buying flights and coordinating airline schedules with cruise embarkation and debarkation times.
  • You lack miles or points to exchange for airline tickets.
  • You prefer ship-organized group shore excursions.
  • Nonstop internet connectivity is a must.
  • You like the ease of bundled pricing and knowing all vacation costs upfront.

Silver Spirit in Tortola

Itineraries

Silversea

Silversea offers both wonderfully exotic itineraries and iconic destinations, and perpetually alters or introduces new ports, keeping devotees happy. Annual world cruises visit five continents, with many overnight stays in port.

Regent Seven Seas

Ships consistently sail the Mediterranean and Baltic regions, and Alaska. Far East, Australia and South American cruises are also popular. Regent mixes it up, offering both popular must-see destinations and charming out-of-the-way ports. Regent's annual world cruises also visit countries across five continents, with a few overnight stays and hundreds of included shore excursion options.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You like port overnights, longer days in port and off-the-beaten-path itineraries.

Choose Regent if:

  • Your main goal is bucket-list popular ports and some out-of-the-way charmers.

Blue-footed bobbies doing mating dance

Shore Excursions

Both cruise lines deliver consistent, high-quality shore excursions. Both use English-speaking, knowledgeable and attentive guides. Tour groups are limited in size and transportation options are comfortable and air-conditioned. If the port dictates less cushy transportation (such as no A/C or bumpy roads), both lines note the challenges upfront.

Silversea

Silversea can offer fabulous overnight shore excursions -- sometimes multiple days -- on exotic itineraries. Butlers aid passengers in departure, from serving full breakfasts at 4 a.m. in-suite to wheeling your roll-aboards off the ship and waving goodbye. Upon return, they await portside, greeting you with welcome home banners and a rose petal-strewn bubble bath in your suite.

Regent Seven Seas

Most shore excursions are complimentary and they're not just panoramic bus tours or quickie walkabouts, either. Impressive examples include a 6.5-hour jaunt featuring a national park, river cruise and lunch in Zadar, Croatia; and a drive from Rome to a stunning lake before a vineyard visit and tasting.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You prefer sightseeing on your own or on private tours.
  •  Exclusive shore excursions -- such as dining in a Bordeaux chateau or flightseeing -- are your thing; both lines offer these, but on Regent, you might feel like you're not getting good value because your fares already include the more typical tours, but these cost extra.
  • You'd be willing to disembark the ship for a few nights mid-cruise to hit bucket-list destinations, such as Luxor, Egypt or Bagan, Myanmar (Burma), on a land tour.

Choose Regent if:

  • Daily group shore excursions float your boat. If you enjoy multiple outings in one day, you've really hit the jackpot.
  • You're cruising with friends or family who share similar interests; it's wonderful to share the sights together with complimentary excursions.
  • You're cruising Alaska. Alaska's majesty is best explored via shore excursions away from crowded ports. These can be pricy on other lines, but on Regent they're included.

Regent Suite

Suites

Silversea and Regent Seven Seas ships are all-suite, mostly with verandas. Both lines make suite living incredibly, well, sweet. Spacious suites are designed with timeless understated elegance. Soft earthy colors and textural furnishings abound, as do richly polished wood, marble and granite. Amenities include sitting areas, silken European sheets, plush bathrobes and slippers, hair dryers, vanities, flat-screen televisions and safes.

Silversea

The older the ship, the smaller the suite. Entry levels range from 240 square feet up to 334 square feet with picture windows only. The largest begin at 1,019 square feet and zoom up to 1,970 square feet, with verandas. All passengers enjoy butler service.

Regent Seven Seas

All four ships' smallest suites average about 300 square feet. The largest run from 1,067 square feet to Seven Seas Explorer's gigantic 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite, and all offer verandas. Regent only provides butlers to passengers booked in Penthouse Suites or higher.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You adore butler service. Even if booked in an entry suite, a tuxedo-clad white-gloved butler awaits.
  • You covet uber-fancy toiletries and can only book entry-level suites. Bulgari or Ferragamo soaps, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion are yours -- sometimes both, if you ask nicely.
  • You like writing letters on personalized stationery, a complimentary amenity in all suite categories.
  • You want your own sink in the bathroom; all suites fleetwide offer double sinks.
  • You're picky about pillows. Silversea's menu offers nine varieties for all suite categories.

Choose Regent Seven Seas if:

  • You have no use for a personal butler.
  • You're booking a Penthouse Suite or above, as many Silversea perks such as butler service, personalized stationery, a pillow menu and swankier toiletries like Guerlain are included.
  • You're blowing the budget on a gargantuan suite. Seven Seas Explorer's top suites set the gold standard at sea.
  • If you love lounging on a private veranda and are deciding between entry-level suites on Silversea ships and entry-level suites only on Regent Seven Seas Explorer; Explorer's verandas are 88 square feet compared to the largest on Silversea, which is Silver Muse at 64 square feet. (Sizes do vary elsewhere; for instance, Whisper's and Shadow's verandas run about 60-square-feet -- bigger than all Regent ships other than Explorer.)

Cuisine on Silversea

Dining

Both lines can knock your gastronomic socks off. Get ready to feast on pricy dishes like lobster and filet mignon while servers spoil you rotten in dazzling dining rooms. Give the chef a heads-up, and you can pretty much eat whatever you want whenever you want. Both lines include complimentary 24-hour room service, with dinner elegantly served course-by-course in your suite or on the veranda.

Silversea

Silversea collaborates with Relais & Chateaux, a high-end collection of boutique hotels and restaurants lauded for outstanding cuisine. Le Champagne, the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant at sea, features lavish tasting menus of exquisite dishes paired with fine wines. This intimate dining concept is found fleetwide. (It's called La Dame by Relais & Chateaux on Silver Muse.)

Wind, Shadow and Whisper feature five dining options, Spirit offers seven and Muse a whopping nine (including room service fleetwide).

Regent Seven Seas

Seven Seas Explorer offers the most ambitious dining -- eight choices, the most of Regent's four ships. Among the signature venues are Pacific Rim for Pan-Asian creations, Chartreuse for modern French fare and Compass Rose (dubbed their largest specialty restaurant yet much like a main dining room). Navigator offers six dining venues; Voyager and Mariner both have seven. (All counts include room service.)

Choose Silversea if:

  • You're selecting a Medallion Suite or higher. The line's Gourmet Bites room service menu includes such haute complimentary nibbles as blinis with caviar and foie gras terrine with brioche.
  • You adore Italian cuisine. Italian line Silversea embraces its heritage with freshly tossed thin-crusted pizzas topped with pristine ingredients, sliced-to-order prosciutto, handmade pasta and other superb Mediterranean delicacies.
  • You're planning a birthday or anniversary cruise. Few eateries at sea hit every celebratory note like Le Champagne. It's utterly intimate and romantic, and the tasting menu stars every delicacy with fine wine pairings.

Choose Regent Seven Seas if:

  • You adore great steaks. Prime 7 cooks up spectacular juicy Prime dry-aged steaks, beautifully seasoned and cooked precisely as requested -- as good as in any primo New York steakhouse.
  • Your fantasy meal is giant Alaskan king crab legs and whole Maine lobster. Prime 7's shellfish may be the best at sea.
  • You're counting calories; Canyon Ranch SpaClub lighter dish menus are presented in Compass Rose restaurants fleetwide.
  • You believe caviar and Sunday breakfast are a match made in heaven. Every Sunday, in both La Veranda and Compass Rose, feel free to heap on the roe at no extra cost.

Butler serving champagne

Drink Inclusions

Both Silversea and Regent Seven Seas include all beverages, from specialty coffees and teas to wine, Champagne, beer and spirits.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You dream of a tuxedo-clad butler who rings your suite doorbell precisely when you requested, concocts a custom cocktail at your bar and delivers it to your veranda.
  • You like pouring your own nip of vodka or wine in-suite -- all stocked in your mini-bar at every suite level.

Choose Regent if:

  • You're a beer-drinker; the suite mini-bar is restocked daily with primo suds.
  • You're booking a "named" suite, such as the Explorer Suite onboard Seven Seas Explorer; expect a personalized full-liquor setup in your mini-bar and a welcome bottle of Veuve Clicquot, rather than house Champagne.

Regent theater show

Nightlife

Expect a more genteel nightlife onboard luxury ships than on premium or mass-market cruise lines. On both Silversea and Regent Seven Seas, passengers enjoy small-production musical shows, schmooze and drink in lounges and bars, and occasionally hit the casino and dance to live bands or DJ's spinning tunes. Wee-hours partying is rare.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You're a homebody, and prefer to head back to your suite after dinner to read or watch television and movies before bedtime.
  • You're a pre-dinner lounge lizard; many passengers head to the bars early to make new friends and secure dinner companions.
  • Entertainment staples like Voices of Silversea, a singing quintet who croon both separately and together in styles ranging from pop and opera to country, is enough nightlife for you.

Choose Regent Seven Seas if:

  • Playing craps and poker in happening casinos is your thing. Regent's casinos are small but lively.
  • You like more varied entertainment. Regent mixes it up with dancers, featured entertainers, musicians and musical revues.
  • You crave a buzzier late-night lounge scene. Namesake lounges, like the Voyager Lounge on Seven Seas Voyager, lure many passengers for drinks and dancing after dinner and a show.

Alaska from a cruise ship

Family

Both lines cater to empty-nester couples. If children are onboard, they're usually older and well-behaved and on family-friendly Alaska and Mediterranean cruises during holidays and summer. Neither line offers babysitting services.

Silversea

Only Silver Muse offers a complimentary Activities Center for children between 6 and 16 years old. Run by a dedicated host with formal training in recreation, child development or related fields, the clubhouse-style lounge is open between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., although most activities are during the daytime. Organized fun for younger tykes can include decorating T-shirts or taking a bridge tour. Tweens and teenagers learn to make pizza, play dodgeball and try Zumba. Parents can bring kids to play with toys, video and board games when the room isn't in use. Once or twice per cruise, fun evening events dubbed "No Parents Night-Out" ($20 fee per child), such as organized pizza dinners and ice cream socials, are scheduled.

On all other Silversea ships, select summer voyages between mid-June until the end of August offer youth counselors. Complimentary activities include face-painting, pool parties, stargazing, table tennis and galley and bridge visits. (If enough children are booked during the Christmas holidays, a youth counselor and special activities may be available then, as well.)

Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas features a Club Mariner Youth Program on select voyages (mostly in Alaska, some in Europe) from May through early August. The program is led and supervised by specially trained counselors. Activities are scheduled for two age groups, 5- to12-year-olds and 13- to 17-year-olds, and include fun stuff like decorating cookies, scavenger hunts and pizza, popcorn and movie nights. There's no dedicated play space; the groups take over lesser-used lounges.

Choose Silversea if:

  • You're considering a cruise on Silver Muse, as it's the only ship in the fleet with a designated Activities Center for children.

Choose Regent Seven Seas if:

  • You're cruising with older kids. With unlimited shore excursions, sightseeing is economical and fun for the whole family.
  • You're planning a luxe Alaskan family cruise. You win with included shore excursions and a summertime youth program.