April 28, 2021
(10 a.m. EDT) -- Regent Seven Seas will resume sailing starting in September from the U.K. with cruises on its newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, and COVID-19 vaccinations will be required of all passengers and crew.
The luxury cruise line announced Wednesday that its first cruise since the pandemic began will leave from Southampton, England. The 11-night cruise will visit Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. The ship then will reposition to the Mediterranean, where it will sail a series of Mediterranean cruises from ports including Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul and Venice. The 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor then heads to Miami, where it will sail its Caribbean season.
"Come September, we will have the double celebration of our return to the seas as we also recommence the inaugural season of the ship that perfects luxury, Seven Seas Splendor," Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague said in a news release. Cruises currently aren't restricted by nationality, though the regulations from the countries visited could limit who sails from where.
Seven Seas Splendor debuted in February 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cruising industry to hit the pause button in March, and Splendor only sailed two voyages following its christening by godmother Christie Brinkley.
Regent Seven Seas' news comes the same day that sister brand Oceania Cruises announced it is returning to the seas, with sailings from Copenhagen. The third company in the portfolio, Norwegian Cruise Line, previously announced its return in July, with cruises from Athens. On Wednesday, NCL also announced it would send two more ships to Europe beginning in September.
The three brands will require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated for sailings for the immediate future. Further, passengers can expect additional pre-embarkation health screenings, antigen testing requirements (facilitated by the cruise lines) and mask mandates. Health guidelines will continually be monitored and set (or modified) based on the latest guidance from agencies like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The well-being of our guests, crew and communities we visit has always been of paramount importance, and our SailSAFE health and safety program ensures it continues to be without diminishing the guest experience," Montague said. "Offering unrivaled space at sea, our ships perfectly balance safety with comfort and freedom through spacious suites, multiple gourmet dining options and expansive social areas."
Additionally, Regent Seven Seas announced a further pause in operations for the rest of the fleet -- Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager --through September 30.