Regent Seven Seas Cruises, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (which also operates sister lines Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line), is a luxury line that balances traditional onboard ambiance with contemporary features and amenities. Regent is uniquely inclusive: fares cover cruise prices, airfare, pre-cruise hotel stays and transfers, gratuities, shore excursions and beverages, from liquor to sodas. Its four ships each have a different design: the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator is the smallest; Seven Seas Voyager and Mariner carry 700 passengers in all-suite, all-balcony accommodations (but have slightly different blueprints); and 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer is the most opulent, with more dining options, more suite types and generally more wow factor than its sisters. (A twin to Explorer, Seven Seas Splendor, will debut in 2020.)
Some facets of the Regent Seven Seas experience are quite traditional (passengers typically dress elegantly for dinner and entertainment tends toward lectures, trivia and Broadway-esque performances). Yet the line keeps up with modern trends and interests, including a partnership with the Canyon Ranch Spa, a Culinary Arts Kitchen on Explorer and culinary- and wellness-themed tours in certain destinations.
Each ship has multiple open-seating restaurants. All ships in the fleet feature a main restaurant venue Compass Rose, Prime 7 steakhouse and La Veranda buffet, which transforms into the Italian-influenced Sette Mari at night. All ships except Navigator feature Chartreuse, a French restaurant, and Explorer adds Pan-Asian restaurant Pacific Rim. Food and service are superb, and choice is plentiful. House wines are poured at lunch and dinner, and other liquor-based drinks, with premium spirits, are poured on a complimentary basis throughout the ship.
Regent Seven Seas offers spacious, all-suite accommodations, and all ships except Navigator offer all-balcony cabins, as well. The Regent Suite on Explorer is possibly the most lavish at sea with a horse-hair mattress (worth $90,000) on the master bed and an in-cabin spa offering unlimited, private spa treatments.
While the age range encompasses couples from the mid-30s to 80s, Regent Seven Seas Cruises primarily attracts professional and retired couples, aged 60-plus, who are affluent and seasoned travelers. The line, which traditionally has marketed to North Americans, also courts travelers from other parts of the world, including the U.K., Spain, Japan, France, Portugal and Brazil.
The itinerary of the ship tends to drive the age and activity levels of individual sailings, so seven-night Mediterranean voyages attract a slightly younger, more active demographic than do lengthier cruises, which are more appealing to the line's core audience. More than 50 percent of passengers are Regent repeaters on 14-plus night cruises.
Historically, Regent Seven Seas Cruises had the distinction of having ships with vastly differing architecture and style while still maintaining a consistency in programs and services, but the fleet has become more homogenized.
The three current ships, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager, offer slightly different interpretations of a floating luxury resort, but the emphasis is on "slightly." Seven Seas Explorer is due to join the fleet in July 2016. The cruise line says it will be the most luxurious ship at sea. Its highest-level suite, the Regent Suite, includes in-cabin spa treatments and a personal driver in every port for private excursions. A sister ship to Explorer is scheduled to debut in 2020.