How Regent Seven Seas Cruises is raising the bar

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Jason Montague talks with Allan Jordan about the efforts to elevate his line’s luxury offerings as it launches its newest ship

How Regent Seven Seas Cruises is raising the bar
“We believe that luxury travel is ultimately defined by the details,” says Jason Montague

Founded in 1990 as a partnership between Finnish entrepreneurs and a global marketing, travel and hospitality company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has evolved into one of the leaders in luxury cruising. With the support of its parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Regent is looking to stay ahead of the growing competition in the luxury segment by debuting new initiatives and ships.

“We’re passionate about exceeding our guests’ high expectations and elevating every aspect of their time with us,” explains Jason Montague, the brand’s president and CEO.

Over the years, Regent developed many elements that are now core components in the luxury segment. Launched in 2001, its Seven Seas Mariner was the first all-suite ship to feature private balconies for each of its staterooms. Today, 98% of Regent’s suites offer a private balcony, with only the oldest ship, the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator, having a few window suites. In the early 2000s, Regent also pioneered more inclusive pricing where fares include shore excursions, wi-fi, beverages and an open bar, gratuities, pre-cruise hotel packages and roundtrip business-class airfare from North America. The brand was also among the first to offer butler service and a personal travel concierge programme to help guests customise their trips.

“We continue to believe that luxury travel is ultimately defined by the details that create each moment,” says Montague. “A year ago, we debuted a new brand promise for our company called An Unrivaled Experience.”

The goal is to build on Regent’s reputation for attentive and friendly service, dining choice and luxurious accommodation to create new immersive and authentic experiences for its guests. Several new elements have been introduced on the line’s newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, which debuted this February. They include an exclusive spa and wellness programme, 65 immersive shore excursions, 200 featured items and enhanced recipes, and 16 hands-on cooking classes. Many of these elements will be added to Regent’s current ships, which have recently been refurbished at a cost of US$150 million to ensure a consistent look and feel across the fleet.

Built by Fincantieri at its yard in Ancona, Italy, the new 55,254gt Seven Seas Splendor accommodates 750 passengers in 375 suites. She has mostly been designed as a sister to Seven Seas Explorer, which Regent introduced as “the most luxurious ship ever built” in 2016. However, the new ship expanded the brand’s imagination, enabling it to find new ways to present luxury. “Seven Seas Splendor is a milestone for both our cruise line and luxury travel as she is truly the definition of luxury perfected,” says Montague.

Suites range from 307 square feet to the lavish 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite with a glass-enclosed solarium, wraparound veranda and in-suite spa retreat. The ship also features a US$5 million art collection, more than 500 crystal chandeliers and over an acre of Italian marble. “Our team worked diligently over the past two years to perfect the details,” says Montague, explaining that Regent worked with Fincantieri to develop new methods to accommodate the additional weight of these ornate finishes.

Recognising that competition remains strong, Regent has no plans to pause to celebrate its achievements. The day Seven Seas Splendor opened for reservations was the busiest booking day in the company’s history, and the brand hopes to build on that excitement with the line’s 2021-2022 itineraries.

The programme features 27 maiden port calls, 116 overnights, new shore excursions and new pre- and post-cruise land tours. Planning is also already underway for the line’s sixth ship, which is scheduled for delivery from Fincantieri in late 2023.

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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By Allan Jordan
03 July 2020

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