Seven Seas Explorer: The most luxurious ship ever built?

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At last, the countdown is over and Regent's stunning new ship, the Seven Seas Explorer, is cruising the Mediterranean. Her maiden voyage out of Monte Carlo departed in mid-July, with guests enjoying the splendid surroundings and numerous dining options.

Designated (by her owners, admittedly) as the most luxurious ship ever built, press releases shout about everything from the expense of the Savoir bed in the lavish Regent Suite to the specially designed Versace plates. 'Normal' people, though, are going to be more interested in the quality of the food, the service, and other aspects of the onboard experience.

What has people talking is the quality of the materials used to create this opulent vessel. Frank del Rio, President and CEO of NCLH which is the company which owns, amongst others, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, told visitors: "I wanted the ship to be timeless, as relevant to the luxury market 20 years from now as today."

Luxury ship operators are not building new ships every day, and their reputation will never rely on their latest newbuild, so Del Rio's ambition is totally appropriate. He has filled the ship with fine materials - marble, granite and crystal - as well as amazing works of art. A designer's dream, the project had the budget to enable them to seek out the very finest handmade mosaic tiles, silver and gold leaf, natural stones and sumptuous fabrics.

Each room, each area of the ship, has been planned and developed to give it a mood and a style all its own, from the spa to the many restaurants, to the inviting lounges and the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Suite sizes for the lead-in category start at 305 square feet including verandah, and speedily rise to 360 square feet and more, so nobody is going to be short of space. There are eight different dining options, all included in the fare, and the culinary theme is continued in the classes on board and the excellent programme of gourmet excursions ashore (Gourmet Explorer Tours), with tastings and visits to the most renowned restaurants in the region.

The lavish décor throughout the ship has been enhanced by the works of art, selected personally by Frank del Rio. Classic and contemporary works can be seen throughout the ship, and it is a veritable gallery with a pair of Picassos flanking the entrance to the Regent Suite, Mirós in the Master Suites, and a Chagall and two Picassos in the bar of the Prime 7 steak house. Impressive stuff. And Del Rio has also made a point of seeking out the work of living artists, just making their name in the world.

Like the other ships in the Regent fleet, Seven Seas Explorer offers free unlimited shore excursions in every port of call. Whilst cynical observers suggest that these are simply the most basic of city tours, a quick glance at Regent's website will show you this is not the case. An excellent choice of interesting tours is on offer, and you are limited only by the time available. It is also definitely worth taking a look at the Regent Choice shore excursions, which feature smaller groups and more in-depth investigation with specific sights or themes in mind. These represent superb value for money, and are often a once in a lifetime experience - a private viewing of some splendid palace, or access to something normally closed to the public.

Seven Seas Explorer is definitely making waves, so do call us to be one of the first to experience this new generation Regent ship.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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