After a series of tantalising hints and one false alarm, Regent Seven Seas has finally announced a definitive new order.
The new ship will be called Seven Seas Explorer, with a total capacity of 738 passengers, in all balcony suites, on a 54,000 ton hull. The ship will be built in the Italian Fincantieri yard, with delivery in 2016. The interiors will be under the capable supervision of the famed Tillberg design team from Sweden.
The Seven Seas Explorer is conservatively costed at some $450 million in total.
The new ship is only slightly larger than all balcony fleet mates, Mariner and Voyager. With the debut of Explorer, Regent will be the only line anywhere capable of boasting a trio of all suite, all balcony ships offering fully inclusive options such as shore excursion packages, flights, pre voyage hotels, and all transfers.
The smaller, pioneering Seven Seas Navigator of 1999 features ninety per cent of accommodation with private balconies.
Explorer will be the first new ship for Regent in ten years; she follows on the heels of the new Europa 2, the only other all balcony ship in service at the present.
Details and itineraries are sparse right now, but will no doubt be trickled out as the project takes shape.
It is interesting that Regent continues to favour the all balcony approach, while rival Silversea continue to produce tonnage with some picture window suites as options.
The Seven Seas Explorer will allow the company more of an expansion handle. Normally, one of the current ships has to alternate cruises between the Baltic and Mediterranean. This means longer, harder to sell repositioning cruises in both directions, and potential under capacity in one market or another- something the new ship should go a long way to correct.
What will be interesting to see is whether or not Regent decides to increase the number of dining options onboard the Seven Seas Explorer, to compete with the eight restaurants aboard the new Hapag-Lloyd ship. Silversea increased options with each of it’s new classes of ships, and then retrofitted the original ships with the new venues.
With a smart casual dress code as standard throughout the fleet, Regent offers one of the most upscale and all inclusive brands of luxury cruising available anywhere.
Further details will appear here as they become available.
Oh, and for anyone reading this from head office at Crystal Cruises– all eyes are on you, now…
Further details of the new Seven Seas Explorer have been announced by company chairman, Frank Del Rio. These include:
* Six open seating, gourmet quality restaurants
* A two story high theatre
* An extensive Canyon Ranch spa
* 360 all balcony suites, ranging in size from 300 to 1500 sq. ft.
* A nine deck central atrium lobby