Over The Top Opulence: First Look at Regent's Seven Seas Explorer
PHOTO: The atrium on Seven Seas Explorer. (Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
When you call your newest cruise ship “the most luxurious ship ever built,” you must be able to back it up. So what sets Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 750-guest, 55,254-ton Seven Seas Explorer apart … and is it truly above and beyond?
There are the obvious features. Consider that the Regent Suite, the biggest and most opulent on the ship, measures a whopping 4,443 square feet. Not only does it boast a $250,000 custom-designed Steinway Arabesque grand piano, the bed is worth more than many homes. It has a Savoir No. 1 mattress worth $90,000, and between linens, the duvet, pillows and installation, the bed alone ended up costing about $150,000.
While those are over-the-top luxury features, the important thing is that the luxurious feel extends throughout the ship, not just in the fanciest suite.
• The décor includes 158 crystal chandeliers in restaurants and public areas, some hand-made or mouth-blown by Czech artisans. There are 218 more crystal chandeliers — in the hallways!
• The ship has nearly an acre of marble throughout the ship, about half of it Carrera from Italy. Other design touches include gold leaf, Murano glass, Italian leathers and luxe fabrics everywhere you look or touch.
• Every single one of the 375 suites has marble and stone details in the bathrooms. The most common level accommodations, the 140 Concierge Suites, measure up to 460 square feet and have the residential feel of a luxury hotel suite, with marble throughout the bathroom, and topping the bath vanity and desk in the living area.
• Every single suite has a private balcony, and they’re huge! Ninety-three percent are at least 83 square feet in size, and the average is 138 square feet, larger than some cruise ship cabins. Obviously, they can accommodate full-size, cushioned lounge chairs and a table big enough for a casual meal.
• The massive prayer wheel located outside the Pacific Rim specialty restaurant (pictured at left) is hand-made of cast bronze, weighing it at about 6,000 pounds, according to architect and designer Greg Walton of CallisonRTKL Inc. All told, it cost about $500,000 to commission, ship, reinforce the deck and install, Walton said. (Photo by Theresa Norton)
At a press briefing with the ship designers, Walton said they were tasked with creating the most luxurious ship ever built and challenged to think outside the box by Frank Del Rio, CEO of Regent parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Frank Del Rio set the bar and standard very high,” he said.
Another designer, Kim Lanza of ICRAVE, who designed the theater and three restaurants, said they were given free rein. “The sky was the limit in choosing materials,” she said. “You don’t see that every day.”
The Seven Seas Explorer is operating its first pre-christening voyage and will officially be named July 13 in Monte Carlo by Princess Charlene of Monaco. Then the ship will operate in the Mediterranean before repositioning to Miami for a series of Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. In 2017, Seven Seas Explorer will spend spring in the Mediterranean before heading north to the Baltic.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is an all-inclusive product. Fares include round-trip air, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, all gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel package for those guests staying in concierge and higher suites. Beginning in summer 2017, Regent will also include business-class air for all intercontinental flights.
PHOTO: The $150,000 bed in the Regent Suite. (Photo by Theresa Norton)
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