On last week’s Preview Cruise aboard Seven Seas Splendor, media delegates were given a chance to hear from Regent Seven Seas Cruises CEO, Jason Montague. The luxury cruise line’s CEO spoke on a range of topics while sailing from Rome to Barcelona, including the points of difference between Splendor and the three-year-old Seven Seas Explorer.
“With [Seven Seas] Splendor we wanted to ensure we continued to raise the bar and that’s why we tagged her as luxury perfected,” Montague said.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) has invested heavily in Seven Seas Splendor and that of sister ship Seven Seas Explorer, to the tune of almost US$1 billion. That figure is on top of RSSC’s $150+ million upgrade of its three original ships – Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager. The investment was made to ensure the company has “the most luxurious fleet on the oceans today,” he said.
Montague referred to the new ship as a “work of art, from bow to stern”, and it’s hard to argue with him; a 300-piece, US$5 million collection of art and sculptures has been scattered throughout the vessel.
“It’s all about the details”
Seven Seas Splendor has been given the look and feel of a luxurious apartment or home. As part of the process of “perfecting luxury”, Montague said, his team spending hours in replica suites of Seven Seas Explorer to identify opportunities to improve and enhance the suites for Splendor.
“We changed the Penthouse closet space and added about 50% more, but the suites are slimmer. We looked at every single outlet, every single plug, every single light and how they were positioned throughout the suite, just to make sure we were perfecting all those small details.”
Other enhancements were made in the Constellation Theater, where a row of seats was removed. It means slightly less seating that what is offered aboard Explorer, but improves sight lines throughout the venue.
The Coffee Connection alcove has also been repositioned and now offers an alfresco seating option.
“But it’s not just the ship, it’s the overall experience,” Montague said. “In Europe, we added 65 new shore excursions in Europe that will roll out first with Splendor and then eventually to the rest of the fleet in the Mediterranean.”
Other luxury enhancements
Montague told LATTE that other luxury enhancements rolled out include the Serene Spa & Wellness facility. Debuting first on Seven Seas Splendor, the venue offers restorative treatments and activities to soothe the body and mind. They will also offer an off-ship experience and shore excursion program.
“There are also 65 new free shore excursions as part of our Europe collection that Splendor will kick off this season. We’ve also launched our Go Local Tours which immerses our guests in what it is like to live like a local in the different places we visit,” he said.
“We’re always trying to innovate and give our guests more in-depth experiences in the ports we go. That’s why we offer multiple free excursions in any port that we visit. Overall, across all the destinations that we go to, there are over 2,000+ free shore excursions. So immersing guests into a destination is a key component.”
As a further enhancement on land, some of RSSC’s shore excursions also have an option to use a smart guide app. The tech enables guests to use their own mobile phone and headsets to listen to the tour guides.
RSSC has also ramped up the number of classes available in its Culinary Arts Kitchen which debuted on board Explorer a few years ago. Guests on Seven Seas Splendor will have 16 new classes to select from.
Fleet expansion or consolidation?
With the delivery and now the launch of Seven Seas Splendor, Regent’s next focus will turn to its sixth ship.
“We’ll immediately go into the planning stage for the next ship,” Montague confirmed. The currently unnamed ship will be a sister ship to Explorer and Splendor and is earmarked for launch in 2023.
Questioned by LATTE if the modernisation of the fleet could see the divestment of some of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ older vessels, Montague said, “At some point in every ship’s life it will move on to the next stage of that life. We’re not there yet. Doesn’t mean that we won’t get there at some point. But right now there aren’t any plans, at the moment.”
“Staff are the key”
While Regent Seven Seas Cruises has ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into its new and existing fleet, Montague says it is the team onboard which are crucial to the business.
“Staff are the key for the Regent experience. They truly are the heart and soul of our brand. And this ship is indicative of the rest of the staff across our fleet.
“We have great leadership throughout and teamwork, and the smiles that you see. They are truly what makes the Regent experience so special,” the CEO remarked.
For more on Seven Seas Splendor, see rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_splendor