Seven Seas Grandeur to be part of ‘Wave’ season promo

RSSC's MD International, Caroline Smith, talks Fabergé, partnerships, trends and more

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new ultra-luxury ship, Seven Seas Grandeur, will be included in the brand’s upcoming annual ‘Wave’ season promotion which offers exceptional upgrade options for guests who book early, LATTE can exclusively reveal.

Speaking one-on-one with LATTE aboard Seven Seas Grandeur in the Caribbean this week, Caroline Smith, Managing Director of International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, confirmed the ‘Upgrade Your Horizon’ promotion would roll out in early January, offering a free two-suite category upgrade across all destinations and ships. That includes a limited number of sailings aboard the freshly-minted Seven Seas Grandeur.

The ‘Upgrade Your Horizon’ offer will also include a reduced deposit of 7.5% (normally 15%) for the Asia Pacific region plus discounts on a select number of sailings.

The mesmerising Compass Rose restaurant

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“We have some really powerful offers for the trade to get behind in January and we are expecting a robust response as we move into the New Year. We have trade toolkits and assets to support travel advisors so they can get in touch now to really maximise these offers,” Smith told LATTE in The Study of the ultra-luxury ship.

On the subject of trade partnerships, Smith said for a product like Regent: “The trade has always been absolutely crucial to what we do… we can’t do it without the trade and we’re proud of those partnerships.

“The trade continues to be a priority and focus for us and we always think through that lens of is there anything we can do to maximise either doing business, making sure we’ve got the right promotion and pricing lined up for our trade partners, always ensuring that we’re working together truly in partnership.”

“That’s what helps us achieve the success that we’ve seen is listening to trade partners, listening to our guests and understanding their wants and needs. We don’t get everything right all of the time, but I think we are doing a fabulous job in terms of supporting the trade.”

Smith said she was excited about the additional support and trade marketing that will become available through the recently launched Regent Elevate platform.

Caroline Smith in the new look Prime 7

Fabergé partnership

Speaking further on partnerships, Smith was thrilled with the success of Regent’s alliance with Fabergé which has been three years in the works. Like Smith, the Fabergé team is based in London meaning the cruise line’s UK based team has had a significant amount of input for the design of the commissioned artwork from day one.

Dubbed the ‘Journey in Jewels’, the Egg Objet is now housed permanently in a glass-enclosed case on Deck 5 in the Atrium of Seven Seas Grandeur “so everyone can enjoy her”.

You can't wipe the smile of her face! Caroline Smith, MD, International; Regent Seven Seas Cruises with the Fabergé Egg in the Atrium of Seven Seas Grandeur

“The Fabergé Egg is very close to my heart. The Fabergé partnership is something that we’re all very proud of. They’ve been fantastic to work with and seeing it all come together on stage at the christening was a very proud moment.”

Sarah Fabergé, the Founding Member of The Fabergé Heritage Council, and great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé, is the godmother of Seven Seas Grandeur and officially christened the ship on Sunday night in Miami.

Fabergé Egg – Journey in Jewels

Crafted from 18k white gold, the outer ‘shell’ of the egg has been enamelled in an ombre of blues, representative of the colours of the sea. This ‘shell’ consists of seven intricate blades, a number carefully chosen to celebrate the seven seas that Regent’s ships traverse. Just like a wave, each blade breaks into a ‘sea foam’ of pearls and white diamonds at the tips in a truly extraordinary aesthetic feat. The majestic egg sits upon a plinth adorned with emeralds, tsavorites, blue sapphires and white diamonds, set in Fabergé’s ‘Emotion style’, with colourful gems specially chosen to evoke the colours of the ocean. This gem-set plinth is anchored to a stand which reflects layers of waves accented with pearls and diamonds at the edges; more geometric and symmetrical in a nod to the helm of Seven Seas Grandeur.

“To see it all culminate on stage this week and have Sarah join us, and see the team here, and to see the Egg with my own eyes has been quite emotional and very special for me. I can’t wait to share it with the wider team because we’ve all worked so hard on that.”

“The Fabergé egg itself, that’s a one-of-a-kind piece of art. It is the pièce de résistance,” she says while having her eyes transfixed on the Miro piece hanging over the fireplace of The Study over LATTE‘s shoulder. “It’s amazing.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Caroline Smith with Joan Miro's Homage to Joan Prats in The Study of Seven Seas Grandeur.

Art beyond the Egg

Smith continued: “The art collection onboard is a real wow for me.”

The nearly nine-year veteran with the luxury cruise brand counts herself as an art lover. She explains that Regent has always had incredible art across its ships, but until now has been presented without too much explanation and background on the individual pieces.

The Art Tour mobile app that launched on Grandeur – a self-guided tour which provides a deep dive into some of the 1,600 pieces spread throughout the ship by simply scanning the piece – has been a runaway success with guests. The Art Tour is initially only available on Seven Seas Grandeur but is likely to be introduced on sister ships, Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor, in the future.

Picasso's (yes, there are three of them!) in Prime 7 on Seven Seas Grandeur

Among the pieces are three Picasso works on display in Prime 7, Savoy Studios’ stunning Bonsai Cherry Tree sculpture at the entry to Pacific Rim, and Walter Goldfarb’s 40-foot Enchanted Tree tapestry that hangs in the Atrium.

“When you immerse yourself and understand the stories behind the pieces, it really brings it to life.”

“We’re really product of art and that really sets Regent Seven Seas Cruises apart,” she said.

Bonsai Cherry Blossom outside Pacific Rim, Seven Seas Grandeur

Art partnerships

Smith says the art on the ship is backed up onshore, especially in Australia, with Regent’s partnerships with the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Ballet and the Queensland Ballet.

“Art filters through everything we do, not just onboard but through the marketing and support for the trade.

“Art is definitely in our DNA as a brand.”

Smith, who oversees international business and marketing for Asia Pacific, LATAM and Brazil, also touched on Regent’s current trends, saying: “We continue to see a trend in people upgrading, people wanting more space – and that’s a result of the pandemic.”

“Luxury consumers are still wanting that space and with Regent featuring one of the biggest suite balconies at sea, that’s a huge draw,” she said.

She said consumers are choosing higher levels of suite categories in order to get that additional space.

Speaking more generally, Smith added that Regent continues to see “huge demand for luxury cruise.”

“In particular people wanting to travel longer, wanting to upgrade into the luxury space which is incredible to see. There’s also been a real trend in special occasions – milestone anniversaries and birthdays – and with Regent, we do that well.

Four pieces of art in one shot in the Atrium: The chandelier that resembles tennis bracelets, the 40-odd-foot tapestry that took six-months to create, and the hidden 'zipper' behind the grand staircase.

“It’s very exciting times with the launch of Grandeur has just been phenomenal.”

Trends in market

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will also reveal full details of the new “slow cruise” concept, which aims to entice new-to-cruise audiences to the open sea. Shawn Tubman, SVP of Sales at RSSC providing trade partners to a sneak peek of the “test itineraries” earlier this week.

Smith said the program will be officially launched in the coming weeks as the finishing touches are put in place. That stable comprises three itineraries in 2024 and another three in 2025.

“The concept is just to slow down that cruise experience, which is another trend we are seeing. Not every guest will want that choice, but those guests that truly want to immerse in a destination.”

St Peters Basilica at night

“It might be an at-night experience in a restaurant or the nightlife of a city, or just experiencing an excursion at night. We have four ports that will all have an overnight on each sailing. We’re working on some exclusive excursion options that can really bring those cities to life,” she said.

“We’ll find something spectacular that we can take guests off [the ship], experience something a little different, and they can come back on board and move to the destination.”

“It’s just slowing everything down, experiencing those destinations with a bit more immersion.

That’s what we do anyway and its always been a key pillar, destination immersion, but this is just taking it to another level and giving people that additional time in port.”

While most of the cities will be in Europe, such as Rome or Barcelona, Smith confirmed an exotic itinerary destination will likely be Tokyo. That voyage will not include sailing to Australia, but instead a circumnavigation of Japan.

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