Quintessentially Travel (QT):
As you observe the changes in luxury travel trends, can you give us your thoughts on why exclusive cruise holidays are making a comeback?
: People are increasingly buying experiences instead of goods or products. Our guests in particular are looking for experiences and memories that 'money can't buy', and they want to share stories with their friends and family. Guests set foot on our ships because they wish to discover a number of destinations in one voyage, through immersive experiences. With Regent, they know they can visit museums, historical sites, appreciate local arts and culture, and enjoy exclusive shoreside activities. This is an authentic window on the world and this is what the Regent Experience is all about - unique and personalised guest experiences, both on and off our beautiful ships.
: In your opinion, what's the overriding appeal of a cruise holiday versus, say, a typical resort-led, land-based holiday?
Firstly there are a lot of options. Our voyages range from seven to 130 nights. There's no other holiday where you unpack once and then enjoy multiple destinations, sounds, cities and countries while surrounded by luxury. For example, on one Regent Seven Seas Cruises® world trip you can visit six continents, 30 countries and 61 ports across South America, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean, including 11 overnight stays. Our service is exceptional and personalised; the exquisite cuisine rivals the world's best hotels and restaurants. Then there are the accommodations on board our all-suite intimate ships. They are key, and they include a range of spacious, stylish and comfortable suites. What's equally unique to Regent is that we offer complimentary unlimited shore excursions in each and every port of call, so the six-star treatment goes beyond just what is offered on the ship. It's a truly all-inclusive proposition that also features immersive local excursions on land.
Luxury brands deliver top quality services and products. Can you describe what these would be on one of your cruise ships?
There are many elements that make the Regent Experience so special, but for this purpose I'm going to focus on four key areas: our luxurious ships, the immersive destinations to which we sail, our renowned personalised service, and our all-inclusive approach.
We currently have four sumptuous all-suite ships in our fleet, and will add Seven Seas Splendor
in 2020. Seven Seas Explorer,
which has appropriately been labelled as the most luxurious ship ever built, joined our fleet in July 2016, and we recently invested $125 million to refurbish our other three ships to meet the high standard set by Seven Seas Explorer
and Seven Seas Splendor
. Together, these five ships can accommodate 490 to 750 people each. Smaller ships naturally result in a more personalised guest experience on board, but no matter which option you go for you'll be treated to elegance, comfort and world-class hospitality.
I'd say that the best luxury voyages pair magnificent, intimate ships and gracious on board hospitality with remarkable destinations and local immersive activities. We always aim to excite and inspire our guests - for example, they can experience the Tasmanian Wilderness out of Burnie in Australia, the Etruscan Necropolises in Tarquinia in Italy, the Nazca Lines in Peru via an overflight, and the Old City of Acre from Haifa, Israel. Additionally, we recently announced our 2020-2021 voyages, a season that will feature our highest number of overnight stays ever – 114 - and provide access to 352 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There is no doubt though that it's the incredible service on board that keeps our guests coming back. We anticipate guests' wants and needs, and quickly pick up on their preferences, whether that be a favourite drink, or if they prefer their steak medium or rare.
And finally, we are the only genuinely all-inclusive cruise line. Flights, premium drinks, speciality dining, WiFi, gratuities and, uniquely, unlimited shore excursions - they are all included in the price. We take care of all the details for our guests, so they can focus on what matters, which is relaxing and enjoying their holiday experience.
Cuisine is an important part of cruise travel. How has this transformed over the years and what are your guests looking for?
Our food and beverage team has curated a fabulous selection of restaurants on board. Anything from authentic Italian, and classic French with a modern twist, to Asian fusion. We serve outstanding USDA 28-day dry-aged steaks and succulent lobster. There's also a vast range of seafood, meats and salads for those who prefer a casual but refined buffet, where you can watch the sunset from your white table-clothed veranda. Or you can stay in and take advantage of the private in-suite dining. We've gone one step further in our Compass Rose restaurants across our fleet, by adding an option for guests to customise dinner.
For those who are new to cruise, can you outline some of the highlights and hidden gems? What kind of traveller is suited to cruise travel?
The beauty of what we do is that there is a cruise experience for every traveller. It's important for people to research the different cruise experiences – ships, itineraries, activities, excursions, costs – and find the perfect match for their preferences.
If you enjoy visiting world-renowned destinations but also want to get to lesser-known but remarkable sites off the beaten track, here are some examples of where Regent Seven Seas Cruises® travels to: Great Barrier Reef off the shore of Cairns, Australia; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India; Old City of Acre outside of Jerusalem, Israel; Medieval City of Rhodes in Rhodes, Greece; Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain; Archaeological Site of Troy in Bozcaada, Turkey; and Bahla For in Oman.
: Is there such a thing as a typical day at sea as a guest?
The beauty of Regent Seven Seas Cruises® is that our guests are in control of their experience and can enjoy each day as they wish. Firstly, you have the changing backdrop of a different destination each day, and unlimited excursions in each destination. There are lots of on board activities and spaces too, ranging from wine and artisan cheese tasting, to trivia and card games, as well as cooking classes at the Culinary Arts Kitchen aboard Seven Seas Explorer, and
the Canyon Ranch spa.
There are also insightful lectures and discussions from various speakers as part of our enrichment series on select voyages, and we have live music in our lounges every night – in fact in our main show lounge we put on full-scale musical productions and cabaret shows. Of course, if you just want to relax all day by the pool deck with a cocktail, you can.
What are the misconceptions around cruise travel?
Cruise travel is no longer perceived as one-size-fits-all. People are increasingly recognising that there are many types of cruise options. Plus, more people appreciate the value that comes with cruising compared to land-based holidays. We work hard to keep the experience on board elegant yet relaxed, with personalised guest service.
If you had to choose one cruise trip, destination or moment, what would be your favourite?
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer - as we visit 450 ports each year and there are just so many amazing options to choose from. But there is always one place that truly makes me relax and feel at peace - enjoying the balcony outside our suites. I could never tire of that.
Let our specialists at Quintessentially Travel help you get the very best out of a luxury cruise itinerary with Regent Seven Seas Cruises
®. call +44 (0) 20 7022 6560 or email email@example.com