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CRUISE


ON BOARD


What makes Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer the world’s most luxurious ship? Jane Archer went on board to find out


Seven Seas Cruises, and was amazed to see it was leather. So amazed, in


I


fact, that I had to touch it to be sure. It’s not Explorer’s most eye-


catching feature (there are plenty of contenders for that title, more of which later) but it says it all when it was dubbed the most luxurious ship in the world before its keel had even been laid. It was a bold claim, especially


given the quality of other ships in the ultra-luxury sector from the likes of Crystal Cruises, Silversea and Seabourn, and also the number of vessels being launched into this space over the next couple of years. Seabourn is launching Seabourn


Encore next month, while Silversea’s Silver Muse will enter service in April 2017. In August 2018, river cruise company Scenic will move into the ocean sector with Scenic Eclipse, a luxury yacht with just 114 suites. A year later, Crystal Cruises will launch Scenic Endeavor, a luxury yacht that will hold just 200 people. Between them, these ships will


offer private cabanas, upscale restaurants, helicopters and even submarines. It’s an impressive inventory, so what makes Frank Del Rio, the boss of Regent’s parent


glanced at the floor of the library on Seven Seas Explorer, the ship launched this summer by Regent


ABOVE: Seven Seas Explorer’s atrium; BELOW RIGHT: Compass Rose dining room


Luxury is back and Seven Seas Explorer is a trophy to reward success


company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, so sure that Seven Seas Explorer offers its 750 passengers a luxury experience that knocks the socks off the competition? He says: “This ship is contemporary but timeless. It’s the luxurious fittings, the attention to detail, the sense of space.” Del Rio has certainly taken the look


and feel of Seven Seas Explorer in a different direction from many of the new ultra-luxury ships. There are dripping chandeliers, a dark-wood finish and enough marble to cover an American football field (by contrast, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises decided marble was too passé when it built the much-admired Europa 2). There is certainly much to admire on


40 — aspire december 2016


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