There are two figures that sum up why Regent Seven Seas Explorer has the luxury cruise market cornered: passenger capacity 738; Total crew: 542. That’s the ratio that tells you service on “the world’s most luxurious ship ever built” is going to be something special.

And on a Sydney visit at the start of her 61-day sailing to Japan – the first luxury vessel to visit that great cruising nation since the pandemic – you can quickly see how service is at the heart of this ship.

We get a rare glimpse inside The Regent Suite – a US$10,000 (AU$14,077), per person, per night, 412 sqm living area which comes with its own spa and sauna, private car, and driver in every port, butler, and exclusive dining room for 12.

There is a Picasso in the hallway outside,  $120,000 master bed filled with horsetail hair (we are told the Queen had one), a $326,000 Steinway Arabesque piano designed by Dakota Jackson. Murano glass bowls from Venice and French Lalique objets d’art dot the walls and shelves.

As the largest suite at sea, of course, the butler is on call night and day, and a whole team to keep it spic and span. He’s busily setting out the petit-fours and chilling the Dom Perignon for the couple who have booked it for this journey as we visit.

Regent Seven Seas' butler
Regent Seven Seas’ butler

Regent Seven Seas Explorer has some 15 different suite variations to suit all tastes – and they all have that hallmark service, art and lots of space.

No two suites are the same – giving the ship real character.

We lunch at Prime 7 – the vessel’s New York steak house – and tuck into what sounds like the world’s most politically incorrect main course: Tournedos de Boeuf Grille Rossini Brioche, Royale a la Truffle, seared Foie Gras Poele, Sauce Perigourdine.

I’m afraid it was delicious.

Seared crab cake and Tuna Tartar were the starters and executive chef Michael Meyepa – perhaps referencing the fact that Explorer is off on her first season in Alaska after Japan – produced baked Alaska for dessert.

It was all served up with a little pomp and a lot of humour.  Just the way I like it!

The Explorer’s wide corridors, huge art collection, seven dining options, two pools, hot tubs, boutiques, casino, SpaClub, fitness centre, jogging track, library, and cooking school make her an easy choice for those who like to cruise with the finer things in life.

Regent Seven Seas has special upgrade offerings – see