Luxury line Regent Seven Seas believes the extra personal space on its vessels is attracting new passengers as they report near record bookings for some itineraries.
Senior Vice President Asia Pacific Steve Odell told Cruise Passenger: “The luxury cruise market continues to be strong right now and travellers are ready to book.
“We know this through both anecdotal evidence from our day-to-day conversations with guests, and through our recent record booking days for our 2023 World Cruise and 2022-2023 Voyage Collection launches – which achieved the largest booking day in our 28-year history.
“Reservations surpassed our previous booking day record, set in April 2018 with the launch of Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season, by nearly 40%.”
The astonishingly strong performance confirms Cruise Passenger’s readership surveys that show a significant switch to ships under 1,000 passengers in the luxury space.
The post-COVID cruiser is looking for the security of space, as social distancing could be with us for some time to come. That makes the smaller luxury ships an obvious choice for those seeking extra security.
“When sailing returns, we believe that a major differentiator in luxury cruising will be personal space and all the associated benefits and securities that come with it.
“We firmly believe that Regent is already the best positioned cruise line to satisfy guest requirements in this arena and, that is why we have launched Unrivalled Space at Sea.
“The campaign reinforces all of our known and loved brand differentiators, such as personalised service, exquisite cuisine, immersive exploration and onboard experiences, highlighting how they are all enhanced through the abundance of personal space found on board The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet.
“For example, with no more than 750 guests, our perfectly-sized ships offer one of the highest space-to-guest ratios in the industry. This means that guests won’t find themselves in crowds or needing to wait in line at any time in our expansive social areas.”
Regent has decided all crew will need to be vaccinated, but has yet to rule on what guests will need to do before boarding.
The line says: “We are exploring all options regarding vaccinations for guests and crew and it is our intention that all crew members be vaccinated before boarding our vessels to begin their duties, subject to availability of the vaccine.”
Mr Odell says the upper end of the cruise market is showing the most resilience and responding to upgrade offers to give themselves more space.
“We recently launched Upgrade Your Horizon, which includes a 2-Category Suite Upgrade, up to a Penthouse Suite, on applicable voyages (excluding World Cruises and Grand Voyages) and 50% reduced deposit when booked between 5 January and 1 March 2021.
“Higher suite categories are selling well, with guests taking advantage of the additional amenities available when booking from Concierge Level and above as part of the promotion, particularly the pre-cruise hotel package, and a convenient transfer from the hotel to the ship.
“The offer provides guests with incredible value when you consider the other luxuries already included in the fare price such as unlimited shore excursions, specialty dining, premium beverages, Wi-Fi, pre-paid gratuities, two or three-night land programs on select voyages and the recently added free valet laundry.”
Perhaps the line’s most exciting event in the Asia Pacific region is a visit from Seven Seas Explorer – “the world’s most luxurious ship”.
Says Mr Odell: “We are very excited that Seven Seas Explorer will be sailing Australia, New Zealand and Asia later in the year. We’ve had a great response from guests and cannot wait to show her off.
“She’ll be here in Australia from 2 December 2021 to 19 January 2022 and we have some fantastic “Close to Home” sailings for those who want to explore the hidden gems of the Asia-Pacific region with sailings such as Sydney to Auckland and our Tokyo to Tokyo round trip particularly appealing.
With Seven Seas Splendor already on the water, the line is expecting to debut another similar luxury ship in 2023. But how to describe it?
They have gone from “The world’s most luxurious ship ever built” to “Luxury perfected”. So it will be interesting to hear the phrase they use to describe this latest vessel.
Any ideas will be passed on to Regent Seven Seas!
You can find more information and the digital brochure here