Regent Seven Seas Voyager sailed into Sydney Habour today – as the line announced record sales and a new deal for business class flights.
At the start of the busiest month for cruise this year, the Voyager is the second luxury vessel to tie up in Sydney this week.
The recently refitted liner was carrying 660 passengers – an incredible 503 of them were repeat guests.
At a special lunch for agents and media, Executive Vice-President of International Business Development Harry Sommer revealed Norwegian Cruise Lines, which includes Regent Seven Seas and Oceania, recorded its best ever bookings this year – a 140 per cent increase in January alone.
The line opened a new office in Sydney just 18 months ago and now employs over 100 people.
Sales in Asia rose 330 per cent – though Mr Summer admitted this was from a low base.
“We are better booked in 2017 than ever before,’’ he said.
And Regent Seven Seas has announced a new offer – Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific Steve Odell revealed guests will be offered $6,500 business class flights plus hotel and transfers when they book.
The cruise line has negotiated the special deal with Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines.
Last year was a challenging year, especially in Europe with terrorist issues and bombings in Brussels and Paris.
Mr Sommer told Cruise Passenger: “We reached a low point in January 2016 as people were just not going to Europe. Americans, Australians and Asians, simply did not want to visit Europe last year.’’
Since the company set up offices in Sydney, the reception of Australians to its three cruise brands – Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania – has been “fantastic and exceeded our highest expectations.’’
The Norwegian Star will arrive in Sydney on Monday, and the Voyager will be back later this month.
The Norwegian Jewell will be back in November for a number of cruises from Sydney.
The Regent Seven Seas Voyager was given a major facelift last October, with a new look Compass Rose dining room. The new décor looks elegant with subtle beige-and-white upholstered chairs interspersed with blue chairs.
Yellow chandeliers and Versace plates, each costing US$200 completes the table settings.
Lobster, filet mignon and Dover Sole are always on the menu. Other specialty restaurants include steakhouse Prime Seven and French cuisine Chartreuse with no extra charge.
The all-inclusive itinerary includes free on-shore excursions, Wi Fi, gratuities and beverages up to $100 per bottle.
There are 350 suites, all with balconies. The deluxe suite is 28sq m with a 5sq m balcony. It has a walk-in wardrobe, marble bathroom and L’Occitane toiletries.
The biggest suite has two bedrooms and is 113sqm with more than two marble bathrooms and two balconies.
At Chartreuse, we were served a five-course lunch at starting with poached lobster and melon, followed by coconut-Butternut squash soup, Chilean sea bass with five spices, Black Angus beef tenderloin and chocolate cheesecake.
Regent Seven Seas vice president of Sales Lisa Pile said Australians had taken to the brand. Regent Seven Seas average guest globally was 68, but in Australia the age of 63, mostly working, self-made and fit and healthy.