If you relish all things lavish, from arresting crystal chandeliers, Picasso paintings, inlaid marbled floors and Versace branded tableware, you will certainly be right at home aboard the Regent Seven Seas Splendor.

The latest all-suite, all-balcony addition to the luxury line, is described “Luxury Perfected” with good reason.

Nothing is left to chance. Every detail of Splendor’s suites, grand staircase, lounges, restaurants and spas have been crafted to create an atmosphere of indulgence.

For food aficionados, there is fine French cuisine at Chartreuse, where you can taste frogs legs in garlic cream sauce or a tender veal rack of loin with caramelised endive; at Pacific Rim there is Pan-Asian cuisine eaten in Zen-like ambience. And for some of the best steaks at sea, there’s Prime 7 with its mouth-watering prime New York porterhouse or succulent filet mignon. The main restaurant is the grand Compass Rose where you can savour chateaubriand beef tenderloin with delicious red wine grain mustard sauce.

Compass Rose onboard the Seven Seas Splendor
Compass Rose onboard the Seven Seas Splendor

If you are inspired by the food you have tasted on the ship’s speciality restaurants, you can learn how you brush up on your cooking skills at the ship’s culinary arts kitchen. From French crepes, Tuscan flatbread to Turkish zucchini fritters you will learn how to cook the sweet and savoury, and the crunchy and fluffy – all totally delicious.

The joy about sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises is that almost every detail is taken care.

It is the only line to offer free unlimited shore excursions in every port of call, and if you book before August 31, you will receive US$1,000 shipboard credit per suite and require only a 10 per cent deposit.

This is on top of free unlimited fine wine and premium spirits, free open bars and lounges, free mini-bar in your suite replenished daily, free speciality restaurants, free unlimited WiFi and all gratuities included in the fare.

And if you pick a penthouse suite, a white-gloved personal butler comes with it.

A butler in the Regent Suite
A butler in the Regent Suite

One of the most reassuring and essential bonus of cruising with the Regent line is that if you change your mind after you’ve made your booking, you can cancel up to 15 days prior to departure and receive a 100 per cent future cruise credit under its Regent Reassurance guarantee.

Splendor was launched early this year and for the first time, she will head to Northern Europe in 2021.

Splendor’s inaugural Baltic and Northern Europe season runs from April to September and promises a smorgasbord of desirable destinations and memorable experiences across 15 different itineraries,” says Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific at Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“Six voyages of seven, 10, 12 and 18 nights – between London, Stockholm and Copenhagen in June and July – feature St Petersburg, one of my favourite places in the world,”

“Two full days in Russia’s cultural capital – sometimes known as Piter, City of Czars or Venice of the North – allow time to explore its many attractions. It’s one of those cities that is so packed with historic monuments and incredible art collections you can visit it many times and always discover something new or different.

“During the summer months of the midnight sun, St. Petersburg celebrates its White Nights Festival, a series of cultural events held throughout the city. Regent’s impressive selection of free shore excursions allows you to see everything from palaces and cathedrals to St. Petersburg’s intricate network of rivers and canals by boat.

St Petersberg
St Petersburg

For a really special insight into the city, Mr Odell recommends taking a chauffeur-driven car with a private guide.

“You can tailor the tour to suit yourself – we visited all the landmark sites, including Peterhof Palace, the Fabergé Museum, St. Isaacs Cathedral, Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood – and we didn’t have to queue anywhere.

“Another must-do is Catherine Palace, the extravagant 18th-century imperial residence in Pushkin originally built for Empress Elizabeth. Its ornate halls, lavish furnishings and world-famous Amber Room have to be seen to be believed. Regent organises special tours when the palace is closed to the public.” he says.

There’s a spectacular, seven-night cruise on Seven Seas Splendor departing Stockholm in Sweden on June 13, 2021 and sailing to Copenhagen in Denmark with prices starting from AU$9,700 per person.

The cruise will visit Finland’s Helsinki, Russia’s St Petersburg, Estonia’s Tallinn and Germany’s Wismar before concluding in Copenhagen.

The voyage starts at Stockholm, often called the Venice of the North. The capital of Sweden is the largest in Scandinavia. The city is one of the handsomest in the world, with its waterside parks, pedestrian walkways and wide streets.

You can take a walking tour of the Old Town and explore the Royal Palace, one of Europe’s most dynamic palaces. Built in the baroque style, it is the official residence of the King and has more than 600 rooms where you will discover medieval history and Gustav lll’s Museum of Antiquities.

In summer, the Royal Chapel is open. Make time to call at the Riddarholm Church where Scandinavian royals are buried.

Your cruise will sail to the southern coast of Gulf of Finland and visit Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Although the city has been bombed and pillaged throughout the ages, much of the town still retains its medieval charm.

Ancient convents, steepled churches and handsome guild houses stand perfectly preserved in all their glory in the Old Town area – hence Tallinn has been anointed a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Then there’s the laid-back port of Wismar, another UNESCO World Heritage site where you can stroll the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to visit churches, quaint little shops and Schweinsbrucke where you can spot a tiny bridge with a sculpture of a pig – give the pig a rub for good luck.

The cruise ends in Copenhagen, the royal capital of Denmark, one of Europe’s oldest capitals. From a tiny fishing village, Copenhagen has grown into a vibrant city full of theatres, museums, art galleries and musical entertainment.

Copenhagen, one of calls on the Northern Europe itinerary
Copenhagen, one of calls on the Northern Europe itinerary

There’s also a 12-night cruise from Stockholm to London departing on August 30 2021 with prices starting from AU$16,120 pp. The cruise will visit Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Liepaja, Visby, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bruges before concluding at London.

For the more leisurely traveller, there’s a 59-night cruise from Stockholm to Istanbul departing on August 30 2021 with prices starting from AU$70,150 pp.

The cruise will call at Helsinki, St Petersburg, Liepaja, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Saint Malo, Bordeaux, Bilbao, Oporto, Valencia, Barcelona, Rome, Taormina, Kotor, Venice, Santorini, Mykonos, Ephesus and Istanbul.

The cruise includes up to 338 free shore excursions but it is really up to you whether you want to go on many of the shore excursions or simply read a book by the poolside while sipping a gin-and-tonic.