A cruise line for foodies, Regent offers several specialty restaurants at no extra charge, an uncommon practice on major cruise lines. The elegant French Chartreuse debuted on Regent’s new ship Explorer, will be installed on the reinvented Mariner.
“Forget gargantuan buffets,” says Andersen. “It’s like dining in a fine resort.”
Cruise fares include fine wine and top-shelf liquor not just at meals but throughout the voyage. For those indifferent to the open bar, Bergner points out that the value lies not just in alcoholic beverages; most cruise lines charge $2.50 for each can of soda and more than that for each bottled water and cappuccino.
Regent’s shipboard Canyon Ranch Spa Clubs offer a range of services including massages, facials, wraps, and scrubs as well as the mind-body rituals for which the brand is known: Japanese revitalization techniques, sleep-promoting treatments, and wellness talks. Fitness classes span yoga and indoor cycling and personal training sessions range from assisted stretching to body composition analysis. And Canyon Ranch staffers lead daily demos with guests.
Notably, treatments and sessions can be arranged well in advance of your sailing. “You’re getting the exact treatment you want, when you want it,” says Bergner. “That’s personal luxury.”
By evening, Regent entertains guests with musical shows and casino games. By day, there are cooking classes, lectures by special guests, well-stocked libraries, and DIY art tours of its impressive collections. On-board sommeliers lead wine education classes, such as the meaning of old-world versus new-world wines.
“An art aficionado purchases the artwork on their ships so it’s not unusual to see a real Picasso onboard,” says Andersen. “It all adds up to a very sensory experience.”
Regent tends to attract loyal repeat guests and sophisticated travelers interested in shipboard enrichment and the smaller ports a small ship is able to navigate. Regent guests tend to be well-traveled, at all ages.
Though they are allowed on the ship, “You won’t see children running around the tables with forks in hand or Cheerios flung across the dining room,” says Bergner.
Also included on a Regent cruise: free, unlimited shore excursions, which adds up to big value over other cruise lines. In Alaska, guests enjoy options such as a fjords cruise, a visit to an animal rehab center, and a scenic drive through the Kenai Mountains.