The Extravagant Features of a Luxury Cruise Ship

Daniel Hautzinger
The Regent Seven Seas Explorer. (Courtesy of Martin Gorst)
(Courtesy of Martin Gorst)

The Regent Seven Seas Explorer is Luxury personified (with a capital L). The enormous cruise ship weighs over 54,000 gross tons, and is longer than two football fields. It contains only suites (375 total, in 10 types, each with a balcony), and cost 450 million dollars to build, making it the most expensive luxury ship ever constructed. Obviously, such a sea-faring behemoth presents numerous engineering challenges, which you can learn about in the NOVA episode “Ultimate Cruise Ship,” which you can stream for free.

But what makes the Explorer so opulent, other than its massive size? Here are some of its most extravagant features:


Not only does every suite have a balcony, they’re some of the most expansive you can find on a cruise ship. The smallest suite’s is 88 square feet, and the largest an astounding 1,417 square feet—that’s bigger than the entire indoor area of the next-best suite.

The Regent Suite

The sun-room of the unbelievable Regent Suite.The sun-room of the unbelievable Regent Suite. Speaking of the largest suite, it is extraordinary. 3,026 square feet, not including the balcony; two bedrooms, the master with a $90,000 bed; two and a half baths, one with a hot tub; three walk-in closets; an in-suite spa with a sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi; a sun-room; a grand living room with a unique custom Steinway piano: these are just some of the unbelievable touches included in this suite, which costs around $10,000 per night.

Palatial design touches

The Explorer contains an entire football field’s worth of marble, half of which is coveted Carrara marble. Elaborate stone floors contain gold leaf accents. Crystal and glass chandeliers adorn hallways. A restaurant features a hand-blown Murano glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling. The atrium soars to nine decks high.

Expensive art

Works by Chagall and Picasso can be found decorating the ship, while a $500,000 hand-cast bronze prayer wheel stands outside a contemporary Asian restaurant. Weighing 3 tons, the sculpture requires steel reinforcement.

Frank del Rio, CEO of the parent company of Regent Seven Seas, in the extravagant Regent Suite. (Courtesy of Martin Gorst)Frank del Rio, CEO of the parent company of Regent Seven Seas, in the extravagant Regent Suite. (Courtesy of Martin Gorst) Lots of complimentary goodies

The top five categories of suite come with a personal butler. Bath products for all suites are by L’Occitane. Everyone is welcomed by a bottle of champagne. The breakfast area has a caviar station. You can drink at open bars or in your room at daily replenished mini bars. The booking even includes airfare, a night at a hotel on the day before the cruise, and transfers from the airport to the ship.

Health services

The in-suite spa in the Regent Suite, where you get complimentary spa service.The in-suite spa in the Regent Suite, where you get complimentary spa service. You can enjoy a day at the spa. Work out in a fitness center. Play such high-class sports as bocce, shuffleboard, or tennis on the outdoor deck. Practice your golf stroke on an 18-hole putting green. Swim in an outdoor pool.

All the food you could want

Dining and drinks are also included in the cruise fare (more expensive bottles of champagne or liquor have to be bought separately). The Explorer boasts eight restaurants: a steakhouse, a French bistro, a contemporary Asian restaurant, a spot with continental cuisine that has Versace chargers, a grill by the pool, and more. Chefs will also make any recipe you give them, with 24-hour notice. And there’s a teaching kitchen where you yourself can learn to cook.


A 694-seat theater and three lounges with live musicians provide traditional entertainment. But you can also gamble at a casino, sip champagne while browsing luxury boutiques, smoke a cigar and drink some Scotch in the Connoisseur Club, or relax with a book in the library.

A touch of royalty

The Explorer was christened by the Princess Charlene of Monaco before setting out in July 2016. More to the point, when you take a cruise on this ship, you’ll feel (and spend) like royalty.(Courtesy of Martin Gorst)(Courtesy of Martin Gorst)

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