I have to admit, I’ve never been sold on the idea of cruises. But when I told my friend who has worked on some of the biggest and most luxurious vessels in the industry that I’d been invited to sail on the Regent Seven Seas Splendor, his response convinced me to grab the opportunity.
The Regent experience starts as soon as you arrive. Often with luxury, it’s the little things that really matter, such as the opportunity to tailor your own mini-bar. So, after the mandatory safety briefing (conducted with a welcoming glass of Champagne), my wife and I arrived in our suite to find two further bottles of Veuve Clicquot Champagne on ice.
All rooms on the Seven Seas Splendor have a balcony, and our Concierge Suite also came with its own walk-in wardrobe and his and hers sinks (both must-haves if you’re travelling as a couple). The rooms on the boat come in various sizes, with the largest, the Regent Suite, offering an in-suite hot tub, its own butler and access to a private dining room.
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Describing itself as “luxury perfected”, the vessel contains more than 500 chandeliers, a $5m art collection and over an acre of Italian marble (just under two-thirds of a football pitch if that’s your preferred unit of measurement). Some of the mattresses alone cost nearly $200,000.
Prices range from the low thousands to over seven figures per person (Regent holds the record for the world’s most expensive cruise package at $1.3m). Each package includes all meals in the seven restaurants, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited beverages, transfers and flights.
A tour of the Baltic
Our five-day jaunt would take us from Copenhagen in Denmark to Germany, Karlskrona in Sweden, Lithuania and finally Riga in Latvia, where we’d be flying home while the ship carried on to Tallinn, Estonia before turning around and coming back for two stops in Finland and finishing the voyage in Stockholm, Sweden.
After the ship departed from Copenhagen, we settled in for the evening with drinks in the lounge overlooking the bow of the ship as it slipped slowly from the Danish straits into the Baltic Sea.
As the sun set, we wandered to the French-inspired restaurant, Chartreuse. Here we tried the steak tartare with caviar, followed by lobster and apple tart tatin to finish.
The ship arrived overnight in Germany, and the next day we had breakfast in the Veranda restaurant, a self-service buffet with an outdoor terrace overlooking the bow.
The menu of excursions for this stop included a day in Berlin and tours of northern Germany. In the evening, we once again found ourselves preparing for dinner, this time in Prime 7, the ship’s speciality steakhouse.
Plenty to do onboard
One of the most luxurious aspects of the vessel is the sheer level of service guests receive, especially when it comes to food and drink. My wife was even offered a different coloured napkin to match her dress at dinner.
Then there was the ship’s cosy Connoisseur Club, decked out with wingback leather chairs and a vast selection of fine Cognac and whisky, as well as cigars (the high-end stuff came with an additional cost), where we found ourselves most nights.
Free excursions are part of the package with Regent, but for those who decide to stay onboard, there’s plenty of entertainment. The spa is free to use and open all day, while a fully kitted-out gym helps keep the pounds off.
A swimming pool and infinity pool overlooking the stern of the ship offer an unrivalled and unique experience. There’s also the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, for those who are looking to brush up on their cooking skills. As part of our tour around the Baltic, the ship hosted a series of lectures on Russia and the USSR.
After sailing through the Baltic from Germany to Lithuania (via Sweden), we docked in the port city of Klaipeda, close to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and set out to explore the Curonian Spit Unesco World Heritage site.
The boat’s Asian-inspired restaurant was the destination for our final foodie extravaganza, where truffle and foie-gras dumplings (not strictly Asian, but the flavours were exceptional) served on Versace plates were just one of the eight starters we were served.
The next day we arrived in Riga, the capital of Latvia and the final stop on our trip. Sadly we didn’t get much time to explore this port on the Baltic Sea before our flight, but a spell of nice weather allowed us to take in the views from the ship.
Rupert was a guest of Regent Seven Seas. Departing 5 July 2024 for ten nights, the all-inclusive Golden Circle Expedition round trip from Reykjavik, Iceland, onboard the Seven Seas Splendor, has fares from £9,669 per person, visit rssc.com or call 023 8082 1390. All-inclusive fares offer unlimited shore excursions, unlimited WiFi, unlimited beverages, including fine wines and spirits throughout the ship, speciality restaurants, transfers between airport and the ship, return flights, pre-paid gratuities and valet laundry service.
Rupert was the former Deputy Digital Editor of MoneyWeek. He's an active investor and has always been fascinated by the world of business and investing.
His style has been heavily influenced by US investors Warren Buffett and Philip Carret. He is always looking for high-quality growth opportunities trading at a reasonable price, preferring cash generative businesses with strong balance sheets over blue-sky growth stocks.
Rupert has freelanced as a financial journalist for 10 years, writing for several UK and international publications aimed at a range of readers, from the first timer to experienced high net wealth individuals and fund managers. During this time he had developed a deep understanding of the financial markets and the factors that influence them.
He has written for the Motley Fool, Gurufocus and ValueWalk among others. Rupert has also founded and managed several businesses, including New York-based hedge fund newsletter, Hidden Value Stocks, written over 20 ebooks and appeared as an expert commentator on the BBC World Service.
He has achieved the CFA UK Certificate in Investment Management, Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment Investment Advice Diploma and Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment Private Client Investment Advice & Management (PCIAM) qualification.
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