(1:32 p.m. EDT) — Regent Seven Seas Explorer, which debuts in July 2016, marked a major milestone today in Italy, where the cruise ship was floated out at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa.
“In less than nine months Seven Seas Explorer will make its grand debut and completely revolutionize the luxury vacation market,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Our vision of building the most luxurious ship ever is quickly becoming a reality.”
When it debuts, Regent Seven Seas Explorer will be an all-suite cruise ship that holds 750 passengers. It will feature gourmet dining, modern cabins, the fleet’s largest spa, which spans 750 square feet and a Culinary Arts Kitchen, a first for the cruise line.
A float out marks the moment when water floods the dry-dock construction area where a vessel is being built, and the ship floats on its own for the first time, demonstrating its seaworthiness. During today’s ceremony, a bottle of Champagne was smashed against Explorer’s hull to bring good luck and prosperity.
Seabourn has posted new exterior renderings of Seabourn Encore, set to debut December 2016, on its new ship micro-site. Adam D. Tihany, a noted hospitality designer, is creating the ship’s look. Seabourn Encore is expanding on the Odyssey-class design with an additional deck and more passengers.
Windstar Cruises will offer three James Beard Foundation theme cruises in 2016. The culinary cruises – collectively dubbed the James Beard Foundation Collection – will each host a James Beard-featured chef, who will offer cooking demos, a nightly featured dish and opportunities for one-on-one interaction. Wine experts will also be onboard to help with food pairings. The three James Beard Foundation Collection sailings will be: Southern Spain and Morocco (April 24) onboard Wind Surf, and Spain and France (June 10, August 9) onboard Star Legend.
Lady Gaenor Meakes, the fiancee of champion yachter Mark Richards, has been named the godmother of Crystal’s new yacht, Crystal Esprit, debuting in December 2015. Meakes and Richards are well known within the yachting community; Richards is also CEO of Grand Banks Yachts. The inaugural Seychelles sailing of Crystal Esprit has already sold out, filled mostly with new-to-Crystal travelers.