An Interview with Massimo Arzani, Seven Seas Explorer
In celebration of the recent TV documentary of Regent Seven Seas' 'Most Luxuious Ship', the Seven Seas Explorer we spoke with Massimon Arzani, general manager of the magnificent cruise ship.
QT: What makes the Regent Seven Seas Explorer ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’?
MA: Seven Seas Explorer is simply the most luxurious ship ever built. First and foremost, the craftsmanship and attention to detail is unparalleled. Take for example the almost 500 crystal chandeliers carefully position throughout the ship, the $6 million worth of original art on display or perhaps the leather floor in the ocean view library. Every single decision in regards to design and furnishings was intentional and nuanced to ensure the highest levels of grandeur and opulence.
This is matched by anticipatory service from highly trained crew and the all-inclusive offering, from exquisite dining to premium beverages and, uniquely to Regent, shore excursions in every port. Add to this one of the highest space to guest ratios to be found at sea and you truly have a very special cruise ship.
QT: What was the inspiration for the design?
MA: The vision of Seven Seas Explorer was not simply to build the worlds most luxurious ship, but to set a new benchmark for luxury holidays. Every element of the design had this in mind, from stunning interior décor in each of the five gourmet restaurants - complimenting their individual characteristics such as a Tibetan prayer wheel welcoming guests into Asian-Fusion restaurant, Pacific Rim - to the lavish and spacious Constellation Theater, the design of which allows for personalised table service and is illuminated by individual Murano glass table-lamps.
The materials used in the build were also of the highest quality, with over 45 000 square-feet of Carrera marble adorning public areas and suite bathrooms. And the emphasis placed on space is further illustrated in the fact that there is over 50 000 square-feet of suite verandas.
QT: Where would we find you on the RSSC Explorer?
MA: I lead 480 of the 550 crew on board Seven Seas Explorer, so if you can’t find me in my office (my door is always open!), holding meetings with my heads of departments or talking to guests, you’ll find me having my morning and afternoon expresso in Coffee Connection.
QT: What kind of experiences can guests expect on board?
MA: On board, guests will find impeccable service, tantalising cuisine and a warm, convivial atmosphere. However, let’s not forget that the reason for a holiday is travel, and with Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests can really get to the heart of the destination thanks to unlimited complimentary shore excursions in each and every port.
Regent also offers Wellness Tours for the health enthusiasts which could involve soaking in a restorative, mineral-rich thermal spring in Rome or taking part in a yoga class on a beautiful beach on Palma de Mallorca.
We also recently launched “Go Local” tours where guests can enjoy a more direct way to experience the culture of a destination by, for example, spending a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia to learn the generations-old way of making cheese, or discovering the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino.
And, bridging the gap between ship and shore, Gourmet Explorer Tours allow guests to discover the destination’s culinary culture with a specially curated shore excursion. The excursions often begin with a master-chef leading guests around a local market buying fresh produce to bring back to the ship for a cooking masterclass in the Culinary Arts Kitchen. But it can also involve experiencing meals in world-renowned restaurants or even at the private properties of Michelin-star chefs.
QT: Where will the Explorer be travelling to?
MA: Seven Seas Explorer will be in Europe and the Caribbean throughout 2020. In 2021, she will be spending Spring and Autumn in Asia, with its first summer season in Alaska in between. She heads to Australia over Christmas and New Year, spending the first few months of 2022 back in Asia.
QT: Tell us more about the other ships in your line and where they journey to?
MA: Seven Seas Navigator is 490 guests while Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner host 700 guests each. Launching in February 2020, Seven Seas Splendor is sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer and will also treat 750 guests to luxury perfected.
All our ships offer the same outstanding service levels with high space to guest ratios and luxuriously appointed suites, nearly all with verandas.
Our fleet sail all over the world, across every continent with itineraries ranging from seven-nights to epic 131-night world sailings.
QT: What’s Regent Seven Seas’ difference compared to other luxury ships?
At Regent, no matter the ship or destination, we deliver an unrivalled experience with every luxury included. Our focus is on providing guests with impeccable service so that they can relax and enjoy their holiday the way they want to, whether that be laying on plush sunbeds on the pool-deck sipping champagne, losing themselves in engrossing lectures or learning French cooking techniques in one of the many lessons in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
QT: How can guests go about booking their place on board? (Answer should include booking through QTravel)
MA: To be completed by Ed Lang (Senior Tour Ops & Groups Manager - Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
QT: In 5 words, how would you describe Regent Seven Seas?
MA: An all-inclusive, unrivalled experience.
QT: What is your most popular cruise?
MA: Our ships always sail full, so with that in mind it’s difficult to say one particular cruise is most popular.
In general, our guests are always looking for new experiences and destinations. Many of our Asian cruises sell out very quickly when announced.
However, South American cruises offer a sense of adventure that is very appealing, while the South Pacific Islands are romanticised and are on pretty much everyone’s “to see” list.
And, the classic sailings of Europe, the Caribbean and Alaska are perennially popular – there’s just so much to experience, and no better way to do so that with a luxurious cruise.
QT: If you could recommend one RSSC itinerary for a cruising novice, which would it be?
MA: I would recommend a Baltic cruise. They are port intensive with very few sea days and you can discover a side of Europe that is worlds apart from that of the Mediterranean. Overnight stays in St Petersburg are often the highlight but each and every port offers a new surprise and amazing opportunities, from fishing in Tallinn, Estonia to high-end cuisine in Copenhagen, Denmark and more.