Friday, October 21, 2011

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Talking...Again...About a New Ship

At this point it seems like a bi-annual event:  Mark Conroy, President of Regent Seven Seas, commenting that there are discussions with a European yard for a new 700 passenger, 50,000 gross ton, ship.  Yesterday, at the Ensemble Travel Group Annual Convention, Mark Conroy stated that Regent Seven Seas was looking at a possible 2014 delivery date.

While in the past I have been extremely skeptical of such announcements (See, for example, my August 2008 article "New Regent Seven Seas Ship Delayed Until 2012...At Least."), I believe the inevitable demise of the Regent Seven Seas Navigator is within the foreseeable future and, having pushed out its service life what will be an additional seven years...if she is not retired earlier, there is a possibility that this time there may be some merit to Mr. Conroy's comments.

But...and it is a big "BUT"...Unfortunately, I remain skeptical.  I do not recall any other cruise line (no less its president) talking about it "may" build or its "possibly" building a new ship.  New ship constructions are otherwise universally spoken of in definitive terms and with great excitement...after periods of secrecy. Thus, to me, it is not like a teaser ad where you know there is something coming, but rather just a gimmick intended to have people believe that Regent is alive and look forward.

In other words, IF Regent moves forward (and IF Regent is not folded into Oceania Cruises - See my article, The Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas Cruises: "Regent Seven Seas Is Now A Premium, Not Luxury, Cruise Line...I Told You So!" ) the Navigator, Regent's ever-troubled ship, will be well and truly finished as a pseudo-luxury ship...as its plumbing, electrical and hull issues that have plagued her for many years will probably increase significantly as the patches used to keep her running also begin to fail from age.  So a new ship, which is really needed now, will be truly needed then.

As Yogi Berra said, but which I truly hope is not true, "It's deja vu all over again!"