Luxury Goes Exploring With Regent Seven Seas

Open Jaw

Our wonderful host Samantha Jervis conducting our ship tour.

Understated elegance of the Seven Seas Navigator decor.

A delicious dessert to end a delightful lunch - with agents from Uniglobe Travel and Flight Centre.

With Samantha in the Compass Rose dining room. 

A small group of travel agents recently had the privilege of touring the Seven Seas Navigator in Vancouver with Samantha Jervis, Regent's Vancouver-based Director of Sales, Western Canada, our consummate host.

Our tour included the ship's suites and public areas, all tastefully decorated with understated elegance. Luxury ships are generally more soft-spoken than their mass market siblings. Agents often express surprise at the lack of fanciful details - but at this level, the focus is not on the wow of the hardware, but the entire experience itself.

A short brand presentation followed, the highlight being Regent's new addition in Summer 2016 - the 750 guest Seven Seas Explorer, touted as the world's most luxurious ship ever built.

True to the fact that luxury knows no limit, the top suite on the Explorer - at 3,875 sq. ft. at an average per diem of USD 4,500 - is already waitlisted for the entire European and Caribbean season save for the transatlantic sailing.

When I asked a few agents about suggesting a luxury cruise to a client, some said they feel intimated by the higher price, and others are only willing to go as far as recommending premium deluxe brands. But when I talked to agents who regularly sell luxury cruises, they did not have any issues - all it took was the 1st couple of bookings to overcome the fear.

Donella Chong of Uniglobe One Travel has a terrific success story that I hope will be an inspiration to all. A few years ago as she was preparing a quote for one of her repeat clients, she noticed Regent had a similar itinerary and decided to offer it. Donella did not expect the client to be interested in Regent as there was a large difference in price compared to the premium lines, but to her surprise, the client went for it. Onboard, Regent won the client's heart and today Donella reaps the reward of her Regent "annuity", who spends $50-$80K per cruise.

Lesson learned: make the suggestion! As emphasized by Samantha in her presentation and in my previous column about selling luxury cruises - do no sell out of your own pocket. Clients will spend money if there is perceived value, but you must tell them about it 1st. You might not get a booking every time, but it is worth a try every time. As you progress, you will become more confident.

And one day shoot for the 3,875 sq. ft. Regent Suite!

Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has sailed on 36 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is owner of Your Cruise Coach Consulting.

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