Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has its origins in two small cruiselines, dating from the 1990's. One of them, Diamond Cruise, was a conglomerate of several Finnish banks and they entered the cruise-industry in 1991 when they introduced a very unusual ship named Radisson Diamond. She was the only SWATH cruiseship ever and what this means is explained on her page. The Finns started up the company together with the UK-based Carlson Group, owners of the Radisson chain of hotels. From their involvement, the 'Radisson'-part of the name came and they provided the hotelstaff for the vessel. The second company of which Regent Seven Seas Cruises originates was named Seven Seas Cruises, and they had their origins in the Japanese company named Meiyo Corporation. The Japanese had bought the expeditionship Explorer Starship from Fearly & Eger in 1989 and renamed her Song Of Flower Mamiko Matsunari. Because this interesting name was rather uneasy, this was shortened to just Song Of Flower before services started. For her, Meiyo Corporation opened up a new brand under the name Seven Seas Cruises. In october of 1990, Seven Seas Cruises was bought by K-Line and three years later, Seven Seas Cruises and Diamond Cruise combined forces under the name of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. In this combination, Radisson Hotels still provided the hotel management of the ships. In 1997, the company also bought the cruiseship Paul Gaugin, although this ship was mostly managed seperately. This ship was sold in 2009 and still trades under the banner of Paul Gaugin Cruises in the Pacific market.
K-Line pulled itself back from the cruise-industry in 1996 and in 1999, V-Ships of Monaco joined the venture. They now provided ship-management for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. V-ships was the follow-up to the Vlasov Group of companies, who once were the owners of Sitmar Cruises before that part was sold to P&O in 1988. V-ships not only provided management, but they also were able to add another ship to the fleet. This time, it was a surplus hull of a ship that was originally intended as a Sovjet spy ship. Because of the end of the cold war, this ship wasn't completed for the Russians and instead was taken over by V-ships to be rebuilt as a passengership for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. She finally entered service as a five-star vessel in 2001 as Seven Seas Navigator, again introducing the Seven Seas name to the company. Rebuilding her has started back in 1997 and before she was introduced after a lenghty building process, another ship was ordered of equal capacity. This was the line's first true newbuilt as she entered service in 2003 as Seven Seas Mariner. Also in 2003, another newbuilt was introduced under the name of Seven Seas Voyager.
In 2006, the company was renamed Regent Seven Seas Cruises and this was done because the Carlson Group was about to sell its share in the company, thus ending the companies alliance with the Radisson chain of hotels. The sale was finalized in 2008, when Carlson sold the company for 1 billion USD to Apollo Management. Apollo also is the owner of Oceania Cruises and 50% of Norwegian Cruise Line. Together with Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is now forming the Prestige Cruise Holdings, that is the mothercompany of both and created by Apollo to manage the more upscale lines in its portfolio. On the 2nd of september 2014, it was announced that the whole of Prestige Cruises was bought by Norwegian Cruise Lines. NCL stated that they are planning to keep both companies under the Prestige Cruises flag intact.
Under the new ownership, Regent also started to think about expansion and introduced the worlds most luxurious cruiseship Seven Seas Explorer in 2016. A sistership is due for 2020 under the name of Seven Seas Splendor.
One ship that has also sailed for Regent (Radisson) Seven Seas Cruises is placed elswhere at castlesoftheseas
Song Of Flower (1989-2004) is placed as Le Diamant under Compagnie des Iles du Ponant