Seven Seas Voyager
Regent Seven Seas Cruises was formerly known as Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, untill the name of the company was changed to the new name in 2006. The beginnings of the company date back to 1992, when the Carlson Group from the UK (who were also the owners of the Radisson hotels), started up a single ship company named Diamond Cruise. Their ship was the catamaran Radisson Diamond. This was the only SWATH cruise vessel in the world, SWATH meaning Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. Diamond Cruise merged with Seven Seas Cruises one year later, another company that only owned one ship. Theirs was called the Song Of Flower. So these two ships started up Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, a company closely linked to the hotel-empire of Carlson. In 1999, V-ships of Monaco joined the venture, providing overall management for the ships and with their backing, new tonnage could also be ordered.
The first ship they got out of the deal was not exactly a new ship. V-ships did use an existing hull earlier in their history when they rebuilt the Sovjet researchvessel Okean into Minerva for Swan Hellenic Cruises. With this new ship for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, they did exactly the same. The ship was built in the Admirality Yards of St.-Peterburg and was launched in 1991 as Akademik Nikolay Pilyugin and she was to become the biggest Sovjet-vessel to track down enemy (say western) submarines. Of course, that same year the cold war had ended so the need for such a ship was over. Work on the ship halted in 1993, however, and partially finished she was towed to Genua after her sale to V-ships in 1997. She was rebuilt at the Mariotti-wharf and emerged as a five-star cruisevessel in 2001 for Radisson's luxury cruisecompany. In 1999, already before the ship was taken into service, another simular ship had been ordered by V-ships for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and this ship was built by Chantiers de L'atlantique in St. Nazaire, France. On the 27th of februari 2003 this ship was delivered to Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and she was named the Seven Seas Mariner.
Although the ship was largely based at the design of the Seven Seas Navigator, differences between them are very easy recognizable. They are by no means the same ship. Of course the biggest difference was that Seven Seas Mariner was a true newbuilt, so it was designed from scratch. The new ship was eventually based on the same hull design as Festival Cruises' first newbuilt, the Mistral, that had been built also at the wharf in France at V-ships were very impressed with her design. It was the first real newbuilt for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and at the time of her delivery, a thirth ship was already in the building process.
This thirth new ship for Radisson was to become the Seven Seas Voyager. She was launched at the 22nd of september 2001 at the Visentini-wharf at Donada, Italy. When her hull was in the water, it was towed to the Mariotti-wharf in Genoa for fitting out and finishing. The Mariotti-wharf had no room to built a ship of this size so thats why V-ships chose for this construction-method. Her yardnumer was MAR 001. Although again based on the design of the earlier ships, there are easily recognizable differences to be spotted. The Seven Seas Voyager is 206,50 meters long and measures 42.363 in tons, while the Seven Seas Mariner is 216 meters long and has a tonnage of 48.075. Seven Seas Voyager can take along 768 passengers and 451 crew, giving her also a very high ratio between them. She was named in Monte Carlo, the homebase of V-ships, in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II by Barbara Carlson Gage. The first cruise of this new ship started at Monte Carlo at the 1st of april 2003. The ship has sailed worldwide initiaries ever since.
The pictures were taken at IJmuiden on the 6th of june 2010, the first one at sea, number two between the piers and the last one at the Northsea channel passage to Amsterdam.