ONBOARD THE MARINA -- Citing record occupancy in 2010 and record pricing in 2011, Regent Seven Seas Cruises' owners say they are readying to place a ship order for the luxury brand.
Frank Del Rio, chairman of Regent's parent company, Prestige Cruise Holdings, said that Regent's success has readied the line for a new ship. Its last new ship, the Seven Seas Voyager, was delivered in 2003.
Prestige has been discussing a newbuild for Regent but would not place the order until "the time is right," Del Rio said.
Del Rio made his comments during last week's preview sailing on sister brand Oceania Cruises' new ship, the Marina.
Regent began talking to shipyards about a new vessel in 2008, just after it was acquired by Apollo Management, which operates the Oceania and Regent brands under the Prestige umbrella. But the economy sank, taking the order with it.
Now, Del Rio said, Regent is not only outperforming itself on almost every metric but against other luxury lines, as well.
"Regent had a record year," he said. "We are enjoying economies of scale and record occupancy."
Of Prestige, he said: "We have $1 billion in revenues, $3 billion in assets; and Apollo is a very financially savvy company."
There are no immediate plans for additional tonnage for Oceania beyond the Riviera, which is scheduled to enter service in April 2012.
Regent, meanwhile, will be moving to Oceania's Miami offices. Del Rio promised agents onboard the Marina that aside from back-office functions, Regent and Oceania would remain separate brands.
"The most important thing is to keep the brands separate," he said. "They compete as fiercely as before the combination."