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Channel 5 joined Regent Seven Seas Cruises on a tour of Scandinavia as it set sail for one of its first trips since the pandemic. Departing from the Icelandic city Reykjavík for the very first time, the crew faced new challenges as they visited a series of new ports. To enjoy the new destinations, some guests were prepared to spend thousands on day excursions to make the most of their trip.
As the most expensive cruise ship, Regent’s Seven Seas Splendor allows guests to book a range of off-deck excursions ranging in cost – none of which are cheap.
In this week’s episode, Roland was tasked with planning a bespoke excursion for a VIP couple Neil and Catherine. The Cheshire pair were on board celebrating Catherine’s 50th birthday and had anticipated a trip full of decadence.
Of course, they had spared no expense on the stay of a lifetime in one of the ship’s grand suites boasting a 180-degree view, which can set guests back more than £50,000.
As part of their stay, Neil and Catherine had asked the cruise ships destination manager, Roland for a birthday trip made up of three activities. The couple requested an “off-menu” day trip in a hot air balloon over Oslo, Norway, followed by a unique island lunch experience.
To top it off, the passengers wanted to experience a car ride in a powerful Tesla supercar before returning to the luxury vessel.
With an unexpected sea day providing the perfect opportunity to get the custom excursion planned, Rolande made a start on the plans which he admitted had shocked him as a rather big task.
In an attempt to pull off the experience for his guests, the Regents cruise director made sure to book extra special finishing touches, including lobster and champagne for the lunch.
However, when it came to the hot air balloon experience over Oslo, he ran into troubled waters. The crew member was given the bad news that the “highlight” of the trip was not possible for the Norwegian destination.
In a concerning phone call, he said: “So there’s nothing in the whole of Oslo? Really – oh gosh!”
After coming off the phone, Roland explained: “Apparently hot air balloons don’t exist in Oslo. In the whole of Oslo.
“Our operators said they contacted everybody they knew. We’ll have to come up with another plan.”
But with the ship due to arrive in the Norweigan capital the following day, the cruise director was very short on time to make other arrangements for the couple who were prepared to spend around £9,000 for the day.
He said: “I just need to find a way for the guests to be able to see Oslo from the sky. We really have to make it happen.”
After several phone calls and disappointment, Roland revealed that he finally had “everything nailed down”.
While it wasn’t a hot-air balloon – which was at the top of Neil and Catherine’s wishlist, Rolande had found something just as “fantastic”.
The couple headed off the ship in a winged Tesla equipped with a private guide followed by a “mouthwatering” lobster and seafood meal on a £1million luxury boat.
When they got off the boat, the couple admitted that they “didn’t know what to expect” as they headed towards an airfield rather than a hot air balloon site.
The couple were booked to go on a “state of the art” helicopter for a private “soaring tour” over Norweigan city. They spotted the city, surrounding Fjords, and even the cruise ship which housed their luxury cabin.
Neil exclaimed that the trip was “brilliant” while congratulating the cruise director for pulling it off, while birthday girl Catherine added that it was “absolutely wonderful.”
To top it off, the seasoned cruisers were greeted by a cabin full of balloons and a private dinner when they returned to the ship after what they called an “indescribably good day” where they “had the time of their life.”
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