The Regent Seven Seas Navigator has been in the Seaspan Dry Dock here in North Vancouver for the past few weeks getting an overhaul.
Michelle and I reminisced about our adventure aboard this vessel ten years ago. I am the first artist in history to have had a solo exhibition of stone sculpture aboard a cruise ship, and we did this the last week of August, 2002. The exhibition ran from Aug – Sept. 2002, when the Seven Seas Navigator sailed her last run of that season from Vancouver, BC to Seward, AK and back. Back then, she sailed under the hotel name Radisson and the cruises were one way, seven days in each direction.
We installed the exhibition here in Vancouver, when the Seven Seas Navigator was berthed at Canada Place. She sailed for Seward and we flew to Alaska to board for the final journey south that year.
It was our first time on a cruise ship, and to break one’s tooth aboard a six star ship was indeed a treat. We had a butler, and our own balcony suite, yet had access to all the back end passageways, as we were considered staff. We worked with the London Contemporary Art Director, Mr. Frank Crall to present the exhibition and lectures. My first presentation to the guests was on a rough day crossing the Gulf of Alaska. I don’t have sea legs, so I was a bit green around the gills.
But it all worked out. We met some very interesting people, some who we’ve kept in contact with and almost sold out the exhibit. We also garnered a contract to have sculptures aboard the ship for her winter around South America, which led to more sales. We also had an exhibition of another collection of sculpture aboard a sister ship, the Seven Seas Voyager during her 2002 – 03 World Cruise.
The Seven Seas Navigator set sail this evening on her first Alaska cruise of this season.