Seabourn celebrates 30 years of success in the cruise industry with the launch of its stunning new ship, Ovation.
Seabourn celebrates 30 years of success in the cruise industry with the launch of its stunning new ship, Ovation.
Cruise ships are becoming important art venues in their own right, with curated collections good enough to satisfy even the most discerning art connoisseurs. Seabourn Ovation, launching in May this year, will display 1600 museum-quality pieces from 120 global artists. The actual pieces have yet to be unveiled.
Brought together by designer Adam D. Tihany and a team from ArtLink, the collection includes a Murano glass piece by Luciano Vistosi, named “Warrior The Second”. Thought to be of polished and hammered lagoon green crystal, it will be featured on Deck 4 at the base of The Atrium.
1960’s black and white photographs taken by American icons Eve Arnold, William Helburn and Alexander Liberman will decorate The Grill by Thomas Keller. Two original lithographs by American abstract expressionist Frank Stella represents a practice where the picture-is-object rather than a representation of a larger theme or idea. Similarly, the candid nature of the photographs produced by Arnold, Helburn and Liberman depict instances that are quite literally exactly as they seem.
Other notable pieces include Valeria Nascimento’s “Black Coral”, made from black pigmented porcelain with a form that is reminiscent of a living organism indigenous to the depths of the ocean. Also, Korean ceramic artist Yoo Eui Jeong, who uses timeless Korean vase making techniques in order to highlight the influence of contemporary culture on traditional art forms, brings a one-of-a-kind vase to the elevator lobby. Yoo Eui Jeong’s hand-made vases are part of a series that have been displayed at London’s V&A Museum. The Club Lounge will feature a highly impressive mixed media photography by Jose Romussi. The black and white photograph of a woman features lush hues of wild flowers that Romussi hand-embroidered onto the photograph. The woman’s features are masked by flowers while their stems seem to be growing from beneath. Romussi’s limited edition photograph examines the spectrum of beauty standards found throughout various cultures in the world.
Wave Season – the time of year when most cruises are booked and cruise lines offer tempting incentives, runs traditionally from January to March. Although not necessarily the cheapest time to buy a cruise, the combination of enticing perks and plenty of choice appeals to many people dreaming of their next holiday.
The key to a good deal is …. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Research air fares, weigh-up the real benefit of onboard credit and drinks packages, compare like-with-like and run your ideas past a travel agent as they can sometimes source better discounts and benefits.
Most cruise lines highlight offers on their websites with digital brochures available for download.
Here are our favourites:
Holland America – early booking offers, signature cruises and package deals
Windstar – 7 for 7 deals and Tahiti packages
Silversea – some flights included, early booking offers and Antarctica all-inclusive
Seabourn – Signature Savings Event including Air Credit, Shipboard Credit and upgrades
Crystal – Clear Choices offers including Air Credit, Shipboard Credit and fare reductions
Azamara – 50% off second guest fare, free wi-fi and featured Book, Pay & Save voyages
Regent Seven Seas – up to 50% off fares and reduced deposit
Lindblad – offers on air fares, crew tips and bar tabs
Scenic Ocean – Early Bird fares and free city stays
Hurtigruten – air fare offers, cruise fare reductions and single supplements waived
Images courtesy of Hurtigruten, Silversea, Crystal and Lindblad
2018 promises many exciting new cruise ships. Here are our top picks:
Seabourn introduce Ovation in 2018. Sister to the stunning Encore, this new ships offers the same pleasing design and first-class service, along with some new developments. Read our full preview here.
In December 2018 the latest Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, is due to embark upon its inaugural voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas. Read our full preview here.
Fifth in the Viking line of first-class cruise ships, the Orion will debut in 2018. Read our full preview here.
Celebrity’s Edge intends to revolutionise the cruise ship experience with exciting design features. Read our full preview here.
Ms Roald Amundsen
MS Roald Amundsen, launching in 2018, is one of two hybrid cruise ships on order from leading exploration cruise line, Hurtigruten. Read our full preview here.
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
Debuting in spring next year, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is set to be the ‘world’s largest cruise ship’. Read our full review here
Norwegian Bliss, due to launch in April 2018, will be one of the largest cruise ships in the world. As the third in the successful Breakaway-Plus class, this 4000 passenger ship will debut in Alaska before moving to the Caribbean for winter. Read our full preview here.
Billed as ‘The World’s First Discovery Yacht’ the Scenic Eclipse promises to bring something very unique to the ocean cruising experience when it launches in August 2018. Read our full preview here.
Seabourn, known for their small-scale luxury ships, brings Ovation to the water in May 2018. Sister to the highly-regarded Encore, this new ship is also designed by world-renowned Adam D. Tihany who is synonymous for his elegantly crafted, seductive aesthetics.
The increased capacity of 600 passengers, in all-suite accommodation, is off-set by an extra deck and expanded public areas. Seabourn is known for the generous ratio of space-per-guest and Ovation holds true to this concept. Interiors will follow a tasteful and contemporary style, embodying nautical themes and curved lines to enhance the guest experience, drawing excitement as unexpected features are subtly revealed throughout the ship.
Accommodation is set in five categories from Wintergarden Suite to Signature Suite, Owner’s Suite, Penthouse Suite and Veranda Suite. All will have comfortable seating and sleeping spaces, spacious closets, luxurious marble bathrooms, in-suite bars and personal entertainment facilities. In keeping with Seabourn’s relaxed yet impeccable service, guests will be attended to by a personal “suite stewardess” as opposed to a more formal butler.
The Wintergarden Suite is designed with spectacular ocean-view windows, a glass-enclosed solarium with whirlpool and day bed, a dining area for six people, guest bathroom and walk-in pantry with wet bar.
Dining will include The Grill by Thomas Keller. Inspired by the classic American chophouse and overseen by the legendary Michelin-starred chef whose name is given to this fine eatery, favourites like Lobster Thermidor and Caesar Salad will be served alongside the finest wines in elegant surroundings.
Sushi is a new dining concept for Seabourn, introduced by Ovation in a bold move. This dedicated sushi-only restaurant will serve hamachi, tuna, shrimp and other fresh fish products, brought directly from Japan. Lunchtime offerings are to include three varieties of Bento boxes.
The Restaurant is to offer open-seating dining, with more causal options being The Colonnade or pool-side Patio.
Seabourn Conversations are a highlight on any Seabourn cruise, bringing world-leading experts together with guests to engage in intelligent, informative and interesting discussion. Shopping with the Chef, where guests join kitchen forays local markets, is another popular and innovative activity. Guests will also be able to choose to relax in the Spa, enjoy a performance in the Grand Salon or benefit from the expertise of a personal trainer in the extensive Fitness Centre.
Outside, there will be several pools and hot tubs, as well as the fabulous Retreat, where guests can rent a private cabana and be attended to by a personal concierge.
The 11-day inaugural voyage departs from Venice on a journey through the Adriatic and Mediterranean, visiting Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Malta, Italy, France and Spain. The maiden season will continue in the waters of Northern Europe, with planned itineraries to the Baltic, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
Photos courtesy of www.seabourn.com
An insightful and interesting enrichment programme elevates a cruise beyond the realms of a leisure experience to one of personal growth and learning. The Seabourn Conversations series for 2017/2018 brings together prominent personalities to share their perspectives on life and work.
Images courtesy of www.seabourn.com
Seabourn cruises, in continuing partnership with UNESCO, have announced exciting World Heritage Site tours to selected 2017 and 2018 itineraries. Guests can look forward to limited access and behind-the-scenes experiences at these wonderful places, carefully chosen for their their cultural, historical or scientific significance.
Photos courtesy of www.seabourn.com
Escape the crowds with a late-season cruise.
The Mediterranean is one of the most established and enduringly popular cruise destinations in the world. This beautiful and diverse region stretches along the shorelines of Europe, Africa and Asia – bringing together many cultures and stunning scenery.
Cerulean sky, turquoise sea, superb beaches, Unesco World Heritage Sites, glittering casinos, lavender scented hillsides, pristine forests and of course … the food … enticed 220 million tourists here last year
But such ambrosia comes at a cost – the peak summer months draw huge crowds with most Europeans vacationing during July/August and families on school holidays travelling at that time too. Ports are congested and attractions swamped. Add stifling temperatures to the most expensive rates of the year and a summer Mediterranean cruise can start to lose its appeal. Instead, consider taking an autumn sailing. It’s a great alternative for those seeking a calmer experience, more comfortable weather and cheaper prices.
Viking Ocean’s Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land voyage sets sail in October 2017 on the brand new Viking Sky. This ‘grown-up’ cruise takes passengers on a 15-day journey from Athens to Rome, visiting many ancient and intriguing sites, especially in the culturally rich Eastern Mediterranean. Naples, gateway to Pompeii, and Crete, home of the legendary Minotaur are particular highlights, as well as stops in Israel and an overnight in Haifa which puts the holiest sites within reach: Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
Also this Autumn, Silversea sends the intimate and yacht-like Silver Wind on a 10-day voyage from Monte Carlo to Venice. This gold-standard Mediterranean cruise visits key sites with plenty of glamour, cultural gems and European romance. Helicopter tours from Monaco swoop over the dazzling Cote d’Azure, Livorno offers truffle hunting in the Tuscan countryside, private tours of The Vatican City can be booked in Rome, the ancient city of Pompeii is easily reached from Sorrento, Mount Etna beckons when stopping over in Sicily, Dubrovnik opens up the beautiful Elaphite Archipelago for exploration and a gondola serenade in Venice is the perfect ending to a wonderful Mediterranean experience.
The Regent Seven Seas Explorer raised the bar for new cruise ships when it launched in 2016. Offering ultimate luxury, impeccable service, ultra-modern technology and superb cuisine it’s a shame sea days are so few and far between when cruising the Mediterranean on this vessel. This year it travels on a Western Mediterranean odyssey from Rome to Barcelona later in the season. The 14-day trip calls at the classic cruise ports of Rome, Pisa, Monte Carlo, Sorrento and Palermo as well as visiting the gorgeous Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Corsica and the fabulous Spanish cities of Valencia and Barcelona.
Seabourn’s Autumn Isles is perhaps the ultimate late season Mediterranean cruise. 20-days of blissful travel on the brand new and totally stunning, Seabourn Encore. Leaving from Barcelona, the trip journeys at a gentle pace to the idyllic Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia taking in ultra-glamorous stopovers in legendary St.Tropez and Monaco. Cultural visits to Rome, Florence and Amalfi add interest and the chance to tick off those ‘bucket-list’ destinations. There’s even a whole day of scenic cruising – an unexpected and rare treat on a Mediterranean cruise.
For a taste of the exotic, Azamara’s 17-night Route of the Frankincense follows the ancient spice traders from Europe’s oldest city, Piraeus in Greece, all the way to the futuristic Dubai. The archaeological wonders of Athens including the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Temple of Olympian Zeus are early stops before traversing the Suez Canal for an overnight in Luxor. Sailing the legendary Red Sea leads to Jordan and the chance to visit Petra, an ancient city carved into the side of the Nabateans mountain. Oman and Dubai bring the trip up to the modern day.
If the Dalmatian Coast is on your ‘must-see’ list then Crystal’s Adriatic Adventure this September may prove irresistible. The 7-day round-trip on Crystal Serenity from Venice takes in Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Corfu for one dazzlingly beautiful day after another. Medieval towns, serene beaches, ancient ruins and, of course, the romance of grand Italian canals offer a truly unforgettable Autumnal cruise.
The 49th state is the largest in the U.S. and one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations.
Alaska is a true wilderness; vast, isolated, rugged and ‘it will change your life forever’ beautiful. The scale is beyond epic with towering mountains, expansive glaciers, wide flowing rivers, abundant wildlife, lush rainforest and active volcanos. For such a frontier region, where people can seem rarer than wolves and bears, it is uniquely and wonderfully accessible by cruise ship.
Most cruises follow the Inside Passage – generally setting off from San Fransisco, Seattle or Vancouver to traverse this famous waterway of deep fjords lined with forest. Some venture further to the Gulf of Alaska and expedition lines access even more remote areas in smaller ships. Anchorage, Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau are common port stops and excellent gateway towns for exploring the Alaskan landscape. Helicopter tours, dog-sledding, salmon fishing, hiking glaciers, kayaking, scenic rail trips and zip-line rides are exciting add-ons to any cruise.
Silversea sets sail from Vancouver in 2017 on the small but perfectly formed and ultra-luxurious Silver Shadow. Bound for Seward, the quaint Anchorage rail-road town, this all-suite ship is ideal for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as engaging in a diverse and well-curated enrichment programme. The seven-day trip offers a range of interesting and exciting shore excursions.
Crystal’s Northern Wonders trip, on the world-leading Crystal Serenity, reaches Anchorage from Vancouver in seven days including scenic cruising of Glacier Bay and the Hubbard Glacier. Passengers can opt for sea-plane tours of Tongass National Forest, expert-led halibut fishing and a visit to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary.
Seabourn offer extended cruises to Alaska, in particular the twenty five-day Exploration of the Last Frontier on the lovely Seabourn Sojourn which comprehensively visits all the ‘bucket-list’ Alaska sights as well as more secluded, quieter places. The Denali Experience is a four-day fully escorted trip of this majestic national park offered as an extension to any Alaska cruise.
Alaska is a ‘ready-made’ expedition cruise destination and Lindblad, which leaves from Seattle, has a wealth of experience in this field. Voyages tend to be on the active side, reaching further into the surrounding areas of British Columbia and magical Haida Gwaii. Three ships tour Alaska; the brand new National Geographic Quest and the sister ships National Geographic Sea Lion or Sea Bird. A a six-person team accompanies each voyage including a highly qualified expedition leader, expert naturalists, an undersea specialist, certified photo instructor and wellness specialist.
The Alaska cruise season is short, with sailings running from May to September, and the weather is sometimes unreliable, even in summer. Passengers should prepare for rain and occasional choppy seas – excursions are sometimes a casualty of inclement conditions and can be cancelled – and take plenty of layers to keep out the glacial cold. Alaska also has thirty five species of mosquito! But don’t be put off by rough seas and bugs, a cruise of Alaska will change your life – for the better. It is an enriching and expansive experience and millions of people who describe it as ‘the best cruise of their life’ can’t be wrong.
The Seabourn Encore is the latest edition to this ultra-luxury cruise line’s award-winning fleet.
At 40,350 tons the Encore is the largest of the four Seabourn vessels, carrying 600 guests in all-suite accommodation with private verandahs.
Adam D. Tihany’s design is more yacht-like , incorporating nautical accents of mahogany, chrome, blues, plenty of curved lines and sails offering shade on deck. Public areas are spacious, welcoming and elegant.
Seabourn Square; the signature lounge is the perfect place to meet friends or relax over a coffee.
The Grill by Thomas Keller is the stand-out dining venue, inspired by the American chophouse with the feel of an independent restaurant. There are six eateries in total including Sushi, the casual eatery Colonnade and the main dining room which also features Keller dishes.
Entry-level verandah suites have balconies, marble bathrooms, separate showers and walk-in wardrobes. More space and amenities are offered in upgraded suites.
The Wintergreen Suite has a stunning solarium with sea-view tub.
In addition to the fitness areas and Spa, guests interested in integrated health benefit from Dr. Andrew Weil’s enrichment programme for the mind. Wellness therapists hold daily meditation programmes and yoga to nourish the soul.
An Evening with Tim Rice showcases the onboard entertainment. Sir Tim narrates a personal story to the backdrop of huge hits from ‘The Lion King’, ‘Evita’ ‘Chess’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
The maiden voyage, in December 2016, was received well by passengers who enjoyed cruising the Java and Coral seas. Some grumblings over a lack of self-service laundry facilities and VIP Cabanas costing extra in the plush top-deck were aired but minor discontents are to be expected at this stage and will surely be ironed out before too long.
Summer itineraries to the Mediterranean promise the finest destinations and exclusive shore excursions.
Photos courtesy of Seabourn
Multi award-winning cruise line with emphasis on highly personalised service, luxury, outstanding cuisine and beautiful facilities. The fleet includes three Odyssey-class ships, with another scheduled to launch later this year and a further one in 2018. The all-suite, all-inclusive experience attracts affluent and discerning guests who seek upscale dining, tasteful entertainment, unique itineraries, a country club atmosphere and top-rate spa. The atmosphere is premium and intimate. Seabourn is part of the Carnival Corporation, which also owns Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, and AIDA Cruises.
There are currently three vessels: Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest with the Encore launching late 2016 and Ovation due in 2018.
32,346 tonnes, 450 guests, 335 crew
32,346 tonnes, 450 guests, 335 crew
32,348 tonnes, 450 guests, 335 crew
The cruise line sails to all the popular world destinations, stopping at off-the-beaten-track ports where possible. Transatlantic crossings and extended journeys are also offered.
The spacious all-suite balcony staterooms are at least 277 square feet or more, ultra-luxurious with marble bathrooms, stocked mini bar and welcome champagne. A Personal Suite Stewardess is on hand to anticipate your needs. Premium and Penthouse Spa suites include a range of upgrades and complimentary activities including bridge visits, car transfers, fresh flowers, free internet and spa access depending on the stateroom type.
Food and Drink
Seabourn is highly regarded for the quality of dining experiences offered to guests. The choices of restaurants encompass everything from formal French cuisine to small tasting plates, casual poolside American and in-suite dining. Seating is mainly open and complimentary fine wines are served throughout.
The Spa at Seabourn has a range of first-rate facilities and treatments, which complement the fitness classes, nutritional programmes and personal training. The popular Marina Day transforms the back of the ship into a watersports centre.
Entertainment is sophisticated and high-quality. The trivia quiz is legendary and Seabourn Conversations connect guests in a relaxed setting with invited experts in the fields of art, humanities, science and politics. An upmarket casino, live music and movie nights are also part of the guest experience.
The Seabourn Club is a generous reward programme allowing guests to accumulate benefits in terms of future fares, and onboard treats from their first sailing.
Photos courtesy of Seabourn