In 2018, Seabourn will introduce Seabourn Ovation. The new ship is as strikingly beautiful and as excitingly innovative as any Seabourn has ever debuted. It will crown a fleet that is already the newest, most modern and most acclaimed in the ultra-luxury segment.
Modeled on the award-winning trio of ships introduced with Seabourn Odyssey in 2009, Seabourn Encore represents another welcome stage in the evolution of small-ship cruising, which Seabourn pioneered and has consistently expanded and enriched. An additional sister-ship, Seabourn Ovation, is scheduled for delivery in 2018. Both sisters will deliver a wealth of new concepts, a fresh vision and a host of illuminating ideas to delight the world’s most discerning travelers.
A Master's Touch
To further advance its mission with Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn enlisted the participation of master designer Adam D. Tihany. Recognized as one of the preeminent designers in the world, Tihany specializes in developing elegantly individual spaces for the most highly rated restaurants, hotels, resorts and spas in the hospitality industry. He is also renowned for his unique ability to realize and embody the particular personalities of his clients and the preferences of their clientele in his designs.
For Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, Tihany was especially sensitive to the fact that Seabourn’s guests occupy the ship for at least a week while cruising the world’s most desirable destinations. Many sail for even more extended periods. As they explore the ports of call, they sleep, dine, play and socialize on board. He noted that, as travelers, they are essentially involved in exploration, discovering new sights and experiences. As such, they are especially attracted to novelty and impatient with any hint of monotony.
Encore to a Legacy of Small Ship Ultra-Luxury Cruising; an Ovation to Excellence
In 1988, a small cadre of luxury hospitality and cruising executives re-invented luxury cruising. Their model was the casual, relaxed elegance previously available only to owners of the world’s most fabulous private yachts. They commissioned the 10,000 GRT Seabourn Pride, an intimate ship nimble enough to visit both great cities and the picturesque harbors preferred by international yachtsmen. The ship’s 208 guests enjoyed spacious accommodations with expansive views of the sea. A variety of public spaces were scaled to encourage relaxed socializing, with places to gather casually, or quietly slip away. At the stern, a novel platform unfolded to become a watersports Marina, turning the ship into a private beach resort. But as unprecedented as these ideas were, the ship itself was not the most innovative part of their plan.
The Serene Sensation of Membership
Seabourn understood that you came aboard not merely for transportation. Thus you were never, and still are not considered a passenger. Rather you are a member of a select seagoing society, sharing travel together in a relaxed, club-like atmosphere. In that spirit of easy-going hospitality, virtually everything required for your enjoyment is included in the price of your fare. Dining never incurs an extra charge, whether at meals in any of the ships’ variety of restaurants or spur-of-the-moment snacks. Beverages, from coffee and teas to fine wines and spirits, are complimentary throughout the voyage, either in the ship’s lounges and restaurants or from the bar in your suite, stocked in advance with your preferences.
A Passion for Service
It is in the quality and style of service on board that Seabourn truly excels. Onboard staff numbers nearly as many as guests on each ship. They are recruited, trained and managed to encourage a focus on the delight of each guest as an individual. This service philosophy underlies every aspect of Seabourn’s shipboard experience. Tipping is neither required nor expected. Seabourn’s staff members are dedicated professionals for whom hospitality is a calling. On Seabourn, regardless of which category of accommodation you book, you will receive superbly skilled attention and sincere, heartfelt hospitality from every member of the staff, on every occasion.
Taken together, these aspects of a cruise holiday on the newly launched Seabourn Pride were revolutionary enough in 1988 to cause one journalist to pronounce the line “…quite simply in a class by itself.”
The Luxury of Choice
Seabourn’s guest-oriented philosophy is based on a belief that choice is fundamental to the experience of luxury. Nothing is more luxurious than the sensation of having things as we choose — of enjoying life and the world on our own terms. Accordingly, everything Seabourn does, from the design of its ships to its itineraries, shipboard activities, dining options, suite amenities and even the entertainment you enjoy on board, is crafted to offer a variety of appealing choices wherever and whenever possible. The most valuable investment you make in a holiday is your time. It is Seabourn’s goal to ensure that you are delighted with the return on that investment with us.
Innovation and Expansion
Buoyed by the tremendous success of Seabourn Pride, Seabourn added two more sister-ships to their unique fleet, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend. Surprising innovations added fun and flair: a lavish Caviar in the Surf® beach party; a Shopping with the Chef excursion to a local market; an Evening in Ephesus with an exclusive candlelit concert in the ancient ruins; and Evening Under the Stars® on deck with local live music and dancing. These and other innovations delighted Seabourn’s guests and impressed the travel and lifestyle media, which showered the line with awards and rated them at the very top of the cruise industry, and among the finest travel experiences of any kind.
In 2009, Seabourn further refined ultra-luxury cruising with the introduction of the stunning Seabourn Odyssey, hailed as “…a game-changer for the luxury segment.” Although three times the size of Seabourn’s original ships, the sleek new hull was still the smallest new vessel being built, carrying only about twice the number of guests. This provided ample space for a greater variety of all-suite accommodations, most with private verandas, as well as a world-class fitness and spa facility, generous expanses of open teak deck and multiple indoor and outdoor dining venues.
Loyal Seabourn sailors were charmed to find many of their favorite features echoed in Seabourn Odyssey’s design: the single whirlpool spa located on an open deck all the way forward; the open-seating Restaurant in a breathtaking new two-deck-high iteration; the more casual Veranda Café expanded into a glorious indoor/outdoor Colonnade overlooking the ship’s wake; the open-air Sky Bar above a spacious new Pool Patio with its own bar and poolside dining; and of course the signature watersports Marina at the stern. As on the smaller ships, public rooms were scaled for graciousness rather than grandeur, creating warm, welcoming places suited to convivial conversation and laughter.
Yet the new design also held delightful surprises. Nothing like Seabourn Square had previously existed on any ship. It combined a library and sitting room, a computer center, a discreet Guest Services enclave, and a European Konditorei-style coffee bar with an espresso machine and snacks. A variety of outdoor terraces from the Sun Terrace high atop the ship to smaller outdoor nooks offered sunlit or shaded spots for relaxation. The alternative Restaurant 2 dinner venue had its own space, and Odyssey’s Spa at Seabourn was the largest on any luxury cruise ship, with an innovative Motion Studio and full-service salon.
Two identical sister-ships, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, were introduced in 2010 and 2011. This trio of beautiful, ultra-luxury vessels quickly won the hearts of Seabourn’s loyal audience and the rest of the travel industry. They have repeatedly been named the best small ships in the world, and enjoy a loyal following of avid travelers who prefer them above all others.
In 2014, Seabourn began saying a fond farewell to the three original ships that started it all, more than two decades before. Their departure, and the arrival of Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, prepares Seabourn to lead the way into a new era with the most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry, A fleet that will continue to delight travelers with fascinating, innovative itineraries and a gracious, intuitive hospitality that enhances its status as the world’s finest small ship cruise line.