The latest news on Seabourn's new ships

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The exciting news that there will be a new ship - and then a second! - for Seabourn has been out there for some while, so we are pleased that at last there is more information about the new babies. The two ships will be delivered in 2016 - named Seabourn Encore - and 2018 - Seabourn Ovation, and with their introduction, Seabourn will consolidate its position as operator of the most modern ultra luxury fleet in the world.

At a recent gathering of Seabourn's top agents, Senior VP Marketing and Sales John Delaney, over from Seabourn's head office in Seattle, gave us a sneek preview of the very first artists' impressions. With a profile just like that of the trio of ships introduced with Seabourn Odyssey in 2009, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will offer a very similar environment, whilst enjoying the additional space created by an extra passenger deck.

Master designer Adam D. Tihany, recognized as one of the pre-eminent designers in the world, is developing the project. Tihany's work for some of the most highly rated restaurants, hotels, resorts and spas in the world is recognised by such clients as Mandarin Oriental and One&Only.

Talking about his work for Seabourn, he refers to the fact that 'they are always focused on surpassing expectations and eliciting the sort of delight that results from the unexpected. With that in mind, I have designed a ship that is imbued with a sense of spontaneity and exhilaration, to elicit surprise and delight that will complement the rest of the guests' travel experiences."

It sounds like a big promise, but initial mock-ups suggest a fresh and modern yacht style that is very inviting, with lots of appealing new areas and hidden corners, in keeping with historical Seabourn designs.

Seabourn has come a long way since Atle Brynestad (now owner of SeaDream Yacht Club) inspired a group of fellow Norwegian investors to create a new cruise line whose guest suites would offer the space and refinement of the very best available in the market at the time. Effectively his premise was that in the luxury market, the top suites would always sell first, so why not create a cruise line which was nothing but top suites? The 10,000 GRT Seabourn Pride, was the first of what would become an exclusive group of small ships targeted at the world's most discerning travellers.

Seabourn's relaxed, club-like atmosphere, with a spirit of easy-going hospitality, has been maintained through the years and regenerated with the latest additions to the fleet. Through many changes of ownership and management, the ships have retained their very distinctive ambience, even as they doubled guest capacity with the introduction of the Odyssey class ships. The move to the new 650 guest capacity of the new ships should be accomplished with similar ease. Signature features such as the watersports Marina at the stern, the lively outdoor Sky bar, intimate public rooms scaled for graciousness rather than grandeur, and multiple quiet unexpected corners are still to be found on all the vessels. In 2014, Seabourn began saying a fond farewell to the three original ships that started it all, and both this year and next, once all three of the little sisters have left the fleet, capacity will be tight, meaning that those planning to travel should make their plans early to get the accommodation and departure they want.

Innovations at Seabourn include the new partnership with UNESCO to promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage properties, which means that itineraries will be enhanced by deeper insight and information about these intriguing destinations while supporting their conservation through sustainable tourism.

As one of Seabourn's earliest supporters, the team at Mundy Cruising are delighted to be leaping with them to the next level!


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Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

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