Vanessa about to embark on the inaugural voyage of
Seabourn Odyssey in 2009.
met with Rick Meadows, President of Seabourn
to discuss their new ships coming our way. Rick is also President of Cunard Line and one busy chap, but we had time to reminisce about the 1
st time we met about 20 years ago when
he was running Windstar Cruises and we drank too many yummy Lemon Drop
martinis and gabbed for hours!
Rick and I
have long shared a love and passion for the gorgeous yachts of Seabourn but
most of our conversation this time was about the new ships – the 1
st of which is the Seabourn Encore
arriving in December 2016. And of course you know how much I love the name
ENCORE – so it’s a great choice I must say!
some key points about Seabourn’s direction and the onboard experience.
st is that the highly
regarded designer, Adam D. Tihany is designing every aspect of Seabourn Encore
and her sister ship, Seabourn Ovation (coming in 2018). This is an unusual
departure and quite a bold move to have just one
designer do a full ship. Rick is thrilled at how the yacht is progressing in
that way and happily says, “Adam is the perfect partner- he knows what’s in the
mind of the luxury consumer”.
told me that Adam went on part of a world cruise to see how guests interacted with
each other and the staff and he used his experience onboard to see the design
of the vessel from a guest perspective. And as Rick states, “So Adam has designed new space with the
sense of a guest”.
studied the deck plan of Seabourn Encore I noted how similar it is to the
fantastic Odyssey class ships that came out in 09/10 and 11, the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest – stunning ships
for sure and some of my all-time favourites in a long career of
favourites! Although I know Encore will be spectacular too – just bigger.
has one extra deck which affords more suites and a new specialty restaurant – but it has many of the known and loved Seabourn
features including the main restaurant, the stunning Colonnade for more casual
dining, the Club Lounge, the Grand Salon and so forth. Consequently existing
Seabourn cruisers will feel very comfy on Encore – with the addition
of that deck and a little more space but they will know their way
expect some changes in the popular Seabourn
Square, the heart of the ship in many ways – making it more open for the
concierge staff to engage the guests with individual attention and offer an
Simply making a successful aspect even
better. Changes are coming to the food and beverage offerings there too –
stay tuned for those updates.
there’s the specialty dining and the partnership with
American Chef Thomas Keller which has made the news in recent months.
Discussions between Seabourn and Chef Keller, a
Michelin-starred culinary leader, began some time ago in keeping with his
desire for partnerships that have a strong foundation and are very
relationship-oriented. Rather like successful long term dating leading to
matrimonial bliss but here it’s all about bliss for the taste buds.
not say enough wonderful things about Chef Keller and explained to me how
highly he regards him. “It’s just an amazing experience with him and his team
looking through a culinary lens”…. “he’s not just unique; not many chefs have
his detail and exactness through the cooking of a dish to the plating and
service. He has an end to end vision of delivering food, he’s an authentic
master – all his accolades are well-deserved”.
So people –
we have some remarkable and delicious food experiences ahead of us with
the newly created and designed Chef Keller restaurant which will be on both
Seabourn Encore and Ovation. In the meantime guests can taste some of the
food that has come out of the French Laundry and Per Se, on Seabourn Odyssey
which is introducing some of Keller’s specifically designed dishes.
restaurants will appear on each ship next
year with the 1
st being on
Seabourn Quest in the space that is currently held by Restaurant 2. In concert
with Chef’s input, the restaurant
will be completely rebuilt and designed by Adam D. Tihany, who also designed Chef Keller’s restaurant Per
Se. As Rick says, “We’ve all worked on it together – not an introduction needed
and there’s a trust between us. These men are 2
of the world’s best at what they do”.
Seabourn Encore will offer a super yacht experience with clean lines, high
gloss wood and, according to Rick, “is very current, sleek and modern”. I
can’t wait to sail this yacht and will also tell you more about my conversation
with Rick in the future where we discussed the attributes of the guest and
Seabourn’s marvellous programs of delivering authentic destination experiences.