Friday, 4 December 2009

Seabourn Get Smarter

It has been quite a year for the Yachts of Seabourn, with the launch of their much-heralded and admired Seabourn Odyssey and now a major makeover project for their three existing ships, Seabourn Spirit, Pride and Legend.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, it seems (especially with the Seabourn Sojourn arriving in summer 2010), the company has officially kicked off a multi-million dollar renovation of the original trio of its award-winning, small-luxury fleet.

The Spirit has just completed the refurbishment while Pride and Legend will undergo the same treatment in the coming year (January and autumn 2010 respectively), transforming the look and feel of each vessel with open and airy interiors, modern embellishments, and richly-coloured contemporary on-deck furnishings.

It is all in keeping with bringing the overall standard up to the new level which their latest newbuilds have brought about with their arrival this year.

Seabourn Spirit came out of drydock a couple of weeks ago,” said Seabourn President and CEO Pamela Conover, “and the response of our guests, both multi-repeaters and first-timers, has been unanimous — the Spirit looks absolutely beautiful.”

The renovation programme is being overseen by RTKL Associates Inc. in Miami, an award-winning international design firm recognised for its creative approach to commercial and residential spaces. The extensive work is also being done during regularly scheduled periodic maintenance.

All the enhancements begin in the Reception Lobby with honey-toned wood panelling, two-toned marble flooring and furnishings re-upholstered in rich burgundy. The onboard entertainment spaces also shine, with the main show-lounge transformed with cut-velvet banquettes in muted blues and taupe chairs beneath glittering stars. In The Club, floral-motif carpeting plays off warm reds and burnt oranges while elegantly toned, matte stone panels invoke spaciousness throughout.

That play of colour and comfort continues in the observation lounge, where wrap-around windows illuminate new pale-green accents and soothing creams and beiges with the ever-changing light of sea and sky. New club chairs and sofas of creamy leather are inviting perches for taking it all in, accented with leaf-patterned throw pillows that echo the foliage theme in the carpeting.

In The Restaurant, celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer’s cuisine is now presented in a rich yet understated elegance of handsome toffee-toned woods, creamy caramel accents, dramatic sheer curtains striped horizontally in violet and gold interspersing muted purple drapes, and flooring finished in sumptuous golden stone with sage infusions.

Meanwhile, the open decks are going equally modern, with graceful new furniture of coffee-hued, powder-coated metal and chocolate-toned fabric.

Conover added: “The renovation of Pride, Spirit and Legend ensures guests will be enjoying the Seabourn experience on these unique vessels in a fresh, contemporary style. With our original three yachts scheduled for refurbishment, Seabourn Odyssey enjoying a stellar maiden year, and Seabourn Sojourn scheduled to launch in June 2010, Seabourn can now offer travellers more beautiful yachts in more exciting destinations throughout the year.”

It all serves to underline that the smart deluxe cruise operators are constantly looking to keep their product in that top-of-the-range echelon, and Seabourn will continue to be in the forefront of cruising's leading operators for the forseeable future.