2017 will see the launch of two exciting new ships for the luxury cruise market. We asked award-winning cruise journalist Gary Buchanan to give us an expert overview of the two vessels – Seabourn Encore and Silver Muse.
Diamond-studded Rolex watches, Manolo Blahnik heels, or the latest smartphone all too often define luxury. Fortunately, there’s a clutch of ships that offer a grown-up, bling-free version of luxury, which at sea comes in various guises. For the most part the stellar array of stars bestowed on a few delightful ships really does promise opulence, decadence – and even true luxury.
As travellers become more sophisticated, luxury cruise ships have had to become more inventive to appeal to them, so a butler and a great view don’t cut it any longer. As connoisseurs of cruising appreciate, smaller vessels offer a haven of hospitality that is impossible to deliver on larger ships. But like collectors of all things cherished, cruisers are waiting with baited breath for two additions to the luxury portfolio in 2017. Both Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises are hallmarks in ultra-luxury cruising, so it will be interesting to see if these two new vessels will enhance the bounty of seagoing ‘luxe’.
Appealing to contemporary tastes and lifestyle, the Seabourn experience is all about personal space and time. Drawing a younger and sassier crowd, these all-inclusive ships have established a new standard in cruising: that modernity and youth are not necessarily incompatible with opulence and class.
Seabourn’s trio of 450-passenger ‘Odyssey Class’ ships were heralded ‘game-changers’ when they first took to the seas between 2009 and 2011. Spectacular without being overblown, they are seriously classy ships with eye-catching features, staffed by a crew who tread a perfect balance between attentive and deferential.
Christened in Singapore in January, Seabourn Encore will be the first new ship for this ultra-luxury cruise line in five years. Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, the 600-passenger vessel will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line’s reputation for understated elegance. The ship will be configured with one additional deck, new expanded public areas, and every suite will feature a private veranda. The line’s high ratio of space and staff per guest will be maintained. A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018.
The mercurial quality of excellence is inherent in the DNA of Seabourn Cruise Line – pioneers of ultra-deluxe, all-inclusive cruising. As for cuisine, virtuosity is evident in every atom. With the introduction of The Grill by three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller, there’s little doubt that Seabourn Odyssey will elevate the ‘fine’ in fine dining.
Lynn Narraway, managing director UK & Ireland for Seabourn Cruise Line recently spoke to Six Star Cruises. “Luxury travel is one of the strongest-growing market segments worldwide and is utterly appropriate for ‘new-to-cruise’. A luxury cruise is really an opulent road trip in a class of its own, where two worlds come together: the fun of being on board and the thrill of discovery on shore. We believe these add up to a luxury experience like no other.” She added, “With Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation we will have the youngest, most consistent fleet in ultra-luxury cruising.”
The über-opulent ships of Silversea Cruises offer a sassy vibe shot through with sophistication. By their very nature ships are large and complex, but this mini-navy of graceful ships fully meet all the expectations of architects and passengers. Judging by the accolades bestowed on Silversea Cruises’ ships, they are as close to perfection as can be found on the high seas.
For a cruise line for which mediocrity has no meaning, guests enjoy a new canvas of on-board lifestyle that includes personal butlers. They revel in the all-inclusive spirit of indulgence that permeates each vessel whose ambience is geared to private people who pine for peaceful ports.
Silversea Cruises are preparing for the introduction of the 596-passenger Silver Muse which will be christened in Monte Carlo in April. This vessel, which is an evolution of the highly successful Silver Spirit, will significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market. The décor will exude a contemporary elegance and intuitive sense of style with a concept that’s modish yet completely unpretentious. There will be a wealth of enhancements to the onboard experience, while all the time satisfying the uncompromising requirements for comfort, service, and quality of the world’s most discerning travellers.
Silver Muse will also have more restaurants than any other ultra-luxury ship, including the much-anticipated Relais & Châteaux restaurant – La Dame. Contemporary Asian influences will be the order of the day in Kabuki which honours traditional Japanese culture; while Indochine promises a culinary journey from the spice markets of Mumbai to the fragrant aromas of Thailand. Italian-themed restaurant, Regina Margherita, will be open throughout the day; while Atlantide will feature bespoke seafood and steaks. The popular Hot Rocks Grill where guests cook meat and fish at their table on 400-degree lava stones will be a feature as will tapas-style dishes in Silver Note, which pays tribute to the iconic jazz clubs of Manhattan.
Here at Six Star Cruises, we have a team of expert Cruise Concierge who are available to help you plan your luxury cruise. If you’d like any more information about either of these ships or their itineraries, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0207 980 2845.