Friday (Sept 1, 2017), the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn marked a major construction milestone with a traditional coin and launch ceremony for its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy. Seabourn Ovation is set to welcome guests and begin sailing in May 2018.
The time-honored coin and launch ceremony is an enduring maritime tradition that calls for a "madrina" to preside over the celebratory events. Serving in this significant role was Jan Stearman, Seabourn's longest-serving female shipboard team member, who joined the company 22 years ago, and a well-known and respected cruise director.
Along with Seabourn President Richard Meadows, Fincantieri Shipyard Director Paolo Capobianco and Seabourn Ovation Captain Stig Betten observed the welding of two commemorative gold coins to the ship's mast. Stearman then cut the ship's cord to allow water to flow into the ship's building dock. The ship will be "floated out" from its dry dock and moved to its outfitting dock at the shipyard, where it will undergo final construction until the ship is delivered in 2018.
"Watching the coin ceremony and seeing Seabourn Ovation officially touch the water for the first time today was a very special moment for all of us at Seabourn, representing a significant step toward the further expansion of our luxury fleet," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Many guests and partners across the travel industry have expressed their enthusiasm for the arrival of this incredible ship following the successful debut in December 2016 of her sister ship, Seabourn Encore."
Following the ship's delivery, Seabourn Ovation will embark on an 11-day inaugural voyage departing May 5, 2018, from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship will go on to spend the majority of her maiden season cruising the waters of Northern Europe, offering a series of seven-day Baltic and Scandinavian cruises between Copenhagen and Stockholm, which will include the line's signature three-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia. Seabourn Ovation will also sail on longer 14-day voyages, visiting the majestic Norwegian fjords and British Isles.
Like its sister ship Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation is being fashioned by notable hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany with contemporary interiors, modern design elements, and innovations consistent with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance. The new ship will round out the current planned expansion of the line's award-winning and highly acclaimed fleet.
Seabourn Ovation will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly intuitive and personalized service for each guest on board. The 40,350-GRT ship will carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. The all-suite ship will offer a number of desirable in-suite amenities to provide guests with a "home away from home" onboard experience. In every luxurious suite will be a private veranda, providing sweeping oceanfront views and spacious enough for private al fresco dining. Featuring striking design and sophisticated décor, each suite will include a comfortable living area with sofa seating and a desk/dining table; elegant bedding; a walk-in closet; in-suite entertainment options with a wide selection of movies, music, broadcast television and radio channels; and a superbly-appointed marble bathroom with separate bath and shower and luxury bath products, including the new exclusive Seabourn Signature Scents by Molton Brown. A personal bar and refrigerator will be stocked according to guest preferences, coordinated before arrival.
Guests who sail on Seabourn Ovation will also find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include 'An Evening with Tim Rice', the new evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50's and 60's. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. Guests will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes, as well as a range of other favorites like premium steaks, whole roasted chicken, and Lobster Thermidor, presented à la carte.