Seabourn Encore Where Yacht Style Luxury Meets Cutting Edge Design
Seabourn’s latest ship, Encore blends dark timber and plenty of glass to create a sumptuous interior that has echoes of luxury yacht and sleek design. The 600-passenger vessel is the world’s youngest luxury cruise ship and a breath-taking testament to the artistry and skill of architect Adam D. Tihany.
Labelled ultra-luxury, this new member of the Seabourn family entered Australian waters for the first time last weekend as part of its 16-day cruise from Bali to Sydney, and will follow with 16-day cruises from Sydney to Auckland and Auckland to Sydney. Each and every one of the 300 suites has its own private verandah, and in keeping with current cruising competition, there's a celebrity chef restaurant, The Grill. Thomas Keller, well-known chef in the US has designed a menu of some regular and some more upmarket dishes that range from Caesar Salad to Lobster Thermidor.
With Encore, Seabourn has upped the dining ante by retaining celebrity designer, Adam D. Tihany, for the interiors. Transylvanian born, and educated in Italy’s design centre, Milan, Tihany has recently done a revamp at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles especially for its 100th birthday. Tihany has also designed some other well-known venues, like Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, and Heston Blumenthal and Wolfgang Puck restaurants. And to bring some maritime expertise into the design process, Tihany made sure that he actually took a cruise in order to see for himself how and when people moved around on board.
Tihany has been quoted "I wanted it to be sexy and curvy, to remove the hard edges and to make it softer. To be a little more Italian and not Iceland." So there is plenty of acknowledgement to Nordic mid-century design that is so on trend right now, and the lots of white and high ceilings are carefully balanced with curved furniture and fittings that are more Art Deco inspired.
Perhaps one of the “wow” elements of this new ship lies within its heart, and it is the, swirling, suspended circular stairwell that connects seven of the 12 decks. Then a further delight awaits you on Deck 12 at the top of the 210-metre ship where Tihany’s vision of the luxury yacht feel is most evident. Guests can disappear and experience one of 12 private cabanas, and lounge in the huge sofas, take in the large televisions and imbibe in some upmarket beverages in the fully stocked fridge. Note such exclusivity does come at an additional cost.
At no extra cost on Encore, is dining at all the restaurants, and apart from Penfold's Grange and some other exclusive beverages, regular wines and spirits are all included in the cost of the cruise. And, in true upmarket cruising style, in-room inclusions are soaps by Hermes and L'Occitane, and Molton Brown has developed a new, Seabourn Signature scent. In keeping with current cruising trends, Encore has invested in an onboard spa and wellness program by collaborating with American celebrity doctor and holistic health guru Andrew Weil. Guests are welcome to attend and enjoy seminars, classes and daily yoga sessions that are part of the holistic program of physical, environmental and spiritual wellbeing.
Plus of course no expense has been spared in the entertainment at the Salon, and on Deck 6 there is a new production of An Evening with Tim Rice. In the show, the ship's singers perform some of Rice's best-known musical songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and The Lion King.
A 16-day cruise from Sydney to Bali departs March 6, and Seabourn Encore will return for a longer season here in Australia later this year in November, offering a range of 16-day voyages to February 2018.
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Images courtesy of Seabourn and Lisa Wright