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Seabourn Ovation

Background

Seabourn Ovation did a little tour of The Netherlands in june of 2018 when she first visited Vlissingen in Zeeland at the 8th of june, before heading for IJmuiden at the 9th of june, where she is seen arriving in the very early morning.

When Seabourn started in the late 1980's, they had a fleet of two ships sailing in ultimate luxury. But after that, the company wasn't able to invest for a long time in fleet enlargement and in 1998, they were becoming part of the Cunard Line Ltd., after that company had been taken over by Carnival Corporation. Firstly, the company was used to get rid of Cunards unsuitable tonnage, the also 1980's build Sea Goddess yaughts and the Royal Viking Sun. But this fleet enlargement was not really what Seabourn needed, they needed new ships to keep up with the growing luxury fleet. In october of 2009, the company finally recieved a new ship, the first of a class of three named Seabourn Odyssey. It had been almost twenty years after the introduction of the first ships and with this new class, the company got back into the forefront of luxury cruising. It tasted for more, so two slightly larger ships (with one extra deck), were ordered to enlarge the fleet and the first ships were sold to Windstar Cruises.

Construction and general statistics

The keel for the ship was laid at the 2nd of december in 2016 at the Sestri-Ponente yards of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and her first steel had been cut a few months earlier, at the 7th of june. At the first of september in 2017, the ship left her buildingdock in front of the watchfull eyes of Seabourn president Richard Meadows and Fincantieri Sestri's shipyard director Paolo Capobianco. She was finally delivered to Seabourn at the 27th of april in 2018. The ship measures 41.865 tons, has a lenght of 210,50 meters, a width of 28 meters and a draft of 6,53 meters. Normal speed is around 18,6 knots and the ship is driven by four Wärtsilä-designed diesel engines. Her total passenger capacity is 604.

Design and style

Seabourn Ovation and her earlier sister Seabourn Encore are basicly enlarged version of the Odyssey-class, as they have one deck extra and next to that the hull is 10 meters longer. The ship has 12 decks of which 10 can be used by the passengers, with the addition of a retractable platform at the aft end of the ship at deck 3. The ships have 300 cabins, all in posession of their own veranda. The cabins range from 300 square feet to 1300 square feet and they are done in nautical style with mahogany wood finishes and all-marble bathrooms. The suites even come with a handy 'suite stewardess', taking care of most of your needs.

There are multiple ways to spend you time for dining, besides the main Restaurant. One nice feature is Seabourn Square, that has a round designs and a new sushi-restaurant that replaces the Restaurant 2 from the Odyssey-class.

The main source of entertainment is to be found in the main showroom, the Grand Salon at deck 6. This space is mostly done in blue and red and has pluche seating in cabaret-style. A wide array of shows, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers and classical music will be performed here. An alternative is the Club and the Club Terrace at deck 5, a music and dance venue in nautical style. The outside terrace also has a small pool, two whirlpools and illuminated fountains at night. 

At the top deck, for $350 a day you can rent one of the 15 cabanas in an area called The Retreat, offering a bar, hottub, sunloungers and food and drink service. I find it a little awkward, as you realise how much you'd pay for a cruise that these prices are asked as a supplement for an area aboard. But who am I to judge. A supplement for an exclusive deck may not be that strange, but for this price I would raise my eyebrows...

The international company ArtLink provided a large part of the artcollection of the ship, including the main works. The company provided 974 artworks out of 1600 in total, made by 36 artists. Centerpiece in the atrium is a Murano glass sculpture created by Luciano Vistosi in 1991 named 'Warrior the Second'. He also had created earlier the main sculpture aboard sistership Seabourn Encore. The Grill by Thomas Keller is designed as an American restaurant in 1950's style, complete with black and white photographs by Eve Arnold, William Helburn and Alexander Liberman creating the right atmosphere. Also two lithographs created by Frank Stella, an American expressionist are complimented. In the Sushi Resaturant, a wallsculpture by Valeria Nascimento named Black Coral adorns the space and is created from black pigmented porcelain, formed to represent a living organism that 'highlights the fragility of nature'.

All artworks that are placed were chosen to enhance the interiour designs made by overall shipdesigner Adam Tihany, and their main theme is the art of travel, the climatezone's, flora and fauna from around the world. This, combined with the personal impressions for the individual traveller. Special programs have also been incorporated, like an entertainmentprogram named 'An Evening With Tim Rice', organized by Belinda King Creative Productions and the Spa & Wellness with dr. Andrew Weil. 

Carreer

At may the 11th in 2018, Seabourn Ovation was named by actress and singer Elaine Paige in the port of Valetta, Malta as the first ship that was christened here. During the ceremony, folkloric Maltese dancing was performed and during the evening, a full orchestra played musical themes, among others the new Seabourn hymne 'We Sail To See The Lives Of Others'. Yeah, big Seabourn is watching you... All ended with a large fireworks display, including music and lights that highlighted the town's historic buildings and fortress. 

Seabourn Ovation then started sailing her Maiden Voyage, an 11-day journey in the Mediterranean, before working her way up the coast of Europe as her first summer will be mostly spend in the Baltic, around Great Britain and Norway.

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