By Michael Coleman
The first luxury cruise ship to be unveiled in six years has been launched and is now sailing in the Mediterranean.
The 450-guest, 32,000 ton Seabourn Odyssey features 225 luxury suites (90 percent with verandas), Charlie Palmer cuisine and when a series of voyages ends this year she’ll set off on the company’s first world cruise.
She also features the largest spa on any luxury yacht, four restaurants and a host of onboard amenities
Female guests on the maiden voyage this month from Venice shared the honor of acting as godparents.
“The launch of Odyssey allows us to serve more travelers but still offer the intimate and exclusive experience which has made us a leader in the luxury cruising market,” said Pamela Conover, President and CEO of The Yachts of Seabourn.
Odyssey is the first of three new Seabourn vessels. Seabourn Sojourn will launch in June 2010 and a third ship is scheduled to be built in 2011. The line presently operates three other vessels: Seabourn Spirit, Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Legend.
The Spa aboard Odyssey measures 11,400 square feet and is the only cruise vessel to offer SkinCeuticals, the award-winning skincare line, products and treatments at sea. Passengers can enjoy a hydropool, Kinesis wall, two herbal steam rooms as well as two Spa Villas complete with a whirlpool big enough for two, a private balcony for sunbathing, a double daybed and a full living room.
With an intimate yacht-like atmosphere, passengers can choose from two outdoor swimming pools, six outdoor whirlpools, water sports from the aft marina. The Retreat features a contoured nine-hole mini golf course, a giant chess board, shuffleboard and stargazing in the evening. Additional amenities include Seabourn-branded netbooks and iPods for loan.
The Grand Wintergarden Suite, the largest of any Seabourn suite offers 1,182 square feet of indoor space plus two verandas. The two bedroom, two bathroom suite features a glass-enclosed solarium with tub and daybed, as well as a whirlpool, dining for six, two bars and three flat-screen televisions.
Also, look for Seabourn Square, a concierge lounge complete with a library, upscale shops, outdoor terrace and coffee bar.
The ship will spend her maiden year exploring the Mediterranean and Caribbean before embarking on a 108-day world cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Athens, January 5, 2010, visiting 42 ports in 26 countries on six continents.
Despite tough economic times, the luxury cruise sector is poised to embrace the good times ahead. Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently completed multi-million-dollar refurbishments to its 700 passenger vessels, Voyager and Mariner, and in January the 496-passenger Navigator will undergo an extensive refurbishment.
Not to be outdone, Silversea Cruises will unveil a new 500-passenger ship, Silver Spirit, in December. And, Crystal Cruises recently refurbished Crystal Symphony. Crystal Serenity, meanwhile, was the last luxury cruise ship to debut back in the summer of 2003.
On the Web: www.seabourn.com