By Michael Coleman
A new ultra-luxurious yacht, set to debut in June 2009, will be christened by each of its guests prior to its maiden voyage.
Typically the role of a woman to ceremoniously wish the ship and all who sail on her good luck Godmothers of ships have ranged from queens to movie stars – Seabourn Odyssey has chosen its 450 passengers to serve as Godparents.
Those joining Odysseys maiden voyage will not only be treated like a celebrity, but will become a part of the vessels history, said Pamela C. Conover, president and CEO of The Yachts of Seabourn.Â
Each passenger aboard Odysseys maiden voyage, scheduled to depart Venice, Italy, on June 24, 2009, will have his or her name engraved on an onboard plaque.Â
An early-evening ceremony to christen the new yacht is planned to coincide with the summer sunset over the domes and steeples of Venices skyline. The ship will then commence a 14-day voyage exploring the Dalmatian coast, the Greek Isles, and Turkey.Â
Highlights of the cruise will include sailing into the dramatic fjord of Kotor in Montenegro, a day of water sports from the yachts marina while anchored off the Greek Isle of Mylos, and an evening reception and concert in the torch-lit ruins of Ephesus in Turkey.Â
The cruise industrys first ultra-luxury vessel to be launched in six years, the 32,000-ton yacht will feature luxurious all-suite accommodations measuring from 290 to over 1,600 square feet, more than 90 percent outfitted with private verandas.Â
The yacht will offer guests five dining alternatives, five lounges and bars, an expansive pool and sunbathing area, and a two-deck, indoor/outdoor spa facility of more than 11,400 square-feet.Â
Odysseys maiden season will include voyages from the grand cities and romantic isles of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, before embarking on the lines first-ever world cruise in January, 2010.
The ship will visit some 42 ports between Ft. Lauderdale and Athens in a 108-day voyage January 5 to April 24, 2010.
Shore excursion highlights run the gamut, from whale watching aboard a catamaran cruise in Cabo San Lucas and a featured performance at Sydneys Opera House to stops in Hong Kong and Thailand for special, Seabourn-hosted shoreside events.
Look also for an afternoon tour of cultural Cartagena in Colombias venerable Caribbean port city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); a rousing re-creation of the classic Aloha Boat DaysÂ at Honolulus Royal Hawaiian Hotel; a Maori cultural discovery experience at Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand; an introduction to the arts and cultures of Borneos 32 diverse ethnic groups at Kota Kinabalu; a visit to the Sanctuary of Truth at Pattaya, Thailand from Bangkok; an evening at an oasis near Dubai; and a sortie from Sharm el Sheikh into a sheltered valley in the Sinai desert for tea and traditional folkloric music and dance at a Bedouin encampment.