Published on : Monday, January 9, 2017
Seabourn Encore, Seabourn’s latest luxury cruise ship, was named in Singapore on Saturday by British soprano and West End star Sarah Brightman. The is the cruise line’s fourth ship, and also the biggest, built to accommodate 600 passengers.
The ship looks and feels like a luxury yacht. A particularly impressive space is Seabourn Square, the cruise line’s signature lounge area. Here you can meet friends, catch up on news and emails on iPads, or simply relax with a coffee and cake.
The Grill is an evening-only restaurant created by US chef Thomas Keller, which serves hearty steaks and seafood. On fair evenings, diners can eat on an outdoor terrace, while during the day the space can be used by those eating in the buffet above.
In Sushi, the first Japanese restaurant to feature on a Seabourn ship, diners can watch specialist chefs prepare sashimi, nigiri and sushi.
While Encore’s size could be a turn-off for those who equate luxury with small ships, building bigger has given Seabourn the space to offer more places to eat.
All the cabins on Encore are suites with balconies, walk-in wardrobes, and bathrooms with marble sinks and separate baths and showers.
The entry-level Verandah rooms are a generous size, but if space really matters the Wintergarden Suites are five times as big and have a solarium with a bathtub and sea views.
The ship was built in Italy and sailed to Singapore over the festive period. It is now cruising to Australia, but will return to Europe in May.
The Retreat is a new area at the top of the ship with 16 cabanas that can be used for a fee: $249/£202 per couple on a port day, $349/£284 when the ship is at sea.
This is a bold move, as charging goes against the grain for a cruise line that calls itself all-inclusive. Indeed, comments from passengers at the naming ceremony suggested that The Retreat had barely been used.
Other charges are creeping in. A DIY exfoliation treatment using tangerine, lavender or chocolate costs $9/£7.30, and passengers were unhappy that there were no self-service washing machine so they had to pay for laundry service.
Fares in the Mediterranean this summer start from about £350 a night, which includes all drinks including fine wines and champagne, gratuities, and dining. Wi-Fi is also included for those in top-grade suites.