Glass experiences pure glamour at sea with Seabourn Ovation

“YOU’LL never be bored onboard” said my engaging Portuguese butler, Edwardo, as he leads me into my suite on Seabourn Ovation, “your choice of daily activities includes morning fitness classes, cookery demonstrations, destination overviews and wine tasting”. I walk onto my veranda, which seems like the perfect spot to appreciate some of the world’s most recognizable ports dipping into the horizon.

Back inside, my sizable walk-in closet and dove-grey marble bathroom, featuring a separate bath and spacious shower, wouldn’t look out of place in any five-star hotel. Shelves are lined with bespoke amenities especially created for Seabourn by Molton Brown.

In the lounge area, Eduardo points out that my minibar has been stocked with my pre-requested premium spirits and to just ask if I would like any other alcoholic beverages or caviar – all complimentary (of course.)

Seabourn has a fleet of five ships, each resembling a private mega-yacht rather than a cruise liner. I am sailing onboard Seabourn Ovation, the newest addition to the fleet, launched in May 2018 with a guest capacity of 600 – although the ship’s size could comfortably accommodate 1,000 passengers.

I marvel at the polished mahogany and glass fitments adorning each of the decks, and at the artwork dazzling the walls and open spaces – which I later realise is displayed to reflect the destinations Ovation will glide into.

Seabourn Ovation

Seabourn Ovation

Captain Andrew Pedder explains that Seabourn ships can sail into ports that larger ships cannot access. We meet up in Seabourn Square, the central piazza with its buzzy coffee shop reminiscent of a Parisian patisserie. Captain Pedder continues that the unique one-to-one ratio of staff to guests has enabled Seabourn to ensure that service reigns supreme, which explains how every staff member greets me by my name.

Following the captain’s proclamation that Seabourn passengers are typically inquisitive, active, interesting people who exude a sense of zest for life, I meet with a former CEO of a Hollywood studio and a casting director at another, who help advise me which of the shore excursions I should book.

Spa at Seabourn Ovation


Seabourn Ovation

My daily routine after returning from an excursion includes finding a quiet spot on one of the numerous decks to lay out on in the sun, having a swim in one of the two pools on board and dipping into one of the steamy whirlpools. My only interruption is from the waiters offering me a chilled fruit stick or a freshly churned tub of Italian gelato.

For total solitude I take a cabana at The Retreat on the 12th deck, where I have the option of partaking in the spa and wellness offering of Dr Andrew Weil, the American bestselling author and practitioner of alternative medicine.

Seabourn Ovation

Seabourn Ovation has been interior-designed by New York’s Adam D. Tihany, famed for his restaurant creations for internationally acclaimed chefs, including Michelin-starred Thomas Keller, whose contemporary on-board gourmet steakhouse restaurant, The Grill, is one of Ovation’s star attractions.

The dining experience feels like I am in a show kitchen, featuring table-side food preparation and artisan of food finishing. My indulgence is the delicate sole meunière accompanied by a side of macaroni cheese (so delicious that I actually request the recipe which is delivered to my suite the following morning.)

Most evenings I dine al fresco at the casual restaurant or inside at the gourmet dining room which offers an extensive menu, while lunchtimes I opt either for the poolside restaurant or the sushi bar, where I watch each intricate plate prepared to order by the master sushi chef.

Seabourn OvationDining at the Seabourn Ovation

On my last night I decide to enjoy the balmy evening under the stars on my private veranda, with Eduardo attending to my every whim. Night-time entertainment usually involves light-musical entertainment in the theatre or a visit to the casino, where there Is always a place available to join one of the tables.

On my final morning as I’m about to disembark I observe people queuing inside Seabourn Square.  An unusual sight. Eduardo approaches to say goodbye and explains that these guests are booking their next Seabourn cruise, evident that this fleet is making waves – and not just upon the sea.

by Amanda Bernstein

Seabourn’s 7-day Maltese & Roman Sunsets on Seabourn Ovation from Valletta to Barcelona (calling at Syracuse, Civitavecchia, Bastia, Toulon and Palamos ) departs on 2 May 2020 and costs from £2,999 per person, sharing a Veranda Suite.

Includes accommodation and all meals and drinks (except premium wine and spirits) and gratuities. Flights are charged separately. Optional shore excursions and spa treatments will be charged as booked.  For reservations or for more information on other destinations, please contact Seabourn on 0843 373 2000 or visit Seabourn

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Glass Travel Editor

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