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New ship No. 8 — Seabourn Encore

Eighth in a series of new ships for 2016

Seabourn is an ultra-luxury cruise line that has been around for 30 years but effectively became a player in 2009 when the revolutionary Seabourn Odyssey arrived. With selling older ships Pride, Spirit and Legend to Windstar, the Encore is now Seabourn’s fourth ship and will be followed by a fifth in 2018 — the Ovation. So how does “ultra luxury” move to something better, such as “infinite luxury?” It hires a master designer named Adam D. Tihany, who is known for his elegant design of high-class resorts, hotels and restaurants.

Launch date: December 4

Capacity: 604

Sister ships: None (yet)

Maiden voyage: Athens to Dubai

Home port: Several in Asia and Australia

Ships then in Seabourn fleet: 4

Interesting: The plan is what will be this small-ship line’s biggest ship at 40,000 gross tonnes is for it and the Ovation to be regarded as kings of the luxury business. Yet as Seabourn points out that architecturally it will not be significantly different than the other three ships, the Encore designed by Tihany will be “softer” and “curvaceous” with unexpected surprises and subtle transformations that “are not meant to be described but rather discovered.” In other words, seasoned Seabourn customers will expect the traditional exclusivity and privacy traits that has made the line ultra luxurious, but find a few new touches to what will be a larger private yacht than they’ve previously experienced.

In the news…

• High-diving comedy among shows planned for Harmony of the Seas
• Norwegian’s Harvest Caye opening delayed nine months until November
• Azamara’s first world cruise — 61 ports, 29 countries — set for 2018

Today at portsandbows.com: Another new ship coming for AmaWaterways


Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
7 nights
March 19, 2016
Tampa (return): Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Inside: $679
Cost per day: $97
www.royalcaribbean.com

Crui$e New$ That’s Cry$tal Clear

Somewhere between the end of the unbelievable third round of the British Open and watching our favorite baseball team lose yet another game yesterday, we got wind of a cruise news bulletin that is going to mean more to Brad Pitt, or Will and Kate, or Lebron James than it’s going to mean to the everyday avid cruiser.

Crystal Cruises is expanding in a way that will blow the lid off its part of the cruise world.

By adding three luxury ships, a river cruise line, the beginning of a yacht division and a private jetliner, Crystal is going to turn all-inclusivity into all-exclusivity. People like you (and us) won’t be going there until we win the lottery, and the last time we checked the Crystal Espritchances of that were 1 in 20 million or so.

If you buy a ticket.

Crystal has always been about luxury. Now it’s about super luxury. Or it will be when these new components start rolling off the assembly line between December and 2018. The 62-passenger Crystal Esprit yacht (left) will come first, complete with a two-person submarine and you can book now. The new ships are planned for 2017 and will be approximately twice the size of current luxury ships. 

The jetliner, reported to be at Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is also expected in 2017.

The name of the cruise line will be changing from what you are accustomed to hearing…to Crystal Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Air.

To give you an idea what the price points are, cruising on the new yacht will run you between $600 and $800 per person.

Per day.

What exactly is the Crystal market?

President and CEO Edie Rodriguez defined it like this for Gene Sloan at USA Today:

Our guest base is the top 2% of the world's wealthiest global consumers.”

So, about that lottery ticket…

Also in the news…

• Norwegian Star booked at Hong Kong port for January 2017
• Haimark Cruise Line approved to circumnavigate Cuba in February

Today at portsandbows.com: More on the Crystal announcement

Holland America Zaandam
7 nights
August 23, 2015
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage
Inside: $499
Cost per day: $71
www.hollandamerica.com

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