If you missed previous editions of ‘Into The Blue’, here’s our exclusive interview with Lynn Narraway, UK Managing Director of Seabourn. Seabourn offers unique, luxury cruise holidays featuring ports of call around the globe with service consistently ranked amongst the best of the best. We wanted to get Lynn’s thoughts on the future of the brand as well as the key values of the cruise line and what makes them so special.
Firstly how do you like the new “Into The Blue” magazine?
The magazine looks great and offers a nice mixture of cruise and destination editorial, as well as advertising – there’s certainly a cruise for everyone featured here!
Seabourn are a fantastic cruise line but what do you think sets them from other brands?
Our three Odyssey-class ships which entered service between 2009 and 2011 really exemplify the new face of Seabourn. Carrying just 450 guests, they offer enhanced restaurant choices, a sumptuous spa, more spacious bars and lounges as well as our innovative ‘Seabourn Square’ – a multi-purpose concierge lounge featuring a speciality coffee bar, library, internet and travel centre. Of course they also feature all-suite accommodation, 90% of which has private veranda. These three new ships offer one of the highest space ratios in the industry and have significantly expanded and enhanced the luxury travel sector in the UK. Another unique aspect of Seabourn is the inclusivity of our product – there is no supplement to dine at any of our restaurants, all drinks are included and there are no service charges or gratuities to pay. Our house champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is the #1 co-operative union in champagne and we serve more than 150,000 bottles a year onboard, as well as Black River Ossetra Malossol Caviar, one of the world’s finest.
The itineraries available with Seabourn are always exciting, especially the chance to head off the beaten track andsee somewhere truly unique, where’s your favourite destination to cruise?
I think some of our Croatia itineraries from Venice really do encompass the essence of Seabourn. Cruising across the lagoon from the city of Venice, into walled cities like Dubrovnik and Kotor, and to some of the most gorgeous unspoilt islands, such as Hvar and Rovinj, where we are able to deploy our Marina and offer a day of complimentary watersports!
Will we be seeing any new itineraries unveiled for the future?
Expansion of fleet has meant enhanced itineraries and brand new destinations, such as Armacao dos Búzios in Brazil; Eden in Australia; Piran in Slovenia and even Fort William, Scotland!
In April 2014, the Seabourn Odyssey will offer a 16-night Jewels of India cruise which will feature a two night stay in Rangoon, Myanmar as well as iconic ports such as Cochin, Mangalore and Phuket. Also watch out for our 2015 Grand World Cruise which will feature some exciting new destinations
You describe Seabourn staff as being “clairvoyant” – explain what this means for guests?
They are not literally clairvoyant, however we like to think that our staff can anticipate our guests needs before they even know what they want themselves, and are always looking for that extra touch that will surprise and please you. For instance supplying a shawl when the weather becomes cooler on deck, a neck massage or frozen fruit skewer as you relax in the sunshine. Your suite stewardess may work out what time you’ll be back onboard and have run you a Pure Pampering SM lavender bubble bath, or, having been tipped off by your waiter, our chef may prepare a surprise dessert, your favourite. We call these ‘Seabourn Moments’. The countless little gestures that make for a perfect six star holiday.
One of our most loved images of Seabourn is the crew carrying caviar to the beach on top of surf boards in preparation for a beach barbecue; images like that really tell a story about Seabourn, what do you consider your favourite excursion opportunity?
Our Caviar in the Surf experience is certainly something very special and unique to Seabourn, taking place in warm-water destinations such as the Caribbean and Asia. Another complimentary event is our evening classical concert at Ephesus, after the ruins close to visitors and is exclusive to Seabourn. Guests will be seated at white clothed tables and enjoy drinks and snacks served by our uniformed staff while they enjoy a classical concert in front of the famous Library of Celsius.
We’ve seen so much from Seabourn over the years, where next for the cruise line?
We’ve recently introduced “Seabourn Conversations”, an entertainment concept which includes a line-up of celebrities and experts, who will lecture or perform, take part in Q&A interviews, enliven the social scene – and join the conversation with guests. There are “Culinary Conversations” which include chefs, winemakers and gastronomy experts. “Arts Conversations” by theatre, dance, film, literature or music experts, while Explorers, historians, anthropologists and geographers participate in “Culture & Destination Conversations” and more.
We are continually enhancing our cuisine onboard to feature brand new menus, including local dishes, new vegetarian options, more (pre-packed) Kosher dishes and a sustainable fish and seafood programme. We’ve updated the shows with a larger cast of musicians and performers, enhanced our fresh flower displays and created new penthouse spa suites on the Seabourn Quest.
You can read more about the Seabourn brand, the ships and see the 2014/2015 itineraries by clicking here.