It’s not uncommon to discover art collections aboard luxury cruise ships. Many of them boast remarkable collections that encompass a wide spectrum of styles and periods – from modern and contemporary pieces to classic masterpieces.
Each painting, sculpture and installation forms part of the ship’s design narrative, enhancing not only the visual appeal but also creating a sublime ambience that complements the luxury and grandeur of the entire cruise experience.
Whether it’s taking part in an art tour, witnessing a live art installation, or leisurely appreciating works from emerging and acclaimed artists from around the globe, art at sea is an enriching element of any voyage. It introduces a new dimension of cultural exploration, transforming luxury cruises into immersive journeys through the rich landscape of global art, all amid vast, inspiring ocean vistas.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises | Seven Seas Grandeur™
When Seven Seas Grandeur™ set sail for the first time in autumn 2023, she did so with the most dazzling art collection gracing its corridors, with the ‘Journey in Jewels’ as its radiant centrepiece. The House of Fabergé has presented the only Fabergé egg to appear as a permanent exhibit at sea, styled in such a way that it visually represents the colours of the sea, sat atop a three-tiered base with a gently cascading waterfall.
The Fabergé egg is, however, just one of the highlights of this exquisite new ship’s art showcase, as there is a 1,600-strong collection housed on board.
Other standout pieces include works by Pablo Picasso, as well as a 40-foot-tall hand-woven tapestry, ‘The Enchanted Tree’, which was created by world-famous Brazilian artist Walter Goldfarb.
Another exclusive piece is a custom-made bronze and hand-cast glass Bonsai Cherry Tree Sculpture by Savoy Studios. This provides the most striking and magnificent entrance to Pacific Rim, the pan-Asian speciality restaurant on board.
Art lovers will certainly be in their element on Seven Seas Grandeur™, as Regent also provides an immersive digital art tour, ‘Art Experience’, accessible via the onboard app. The interactive tour aims to foster a dynamic connection between guests, artworks, and the artists behind them. It will draw attention to pieces in key guest areas, featuring creators like Rauschenberg, Matta, Sophie Elizabeth Thompson, and Eduardo Arranz-Bravo. Guests can scan select artworks via the app, unlocking a film that ties them to the artist, their creative journey, and the inspiration behind their masterpieces
Silversea Cruises | Silver Nova
Boasting 1,800 pieces by 59 artists from 25 countries, Silver Nova plays host to Silversea’s largest art collection. Carefully selected, it takes visitors on a visual exploration, complementing the ship’s architectural features.
Key items include the Messina collection of 38 Novecento-style bronze sculptures by renowned Italian artist Francesco Messina. Acquired by Silversea in 2006, 14 significant pieces are displayed together aboard Silver Nova for the first time. Meanwhile, in the suite corridors, art explores history, culture, and nature. Steve McCurry’s photography, combined with maps from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first authentic modern atlas, connects the past and present and provides a chronological journey.
Reflecting Silversea’s Otium wellness programme, Roman-inspired artworks embellish the Otium Spa and the two Otium suites on Silver Nova. Marina Mankarios’s plaster bust, Venus Fragmentée #2, adorns the spa entrance.
On deck 10, the secluded Library features a mural by Artur Sula; covering 280 square feet and accented with 24K gold leaf, the artwork takes viewers on a journey into the expanse of the sea and the starry night sky.
ICArt, an international art consultancy specialising in crafting unique art experiences for over three decades, was responsible for curating Silver Nova‘s art collection. They have sourced over 1,250 framed artworks, nine installations, eight sculptures and more, including fascinating and storied antiques, Murano glass vases, and artistic books.
Oceania Cruises | Riviera and Marina
Oceania Cruises’ Art Collection has over 20 amazing pieces showcasing Picasso’s work from 1927 to 1968. Guests aboard Riviera and Marina have the unique opportunity to admire Picasso’s masterpieces and delve deeper into his life and work through enrichment programmes led by expert guest lecturers, which offer fascinating insights into Picasso’s artistic journey, techniques, and influence.
On Marina and Riviera, guests can marvel at over a dozen artworks from 1968, along with a number from Picasso’s final collection of graphic works, the 347 Series. In the last years of his life, Picasso made 347 etchings in just seven months as an outburst of reflective creativity. Maybe as an answer to the contemporary art scene at the time, he revisited many of the themes from his previous work, like the circus, courtesans and the artist himself. You can see this in ‘Retour aux Sources: Picasso Touriste à la Fuente de Canaletas’, which is displayed in the Grand Bar on Marina.
Among the other highlights on board are several etchings from Picasso’s famous Vollard Suite, which he completed in 1933 and explores various themes and moods as they play out over time. ‘Minotaure Caressant Une Femme’ represents the mythical beast that can be found throughout the suite, and which mirrors Picasso’s rollercoaster relationships with many women.
Additionally, passengers can attend thoughtfully crafted shore excursions designed to explore the rich artistic heritage of certain ports of call, providing a well-rounded cultural experience.
Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours | Scenic Eclipse II
Guests aboard Scenic Eclipse II will be able to truly immerse themselves in the ship’s eclectic art collection. British-born artist Carl Hush was aboard the inaugural sailing in April 2023 for a live installation of his new feature artwork inside Koko’s Asian Fusion restaurant, one of the many exceptional restaurants on board.
The acclaimed creator, whose work encompasses street art, collage and painting, draws heavily on Japanese culture to explore representations and constructions of women. Hush previously created a bespoke piece in a similar vein for Scenic Eclipse, and this was a rare opportunity for guests to see an artist at work.
UK-based artist Hush is said to draw influence from graphic novels, animation and the evanescent quality of street art. His mix of anime-inspired characters and pop-infused imagery creates a fascinating commentary on urban culture that has widely been described as ‘urban abstract pop’.
In addition to Hush’s intriguing pieces, the ship also hosts exclusive creations by Croatia’s Slaven Kosanovic Lunar. His specially commissioned mural adds distinct artistic character to the Night Market @ Koko’s. Lunar’s art often characterised by a mix of realism and abstraction, presents the viewers with a visual blend of forms and colours.
Further adding to the eclectic mix is the work of Mitch Gobel, an Australian artist based in Byron Bay. Known for his resin mixed media creations, Gobel’s work brings a certain organic yet contemporary flair to the art collection. His art sets a tone of soothing relaxation in the Scenic Bar & Lounge area and each guest suite, enhancing the deluxe ambience of the ship.
Explora Journeys | EXPLORA I
In the pursuit of creating a home-away-from-home ambience, the art on board the Explora Journeys ship, EXPLORA I, has been meticulously curated by the Aponte family to resonate with the Ocean State of Mind. Each suite features a master artwork in the living room, whilst across the fleet, guests will discover selected pieces by artists such as Swiss-Egyptian sculptor Yves Dana, prints by Majorcan artist Nena Woreth, and works by the late Chinese-French abstract painter Chu Teh Chun.
The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE is among those to exhibit his work on board the luxury ship. This follows his showcases across the globe, as he currently has pieces in the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, MOMA in New York and the Perez Art Museum Miami, and several others.
For the public areas on deck five, Explora Journeys has acquired Shonibare’s extraordinary and significant British Library collections from the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London. Part of a series exhibited at the Tate Modern in 2019, it reflects Shonibare’s interest in postcolonialism and globalism. It is a striking installation, as the collection of books is bound in brightly coloured Dutch-African wax batik cloth with gold foil lettering on the spines. In the case of the British Library Collections (Female Artists), the lettering reveals the names of female artists who have shaped Britain and honours their arrival from other parts of the world, or the arrival of their ancestors.