CondÃ© Nast Traveler Publishes Gold List Rankings, Shipsâ€™ Individual Scores from Annual Survey
Release Date: February 15,2011
MIAMI, February 14, 2011—-They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and in the case of Seabournâ€™s intimate, luxury cruise ships, a tide of enthusiasm from cruise travelers has elevated the entire fleet to the top of CondÃ© Nast Traveler magazineâ€™s prestigious annual survey of its readers. Seabournâ€™s ships were ranked above all other cruise ships, regardless of size, in the three all-important categories of Service, Food, and Accommodations in the 2011 edition of CondÃ© Nast Travelerâ€™s prestigious Gold List, published in the magazineâ€™s January issue. In the February issue, individual ship results show the 450-guest Seabourn Odyssey as the highest-rated cruise ship regardless of size. Odysseyâ€™s smaller, 208-guest sisters Seabourn Spirit, Legend and Pride, are ranked number two, three and five respectively in the small-ship category. Odysseyâ€™s twin sister, Seabourn Sojourn, debuted in June of 2010 and was not rated in the poll. Seabourn Legend, meanwhile, achieved the highest scores in several categories, including a perfect 100 for Crew/Service, 99.1 for Food/Dining and 97.4 for Schedule/Itineraries.
â€œScores like these would be an outstanding achievement under any circumstances,â€ noted Richard D. Meadows, Seabournâ€™s president. â€œBut the fact that they were earned during a period of very rapid fleet expansion is a testament to the professionalism and passion of Seabournâ€™s onboard management and their staffs.â€
Seabourn enjoys a peerless reputation for delivering exceptional, personalized service to guests. Its small ships carry nearly one staff member per guest, hand-picked and trained to anticipate not only the needs of their guests, but also extra touches to surprise and delight them. Guests cite being addressed by name almost immediately as a hint of good things to come, and one recent guest recounted how the executive chef called his counterpart on another Seabourn ship to get a recipe for a dish the guest had enjoyed on a previous cruise, and served it the next night. Because Seabournâ€™s onboard experience is so all-inclusive, with open bars and no gratuities expected, the relationship of service staff with the guests is sincerely helpful and free of any ulterior agenda.
Dining is a key metric for luxury cruise guests. They are generally patrons of the finest restaurants ashore, and arrive on board with elevated expectations. Seabourn enlisted the guidance of two-time James Beard Award-winner Charlie Palmer in designing its menus, and the partnership has created a repertoire that is varied, intriguing and eminently satisfying. Innovative dining alternatives such as the lineâ€™s avant garde small-plates tasting menus in Restaurant 2, have kept it at the top of the list consistently. Unlike many of its competitors, Seabourn never charges extra for any alternative dining on its ships.
Accommodations aboard Seabournâ€™s ships are all ocean-view suites. Generously sized and thoughtfully appointed, they are designed as gracious vacation homes, perfect for private relaxation and large enough to welcome company if desired. The in-suite bar is stocked with the guestsâ€™ requests prior to arrival. Walk-in closets, marble or granite bathrooms and separate seating and sleeping areas are enhanced with clever touches such as personalized stationery, a World Atlas and even an umbrella to carry ashore.
Seabourn is in the final months of a fleet expansion that will have tripled its capacity in just three years by the middle of 2011. The lineâ€™s new class of ships, beginning with Seabourn Odyssey in 2009, has been greeted as a â€œgame changerâ€ for the luxury segment. Carrying just 450 guests each, in expansive ocean-view suites, Odyssey, and sisters Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, are the smallest new vessels being built by any major cruise line, preserving the lineâ€™s signature ability to carry guests closer to the historical center of major ports, and to call in picturesque ports and yacht harbors where larger ships cannot go at all.
In 2011, Seabourn will offer the most luxury cruise berths in Europe on its six ships, providing travelers with myriad opportunities to explore waterways from Norwayâ€™s spectacular North Cape, through Scandinavia and Russia, the Mediterranean, and even to the czarist palaces of the Black Sea, in award-winning style.
For more information on Seabournâ€™s award-winning cruise vacations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391.