A year after The Yachts of Seabourn announced that it would build two new, ultra luxury ships, advance booking activity for the first, Seabourn Odyssey, has led to the line's decision to exercise the option for another. The third sister ship will be built by T. Mariotti S.p.A. of Genoa, Italy for delivery in summer, 2011. Seabourn, a division of Miami-based Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), has agreed to the project at an all in cost of approximately Euros 200 million.
Seabourn Odyssey will debut in June of 2009. Bookings for its maiden season are being accepted from the general public starting today, after a successful advance booking period reserved for past guests of the line. The second ship in the series is scheduled to enter service in the summer of 2010.
"Our decision to order a third new ship is based partly on the enthusiasm we have already seen for our new ship design," explained Seabourn's president & CEO, Pamela Conover. "That enthusiasm, combined with research indicating a continuing robust expansion in demand for ultra luxury cruising in general, convinces us that we have the right formula at the right time," she continued.
That formula is embodied in the new, 32,000-GRT ships, which will accommodate just 450 guests in 225 luxury suites, ninety percent of which will offer private verandas. The ships are specifically designed to achieve a balance between Seabourn's small-ship signatures, such as its highly personalized service, truly fine dining and exceptional delivery of destinations, with the added spaciousness, features and amenities that a larger ship will allow. Seabourn's guests will continue to enjoy an unmatched level of personalized service from a skilled and dedicated staff, and one of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the industry.
The new ships will maintain the yacht-like onboard ambience that has won the loyalty of affluent travelers, who appreciate all-inclusive policies such as complimentary open bars, open-seating dining and a myriad of thoughtful touches the company calls its Signature Delights.
According to Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, "This new trio of beautiful, yacht-like ships will maintain Seabourn's role as the leader in the ultra luxury segment, and position the company to satisfy the growing demand among affluent travelers for more ultra luxury cruising options."
Marco Bisagno, president of T.Mariotti S.p.A. noted, "Seabourn's decision to exercise the option well in advance of its expiration indicates that they are pleased with our relationship and the progress of the work thus far. It has become increasingly clear that this design is the perfect balance of intimacy and amenities that foretells the future for ultra luxury cruising vessels."
The design specifications call for hulls 650 feet long, with a beam of 84 feet and a draft of 21 feet. The ships will be powered by diesel-generated electricity and operate with twin screw propellers, with a service speed of 19 knots. They will be equipped with two bow thrusters to enhance maneuverability and two stabilizers. The ships will also be "green ships" employing advanced wastewater treatment technology.