Passengers:450 World's Best Awards Rank: #4 Midsize Ocean Ship Best for:High-end cruisers who love sophisticated cuisine and the intimacy of a small ship
Sails: Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, the Mediterranean
At a Glance:A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing fourth in the Midsize Ocean Ship category. The first of Seabourn’s Odyssey-class ships, this haute mid-size vessel spoils passengers with warm service, amazing food, and lots of little luxuries.
The high number of cabins with verandas means that most people don’t have to leave their room to spend time outside. This goes doubly for passengers in the 1,097-square-foot Wintergarden suites, each of which have a large balcony and a glassed-in solarium with a tub and a day bed. Even guests without a veranda still have plenty of room to move since ocean-view staterooms are a spacious 295 square feet.
As befits a luxury ship, you won’t have to worry about being nickel-and-dimed once you’re onboard. Most beverages (including many wines and spirits) and all meals are included in your fare, as are gratuities.
Much of the food on board is sourced locally, and Chef Thomas Keller has created dishes that appear in many of the restaurants. (He’ll open one of his own, The Grill by Thomas Keller, later in 2017, which will replace the intimate Restaurant 2.) The Restaurant is the main dining room, where guests can choose among cruise classics like beef carpaccio and filet mignon, as well as inventive dishes like chipotle-glazed escargots and sautéed scallops in coconut curry. Or go casual at The Colonnade, which has regionally themed menus. On a South American night, for example, you might choose from ceviche, a foie gras and dried fig empanada, and pan-seared grouper with warm lobster salad.
There’s a reason it seems as if every crew member knows your name almost as soon as you arrive: Seabourn has almost one crew member for each passenger, ensuring warm, personalized service wherever you go on the ship, whether that means ordering something that’s not on the menu or having your favorite drink ready for you at the bar.
During one of Seabourn’s signature Caviar in the Surf beach days, expect to see the crew pushing surfboards piled with caviar and champagne into the water to pass out to guests. Also on the agenda: lunch on the beach, a massage area, and plenty of kayaks, banana boats, and other watersports.