Seabourn Cruise Line announced today that it will build two new, ultra luxury ships, for delivery in spring 2009 and 2010. Seabourn, a division of Miami-based Carnival Corporation, has signed a letter of intent for the project with shipbuilder T. Mariotti S.p.A. of Genoa, Italy. The sister ships will have an all-in U.S. dollar cost of $250 million each.
Each of the 32,000-GRT ships will accommodate all guests in 225 luxury suites, ninety percent of which will offer private verandas. Combined, the two vessels will more than double Seabourn’s current fleet capacity of 634 berths.
“Our brand has been experiencing more demand in the marketplace than we could fulfill for quite some time now,” stated Deborah L. Natansohn, president of Seabourn. “The new ships will allow us to bring the unique Seabourn experience to a larger number of people, particularly the highly affluent and active baby boomer generation just now heading towards the more leisurely years of their lives.”
The letter of intent to build the ships is subject to a number of conditions including definitive contracts, financing and other terms.
According to Micky Arison, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, “This order represents our confidence in the luxury segment of the cruising market, which has shown significant and consistent revenue growth in recent years, with robust future potential. Through our own and independent research, we know that the luxury consumer views the Seabourn brand as the absolute ultimate in leisure travel. This new generation of yacht-like ships will secure its position at the top of the cruise industry pyramid for many years to come.”
The vessels have been specifically designed to enable Seabourn’s award- winning staff to deliver the highly personalized service experience that is a hallmark of the brand. “They will be spacious, with the sleek lines and relaxed, personal feel of an oversized yacht,” Natansohn said. “We’ve essentially taken the signature elements of our existing yachts and added some exciting new features that the larger hulls will allow.”
Marco Bisagno, President of T. Mariotti S.p.A. noted, “When they were introduced, the three existing Seabourn ships embodied a new class of cruising vessel, and they spawned an entirely new niche in the market. We are proud and excited that Seabourn has enlisted Mariotti to craft what will be the next generation of intimate, ultra luxury cruising vessels, to be built in Genoa by our skilled team.”
With this order, Mariotti confirms its leadership in the small/medium size ultra luxury ships market.
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.
Natansohn said that past guests and luxury-selling travel agents worldwide will be ecstatic at the word of new ships for the brand. “The Yachts of Seabourn have always been the highest-rated ships in the world when it comes to cuisine and service,” she stated. “With an increased ability to deliver Seabourn’s superior cruise experience to even more travelers, on state-of-the- art vessels, we will continue to define the standard for ultra luxury cruising.”