Seabourn has marked a major construction milestone with a traditional coin and launch ceremony for its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation.
The ceremony took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy.
Seabourn Ovation is set to welcome guests and begin sailing in May 2018.
The time-honoured coin and launch ceremony is an enduring maritime tradition that calls for a “madrina” to preside over the celebratory events.
Serving in this significant role was Jan Stearman, Seabourn’s longest-serving female shipboard team member, who joined the company 22 years ago, and a well-known and respected cruise director.
Along with Seabourn president Richard Meadows, Fincantieri Shipyard director Paolo Capobianco and Seabourn Ovation captain Stig Betten observed the welding of two commemorative gold coins to the ship’s mast.
Stearman then cut the ship’s cord to allow water to flow into the ship’s building dock.
The ship will be “floated out” from its dry dock and moved to its outfitting dock at the shipyard, where it will undergo final construction until the ship is delivered in 2018.
“Watching the coin ceremony and seeing Seabourn Ovation officially touch the water for the first time today was a very special moment for all of us at Seabourn, representing a significant step toward the further expansion of our luxury fleet,” said Meadows.
“Many guests and partners across the travel industry have expressed their enthusiasm for the arrival of this incredible ship following the successful debut in December 2016 of her sister ship, Seabourn Encore.”
Following the ship’s delivery, Seabourn Ovation will embark on an 11-day inaugural voyage departing May 5th, 2018, from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain.