Seabourn Ovation: Nuanced innovation in small-ship sailing
Luxury Card - October 1, 2019
Designing for comfort takes on new meaning aboard Ovation, Seabourn’s newest small ship. Many guests move into the graceful vessel for several weeks or even months on lengthy itineraries that curl around continents and hop between islands. While in residence, their living room is the reimagined Seabourn Square, turned inside out so conversations with concierges can be more frequent and casual. There’s also a large library and massive art collection on display. “In order to make this grand gesture of hospitality, the design became a signature of the ship with a whole gestalt of curves, softness, and openness,” says hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design.
Custom furnishings were chosen to create intimacy and connection. “The design of Ovation comes down to the nuances—the curves; the easy, natural flow from one space to the next,” says Tihany. A Nordic style historically pervaded Seabourn’s fleet, but with Ovation (and its precursor, sister ship Encore) Tihany introduced what he calls “a warm Italian sensibility.” Think polished mahogany, walnut and teak; marble, bronze glass, and a slew of stone and granite.
Large, clean-lined verandas grace all 300 suites, as well as residential touches such as walk-in closets, separate bathtubs, stocked bars, and gracious sitting rooms. The Owner’s Suites look like Presidential Suites at a Peninsula hotel, with dining tables large enough to invite friends over, whirlpool tubs, and panoramic vistas.
Among the distinct dining venues that Tihany designed are the Restaurant (a formal, ballroom-like setting complete with chandeliers), a crisp and modern Japanese sushi boîte, and The Grill by Thomas Keller, which captures the spirit of ’50s and ’60s American restaurants. Keller says he researched “the language of public spaces at that time, when corporate America was creating the most interesting, thoughtful, and sophisticated interiors—all featuring incredible art.” Taking British pub and traditional American steakhouse influences, he imagined a perfectly contemporary take on throwback glamour with black-and-white photography of that era by Eve Arnold, William Helburn, and Alexander Liberman, plus two expressive Frank Stella lithographs. Throughout the ship are more than 1,600 pieces, representing almost 120 artists from five continents. Artlink curated the assembly Tihany calls a “holistic and intrinsic component of the ship’s design,” particularly the lagoon-green Venetian Murano glass Luciano Vistosi sculpture in the Atrium, which “infuses a bespoke, artisanal quality that anchors the entire art collection.” Vases by Korean ceramic artist Yoo Eui Jeong, hand-embroidered mixed-media photographs by Chile’s Jose Romussi, and a pigmented porcelain wall sculpture by Brazilian Valéria Nascimento are all testament to Ovation’s impressive global awareness. seabourn.com
18-Day Moroccan Magic and Spanish Isles, Oct. 12–30, 2019 • 18-Day Route to Ancient Wellness in Arabia, Nov. 13–Dec. 2, 2019 • 14-Day Holiday Thailand and Vietnam, Dec. 21, 2019–Jan. 4, 2020