Bou­tique Style

World - - MAGAZINE -

Seadream’s twin lux­ury mega-yachts, Sea Dream I and II are the world’s high­est-rated bou­tique pas­sen­ger ves­sels. What sets them apart? Well, it’s true yacht-like cruis­ing and, most im­por­tantly, these ships can go to small ports larger ves­sels can’t. On our Greek is­lands voy­age aboard Sea Deam II we docked at ports with no other ships in sight. Se­condly, they have their own “mari­nas” – wa­ter sports plat­forms with sail­boats, jet skis, wa­ter­ski­ing and other wa­ter toys avail­able off the back of the yachts at se­lect ports. They also carry bikes, so guests who don’t want to join an or­gan­ised land ex­cur­sion can take off on a bike to tour a town. But the real dif­fer­ence for me was the out­stand­ing ser­vice and food. It’s all-in­clu­sive, so the only things you need to shell out for on­board are shore ex­cur­sions. Spe­cial touches such as mono­grammed py­ja­mas on your pil­low, chilled cham­pagne on ar­rival and cho­co­late straw­ber­ries were a sur­pris­ing but most welcome touch.

With a max­i­mum 56 cou­ples to 95 crew, it’s small, in­ti­mate, and ev­ery staff mem­ber knows your name and pref­er­ences from the minute you step aboard. Or­der a favourite cock­tail on the first night and the waiter (any waiter) will ask the next, “Another mar­tini this evening, Ms Hal­abi?” While the ser­vice is im­pec­ca­ble, the food, un­der ex­ec­u­tive chef To­masz Ko­zlowski, was won­der­fully de­li­cious and wine drinkers will love the se­lec­tion that changes nightly – from Aus­tralian to French, South Amer­i­can and Cal­i­for­nian, depend­ing on the menu. Din­ners, of­ten served un­der starlight, fea­tured an ex­ten­sive à la carte menu that var­ied nightly, in­clud­ing del­i­ca­cies such as Alaskan crab. An in­ven­tive ve­gan menu catered to a group that’s usu­ally ig­nored. As we sailed into Greece, Chef To­masz pre­pared a spe­cial Greek menu – gourmet rein­ven­tions of spanako­pita and melt-in-the-mouth mous­saka, for ex­am­ple – that were a slightly rus­tic change to our usual fine-din­ing fare and bet­ter than I found later dur­ing my two weeks in Greece. Cock­tails were served till late and other drinks laid on through­out the day by the pool or on the top sun­bathing deck. They’ll even bring you a cock­tail to your huge Ba­li­nese-style daybed. I only needed to ap­pear at break­fast and a fresh fruit plat­ter of figs, wa­ter­melon, pa­paya, and a fresh omelette was on its way, no or­der nec­es­sary. As a solo pas­sen­ger I was seated alone or with com­pany, which­ever I pre­ferred. One high­light for me, apart from the food and the ser­vice, was the night I spent sleep­ing un­der the stars in my gi­ant Ba­li­nese dream bed. The two sis­ter yachts are owned by Nor­we­gian As­tle Brynes­tad, who started the Se­abourn Cruise Line. Brynes­tad over­sees them him­self and treats his staff and guests like fam­ily. Hence the ex­clu­sive club, the high num­ber of re­turn visi­tors and the happy, smil­ing staff who are the best ad­ver­tise­ment for the brand.

ABOVE: In­ti­mate in scale but with ev­ery amenity, Seadream’s twin mega-yachts are big on ser­vice but small enough to go where large ships can’t.

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