(2:50 p.m. EDT) — Seabourn Cruises has released more details about its expanded partnership with Michelin-star chef Thomas Keller, such as the name of his new restaurant that will be added to all of the cruise line’s ships, including Seabourn Encore that debuts in December.
At The Grill by Thomas Keller, passengers will enjoy “updated versions of what you’d expect at a chophouse,” Seabourn President Rick Meadows announced Wednesday at a news conference held during Seatrade Global, the world’s largest cruise industry event. Many menu items will be served tableside. (Think fresh-made Caesar salads and custom crafted ice cream sundaes.)
The Grill by Thomas Keller will open first on Seabourn Quest in May, Meadows said. The new restaurant next will debut on Seabourn Encore, and the rest of the fleet — comprising Odyssey and Sojourn — will have The Grill added as they enter dry dock. It also will be on Seabourn Ovation when it debuts in spring 2018.
On Quest, Odyssey and Sojourn, The Grill will accommodate 44 passengers and replace Restaurant 2. On Encore and Ovation, it will hold 94 passengers and include an outdoor dining option. Passengers can dine at The Grill once per voyage, and they can pre-reserve online. Meadows added passengers who are flexible and willing to stand by might be able to dine at The Grill more often.
The restaurant was designed by Adam Tihany, who is responsible for the overall aesthetics of Encore. On Encore and Ovation, it will include a craft cocktail bar with piano and will be separated from the dining area by glass partition. Keller designed the wine list.
The announcement further strengthens the line’s partnership with Keller, which currently includes a family-style menu based on his Ad Hoc land restaurant on all three ships in the Colonnade as well as a main dining menu that offers Keller-created entrees, appetizer and dessert selections every other day. (For more on what Thomas Keller taste like, see Just Back from Seabourn Sojourn: Searching for Thomas Keller).
Seabourn also announced the creation of a covered cabana area onboard Encore and Ovation, called The Retreat. The Retreat, which has a centrally located hot tub as well as a bar, will have 15 cabanas, including one spa cabana. The experience will be personalized, from bathrobes to towels and high-end Champagne. It also will include sun loungers and food and beverage service, and be located on the top deck (where, on the current ships, there’s a putting green). Cabana pricing starts at $350 per day.
And finally, Seabourn also announced Wednesday that it had partnered with renowned mixologist Brian van Flandern, who has created an exclusive drinks menu for Seabourn as well as upgraded the line’s barware. Van Flandern has selected boutique spirits from around the world, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales John Delaney said, and these will be complimentary to cruise passengers. Additionally, a variety of rare spirits will be offered for a fee. All ships will see the new spirits options.
“We want to ensure that our guests will have a very consistent experience from ship to ship and bartender to bartender,” Delaney said.