Seabourn Encore: Luxury cruise ship with a designer price tag

By Melissa Hoyer

What do you get for your money on the newest, luxury cruise liner in the world?

There's no water slide, but we can live with that. Photo / Supplied
There's no water slide, but we can live with that. Photo / Supplied

The Seabourn Encore cruise ship doesn't have a water slide. Or a kids' club. Or Disney characters.

It does have a well-stocked, free bar fridge, verandas off every suite (these aren't just rooms), "bath menus" and 24-hour butlers.

Children are allowed onboard but it is all designed to feel more like a luxury yacht or a five-star hotel than a mega cruise ship.

Sunrise/sunset: how's the serenity? Photo / Supplied
Sunrise/sunset: how's the serenity? Photo / Supplied

Which is just as well because a day on board will set you back about the same as a week's rent in Auckland.

A trip in the Australia and New Zealand region, between November 2017 and February 2018 STARTS from $15,799 per person for a 16-day voyage from Sydney to Auckland.

So what do you get for your money on board the newest, up-market cruise liner in the world?

By cruise ship standards, the number of guests is relatively low at 600 with just 300 suites, all with their own balconies. If you want there are also penthouses.

The suites are fitted with in-suite entertainment with a good selection of movies, music, television and radio channels.

Encore is spending her first three months cruising the shorelines of the Pacific Rim, via six inaugural itineraries. It will then spend the northern summer cruising the glamour of the Mediterranean.

The ship arrived in Fiordland for the first time this morning and will head up to Auckland on February 18 for a new tour. And she's even got a Kiwi captain - Mark Dexter, who lives in Christchurch while not at sea.

The Seabourn Encore arrived in New Zealand today. Photo / Supplied
The Seabourn Encore arrived in New Zealand today. Photo / Supplied

The bathroom is bigger than the average apartment and has granite finishes, a separate bath and lots of nice smelling accessories.

A personal bar and refrigerator is stocked according to guest preferences and everything is maintained by a personal 'Suite Stewardesses'.

There is a walk-in closet, flat-screen TV, 24-hour room service, Wi-Fi and yes, there is mobile service at sea.

This spa is actually part of a room. Photo / Supplied
This spa is actually part of a room. Photo / Supplied

Then there's an area called the Seabourn Square which is a concierge lounge that lets guests access every shipboard service in a living room-style space.

There are lots of books; iPads for loan; boutique shops; a large open-deck terrace with lounge chairs and concierges.

The Wintergarden Suite. Photo / Supplied
The Wintergarden Suite. Photo / Supplied

During her current two-month season in the southern hemisphere, Encore has two, 16-day itineraries between Sydney and Auckland and a 16-day voyage from Sydney to Bali via the Queensland coast.

The Seabourn Square - captain Mark Dexter's favourite part of the ship where guests can relax. Photo / Supplied
The Seabourn Square - captain Mark Dexter's favourite part of the ship where guests can relax. Photo / Supplied

Well, you'd better get saving ...

This article has been edited from the original.

- news.com.au

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