I remember when the “Yachts of Seabourn” were the SeaGoddess I&II, we sailed on this spiffy, little super luxe vessels many times. Fellow pax numbered among the elite with retired CEOs (probably those gold and platinum pararchuters), celebs and lots of older gentlemen with second and third much younger wives or girlfriends. La Dolce Vida. Alas the name and ownership changed but the theme’s the same: self indulgent luxury at sea on tiny ships that easily glide into coves and spaces where the behemoths can’t fit. Uncrowded, pristine spots of the world. Seabourn pampers pax with on deck mini massages, super spas, picnics on bucolic beaches where the waiters wade in the sea dressed in tuxes and proffer champagne and hors d’oeuvres to guests. Ah the good life. Well this just in folks, from the company itself: “In spite of the financial meltdown, a global credit crunch and the U.S. election year, SeaDream Yacht Club continues to sell well with affluent consumers and has published an update of 2009’s Caribbean winter and European summer itineraries for those travelers who are planning ahead.
Commenting on the economic implosion, Larry Pimentel, President, CEO and Co-Owner of award-winning SeaDream Yacht Club, stated “Bookings for 2008 continue to sell briskly at good yields and 2009 shows a strength that belies the economic headlines.”
Turning to itineraries for next year he said “As in previous years, 2009 will find our small, sleek, 50-couple yachts sailing in the Caribbean in the winter months and European waters in the summer. They will call not only at vibrant port cities (for pre- and post-voyage visits), but at small and exclusive seaside towns and villages where the big passenger ships can’t go.
“Calling at small yachting ports is a specialty of ours,” Pimentel said.
In the Caribbean from January through April of 2009, the two SeaDream mega- yachts will sail in the British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico’s Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Netherlands Antilles and the Windward and Leeward Islands. Embarkation and debarkation ports include convenient and accessible air gateways—San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Maarten and Miami on a westbound transatlantic crossing.
In Europe from May through October 2009, SeaDream I and II will sail in the Mediterranean, the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea, up into Croatia and even down to Tunisia. Embarkation ports include Barcelona, Seville, Tenerife, Lisbon, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Venice, Athens and Dubrovnik.
SeaDream will also call on the ports of Miami, Palm Beach and Key West in 2009.
New ports in 2009 for SeaDream’s Caribbean sailings are: Dewey, Culebra (Puerto Rico’s Virgin Islands); Honeymoon Beach and Water Island (U.S. Virgin Islands); Cooper Island (British Virgin Islands); Coconut Grove, Nevis, Samana (Dominican Republic) and Deshaies (Guadeloupe). Many Caribbean port calls include “overnights” as at chic St. Barts where SeaDream guests can enjoy the lively restaurant and nightlife scene.
SeaDream is also offering more active land options in the Caribbean. Examples are bone fishing off Anegada, rainforest hikes on Nevis, in addition to kayaking, biking, deep water fishing, small catamaran racing, beach horseback riding, golf (at Anguilla’s new upscale golf course) and swimming in a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico’s Virgin Islands. .
New ports for 2009 for SeaDream’s European sailings are: Formentera (Spain); Lipari, St. Margherita, Trieste (Italy): Le Lavandou, Antibes, Port Vendres, Sete, Bandol and Menton (France); Piran (Slovenia); Vis (Croatia); La Goulette, Tunis (Tunisia); Katakolon, Elafonisos, Aigina, Chania, Crete (Greece);and Ponta Delgada (the Azores).
The European schedule includes more calls at what has been termed the “new” Mykonos—Naousa village on the Greek island of Paros. There’s also the possibility of combining the Greek Islands with the Croatian coast on voyages between Venice and Athens.
All details from January through December 2009 for SeaDream’s award-winning mega yacht cruisers SeaDream I and II may be found on its website—www.seadream.com.
Pimentel added: “Yes, the worldwide economy is sobering for all. Yet, intelligent marketers of all kinds of luxury travel products should not give way to panic but rather offer highly measurable value to those consumers who refuse to hit the panic button. www.seabourn.com