SeaDream Blog

Yachting the Italian & French Riviera

March 29th, 2016 by Jennifer Nguyen

“Imagination rules the world.” – Napolean Bonaporte

Imagine setting sail on a weeklong voyage along the Italian and French Riviera, indulging in expertly crafted cuisine and enjoying some of the most personal service at sea. Ever-changing backdrops starring some of the most beautiful ports in the Mediterranean will make anyone feel like they are on top of the world. There’s no need for imagination; this is what SeaDream brings to reality.

This picturesque journey, embarking in  Civitavecchia (Rome) visits famed cities like Pompeii (Sorrento), Capri and Bonifacio.

Amidst mountainous terrain and enchanting bays, Corsica was also the home of Napoleon Bonaporte whose fierce independence shares a likeness with the fiery island. SeaDream’s overnight stay on this French island allows guests to enjoy a longer and more meaningful time to explore the stylish coastal towns and breathtaking valleys Corsica has to offer.

Corsica, France

Saint Tropez, France

After departure from the Corsican region, the next stop is to a most famous resort town on French Riviera. Welcome to St. Tropez; a playground for fashion models, athletes, movie stars and other jet-setting celebrities. And if guests haven’t had enough of the glitz and glamour in St. Tropez, wrapping up the week in Cannes is the perfect way to complete this dream-come-true vacation. Make sure to walk the red carpet!

October is a wonderful time to take this journey, as the usually crammed beaches and restaurant crowds begin to disappear and the locals begin to relax. It’s a great time to truly enjoy the Mediterranean and the “yachting, not cruising” lifestyle.  Find out more on how you can start living this #SeaDream by contacting your travel professional.

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Love Notes from the Sea

February 11th, 2016 by Jennifer Nguyen

As Valentine’s Day is approaching, we’re inspired by the love and wonders of the sea. There is nothing more beautiful than the mysterious ocean and its parallels to love and life. The turquoise, serene waters that soothe our minds is the same body of water that can turn dark and unpredictable—and yet we love her still for everything she has to offer; she nurtures us, provides us with food and heals our souls. As Isak Dinesen put it, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”

The ocean is an everyday reminder to appreciate our lives and our loved ones, even when paradise doesn’t seem so blissful. Sometimes, you just have to go with the waves.

To celebrate one of the most romantic days of the year, we want to share some more memorable quotes as we admire the beauty of the open waters.

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” Wyland

“If my love were an ocean, there would be no more land” Jay Asher

“As the ocean is never full of water, so is the heart never full of love.” Unknown

“A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.” Honore de Balzac

Whether it’s love in the air or that cool breeze right before a storm, let the ocean be a reminder of the natural ebb and flow of life. Reflect in the romance the sea holds within her waters, which is always just a SeaDream away. ⚓️

 

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Announcing 2017 Reservations

January 27th, 2016 by Jennifer Nguyen


Don’t stop SeaDreaming, reservations are now open for 2017! It’s a sailing season to make you wonder if you really are on cloud 9, with voyages to some of the world’s most sought-out destinations. Whether you’re dreaming of island hopping in the Caribbean or relaxing along the Mediterranean, you can start planning your next escape to make your luxurious vacation dreams come true.

“The 2017 season exemplifies the true yachting experience as our mega-yachts call on small Caribbean destinations of Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands and sophisticated secluded European locales including Paros in the Greek Isles. Each itinerary visits multiple ports away from larger vessels where SeaDream guests can explore ashore with no lines and return to their yacht for award-winning personalized service.” –Bob Lepisto, SeaDream Yacht Club President 

Sail away to secluded ports including Saba, Culebrita and Vieques, Puerto Rico, a pleasant refresh to some of the traditionally frequented islands by other cruise travelers. Other Caribbean destinations include St. Barts, Barbados, the French West Indies, the Grenadines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Easily accessible embarkation and debarkation ports such San Juan, Puerto Rico and Bridgetown, Barbados ensure plenty of flight options to rendezvous with SeaDream I and SeaDream II.

Saba
Saba, a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles chain, a special municipality of the Netherlands.

Itineraries in the Caribbean emphasize relaxation and rejuvenation. Travelers can take advantage of the SeaDream Spa, with the highest therapist-to-guest ratio at sea. They can splash in the surf with a bevy of water toys, including stand-up paddleboards and wave runners, available in the yacht’s marina. Guests can partake in the revelry of special beachside culinary experiences like the signature Champagne and Caviar Splash™, served on china aboard a white linen-sheathed surfboard.

During the European season of 2017, SeaDream will visit some of the most colorful and contrasting ports of Southern Europe as both yachts sail the waters of the Amalfi Coast, the Aegean and Greek Islands, the Balearic Islands, the Adriatic Sea and Croatian Coasts, the French and Italian Rivieras, Monaco, and Turkey.

The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.
The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.

On SeaDream, travelers can explore locales on immersive holidays as they would on their own personal yacht. Guests will enjoy the sights of exclusive harbors like Porto Cervo, where larger ships cannot go. They can also indulge in land adventures at their own pace using the yacht’s complimentary mountain bikes to trek the hillsides of villages like Bonifacio on the French island of Corsica.

For a truly epic SeaDream Yacht Club experience, the 2017 season offers four 13-day transatlantic crossings, allowing guests the opportunity to indulge in all the two yachts have to offer including the SeaDream Spa and outstanding cuisine.

Start your search for that perfect luxurious vacation in 2017 by contacting your travel professional or visit here.

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UNIQUE SAIL INTO ANCIENT GREECE AND ALBANIA

November 10th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Hydra, Greece
                                                              Hydra, Greece

SEADREAM’S 2016 UNIQUE SAIL INTO ANCIENT GREECE AND ALBANIA

Spend a whole 9-days indulging the luxury lifestyle of mega yacht SeaDream II in June of 2016. Embrace a half-dozen Greek ports and islands renowned for their archaeological treasures including sites for some of the earliest Olympic Games, historic Byzantine period ruins, and tiny little-known tourist gems in the renowned Cyclades Islands.

You’ll quickly have such names rolling off your tongue as Delphi, Olympia, Sparta, ParosSifnos, Hydra… and come home boasting of transversing the 6.4km Corinth Canal begun by Emperor Nero in 67AD, but not completed until 1893.

Corinth Canal
                                         Corinth Canal

There’s even a day at Sarande that’s one of the greatest classical cities on the Albanian Riviera, with an optional visit to the nearby 2,500 year old ruins of UNESCO-listed, Butrint.

SeaDream II has just 56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew, will sail this unique 9-day roundtrip voyage from Athens’ port of Piraeus on June 18 2016. Its priced from US$5,999 per person/double occupancy, including open bar, wines with lunch and dinner, power and sail water-sports where permitted, onboard gratuities, and more.

And there’s no call for formal wear – smart casual being the norm at dinner.

Full details from travel agents or www.seadream.com

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Voting Begins for World’s Best Awards 2016

November 4th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Voting begings Travel + Leisure THE WORLD’S BEST AWARDS SURVEY

 

The voting begins now! We’re thrilled that SeaDream Yacht Club is listed in the voting category of Cruise Lines in the Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards survey! We would very much appreciate your help in achieving the recognition that comes with this prestigious award. If you have a minute, please click on the link below to vote for your favorite cruise line.

TLWORLDSBEST.COM

From the crew of SeaDream I and SeaDream II, we thank-you very much for your continued support.

_P6E7385SF

 

sd1 crew 2015
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Wine Voyages Enhance both your Culinary and Yachting Experience

October 28th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Dining Salon
Dining Salon aboard SDI & SDII

Continuing our commitment to award-winning culinary experiences, guests onboard these itineraries will enjoy a selection of the world’s most well-known wineries, exclusive and rare wine tastings, excellent cuisine and wine pairings at the popular Winemaker’s Dinner, in which a local grower or winery shares treasures from their own cellars.  Each voyage will offer heightened experiences for beginners and veteran oenophiles”.

Wine Director, Ida Dønheim – Ida Elisabeth Dønheim, SeaDream Yacht Club Wine Director

SeaDream’s 2016 Wine Voyages are designed to enhance both your culinary and yachting experience. Explore with us, the flavors and history from some of the worlds most renowned wineries, as well as several less familiar, but equally notable vineyards.​​

Added features of SeaDream’s 2016 Wine Voyages:
World renowned wineries, either onboard or onshore.
Exclusive and unique tastings.
Specialized, exclusive winery visits.
Exceptional SeaDream cuisine paired with thoughtfully selected wines.

Voyage #21620, Sailing Barcelona to Nice 
Wine tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner with Domaine Ott
Wine tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner with Louis Roederer Champagne
Visit to Chateau Pibarnon, Sanary-sur-Mer, France
A taste of Provence; Gassin Exploration & Wine Tasting, St. Tropez, France

Voyage #21621, Sailing Monte Carlo to Rome
Wine tastings and Winemaker’s Dinner with La Chablisienne
Visit to Cantine Lunae, Portovenere, Italy
Discover the villages of Montalcino & Super Tuscans, Porto Ercole, Italy

Voyage #11623, Sailing Monte Carlo to Rome 
Tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner Château Chasse-Spleen and Château de Camensac of Bordeaux, France
Visit to Chateau de Bellet, Monte Carlo
Explore the Panizzi Winery: Livorno, Italy
Discover the villages of Montalcino & Super Tuscans: Porto Ercole, Italy

Voyage #11624, Sailing Rome to Athens 
Tasting with Master of Wine – Sebastian Berdal
Tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner with Cantina Benanti
Tasting at Sorrentino winery, Amalfi
Visit Barone di Villagrande estate & Mt. Etna – Taormina

Voyage #11640, Sailing Rome to Cannes
Tasting and Winemaker’s dinner with Taittinger
Tasting with Barone Ricasoli
Grand Dinner with Bocuse D’Or Winner Ørjan Johannesen
Discover the hills of Montalcino & Super Tuscans: Porto Ercole, Italy
Visit to Cantine Lunae: Portovenere, Italy
A taste of Provence; Gassin Exploration & Wine Tasting: St. Tropez, France

Voyage #11637, Sailing Rome to Nice 
Tasting and Winemakers dinner with Masi Agricola – Venetian values and history in a bottle.
Discover the hills of Montalcino & Super Tuscans, Porto Ercole, Italy
Visit to Chateau de Cremat, Monte Carlo

Voyage #11638, Sailing Nice roundtrip 
Tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner with Domaine Laroche
Tasting and Winemaker’s Dinner with Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the wines of Ogier
Visit to Chateau Pibarnon, Sanary-sur-Mer, France
Visit to Chateau Gassier, Cassis, France

Voyage #11644, Sailing Cannes to Malaga
Tasting and Winemaker’s dinner with Domaine Laroche
Tasting and Winemaker’s dinner with La Rioja Alta
Visit to Chateau Gassier, Cassis, France
Cavas Recaredo and Simon Coll Chocolate Factory, Barcelona Spain

NOTE: All wine tastings are complimentary. Wine packages by-the-glass during Winemakers dinner, and wine land adventures are offered for an additional cost.

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Eight Wine Voyages offered in Mediterranean for 2016

October 15th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Wine Director, Ida Dønheim

SeaDream Yacht Club Announces New 2016 Wine Voyages

Eight Wine Voyages offered in Mediterranean for 2016

SeaDream Yacht Club announces eight Wine Voyages designed by new Wine Director Ida Dønheim taking place from May 7 through November 5, 2016. Continuing its commitment to award-winning culinary experiences, guests onboard these itineraries will enjoy a selection of the world’s most well-known wineries, exclusive and rare wine tastings, excellent cuisine and wine pairings at the popular Winemaker’s Dinner, in which a local grower or winery shares treasures from their own cellars.

“As SeaDream continues to set the yachting vacation standard, most recently recognized as the ‘Best Niche Cruise Line’ by the experts at Virtuoso, our team understands the importance of always innovating the guest experience,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Ida’s attention to detail in every aspect of the new Wine Voyages ensures the ultimate wine experience at sea and ashore pairing our outstanding culinary team’s service with the most scenic backdrops in the world.”

SeaDream I and SeaDream II will sail along the Mediterranean coastline visiting exclusive ports and harbors in Italy, Spain, Greece and France’s renowned wine country. Each voyage will offer heightened experiences for beginners and veteran oenophiles with itineraries that have been expertly curated by Dønheim, a seasoned chef and sommelier. Activities include visits to boutique vineyards; casual tastings organized throughout sailings to highlight local producers from regions visited; and in-depth tastings that focus on a specific topic, grape or region led by Dønheim, the winemaker or an internationally recognized wine expert.

A SeaDream guest favorite, the Winemaker’s Dinner will feature top cuvees and select wines offered in earlier tastings allowing guests to experience a proper food and wine pairing and how the wine changes character when served with food. This dinner will feature a specially crafted menu to complement the wine of the winery joining for the evening.

Ferenc Kiss

SeaDream Yacht Club’s Wine Voyage itineraries for 2016:

Seven-day Barcelona to Nice Wine Voyage, departing May 7, 2016 aboard SeaDream II – including overnights in Monte Carlo, Monaco and St. Tropez, France; and visitng Sanary-sur-Mer, Sete, Cannes and Nice, France; and Barcelona and Roses, Spain.

Six-day Monte Carlo to Civitavecchia (Rome) Wine Voyage, departing May 18, 2016 aboard SeaDream II – visiting Monte Carlo, Monaco; St. Tropez, France; and Portofino, Cinque Terre, Florence, Lucca, Porto Ercole and Rome, Italy.

Seven-day Cannes to Civitavecchia (Rome) Wine Voyage, departing June 4, 2016 aboard SeaDream I – visiting Monte Carlo, Monaco; Cannes, France; and Portofino, Cinque Terre, Florence, Elba, Porto Ercole and Rome, Italy.

Seven-day Civitavecchia (Rome) to Athens (Piraeus) Wine Voyage, departing June 11, 2016 aboard SeaDream II – visiting Rome, Capri, Pompeii, and Taormina (Etna) Sicily, Italy; Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Galaxidi (Delphi), Corinth Canal, and Athens (Piraeus), Greece.

Seven-day Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice Wine Voyage, departing September 10, 2016 aboard SeaDream I – including an overnight in Monte Carlo, Monaco and visiting Porto Ercole, Elba, Florence, Cinque Terre and Portofino, Italy; and Nice, France.

Seven-day Nice Roundtrip Wine Voyage, departing September 15, 2016 aboard SeaDream I – visiting Nice, Cannes, Sanary-sur-Mer, Cassis and St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco and San Remo, Italy.

Seven-day Civitavecchia (Rome) to Cannes Wine Voyage, departing October 1, 2016. – visiting Rome, Elba, Florence, Cinque Terre and Portofino, Italy; and Villefranche-sur-Mer, St. Tropez and Cannes, France.

Seven-day Cannes to Malaga Wine Voyage, departing October 29, 2016 – visiting Cannes, St. Tropez, Cassis and Collioure, France; and Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena and Malaga, Spain.

Inclusive yachting fares begin at $4,199 based on double occupancy. For inquiries, contact a travel professional or SeaDream Yacht Club at 1-800-707-4911 or visit www.seadream.com.

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Hand-made paper fit for a Pope

October 9th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Hand-made paper fit for a Pope

-By MALCOLM ANDREWS

Personalise your paper with a unique seal or a genuine quill pen

HOW long will it be before our descendants stop writing letters?

We all know that video killed the radio star. And now the Internet is killing off the time-honoured art of letter-writing. Those sheets of paper on which Great Aunt Daisy wrote gentle, moving words to her sweetheart a century ago will soon only be seen in museums. Future generations will gaze in wonderment at superbly-crafted sentences in copper-plate handwriting made with a pen and ink on ornate single sheets of writing paper. And they will wish they could reproduce such poignant memories themselves. But all they will know how to do is to use an ever-changing form of digital shorthand on mobile phones and personal computers.

That’s why this journalist has gone to the trouble of having his mother’s first letter to her future husband framed to protect it. It was written in 1928 when she was 15 and Dad but a year older. Writing was one of her passions with pen friends scattered all around the world.

Amalfi’s busy Piazza DuomoOh, how Evelyn Andrews would have loved to have visited Amalfi on Italy’s west coast. For centuries Amalfi has been the European home of writing-paper made by hand. The exquisite paper is thick and creamy thanks to its traditional ingredients of cotton and pure water from local mountain streams such as the River Canneto. Rough edges give it a distinctive, regal appearance.

We discovered it only by luck while visiting Amalfi recently on the boutique mega-cruiser SeaDream I. Christophe Cornu, executive hotel manager for SeaDream Yacht Club alerted us to Tabula, a tiny shop in the Piazza Duomo, the busy square in front of the town’s cathedral. He was planning to visit Tabula later in the day to buy souvenirs as presents for friends in Europe, the United States and Australia.

‘For centuries, the Popes and ambassadors of European nations have bought Amalfi paper for their official letters,’ Christophe explained. ‘Even today!’ Well, if it’s good enough for Pope Francis, it’s good enough for us. Christophe’s advice was spot on.

Tabula: An Aladdin’s Cave of souvenirs

A walk through an archway that linked the water-front and its bustling cafes and tourist shops to the Piazza Duomo, and there was this veritable Aladdin’s Cave of every conceivable trinket associated with the art of paper-making.

Not only the beautiful, soft paper itself, lovingly made in a painstaking process, and each sheet with a unique watermark … but quill pens made from genuine birds feathers, personalised seals, leather-bound notebooks, unique bookmarks, as well as ancient maps and prints (on Amalfi-made writing-paper, of course). Status symbols every one of them. And rightly so! It is a throwback to the Middle Ages when Amalfi was a thriving maritime nation. Back then it was a more important sea power than either Venice or Genoa.

Merchants from Amalfi traded with countries around the world bringing many innovations to Europe, including paper-making.  It is believed it was learned in the 11th century from the Arabs, who had previously brought the craft from China. It wasn’t long before notaries given the task of writing official documents for European governments moved from parchment made from sheepskin to paper. News of its advantages quickly spread and poets and novelists also headed for nearby Naples as well as Amalfi to have their books published on the new invention.

Suddenly, the former ‘naval republic’ had become the ‘paper republic’. In Amalfi’s Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills) there were once scores of factories pulping and pressing the paper but not these days.  After all, how can you make a decent profit from paper that takes 24 hours to make one single sheet?

In an effort to keep memories of the industry alive the locals point tourists to the Museo della Carta. It is a defunct medieval mill, donated by the Milano family, arguably the town’s most famous paper-makers. The mill had its origins way back in 1250. The family gave it to the town as a present in 1969 and it has since been restored and all the equipment is fully operational.

As the proud locals explain, the Amalfi paper will never deteriorate. And a guide points to several samples in the museum: “We have sheets here from the 16th century and they look as though they were made only yesterday.” Many of the thriving restaurants in the town also have their menus written on hand-made Amalfi writing-paper. Many have the yellow stains of another local product, the Italian liqueur Limoncello.

But that’s a SeaDream story for another day!

Malcolm Andrews is an Australian author and travel writer

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Guest Lecturers sailing SeaDream II, Lisbon to San Juan

September 23rd, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Sunrise
                                                              Sunrise at Sea

Guest Lecturers set to sail SeaDream II from Lisbon to San Juan, this Nov. 1

Join us on this tranquil voyage that offers long, serene days at sea, superb cuisine and service, evenings of good conversation with new friends, and the opportunity to enhance your knowledge by attending the exciting talks hosted by Dr. Rebecca Knuth & Professor Judith Fordham. 

Dr. Rebecca Knuth, a cultural historian, is the author of Libricide: the Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century and Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction. She is a specialist in cultural destruction through war, colonialism, neglect and greed. A former University of Hawaii professor, Dr. Knuth is currently based in London, where she is writing a book on biography, censorship, and the destruction of letters, diaries and manuscripts after death.

Dr. Knuth’s lecture titles are:

  • Highgate Cemetary: London’s Quirky Angkor Wat
  • Keeping Secrets: Suppression of letters, diaries and manuscripts of the dead. Why?
  • Queen Victoria’s Life and Loves
  • Jane Austin and a Life in Place
  • Looting the World
  • The World of Agatha Christie

Professor Judith Fordham is one of Western Australia’s best known criminal lawyers, an expert in forensic science, and an internationally known jury researcher.

Judith’s research into the “CSI effect” and jury intimidation has stirred intense media interest. As a barrister, she has been briefed on a wide range of state and commonwealth criminal cases, including trials at all levels and appeals including the High Court of Australia. Throughout her career, Judith has assisted police in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses. Her science training and current work gives her a special interest and expertise in forensic science.

An author of books, Judith has been the subject of multi-page feature articles in the Sunday Times, Flourish and Perth Woman magazines.

Professor Fordham’s lecture titles are:

  • Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes: Adventures of a Lady Lawyer in the World of CrimeThe Real CSI: Truth is Stranger than Fiction
  • Guilty or Not Guilty?
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of the Jury Room
  • Some of My Best Friends are Murderers: Tales of Real Criminals and Their Loveable Ways

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Guest Lecturers aboard our SDI Fall 2015 Crossing

September 23rd, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Library relaxing

This November 1-14, SeaDream I –  sails from Malaga, Spain to

Bridgetown, Barbados with two engaging guest lecturers joining us.

Join us on this tranquil voyage that offers long, serene days at sea, superb cuisine and service, evenings of good conversation with new friends, and the opportunity to enhance your knowledge by attending the exciting talks hosted by Garry Wykes and Dr. Snedcof.

Mr. Garry Wykes has lived in London for over 20 years. Following a career in pharmaceuticals and research and subsequent political career as a town Council Authority, he spent 12 years on staff at the Tower of London as the Jewel House Warden, VIP docent, and board secretary overseeing all VIP guests, tours and philanthropic events.

Now retired, Garry continues to share his expertise on the monarchy and coronations, Crown Jewels, and the history of the Tower of London both in Europe and abroad.

Garry will speak on the following topics:

  • Treasures and the Tower
  • Prisoners in the Tower
  • The Kings and Queens of England
  • The History and Rituals of the British Coronation
  • Victoria: Queen and Empress
  • The Tower of London: It’s Amazing 1000-Year History

Dr. Harold Snedcof PhD is a docent at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is particularly respected for the interactive and popular tours that he gives to the Met’s visitors and VIP guests for sharing cultural and historical ideas through lively and often humorous descriptions of paintings and sculpture.

Dr. Snedcof has traveled widely with particular emphasis on cities and countries bordering the Mediterranean from Istanbul to Barcelona as well as having spent extensive time periods in India studying Buddhist and Hindu art.

Dr. Snedcof will speak on the following topics:

  • Persia and Byzantium: Images of Enduring Luxury, Faith and Power
  • Greece – Ancient and Modern
  • Love and Marriage in Renaissance Rome and Florence
  • Matisse & Picasso
  • Barcelona: The Work of Antoni Gaudi and Mies van der Rohe
  • Impressionism: Art, Leisure & Parisian Society
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SeaDream I Employee of the Month for August

August 28th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Congratulations to Motorman, Mathias Projo

SeaDream I Employee of the Month for August

SD1 Employee of the month August 2015- Center: Mathias Projo

Captain Bjarne Smorawski awarded Motorman, Mathias Projo Employee of the Month for August.

Mathias Projo is the assigned incinerator operator and Captain Bjarne Smorawski  says “he does an outstanding job in performing his duty, and making sure tidiness in the area is maintained.”

It is also noted, he went above and beyond, extending his working hours to make sure that no burnable items were left during his watch. It is the behind scenes crew like him, that lend a great hand to the entire SeaDream team. There are many hands involved when it comes to making our guests comfortable and safe. Much of the work being done is not glamorous, much of these jobs go unseen by our guests, but are no less important. We say thank you to Matias!

For details about SeaDream, visit www.seadream.com

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In 1492 … Colón sailed the ocean blue

August 3rd, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

In 1492 … Colón sailed the ocean blue
by MALCOLM ANDREWS

SeaDream II sails into Cartagena harbour.
SeaDream II sails into Cartagena harbor.

You would be hard-pressed to find a port in Spain that doesn’t boast a giant statue of Cristóbal Colón.

We can see the look of bewilderment that has already crept across your face. Cristóbal Colón? Who is he and why would he be so revered by the Spanish. The answer is simple. He is the famous explorer we know by his Italian name of Christopher Columbus. Remember the ditty from our schooldays? “In 1492 … Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

In the first week of August we celebrated the anniversary of his setting sail on the first of his four voyages to ‘discover’ America. And, as happens each year, all those Spanish ports along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean use the day as excuse to party on long into the night, whether or not he had anything to do with the town or city in question.

Colón was a Genoese sailor of Spanish-Jewish extraction and is credited with driving a hard bargain to finance his adventures. For eight years he had been trying to persuade his patrons, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, to come to his aid. He wanted a knighthood, the hereditary ranks of Grand Admiral and Viceroy, and 10 per cent of all income raised by the admiralty. It was a tidy sum as Spain had one of the greatest navies in the world and would regularly plunder foreign ports and ships of other nations.

At first Colón received a curt: “No!” But then the monarchs relented and he sailed off from the Atlantic port of Palos de la Frontera on August 3, 1492. He was actually looking for a new route to India – but central America got in his way and he found even greater riches that had envisaged.

Statue of the explorer, Colón
Statue of the explorer, Colón

The city of Cartagena on Spain’s south coast had little to do with Colón. Nevertheless it boasts two prominent statues of the explorer, one in the old town, the other on the foreshores of the Mediterranean. The latter is an impressive sculpture with his right arm outstretched as if pointing to the Americas.

Although he never lived in Cartagena, the locals tell us he is important to the city because it is one of the most famous ports in the whole of Europe and home to the Spanish Navy since the 16th century. Today it is a Mecca for cruise vessels that ply the Mediterranean and SeaDream I and II regularly stop off for the passengers to soak up the unique ambience. And the SeaDreamers pose for ‘selfies’ with the wharf-side statue as a giant backdrop.

Preparing for the May Day salute in Cartagena
Preparing for the May Day salute in Cartagena

The good folk of Cartagena are also known for their love of festivals, and not only those with links to the explorer. When the two SeaDream mega-yachts docked on the same day in May, the locals were in the process of commemorating May Day, the international public holiday devoted to workers.“It is a pity you cannot stay on,” we were told. “The Festival of the May Flowers begins in a few days time.” No one is quite sure what the festival celebrates. But priests, brothers and nuns from various religious orders make crosses out of a variety of flowers and decorate the streets, especially in the old town. Women put on their traditional flouncy Spanish dresses. The men don the high-waisted trousers. Guitars and flamenco dancing are the order of the day (and night). And vast amounts of Spanish food, sangria and sherry are consumed. Even without the partying, Cartagena is an interesting place to visit.

Cartagena’s ancient Roman theatre
Cartagena’s ancient Roman theatre

A ‘must-see’ for SeaDreamers is the Roman theatre, one of the biggest in all of Europe. The theatre was built between 5 and 1 BC, at the behest of Emperor Augustus Caesar and dedicated to his grandson Gaius and Lucius. In the 3rd century AD a moorish market or Kasbah was built over much of the theatre and some 10 centuries later a cathedral was constructed adjacent to the site using material purloined from the ancient theatre. The cathedral was destroyed in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War and the ruins have since remained virtually untouched. It wasn’t until 1988 when much of the site was being excavated for a new regional arts and crafts centre that the original theatre was discovered. The area was turned into a giant archeological dig. Restoration was finished in 2003 and a new museum has since been completed. Colón or Columbus … whatever you call him … would have been pleased!

MALCOLM ANDREWS is an Australian author and travel writer who has been a SeaDream devotee for the past decade.

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Proud of our many Awards & Accolades

July 21st, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

SEADREAM YACHT CLUB

AWARDS, HONORS AND ACCOLADES

Since its founding late in 2001, SeaDream Yacht Club, with its elegant twin mega yacht cruisers SeaDream I and SeaDream II, has received numerous awards, honors and accolades from authoritative travel publications, industry organizations and unsolicited guest comments. These welcome expressions of SeaDream’s excellence have not only conveyed the messages of “World’s Best” and “Best of Class,” but have validated the unique nature of the SeaDream voyage; one which is intimate and casually elegant, reflecting SeaDream’s mantra “It’s yachting, not cruising.”

Below are honors that exemplify SeaDream Yacht Club’s excellence:

2015

Islands: “Best Summer Cruises”

USA TODAY: “Top Cruise Ship Crews”

ForbesLife: SeaDream Yacht Club named “Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015”

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream Yacht Club was named one of the five “Best Lines for Foodies”

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream I & II achieved Five Star ratings in the ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 250 passengers).

2014

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List: SeaDream named top Ocean cruise.

Newsweek’s Best of the Best Places to Visit in 2014: SeaDream I is recognized as “Cruise of the Year” by travel writer Andrew Harper.

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream I & II scored in the top three ratings in the ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 250 passengers).

Bon Voyage Awards: SeaDream Yacht Club was named “Best for Couples”

2013

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards: SeaDream earns the highest score for cuisine in the small ships category and also places as one of six “Best in the World” small ship lines.

Travel + Leisure: SeaDream earns recognition as one of the best all inclusive cruises by expert cruise writer Fran Golden.

Condé Nast Traveler Spa Poll: SeaDream earns a place on the list of the “Top 25 Cruise Ship Spas.” Of the 25 spas named, SeaDream came in #1 for Spa Staff and #2 for Treatments. Readers who participated in the poll visited a total of 46,352 hotel, resort and cruise ship spas.

Fox News: The major news media outlet ranks SeaDream as one of the “Top 10 Cruise Lines.”

Chicago Tribune: Chicago’s daily newspaper features SeaDream as one of the “Ten Best Luxury Cruise Ships Afloat.”

Cruise Critic: SeaDream named 2013 top luxury line.

Cruise International Awards: SeaDream recognized as “Best Specialist Cruise Line.”

Cruise Report Editor’s Choice Awards: SeaDream named “Best Small Ship Luxury Cruise.”

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream I & II achieved the top two ratings in the ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 250 passengers).

The Telegraph: SeaDream’s October 2013 Adriatic voyage named one of the six best short luxury cruises.

2012

Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards: SeaDream Yacht Club landed a spot on the list of the “Top 25 Cruise Lines,” placed among few others in the “Top Small Ship Lines” category.

Condé Nast Traveler Annual Readers’ Survey: SeaDream is named one of “Top 270 Spas in North America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and at Sea.” The survey includes the “Top 25 Cruise Ship Spas” with SeaDream scoring 91.4 for both treatments and staff.

Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards: SeaDream placed on the short list of “World’s Best Service” for Cruises (Small-Ship). Only three ships were awarded in each of the three size categories. SeaDream scored in the top percentile, at 94.82.

National Geographic “Ten Best of Everything”: The ultimate guide for travelers, this third edition of the colorful 480 page book named SeaDream Yacht Club as one of the “10 Best Cruises.”

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream I & SeaDream II achieved the top two ratings in the ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 200 passengers). The SeaDream mega-yachts’ rating – out of a possible 2,000 points – were 1,788 points for SeaDream II and 1,786 points for SeaDream I.

2011

Condé Nast Traveller UK Readers’ Travel Awards: SeaDream I & SeaDream II named the “World’s Best Small Ships”. SeaDream’s total score of 88.94 was higher than every other cruise line of any size.

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards: SeaDream I is ranked number one for service in the Small Ship category.

Frommer’s Guide to Cruises and Ports of Call 2011: SeaDream earns number one spot in “Notable Ships” category.

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream Yacht Club earns the title of “Simply the Best” in the “small or boutique” ship category.

2010

Kreuzfahrt Guide (Germany): SeaDream Yacht Club’s twin mega-yacht cruisers, SeaDream I & II, were awarded “Number One for Service” for the second year in a row by the authoritative German guidebook. The award was presented at ITB (International Tourism Bourse) Berlin, one of the world’s leading and largest travel industry trade shows.

Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships: SeaDream was described by this authoritative guidebook as “Ultimately Exclusive Boutique Vessels.” Both mega-yachts ranked as two of the top three passenger vessels in the world, earning Five Stars and topping 10 contenders in the boutique ships (50 to 200 passengers) category.

Porthole Magazine 2010: SeaDream Yacht Club was named “Best Passenger Yacht Experience” in the Editor-in-Chief Awards of Porthole Magazine, a sophisticated, international consumer cruise publication.

There have been many such commendations for SeaDream since its founding in 2001. These have come publications and organizations such as Travel + Leisure Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, The Zagat Survey 2009, Cruise Critic 2009, Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine, VERYBEST.COM, Celebrated Living magazine, Cruise Magazine UK, Virtuoso Ltd., Kapital Magazine Germany, Seven Seas Society, Cruise Report.Com, Carlson Marketing Group, Hideaways International, Travel Agent Magazine and Travel Weekly.

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MEDITERRANEAN; EAST, NORTH AND WEST

July 14th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

SEADREAM  YACHTING A VAST ARC OF MEDITERRANEAN’S EAST, NORTH AND WEST

SeaDream Yacht Club sails a 9-day voyage this October 23, tracking a vast arc of the Mediterranean coast from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia in the east, the Italian Riviera’s Portofino in the country’s north, Monte Carlo and St Tropez in the Mediterranean’s north-west – with an overnight in St Tropez – then Barcelona and Valencia in the west, and finally Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

The fare for the 9-days starts from US$4399 per person, double occupancy including ocean-view accommodation, wines with lunch and dinner, open bars with premium brands, gratuities, a golf simulator, use of power and sail water-sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore explorations and more.

The sailing is also one of SeaDream’s popular Wine Voyages that include a number of exclusive activities led by wine experts and winemakers including complimentary onboard Wine Tastings. There are also optional visits to wineries in premium wine regions, and an optional Winemaker Dinner, which are all at an additional cost.

Full details from travel agents or visit www.seadream.com; total ports of call are Porto Ercole and Portofino (Italy,) Monte Carlo (Monaco,) St Tropez (France, overnight,) Sanary-sur-Mer (France,) Barcelona. Valencia and Malaga (Spain,) with a very dreamy full day and night at sea before arriving into Malaga.

Yachting in Monte Carlo
SeaDream in Monte Carlo
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SDI Employee of The Month for June 2015

July 8th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Congratulations to SeaDream I Casino Manager, Loredana Ionica

Named SDI Employee of the Month for June 2015

Employee of the Month (Center): Loredana Ionica
Center: Loredana Ionica

Please join us in recognizing and congratulating Loredana Ionica, selected as June 2015 Employee of the Month for SeaDream I . There are many characteristics that identify excellent employees. SeaDream Yacht Club appreciates her dedication, caring, commitment and integrity.

It’s crew like Loredana that make our guest’s holiday that much more memorable. It’s a pleasure to see her smiling face at the casino table and around the yacht.

For details about SeaDream visit www.seadream.com

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SDI Employee of The Month – June 2015

July 8th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Congratulations to SeaDream I Casino Manager, Loredana Ionica

Named SDI Employee of the Month for June 2015

Center: Loredana Ionica
Center: Loredana Ionica

Please join us in recognizing and congratulating Loredana Ionica, selected as June 2015 Employee of the Month for SeaDream I . There are many characteristics that identify excellent employees. SeaDream Yacht Club appreciates her dedication, caring, commitment and integrity.

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Support raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children

May 18th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Bense Primary School, Dominica
Bense Primary School, Dominica

SeaDream supports raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children

During the relaxing transatlantic crossings, we do aim to get a little exercise in. Guests get together with crew and walk laps around Deck 6. 16 laps equals 1 mile. Nothing like a brisk walk and the fresh ocean air to get your blood pumping. It’s one way to burn off the heavenly chocolate croissants from breakfast. To make the walk a bit more meaningful, SeaDream selects a charity to walk for. Guests and crew are encouraged to donate money per each mile walked, and SeaDream matches their donation.

The most recent crossings, sailing from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, guests and crew walked for the charity; “Hands Across the Sea”. Since SeaDream sails the Caribbean every winter, it’s great to give back to the islands we visit. In total, SeaDream donated US$1,300 from the spring crossings plus $1,246 from the fall 2014 crossings, to “Hands Across the Sea”. We thank everyone who participated.

About the charity:

Hands Across the Sea is dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Eastern Caribbean children

We work in six English-speaking island nations of the Eastern Caribbean: Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. The enthusiasm for reading in the region is very high, but the budget for literacy-building resources is very low.

Many children are growing up without access to new, relevant books and a lending library. Every year, we send thousands of great new books—over 143,000 since we started in 2007—that have been requested by educators via our Hands Wish Lists. We help schools (from pre-school to high school), reading programs, and community libraries—that’s 230 projects to date—create or rejuvenate lending libraries. And we work hands-on with our projects year after year—we’re with them for as long as they need our help. http://www.handsacrossthesea.net/index.htm

Gros Islet Infant School, St Lucia
Gros Islet Infant School, St Lucia
Judys Pre-School, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Judys Pre-School, St Vincent and the Grenadines
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(5) OVERNIGHT STAYS IN PORTS WHEN SAILING ROME TO VENICE

May 13th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

FIVE OVERNIGHT STAYS IN PORTS ON SEADREAM’S TEN DAYS ROME TO VENICE     

SeaDream in Kotor, Montenegro
SeaDream in Kotor, Montenegro

If 2016 is to be your Special Year, and the Mediterranean your dream of where it’s to be, let SeaDream Yacht Club make it all the more so with a 10-day sailing aboard SeaDream II from Rome to Venice – uniquely with (5) overnight stays in ports in Italy, Montenegro and Croatia.

SeaDream features an elegantly casual lifestyle. Although it is 5-star, there’s no call for jackets, ties or formal wear.

Departing Civitavecchia (Rome’s port) on July 23, 2016 for a day in fabled Capri, SeaDream II will then have an overnight stay in the medieval Italian city of Amalfi, then on to Taormina on Sicily (with stunning views of the active Mt. Etna volcano) followed by a whole day and night at sea for relaxing.

The voyage continues with a day and an overnight in the walled town of Kotor in Montenegro, an afternoon and overnight in Croatia’s Dubrovnik that’s considered one of the “ten best Medieval walled cities in the world,” little Korcula Island that’s long been a SeaDream guests’ favorite in the Adriatic, Hvar in Croatia for an overnight at this island of vineyards, olive groves and orchards, and a morning to explore Chioggia at the entrance to Venice.

Overnights in ports provide the opportunity to experience these interesting places by night and is something SeaDream guests particularly enjoy.

The 10-day sailing ends with SeaDream navigating her way through Venice’s famed St Mark’s Square and Grand Canal, one of the few passenger vessels small enough to be able to do so. Guests will love their final overnight in Venice aboard SeaDream II in the centre of this 5th century city of 118 islands.

SeaDream II voyage 21631
SeaDream II voyage 21631

Fares currently begin from US$6,499+, double occupancy including 10-nights’ ocean-view accommodation, wines with lunch and dinner, open bars with premium brands, gratuities, use of power and sail water-sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore explorations, a golf simulator, and more.

Details from travel agents or visit www.seadream.com

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AUSSIES TAKING TO SEADREAMING LIKE NEVER BEFORE

April 16th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio

Dining Salon

AUSSIES TAKING TO SEADREAMING LIKE NEVER BEFORE

AUSTRALIANS have taken with such a passion to the concept of “elegantly casual” small-ship luxury holidaying, that it’s put Australians amongst the forefront of guest growth aboard the world’s highest-rated boutique operator, SeaDream Yacht Club.

And so much so that company President, Bob Lepisto says Australia is now one of the leading markets globally in guest growth aboard its SeaDream I and SeaDream II in the Mediterranean during the Northern Summer, with over 10% of guests sailing that region now coming from Australia… and with sales in Australia for 2015 already up an amazing 13% on the same four months of last year.

The two SeaDream mega yachts each have just 56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew. Mr. Lepisto, who is soon visiting Australia, says one of the great attractions for Australians is SeaDream’s philosophy of “elegantly casual” that while 5-star, does not require suits, jackets, ties or ball-gowns at any time aboard.

“Since we began selling into the Australian market place 12 years ago, we’ve carried Australians in the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Northern Europe, the Caribbean, two great seasons on the Amazon and one in South-east Asia – and including five exclusive-use charters by corporates and individuals, as well as thirty-five major groups of 40 or more, and a third of whom have re-booked in subsequent years.

“Equally we’ve had individuals sail multiple times including one Sydney couple for a total to date of 157 days, another 142 days, and quite a number of guests for over 100 days. We’ve also had Australian adult families book up to 10 staterooms at a time, and couples who have enjoyed a special time renewing wedding vows aboard.

Mr. Lepisto said SeaDream’s growth in the Australian market had been driven by loyal travel agents as well as word-of-mouth by enthusiastic Club Members (past guests) to friends and relatives. “SeaDream likes having Australians onboard and they certainly seem to like us ….and I think they will also be especially interested in our upcoming new wine voyages” he said.

As well, Mr. Lepisto added, a wide diversity of small ports in the Mediterranean and Caribbean were particularly enticing to many guests because larger cruise ships simply cannot get into them. “Many have told us it’s these ports and the boutique and intimate nature of SeaDream that gets them aboard time and again.”

Also of definite appeal to Australians is SeaDream’s pricing that includes premium bar drinks and wines, a golf simulator with 30 international courses, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, mountain bikes for shore use, power and sail water-sports where permitted and crew gratuities.

Full details from travel agents or www.seadream.com

(TRADE PRESS: Full details Julie Denovan, Director Business Development Australia (02) 9958 4444, jdenovan@seadream.com  or www.seadream.com)                                             

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SeaDream I earns a perfect 100 score in surprise U.S. Public Health inspection

April 13th, 2015 by Adrienne d'Annunzio
Captain Bjarne Smorawski
Captain Bjarne Smorawski

SeaDream I earned a perfect 100 score in surprise U.S. Public Health inspection

According to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream I earned a 100 mark in the late March surprise U.S. Public Health inspections.

The VSP inspections are required for all passenger ships that call at a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and are carried out twice a year for every cruise ship. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is assigned on the basis of a 44-item checklist involving hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), overall galley cleanliness, water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole.

SeaDream I Captain, Bjarne Smorawski said “We are all very proud of  the perfect ‘100’, thanks to the excellent crew onboard.”

 

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