The 450-passenger Sojourn features elegant design elements. // © 2010 The Yachts of Seabourn
Clean lines, warm light and elegant design are the framework for the Yachts of Seabourn’s second next-generation ship, the 450-passenger Sojourn, sister ship to last year’s Odyssey, which made considerable waves in the industry. What fills the framework, however, is the friendly and near-telepathic service (if you express a preference in one venue, they will know about it in another), the extraordinary cuisine and a comfortable atmosphere.
The big difference between Odyssey and Sojourn is in the spa area, where the hydropool was replaced by a Kneipp Walk that alternates warm and cold water to increase circulation and diminish pain. Clients can use it without charge any day when a treatment is booked or they can pay $30 per day for access to the thermal suite, with the Kneipp Walk, steam room and sauna.
Sojourn’s overall color scheme is of white and neutral hues with punchy accents, and the staterooms add marble, warm woods and granite to the mix. Of the ship’s 225 staterooms and suites, 197 have private balconies large enough for two guests to comfortably relax or dine outdoors. Those without balconies on Deck 4 have picture windows. The veranda staterooms are the same on all decks except for categories V1 and 2, where the balconies have a slightly different enclosure.
Veranda staterooms measure 365 square feet with full-size bathtubs and separate showers, plus a choice of L’Occitane and Molton Brown bath products. The flat-screen televisions are interactive and draw on a wide selection of music and movies, so there is no need for CDs or DVDs, although there are iPod docks. A usable table and a refrigerator contribute to the homelike feel, and there is a very generous amount of storage and shelf space.
The dining options are augmented by course-by-course stateroom service, although most guests opted for the attractive restaurants. Chef Charlie Palmer’s menu in The Restaurant is similar to Odyssey’s — exquisite fusion cuisine, elegantly presented with well-chosen wines.
As on Odyssey, Restaurant 2 is dramatic, with a seven-course tasting menu that plays your taste buds like musical instruments. Some guests never ate anywhere but the Colonnade, with patrons wandering among the marble islands, taking advantage of the small, elegant portions to taste as many choices as possible. In the evenings, there are theme dinners highlighting different national cuisines from Indian to Italian.
A rather surprising number of families with teenagers and children were onboard. Fortunately for them, there is staff for children’s activities during the summer and holidays.
To entertain adults, there are shows and movies, but the classical guitarist and dancing in The Club seemed to be the most popular attractions, aside from grabbing a new novel in Seabourn Square and settling down in a squashy leather chair to enjoy it.
Sojourn, tending toward longer itineraries, sails 10- to 26-day cruises in the Caribbean before embarking on her first World Cruise on Jan. 5.