“This expedition ship is not Birkenstock, it’s Loro Piana,” Adam D. Tihany, the founder and principal of Tihany Design, told me during a recent Zoom interview.
The New York-based atelier has penned four Seabourn vessels to date and has successfully integrated high design into the brand’s DNA. Newcomer Pursuit is practically identical to her 564-foot sistership Venture that hit the seas last July. Both liners have the same ice-strengthened exterior (Polar Class 6) that showcases the strength and utility of a pair of Birkenstocks yet elegant interiors that echo the artistry of Loro Piana.
Given the cruise industry’s stringent design codes and construction standards, creating such luxurious living quarters is no easy feat. The firm had to carefully consider the placement of each object, the materials used throughout, and the overall layout. The designers also had to find ways to deal with movement, vibration, and the like. “These things have a serious impact on what you can do in the ship and how you do it,” Tihany adds. The whole design process takes five painstaking years, from initial drawings to the vessel’s launch.
At the same time, the designers have to come up with inventive ways to impress affluent travelers, who are discerning, inquisitive, and adventurous by nature. Tihany and his managing partner, Alessia Genova, decided to go with the overarching theme of “exploration” for the interiors of Venture and Pursuit. Quite fitting as the ships will cruise to the Arctic, Iceland, South America, Antarctica, the Amazon, and beyond. Tihany designed custom furniture for both liners with Italian manufacturer Roda. The pieces evoke the tools and clothing of early explorers, with a mix of textured fabrics, leathers, metals, and woods. Similarly, the old-fashioned light switches and pull-chain lamps nod to the ships of yore yet are combined with the latest tech.
To distinguish Venture and Pursuit, Tihany decided to switch up the art. Both “floating galleries” are adorned with a staggering 700 pieces, but the respective collections were assembled by different curators. As a result, the vibe on each vessel is quite different. Atelier 27 from Paris decked out Venture with “super sophisticated” and “extremely detailed” works, according to Tihany. In the corridor, for example, the team hung handwritten postcards from all over the world and transformed the otherwise boring space into an intriguing attraction. Conversely, London’s Double Decker decorated Venture with “colorful and exuberant” pieces like Gabriel Carucci’s Harvest, 2023. (All the works are accompanied by descriptions and listed in a catalog in case you want to add something similar to your personal collection.)
Tihany’s decision to focus on art was about more than just aesthetics, though. The designer has also developed an enrichment program for art enthusiasts who see cruises as more than one “big buffet.” In addition to casually perusing the artworks, seafarers can attend lectures by leading experts, artists, and curators to gain further knowledge in the field. It seems there is almost as much to discover on the ship as there is off it.
Pursuit and Venture are full of surprises, in fact. Each ship’s striking atrium leads to nine decks that are outfitted with all kinds of glitzy amenities. Starting at the literal pinnacle, the Constellation Lounge on the top deck gives travelers a chance to savor both breathtaking views and sky-high tipples. Similarly, the open-air Square Lounge on deck six is equipped with banquettes for whale watching and Swarovski telescopes for stargazing. The bow lounge on deck six is another great spot to survey marine life. It also has large screens that display live footage from a drone and various details about the day at sea. The Discovery Center lets you learn even more about the surrounding environment via immersive lectures and videos.
When it’s time to get out and about, the Expedition Lounge on deck four provides a cozy place for passengers to meet up before or after expeditions and enjoy a calming cocktail. In a similar vein, the Landing Zone is where you can change, clean, and store gear after excursions. Guests can partake in scuba diving and snorkeling or embark on optional ocean exploration in kayaks and custom six-person subs.
There are plenty of places to indulge onboard, too. The Colonnade dining space on deck five allows cruisers to enjoy a casual meal either indoors by the buffet stations or outdoors by the infinity pool, two whirlpools, and sculptural showers. In addition, the main dining room serves gourmet dishes that rival the finest restaurants. Seabourn has partnered with renowned chef and restauranteur Thomas Keller to ensure the fare is up to snuff. All meals and beverages are included, and your mini bar will be stocked with your personal favorites.
You can relax even further in the spa. Conceived as a contemporary “floating forest,” this calming oasis comprises a fitness center, yoga area, sauna, and treatment rooms. It is also home to a breathtaking mural that Tihany and Genova are particularly fond of. To top it off, there will be a mindful living coach aboard to help guests work on improving their minds and bodies.
As for accommodation, the vessel is equipped with 132 oceanfront suites that are replete with charming vintage details inspired by cruising’s golden age. The top pick, a.k.a. the Duplex Wintergarden, spans two levels and offers incredible views.
“Pursuit is our newest crown jewel, where guests will experience the perfect blend of ultra-luxury design combined with elevated expedition experiences,” Seabourn president Natalya Leahy said in a statement.
At the very least, you’ll get to enjoy some stellar art.
For additional information or to make a reservation, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit the company’s website.
Click here to see more images of Venture and Pursuit.