Singer Sarah Brightman served as the godmother for Saturday night's ceremony at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, where the 1,050 passengers from Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Sojourn were guests, along with some of the line's top trade partners from around the world.
Also in the audience: three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller, wellness guru Dr. Andrew Weill, lyricist Sir Tim Rice, mixologist Brian Van Flandern and the noted designer Adam D. Tihany—all Seabourn partners. Seabourn Encore is Tihany's first solo cruise ship effort. Carnival Corp. & plc chairman Micky Arison and wife Madeleine, president and ceo Arnold Donald and former Fincantieri chairman Corrado Antonini and wife Gunilla were there, too.
In a Champagne hand-off, little sister Seabourn Sojourn had carried the Nebuchadnezzar (15 liters) of Nicolas Feuillatte thousands of miles to Singapore for the naming. Seabourn Sojourn Capt. Timothy Roberts presented it to Seabourn Encore Capt. Mark Dexter, and crew members from Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Quest added their greetings and toasts by video.
Crew who've served on all four ships were recognized, as well as passengers who've sailed on all four of the current fleet's inaugural voyages.
Arnold Donald congratulated Holland America Group ceo Stein Kruse and Seabourn president Rick Meadows: 'Guys, you did a phenomenal job. Your vision led us here tonight.' And Donald thanked guests for choosing Seabourn.
'There's a romance and excitement to cruising that you have to experience to understand,' Donald said, adding that Seabourn's crew is 'the best there is.'
Time and again, the crew got the biggest applause of the evening. Meadows called them 'the lifeblood of our ships.'
Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran highlighted the 'significant and growing role' that Carnival Corp. brands play in the region's cruise business. Vast itinerary possibilities, excellent airlift, a favorable year-round climate and Sembcorp Marine, 'the shipyard of choice,' are all conducive to cruising flourishing there, he said.
For Marina Bay Cruise Centre, it was 'super important' to host Seabourn Encore's naming, Norma de la Fuente of terminal operator SATS-Creuers Cruise Services told Seatrade Cruise News.
'We are delighted,' she said, because the event throws a spotlight on Singapore at a time when China has been grabbing much of the attention.
Seabourn Encore became the second ship named at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, following Silver Discoverer in 2014.