Three Michelin Star Dining On The High Seas

06 Apr 2016

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We’ll start with a quotation. “A great meal is not one that just fills you up. A great meal is a journey that returns you to sources of pleasure you may have forgotten and takes you to places you haven’t been before.”

If you were to take out the word ‘meal’ and substitute ‘trip’ or ‘holiday’ or ‘voyage’ they could be the words a top-shelf travel company might choose as its mission statement.

The original quotation is from the website of one of America’s greatest chefs, Thomas Keller.

Slightly revised it is the sort of statement one of the world’s favourite cruise lines could make. We believe the Seabourn fleet could comfortably claim those sentiments.

How fortunate are we that these two perfectionists are now working together, promising even more enjoyment for you.

Thomas Keller has a tableful of Michelin stars. Image: Seabourn

Intimate, all-suite ships

Seabourn started life as a Norwegian company in 1988. Its first ships Pride and Spirit were small with high standards of luxury.

Over the years the corporate structure has changed but the concept of small ships with big-hearted service has always been theirs.

Their current fleet Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest have only 229 staterooms with crew levels nearly matching the numbers of passengers. They are shortly to be joining by Encore (2016) and Ovation (2018) with an extra deck giving a modest increase in passengers and crew and wonderfully expanded public areas.

Seabourn Odyssey says hull-o to Sydney. Image: Seabourn

Where you belong

On a modern aircraft, no matter how superb the service, the main objective remains to get somewhere fast. The delights of cruising are more about the onboard life between destinations.

Our love affair with ships in the last twenty years means the top lines offer superb updates to give you a more luxurious experience. Cabin appointments, crew training, entertainment in many forms, shopping, well-being, fitness, and dining are meticulously evaluated and improved.

You could be here with The Grill awaiting when the sun goes down. Image: Seabourn

From the early days Seabourn has excelled at food. In 2013 and 2014 the luxury cruise line was named Experts Choice Best Culinary Cruise Line at the Saveur Culinary Travel Awards.

So far, so delicious. But here comes the really exciting part.

Meet Thomas Keller

From a long line of chefs who have brought fine dining to America Thomas Keller is the hero of the hour... currently chef and proprietor of The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc.


More on Seabourn Encore: New Cruise Ships Launching In 2016

Life on board Seabourn: Service That Seasoned Travellers Talk About


The first and only American to have multiple Michelin-starred restaurants and be awarded Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. You can enjoy his creations in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and NYC.

He has written and collaborated on a number of award winning books.

Your Thomas Keller starter: Terrine of Moutarde Duck Foie Gras. Image: Seabourn

Welcome to The Grill

This is a huge triumph for Seabourn.

Some of Keller’s dishes are already on their menus. Soon a dedicated Keller restaurant, The Grill, will be on all three current ships and the two new ones.

Members of Seabourn’s culinary teams will spend time at Keller establishments in Yountville, California, to learn not only his dishes but his philosophy.

Designed by Adam D. Tihany, here’s how The Grill will look on Seabourn Quest. Image: Seabourn

“As with any of our land-bound kitchens, we will work with the Seabourn team to place an emphasis on the finest ingredients, consistent preparations, and an attention to service that will elevate the guest’s experiences and help them make memories while on the Seabourn journey.”

So prepare yourselves, because the new essentials for a cruise, right up there with your passport and a well chosen wardrobe, will include an eager set of taste buds.

Ian Mactavish

Ian has lived, worked and travelled in many countries and has been writing about wine, food and travel for longer than he can remember. His thoughts and reviews have appeared in Thompsons Liquor Guide, Home Journal, Vogue Entertaining, the SMH, Playboy, Connoisseur, Super Food Ideas, Better Homes & Gardens and www.thismagnificentlife.com. He believes life is far too short not to be open to all new experiences and sensations.