Seabourn continues to raise the bar high on the art of fine food and beverage service at sea with the introductions of new brand partners this year, including the brand’s legacy of well-known Champagne service with Montaudon Brut across the entire fleet.
The new Montaudon Brut will be available across all Seabourn ships by the end of this summer season.
“Our clientele is extremely well-traveled, and they certainly appreciate quality wine and Champagne. Montaudon Brut will be a welcome surprise as we aim to enhance as well as broaden the palates of our guests,” says Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of Hotel Operations for Seabourn.
A full-bodied and fruity Champagne, Montaudon Brut is a blend of 40 percent Pinot Noir, 35 percent Pinot Meunier, and 25 percent Chardonnay that is cellar aged for two years. The flavor profile is refreshing on the nose with notes of green apples, toast and lime with a hint of iodine, giving way to notes of cherries, strawberries and peppermint. A luscious sensation of white fruit develops on the palate, with a spicy finish and a menthol aromatic aftertaste.
The new Champagne follows on the heels of the introduction of Regiis Ova caviar for the renowned Seabourn caviar service that is available for no additional charge. Regiis Ova, co-founded by culinary partner Chef Thomas Keller and Shaoching Bishop, offers Siberian Reserve (Acipenser Baerii) caviar from a family-owned and operated farm in the fisherman village of San Gregorio de Polanco on the shore of the Rio Negro in Uruguay.
Seabourn’s quest for innovation stems from a passion to provide excellence on board and the recognition that some of life’s most cherished moments occur around the table, where every meal or drink is a new opportunity to celebrate. As such, the Food & Beverage talent on every ultra-luxury ship in the Seabourn fleet offers guests a journey inspired by 30 years of culinary excellence, the latest innovations and trends, and the welcoming spirit that pervades every aspect of a Seabourn experience.
Every Seabourn ship departs on a journey with 40 labels that form part of its complimentary wine list that join thousands of bottles stored in the cellar. The onboard selection often grows as a voyage progresses as Seabourn’s sommeliers go in search of local wines at ports of call in notable wine regions to bring back something special to pair with an evening’s meal. In true Seabourn style, attentive staff takes careful note of guests’ feedback and uses their responses to plan inventory for future voyages.
Even the most well-traveled guests are in for something unexpected on a Seabourn sailing. Over three decades on the seas, the cruise line has built many great and lasting relationships with vineyards that enable it to access low-allocation wines available to guests for an additional charge. Mosslinger points, for instance, to connections fostered by Seabourn’s ongoing partnership with Chef Keller, which has opened doors to Napa Valley vineyards, or another example of highly allocated Washington State wines that otherwise distribute exclusively via mailing list.
“These are wines guests won’t be able to find at a wine shop, and certainly not on the ocean,” Mosslinger noted, while also acknowledging that the line sources not only Old and New World wines with worldwide recognition, but also bottles from small vintners with distinctive terroir.
Of course, the broad diversity of beverage selections includes more than wine. Seabourn’s ships stock a wide range of complimentary premium spirits, with everything from Grey Goose vodka to Hennessy VSOP cognac available to guests. While every bartender on board is well-versed in the art of classic and contemporary cocktail-making, the line’s mixology program created through a partnership with world-renowned mixologist Brian Van Flandern keeps recipes fluid and intriguing, with local spirits – limoncello from Sorrento, for instance, or single malt Scotch from micro-distillers in Scotland – often fashioned into drinks that are reflective of the regions guests are traveling through.
Whatever the beverage, Seabourn’s service staff are kept at the top of their game through educational opportunities that enhance their level of knowledge: everything from onboard sommelier-led tastings to twice-annual tours of Napa Valley vineyards arranged for top crew where they touch and feel grapes and taste unfiltered wine straight from the barrel.
When it comes to culinary programming, Seabourn serves to satisfy the appetite of every guest. Seabourn chefs have endless recipes allowing their teams to innovate and not repeat throughout a voyage. There is also a wide choice of cuisines and dining venues to look forward to, including updated versions of iconic American dishes at The Grill by Thomas Keller; exquisite Japanese cuisine created by skilled chefs at Sushi.
There is more, including lavish breakfast and lunch offerings and regionally themed, bistro-style dinners at The Colonnade; relaxed poolside dining highlighted by an exclusive Napa burger and artisanal hot dog developed by Chef Keller at The Patio; and imaginative dishes celebrating eclectic traditional flavors from around the world at Earth & Ocean at The Patio, an al fresco dining innovation introduced just last year. In-Suite Dining is also available around the clock, including dinner from The Restaurant timed course-by-course served in the privacy of one’s suite or veranda.
And there are unexpected innovations geared to surprise, delight and satisfy such as delicious house-made artisanal gelato made fresh onboard using a wide variety of ingredients to produce a taste-temping range of choices.
The guiding philosophy of the culinary team is to maintain Seabourn’s strong reputation and quality by sourcing the freshest, most seasonal ingredients available. Chefs often head to shore at ports of call to shop at local markets, frequently inviting guests along for the experience. “Seeing our chefs shop for the base ingredients used to prepare dishes really personalizes the journey, and guests get to see the end-product on the menu in the evening,” says Mosslinger.
Chefs come to the line with years of experience in fine hotels and restaurants, built thanks to training at some of the best culinary institutions in the world. Service crew bring their own unique level of professional experience and are then trained for up to three weeks at the onboard Seabourn Academy. Whether their role resides in front of guests or behind the scenes, the key to the exquisite dining service Seabourn provides is making guests feel welcome. Chefs come out to chat with guests, and servers are always on the lookout for ways to take a culinary experience to the next level: Such as having the kitchen prepare a special desert they overheard a guest mention in conversation.
“That’s what we call a ‘Seabourn Moment,’” says Mosslinger, “That surprise ends up being one of the most memorable parts of a guest’s overall travel experience and the fact that it was completely unexpected means it often becomes a wonderful story told over and over again long after they leave the ship.”