Brought to you by: Viktoryia Shliazhko, Sales & Marketing Executive

Ship: Seabourn Ovation
Sailing Dates: 21 May 2022 x 7 nights
Destination: Gems of France & Spanish Isles
Itinerary: Monte Carlo, Ajaccio – Corsica, La Ciotat, Port-Vendres, Mahon, Palma De Mallorca, Valencia, Barcelona


1. The Suite. The Suite and the luxurious suite experience itself is one for the memory books, think double sinks, your own bath, a large shower and of course in-suite dining at your beckoning call. If you want to spend a part of your day relaxing drinking complimentary champagne in your robe while watching the newest movies and all the entrainment on offer, plus order dinner from any of the restaurants on-board – who is Seabourn to say you can’t? In fact they will make your in-suite dining experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible, imagine a crisp table cloth on your balcony setting, eating your lobster, sipping on your French champagne and snuggled in your robe – I didn’t have to!

2. Themed Cuisines. The main restaurant hosts a different country of origin themed dinner every night – from entrée, to desert and even wine pairing! On-board we had cuisines from different corners of the world. Flavours featured on our cruise were Vietnamese, Italian and my personal favourite – the America’s slow cooked BBQ ribs, yes you can bet we rolled out of there that night.

3. Entertainment. I remember the following night after watching ‘Magic’ Mandy Muden from Britain’s Got Talent (who boarded for 1 night only) – I said to my partner that I think I may have laughed myself some ab muscles tonight (despite eating 2 dinners and barely being able to breathe by the end of the night) yes I was serious. Another highlight was Jacob the classical violinist who also played a number of contemporary violin compositions – of course we had to buy a copy his music, and yes we do listen to it on the weekends with a vino on the balcony, imagining we were still on-board.

4. The Grill by Thomas Keller. When you think grill most would centre on meat, that is simply not true here. On Seabourn you can expect the best filet mignon imaginable, lobster tails and caesar salad made fresh at your table right in front of you! Every meal can be and was catered to the individual’s dietary requirements so there’s nothing to worry about there, in fact staff already know your requirements before you even walk in.

5. Spas & Pools. The wide placement of pools and spas on the ship. Most would associate small ship with a main deck pool and a few surrounding spas, not with Seabourn – on-board there were more spas than I could count, tactically placed all around the ships aft, forward and main pool deck locations, perfect if you want to relax, have some privacy and watch the ship sail away with a mocktail or cocktail in hand.

6. Sushi. The gourmet sushi restaurant serves dinner and lunch, by reservations or walk in, there is no cover charge so nothing to worry about in that sense apart from making sure you do book yourself in! Some from our group went to sushi for multiple dinners. I of course had to try both the lunch bento and the wide array of dinner items on offer, our group simply asked the staff to look after us with their best recommendations, and for someone who wasn’t a sashimi fan before, I am proud to say I definitely am now! More than impressed with the food and the service – for those who are not current sashimi fans like past Vik, all I can say is I don’t think you have tried the best yet 🙂

Top Tips

1. Shore Excursions. We had the most wonderful time together as a group on a private shore excursion, which started off with a coach transfer to one of France’s oldest town to Aix-en-Provence. Followed by a privately hosted walking tour which was rich with history and then a transfer past the rolling lavender fields of the renown Rose capital of the world: Provence. After arriving at Château de la Gaude we toured through the gardens and mazes and ate the most divine gourmet meal at one of the most prestigious 5-star hotel and wine producing establishments in the region. Private and exclusive shore excursions can be booked at any of Seabourn’s destinations and on any of their ships, especially handy if you missed out on a spot on a group tour!

2. Solo travellers. I would highly recommend for any solo or non-solo travellers who just love to have a chat like myself, to get involved and join a trivia team! On our first day we were significantly under manned and by day 3 we came in 2nd, we met a great bunch of people from all corners of the world who I’m sure we will be friends with for a lifetime. Plus, when the cruise director and assistant cruise director are hosting each day, you can guarantee your stomach will be hurting from all the laughs!

3. One word FOOD. Seabourn does food and wine pairing like I have never experienced before, we were absolutely spoiled for choice at every meal to the point we kept ordering share plates for the table just so we didn’t get FOMO! With 4 venues to choose from for every meal of the day, we couldn’t help but try them all, sometimes we were so stuck for choice we ordered meals from other venues just so we didn’t miss out – Seabourn staff were more than happy to oblige and provide with no fuss of course. I highly recommend trying out all available restaurants, you will never be disappointed and you can quote me on that!

4. Cruising on a small ship. We were walking distance to the main hub of each city almost at every port, in fact docked in Corsica, which is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon  I) who is a renown French military general, and the first emperor of France.  We were just 300m from his historic house/museum! I would recommend to catch the Le Petit (the little) train if you want to see his moment and not walk XX km’s in the hot sun following the gold arrows inscribed with the letter ‘N’ – although it was a fun adventure I would never forget.

5. Pre-departure documents. Print your international vaccination certificate so you can have it in case of a flat phone battery or no internet access. Make sure to arrive within 2-3 days of your cruise and if a PCR/RAT test is required, do this at the airport so you can get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of your trip worry free. Australia is now not requiring anyone to complete their vaccination declaration online (DPD) so this makes travelling internationally even easier.

6. Paella. There are 3 different ways to make Paella in Spain, home to different regions of the country so make sure you try them all and become a real Paella expert and impress your friend when you get home. What’s even better – Seabourn offers a Paella history and cooking shore excursion in Valencia, Spain so don’t miss out to become the Paella connoisseur you have always been dreaming of.

7. Bring a water bottle offshore. Or don’t because Seabourn has you covered with their sustainability concept at front of mind by providing you with filtered water in reusable bottles in-suite, and at the gangway available to all before you disembark the ship at every port. Just do yourself a favour and don’t forget it, especially when in France as most of the country has activated carbon and ultra-filtration water fountains nestled around the cities, you can even fill your bottle up with sparkling water at some of these public and free French water fountains.

8. Leave some room in your bag. For shopping of course! I wish someone had told me this before visiting the amazing ports within this itinerary. You may be surprised if you have been to places to the likes of Italy as I was, Spain has some of the best and well-priced leather goods I have ever set my eyes on. My partner needed a new wallet and ending up purchasing 3, something to the tune of under 50 euro! The islands of Mahon and Mallorca in Spain, had some of the best markets for food and gifts in Europe that I’ve ever seen. Otherwise if you have no room in your bag, purchase some cured meats and cheeses at one of the many Oceanside markets in France, sit by the water and watch the world… or vessels go by.