In her first visit to the British capital in three years, luxury vessel SeaDream 1 was moored in an iconic location near to Tower Bridge, alongside historic naval ship HMS Belfast, on 12 May 2014.
A family-owned company, SeaDream Yacht Club serves a predominantly American source market, but UK interest has grown dramatically in recent months, owner and CEO Atle Brynestad told ICFR. “The UK market has grown by more than 40% compared with last year,” said Brynestad. “There is more awareness in the UK of our product and we have good travel partners here.”
Following the London visit, SeaDream 1 will enter drydock in Bremerhaven, Germany, where she will be totally refreshed throughout, bringing her in line with sister vessel SeaDream 2. The two ships are in most respects identical. After this, she will begin her first Northern Europe itinerary in three years, incorporating the Baltic and the Norwegian fjords as well as her first-ever UK departure in August.
Asked whether the company planned to add to its fleet in the foreseeable future, Brynestad said: “We are not in a rush to have a third ship, especially as we are debt-free this year. We are niche-orientated and will stay small.” He added that the style and dimensions of the existing vessels were important components of the company’s offering. “We think that they could be great ships for another 30 years,” he said.
With the tagline “It’s yachting, not cruising” and a maximum of 112 guests served by 95 crew on each ship, SeaDream promotes flexible, personalised itineraries and shore excursions for both scheduled and charter journeys. “As a family-based company, we don’t need huge committees to make decisions,” observed Brynestad, who once again assumed the role of CEO of the organisation late last year following the departure of former incumbent Pam Conover. Brynestad was a Carnival Corporation board member and a founder member of Seabourn Cruises before establishing SeaDream Yacht Club.
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