Seabourn Encore

(9:35 a.m. EST) -- Seabourn Cruises has received its newest luxury cruise ship, 600-passenger Seabourn Encore, from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

"We have been looking forward to this day for over two years. Seabourn Encore has become a stunning ship that will set a new standard in ultra-luxury cruising," Seabourn President Richard Meadows said in a statement. "I am very proud of our partnership with Fincantieri, and it has been a great pleasure to work together to transform raw materials into this incredible vessel that will make a great addition to the Seabourn fleet."

The ship is on its way to Singapore, where it will be christened January 7, 2017 with internationally renowned soprano Sarah Brightman serving as godmother. It will then have an inaugural sailing through Indonesia before undertaking several Australia and New Zealand cruises.

Award-winning hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany created indoor and outdoor public spaces for the ship, which expands and builds on Seabourn's Odyssey-class ships. New features include The Retreat, a relaxation area with private cabanas for rent, as well as a spa treatment cabana.

Restaurants include The Grill by Thomas Keller, the new signature restaurant from three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller that was introduced on Seabourn Quest earlier this year and will be expanded to the entire Seabourn fleet. A new restaurant for Seabourn -- Sushi -- also makes its debut.

Other innovations for the ship include a new production show, "An Evening with Tim Rice," and the new Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil mindful living program. Both Tim Rice and Andrew Weil will sail on the inaugural voyage.

Following its time in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, Seabourn Encore will reposition with a series of sailings to Athens to begin its summer 2017 season in the Mediterranean.

--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor