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A sneak peek at the Seabourn Encore

If you love luxury and small ships, you might want to check out the upcoming Seabourn Encore.

It will be the newest and biggest (600 passengers) for the Seattle-based cruise line. The company had a little party Friday when the ship touched water for the first time at the Italian shipyard where it's being built.

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Encore won't be delivered until the end of the year, but here's a bit of what you can expect (check out the photo gallery with design renderings of the interior too).

The on-board style and decor is being undertaken by Adam D. Tihany, best known for desiging restaurants for Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and other celebrity chefs.

Contemporary interiors with a modern flair is how Seabourn describes the decor, according to a statement. And every stateroom will have its own veranda.

Maiden voyages of varying lengths begin Dec. 4. First up is a 16-day cruise from Greece to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which transits the Suez Canal in Egypt. Prices start at $4,999 per person, based on double occupancy. [Info: Seabourn Encore, (866) 755¿5619 or contact a travel agent]

Other ships launching this year include:

Holland America's Konigsdam (April)

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas (April) and Harmony of the Seas (May)

Viking Sea (April)

Carnival Vista (May)

Regent Seven Seas Explorer (June)


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