Travel Consultant Experience – Sailing the Seabourn Encore


My name is Kit Matthews.  I’m a senior travel consultant with Preferred Travel here in Naples, Florida.  My most recent traveling adventure was on board the maiden voyage of the new Seabourn Encore.  I departed on December 2nd 2016 out of Athens, Greece.

Well this particular trip took care of three of my bucket lists.  Number one was to be on the maiden voyage of Seabourn’s new ship.  Number two was Suez Canal and number three was to visit the country of Jordan and see Petra, which is now one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Seabourn Encore, which is the new ship I was just on has 600 passengers and the other three ships has 450 passengers, so this one is just a little bit larger.  Service is Seabourn.  It can’t be beat by anyone.  From the time you step on a Seabourn ship, they know your name.  They call you by name every single day even if it’s an officer or crewmember that you’ve never met before.  When they see you they call you by name.  That’s how good they are.

Seabourn has recently joined forces and partnered with chef, Thomas Keller.  So, now they’re on board the Encore is the Thomas Keller Grill, which is just exquisite.  This is something new for Seabourn and looks like it will work out quite nicely.

The Middle East is one of the places I have always found interesting and now a days so many people are afraid of the Middle East and I really wanted to find out for myself that there really is nothing to fear, which there wasn’t.  We were always safe.  We were taken very good care of.

And to be able to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World that dates back to 400 B.C. – it was mind-blowing.  It was such an experience.  I’ll never forget it.  We actually had to walk down hill almost two miles just to get into the center of Petra.  The hard part was walking the two miles up hill out of Petra.  We could have taken a buggie with a horse, but we chose to walk.  Luckily, Seabourn had a very nice lunch for us when we got back to the hotel where we all met up.

I think one of the things that I found that were above what I expected was actually the Suez Canal.  I never realized that the Suez Canal was so narrow and on both sides was desert.  And you’ll be going by and its just desert and then all of a sudden there’s a town with a beautiful mosque.  Very interesting.

We were fortunate enough to transit the canal during the daytime.  A lot of time you transit at night.  They let the ships go through one direction at one time of the day and then they stop that traffic and it is turned around and the traffic comes the other direction.  We were lucky enough to do it during the day, so we were able to see everything.

Every place that we went on this particular cruise, including Israel, where I did a one day do a tour everything felt extremely safe.  Everything has been modernized over there.  The last time I was in Jerusalem was about 35 years ago and so things have really changed a lot.

Call Preferred Travel of Naples.  If you’re already working with an agent that agent would be happy to work with them.  If you’re not working with an agent, Preferred Travel would be happy to connect them with a travel expert.  You can contact Preferred Travel at 239.261.1177 or visit our website


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