Twiggy Names the Seabourn Sojourn

Fran Golden

AOL Travel was in London as famed British supermodel Twiggy smashed the champagne bottle on the brand new 450-passenger luxury ship Seabourn Sojourn.

Pam Conover, president and CEO of Yachts of Seabourn, told the fashionable crowd at the black-tie event that Twiggy had been chosen as the ship's Godmother because the cruise line wanted someone with "elegance, style, timeless beauty and an iconic presence." The same qualities, Conover said, she hopes passengers will think when seeing the new ship.

For her part, Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) kept it brief, telling the invited guests "Welcome to my yacht... I wish!"

She then did the traditional naming of the ship and pulled a cord sending the champagne bottle smashing onto an upper deck. She later posed for photos with the ship's Captain Karlo Buer from Norway.

Twiggy, now age 60, was an icon of the 1960s, known for launching the miniskirt, as well as bold eye makeup and super-thin physique. She went on to become an actress and singer in the early 1970s, and more recently appeared as a judge on "America's Next Top Model" and launched her own "Twiggy London" fashion collection on the Home Shopping Network.

For the ship's naming she wore a long, flowing purple gown by Catherine Walker, who she described to reporters as "one of our designers" -- meaning British.

Champagne flowed at the naming ceremony, followed by an elegant dinner. In further celebration of the ship launch, Seabourn hosted an impressive fireworks display over the River Thames, while guests enjoyed lavish desserts around the pool deck.

The 32,000-ton Sojourn is the sister ship to the Seabourn Odyssey, which debuted last year to glowing reviews. The ships are about double the size of the other three ships in the Seabourn fleet and carry twice as many passengers. A third sister ship debuts next year.

Sojourn is both modern and beautiful with standout features including a two-deck spa that's the largest spa on any luxury ship, menus designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer (Aurora In New York) and a cushy, innovative "concierge lounge" with a library, upscale shops, computer center, coffee bar and outdoor terrace.

Cabins are spacious, as befitting a six-star vessel, and ninety percent have private balconies. All are equipped with flatscreen TVs, iPod and MP3 connections and granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower.

Particularly stunning are the top-category Grand Wintergarden, with 1,403 square feet of indoor and outdoor space including an open-air soaking tub and an oversized Jacuzzi in the bathroom that's big enough for at least two people.

The ship has two swimming pools, six outdoor whirlpools and its own water sports facility from a fold-out marina. On the top deck is a nine-hole mini golf course.

Seabourn is owned by Carnival Corp., and among those attending the festivities were Carnival Chairman Micky Arison and Vice Chairman Howard Frank.

The cruise line made a donation to Breast Cancer Haven in Twiggy's honor and will also hold a fundraiser for the group before the ship heads off on its maiden voyage Sunday. Seabourn Sojourn will spend its first season on Northern Europe itineraries.
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