It's official, Seadeck has finally made it to Sydney. It took 18 months, 10,000 nautical miles and a run in with Egyptian pirates to get her here, but Sydney's permanent floating venue is ready to set sail out of the harbour's Superyacht Marina. It's happening, people.
The final product is a 42-metre, 450-passenger, handcrafted vessel — from the handmade tiles and custom-designed brass bar to the bespoke furniture from every corner of the glove, everything you see was tailored just for this experience. Even the palm trees, standing four metres tall, took a dozen specialists to make to the right specifications.
Each of the three decks is connected by sweeping staircases and cast iron lace railings, an homage to Hollywood's golden age of the '20s, '30s and '40s. Yes, it's the epitome of swank.
But don't hop into your flapper dress just yet, because the ship still isn't welcoming the public aboard. We know, mega bummer. Public cruises likely won't start before the end of 2016.
As much has changed since word originally spread about Seadeck's existence, we sat down with the team behind this massive venture — that's managing partner Scott Robertson (Future Music Festival, DIVISION Agency), executive chef Drew Bolton (Vine Double Bay) and design director Alex Zabotto-Bentley (AZBcreative).
To set the record straight, it's not the party boat everyone thought it would be. "It isn't a night club, it's all about impeccable service, beautiful food and nice drinks," says Robertson. Bolton is happy to help with that, bringing the Vine ethos to Seadeck. "At Vine, we reinvent modern European flavours with great respect for regional produce," says Bolton. "At Seadeck, our food will also be very produce drive but more casual and playful," he adds. The focus will be on bar friendly snacks, like fresh ceviche, oysters and lobster rolls, but patrons should still expect the refined food experience that Vine exudes.
The music focus has unfortunately been cooled by the foreshore authority, which banned all water-based parties back in 2014. You'd expect this to be quite the blow to Robertson, who has eighteen years' experience in the music scene, but he takes it all in stride. "Seadeck is what Sydney needs and also fits into the current rigid framework," he says. "We have the most beautiful harbour in the world and we want to reflect that while providing a luxurious experience."
Design-wise, this lap of luxury is the handiwork of Zabotto-Bentley, who radiates passion about the vessel. "Imagine it's the 1930s and you're cruising the Nile or the Dalmatia Coast," he says. "The people on board were seen to be on a floating oasis in the middle of the sea, and that's what we want to recreate here."
Zabotto-Bentley went on to explain the vibe on board. "When you go to the bar you don't just order a glass of champagne. You feel like you're in a space where you should only ever be drinking champagne." We'll toast to that.
For now, Seadeck is available for private hire only and will not be open to the public much before the end of 2016. Check the website for updates.