THE ARK, A FEAST FOR ALL YOUR SENSES
Wake up with a relaxing yoga session, indulge in the finest cuisine, and then catch up on some sleep after a night of dancing to the best beats.
THE ARK will be setting sail in a few weeks. The ship will embark from 31 August to 3 September on a veritable mini-cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. From Barcelona, Spain, it will travel to Marseille and Ibiza, before returning to Barcelona. On board will be not only 4000 revellers and over 90 DJs, including major names such as Martin Solveig and 2MANYDJS, but also the top Belgian chefs Nick Bril of The Jane, Piet Devriendt of restaurant De Oesterput and the Dutchman Steve Depp, who has made a name for himself with his sensational pop-up restaurants. You can watch the sun rise over the Mediterranean during a morning yoga session on the upper deck with Nina De Man. If you're eager to stretch your legs and want to disembark in the various ports of call, you'll find plenty of activities on the schedule. From lunch at HEART, the most spectacular restaurant in Ibiza run by the Adrià brothers, to a jeep safari along the island’s hidden gems, to a jeu de boules match in the Vieux-Port of Marseille. All aboard!
Culinary luxury in the heart of the Mediterranean
Of course, there's more to THE ARK then just partying. Just like on any other cruise, fine food and drink are an integral part of the journey. Guests aboard THE ARK can find their culinary bliss at one of the many onboard restaurants. All passengers will enjoy an all-inclusive formula. In other words, you'll be able to indulge in delicious meals, snacks and refreshing drinks (water and juices) throughout the day.
But for those looking for something a cut above, there are three exclusive top restaurants on board: Giovanni’s, Chops Grill and Sabor. Belgian culinary talent will be taking over the kitchens of the first two for the duration of the trip!
Two-star chef Nick Bril
On the first evening of the cruise, chef Nick Bril will swap the kitchen of his two-star restaurant, The Jane, for the kitchen of Giovanni’s. But the next day, he'll take up position behind the turntables as DJ.
On the second evening, the Dutch chef Steve Depp will take over from Nick. Steve is renowned in the Netherlands for his hospitality industry concepts that are as original as they are unique and he has left plenty of people surprised and delighted with his pop-up restaurants and gastronomic events. For THE ARK, Steve Depp and his team will be pulling out all the stops to make it an exceptional culinary experience…
The treasures of the sea with De Oesterput’
At restaurant Chops Grill, Piet Devriendt from the celebrated Blankenberg based restaurant De Oesterput will be in charge. On the menu: the finest fish and seafood. And imagine how much better it will all taste when you're gently swaying on the waves of the Mediterranean beneath you.
Passengers who would like to dine at one of these three themed restaurants will be required to pay an extra fee. Tickets for the dinners must be ordered and paid for in advance. Reservations will go on sale at the end of May via the website of THE ARK (www.theark.cruises).
While the captain charts a course for the ports of Marseille, Ibiza and Barcelona, you'll be able to make the most of all the luxury and comfort aboard the Freedom of the Seas, including no fewer than four swimming pools, six whirlpools and even a fully equipped wellness and spa. Dancing the night away didn't burn off quite enough calories for you? Then you can get in a good workout at the fitness centre, on the meters-high climbing wall or on the ‘flowrider’, a fully-equipped surfing simulator in a wave pool. Or what about a game of mini-golf on the upper deck, anyone?
Awaken with Nina De Man
Aside from the facilities on board the ship, THE ARK will also offer a wide range of activities of its own.
- Perform the Sun Salutation as you watch the sun rise, surrounded by nothing but water. Sounds sublime, doesn't it? Early each morning, on the very highest deck, Yogini Nina De Man will lead the ‘Sunrise sessions’. The yoga sessions are free of charge, but you will need to reserve in advance via the website.
- THE ARK is a place where love reigns supreme. You can even get married on board. Couples can take their vows in the ‘wedding chapel’. What better way to combine your wedding and honeymoon in one… perfect!
- There won’t be a captain’s dinner during THE ARK, but instead, a ‘Bohemian Night’! On the second evening, all passengers are invited to dress in bohemian style. Hair and make-up stylists will help you put the finishing touches on you look for a Bohemian night with ‘a touch of an animal’.
On Thursday, 31 August, THE ARK will depart from the port of Barcelona. Those who arrive a day earlier in the hip seaside city of Barcelona will have the chance to already get in the festive vacation mood. The evening before departure, the Hasselt based club Versuz is organising a pre-party at club Shôko, one of the most popular nightspots in Barcelona. All passengers on THE ARK will get in free.
Sip Pastis in Marseille
On 1 September the ship will dock at 7 AM in the French city of Marseille. Those who wish can disembark and have a stroll in the dazzling sunshine, exploring the capital of the Côte d'Azur. Tip: try the Pastis. It's about as French as petanque balls and the Eiffel Tower. The delicious, refreshing drink is best savoured with a view of the Vieux-Port (old harbour) of Marseille.
Go ashore at Ibiza
Festival guests can explore the island on their own or sign up for one of the organised excursions. These include a safari through little-known parts of Ibiza and a visit to one of the island’s many hippie markets. Or you can arrange for THE ARK to reserve a lounge chair for you beside the swimming pool at Destino: a popular luxury resort.
Lunch with Adrià and Cirque du Soleil
HEART has got to be just about the most unique restaurant in the world. It's the product of the more than decade-long friendship between the brothers and renowned chefs Ferràn and Albert Adrià and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. Their shared passion for food, music and art resulted in this unique restaurant, where gastronomy, art and theatre converge. At HEART, you can savour exquisite dishes created by the brothers Adrià and meanwhile enjoy top-acts performed by Cirque du Soleil artists. In short, a highly exclusive and unique gastronomic experience for which there’s ordinarily a long waiting list. But that’s not the case for guests travelling on THE ARK! The organisers have hired the entire restaurant for the occasion, from 2 PM to 6 PM.
Reservations cost €475,- pp. This unforgettable gastronomic experience will include an aperitif of 9 hors d'oeuvres, 3 main dishes, a dessert buffet and accompanying beverages (aperitif, wines and water) + transfer to and from the restaurant.
About The Ark:
The ship The Freedom of the Seas will be transformed this summer into a deluxe floating club and will sail from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September, travelling from Barcelona to Marseille to Ibiza and back. On board: over 4,000 passengers there to enjoy the finest electronic music. More than 90 DJs will join the cruise as it takes to the waves.
Tickets: Prices vary per type of cabin and include all meals, entertainment and non-alcoholic drinks.
Tickets available via theark.cruises