Celebrity Style

See Inside a Cruise Ship Nate Berkus Helped Design

He worked alongside architect Tom Wright and designer Kelly Hoppen on the vessel, which also features wellness offerings from Gwyneth Paltrow and food by Daniel Boulud
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The Celebrity Beyond set sail for the first time last month.Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Who better to advise on luxury cruise ship amenities than celebrities who have seen and experienced all the finer things in life? Celebrity Cruises tapped Nate Berkus, Gwyneth Paltrow, and celebrity chef Daniel Boulud to lend their expertise in interior design, wellness, and high-end French fare, respectively, for the company’s newest vessel, the Celebrity Beyond. 

Like previous iterations of the cruise line’s Edge series of ships, the Beyond boasts exterior architecture by Burj Al Arab designer Tom Wright and interiors by AD100 talent Kelly Hoppen. With 17 decks and room for 3,260 passengers, the ship sailed out of Southampton, England, on April 27, and visited France, Spain, and Portugal over 10 nights. Summer itineraries to the Italian Riviera, Greek islands and Provence, France, will be followed by a Caribbean winter, embarking from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The on-board Sunset Bar, designed by Nate Berkus.

Photo: Ryan Wicks / Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Berkus’s contribution to the design is the ship’s two-deck Sunset Bar, for which he drew from his personal travels for ideas. “It’s the biggest inspiration in terms of my design work. We wanted to create a space that made you feel like you could be anywhere—on an island in Greece, in Italy, or South America,” the AD100 designer says. In addition to 360-degree views and an entrance beneath a portal, there are custom Kravet Outdoor pattern designs (which Berkus drew up himself) based on ancient Greek motifs to honor the history of Celebrity Cruises. Timeless materials such as terra-cotta, bronze, brass, and wood complete the look. “It was very much about creating a moment where guests step through this portal, and they are transported somewhere,” Berkus says.

Paltrow’s “Goop at Sea” partnership with Celebrity Cruises actually launched in 2020, and on the Beyond, translates to a Goop-developed detox smoothie in the Spa Café, Goop-branded products in the cabins, and Goop-approved virtual movement classes on stateroom televisions. AquaClass (read: First class) guests can use in-room fitness tools like a meditation pillow, acupressure mat set, an infinity roller, and an aligned dome from body-alignment specialist Lauren Roxburgh. Goop has also recruited wellness teachers to coach classes on board.

Guests setting sail on September 24 will get an extra dose of Goop, as Paltrow herself will join the voyage and give a live interview in front of an audience. Leaving from Barcelona, the ship will sail throughout the Italian Riviera and France. “Being on or near the water can feel incredibly restorative,” says Kiki Koroshetz, Goop’s wellness director. “It can also inspire a more expansive way of thinking. We added a few tools and curated programming that could help people to unwind and to reset while they’re away at sea.”

One of the two-story suites onboard, designed by Kelly Hoppen.

Photo: Ryan Wicks / Courtesy of Architectural Digest

For Boulud’s part, he worked with Jouin Manku’s Sanjit Manku and Patrick Jouin to create the 50-seat Le Voyage on-board restaurant, a space with soft tones and banquette seating. “I wanted a small restaurant similar to our restaurants in New York City,” Boulud tells AD, referencing Daniel, Café Boulud, and Bar Boulud. “But I wanted an experience solely for Celebrity Cruises rather than just plugging in one of my restaurants. Each table has an intimate setting, yet it’s part of the experience as a whole.” Spice-charged dishes like 5-Spice Duck Pithivier and Slow Baked Loup de Mer with Za’atar are on the menu.

Hoppen (she’s a judge on The Great Interior Design Challenge and also appears on Dragons’ Den) echoes the sentiments of her fellow contributors. She designed most of the interiors on the ship including the suites and staterooms, The Retreat sundeck and lounge, the spa, and more. “We wanted to design the space as we would a private home,” she says. “People want to feel calm and relaxed, especially when on holiday.” The Rooftop Garden she created adopts a neutral color palette with yellow accents, while sculptural lines anchor the sundeck. “I wanted to create a feeling of intimacy for guests, especially due to the large scale of the ship and the wild, open surroundings,” she says. 

Still, Hoppen went bold with the restaurant Luminae, choosing “beautiful bold red marbles and plush velvets,” she says. The ship also features the famed Magic Carpet, a lounge traveling vertically up the side of the ship that was first rolled out in 2018 onboard the Edge.

The ship’s rooftop garden was designed by Kelly Hoppen and architect Tom Wright.

Photo: Ryan Wicks / Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Wright’s work on the exterior architecture—like his earlier Edge series designs for Celebrity Cruises—honors his passion for sailing. “When I started to work on cruise ship designs, I discovered most pool decks look inwards towards the pool,” Wright says. “Understandable, but in my opinion a waste of one of the most amazing views…the endless sea. We opened up the port side of the pool deck to the sea with a 20-foot-high glass wall to take advantage of that view.”

The Grand Plaza, designed by Jouin Manku.

Photo: Ryan Wicks / Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Whether it’s a restaurant, cabin, or bar, designing for life at sea was the ultimate goal for all involved. “It’s like any place on a ship,” says Boulud, recalling his experiences cooking on yachts, “where every inch matters. You have to do a lot of planning.”