Review of Seabourn
Seabourn is a luxury cruise line, founded in 1986, with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Seabourn Cruise Line operates all around the globe, from short 7-day Caribbean cruises to exotic 100+ day world voyages. It is owned by Carnival Corporation and is part of the "World's Leading Cruise Lines" group, which also includes AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises.
Seabourn Cruise Line was founded in 1986 under the name "Signet Cruise Lines" by a union of Norwegian investors headed by Atle Brynestad. The name Seabourn Cruise Line was adopted shortly afterward following objections over trademark ownership by Signet Oil.
- Seabourn Pride, the first ship of the line, entered service in 1988.
- Pride was followed by Seabourn Spirit, an identical sister, in 1989.
- A third ship, originally planned for 1990, had to be delayed due to financial constraints and was eventually purchased by Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Queen in 1992.
- In 1994, the ship was transferred to Royal Cruise Line as Queen Odyssey.
- In 1991, Carnival Corp. purchased a 25% stake in Seabourn.
- In 1996 the Corporation upped its stake to 50%, providing the company with the needed capital to buy Queen Odyssey. The ship was renamed Seabourn Legend.
- In 1998, Carnival Corporation purchased the remaining 50% stake in the line, acquired the time-honored Cunard Line from Kvaerner ASA, and finally merged the two brands into the Cunard Line entity.
- In 1999, three ships of Cunard, Royal Viking Sun, Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II, were transferred into the fleet of Seabourn as Seabourn Sun, Seabourn Goddess I and Seabourn Goddess II.
- In 2001, Carnival Corporation bought out the Norwegian shareholders. The parent company of Seabourn became Carnival's wholly owned subsidiary.
- Seabourn Goddess I and Seabourn Goddess II were purchased for SeaDream Yacht Club by the original founder of Seabourn, Atle Brynestad.
- In 2002, Seabourn Sun was transferred to Holland America (a Carnival-owned line), reducing the fleet of Seabourn to its three original ships. The company was demerged from Cunard and reorganized as an independent brand of Carnival Corp. & plc.
- On March 31, 2011 Seabourn Cruise Line ceased operations from Miami FL and transferred operations to the quarters of Holland America Line in Seattle WA.
- In 2014 Seabourn Pride left the Seabourn fleet and was transferred as Star Pride to Windstar Cruises.
- In 2015 Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit also left and were transferred to Windstar Cruises as Star Legend and Star Breeze.
- Since 2018 are offered fleetwide "K+M Chocolate" products. These are high-quality chocolates by the "Keller Manni Chocolate" company (founders Michelin chef Thomas Keller and Armando Manni / olive oil producer from Italy). The custom-made for Seabourn chocolates are hand-crafted (produced in Napa Valley, California). Among the signature flavors are the milk-based hazelnut, smoked chili, blood orange, cherry, as well as the dark chocolate "sea salt".
Seabourn's 30th Anniversary (2018)
In 2018, the company celebrated its 30th Anniversary featuring as highlights:
- Fleet expansion - from 4 to 5 vessels with the launch of Seabourn Ovation in May 2018.
- Adding new onboard cocktail offerings, including "Passion Pearls" cocktail by Brian van Flandern.
- Introducing a new "30th Anniversary Wine Package" with price-inclusive quality champagnes and wines.
- At the shipboard Shops were available for purchasing an unique collection of pearls and 30th Anniversary themed logo merchandise.
- Passengers on all ships were offered Seabourn company history themed trivia games.
- Also in 2018 were introduced new onboard programs, including two Wellness Cruises (led by Dr Andrew Weil).
- The company's 2018 itinerary program included over 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a selection of Seabourn Journeys (shore tours).
Seabourn Cruise Experience
Seabourn Cruise Line was founded on the principle that personal service in stylish surroundings would appeal to independent-minded, sophisticated passengers with lifestyles that demand the best.
The original Seabourn megayachts and their new fleetmates have been lovingly maintained and proved to be a great success over the years. Recognized as a leading small-ship luxury line, Seabourn delivers all extras, expected by its clientele - a stocked minibar in all suites, elegant amenities, complimentary wines and spirits.
Seabourn Cruise Line's guests may also expect the unexpected - from exclusive luggage tags and travel-document portfolios to the pleasure of a complimentary massage while lounging at the pool. Seabourn will even arrange your luggage to be picked up at home and delivered to your suite.
The line presents an intimate and exceptional cruising experience. The smaller size of its vessels allows calling at smaller ports and up-close-and-personal encounter with the destination.
The atmosphere onboard is elegant but unpretentious. All rooms are suites, equipped with designer soaps, and the latest amenities, such as flat-screen televisions and Bose Wave sound systems. A bottle of champagne greets all guests in cabin. Beds are dressed with Egyptian cotton linens and fluffy duvet covers with feather pillows. A well-stocked in-suite bar and Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing menu are provided in each suite. In addition, guests benefit from the services of a Personal Suite Stewardess, ready to cater to every need.
The abundance of public space make passengers feel as if they have the vessel to themselves - no annoying lines or crowds here. Bar drinks are complimentary. Seabourn cruise ship passengers may choose to dine when and where they want on any of the luxurious ships of the line. Each dining venue offers a different atmosphere and different dishes, but all use innovative cooking techniques and perfect ingredients like Black River Ossetra Caviar.
Daily team trivia contest, lectures, wine tastings, and other quiet pursuits are usually scheduled, but most passengers are satisfied to just do what pleases them. Focused on personalized service, the line has designed unique programs like Caviar in the Surf and Shopping With the Chef, to further enhance onboard experience.
Seabourn's cruise ships attract a broad mix of ages (40-something and above), and offer a variety of itineraries from more mainstream calls to the offbeat, in order to continue to draw new passengers.
While most of the cruisers are likely to be American, Seabourn appeals to well-off and well-traveled vacationers from a variety of countries, particularly English speaking Great Britain, South Africa and Australia, among others.
Seabourn Cruises smoking policy
According to the new Seabourn Cruises smoking policy (implemented in 2017), smoking is not allowed in all the ship's indoor venues, also in cabins and on cabin balconies.
- Smoking is also banned in the ships' Observation Lounge (previously allowed after 8 pm). Smoking is allowed on Sky Bar's open-air starboard area (midship Deck 9 / Deck 10 on Encore and Ovation ships) and also on the starboard open-air pool terrace of The Club lounge (Deck 5 aft).
- Smoking cigarettes, as well as cigars and pipes is allowed on Seabourn Square lounge's open-air terrace (deck 7 aft).
- Smoking E-cigarettes in cabins is allowed.
- Passengers who don't comply with Seabourn's smoking policy will be fined a cleaning fee (USD 250 per day).
“Seabourn Source” Web App
Seabourn Cruise Line is making travel easier with Seabourn Source, its launched in August 2017 web app. All passengers have the chance to access the app on a complimentary basis on every Seabourn cruise ship.
Seabourn Source offers intuitive, up-to-the-minute access to voyage's daily details directly on guests' smart phones, tablets or laptops.
Users can tap the new app to instantly:
- stay on top of shipboard account records;
- review daily activity as well as entertainment schedules;
- track port times (arrivals and departures);
- peruse meal times and menus for all dining venues;
- browse and book shore trips;
- learn about wellness classes and spa treatments;
- connect to paid satellite internet.
The Seabourn Source app further connects cruisers to line’s complimentary digital newspaper & magazine service PressReader Offline, which offers full editions of over 2,500 global newspapers and magazines - these can be downloaded to personal Android or iOS mobile devices while at sea or in port.
Seabourn Source operates on shipboard network, so users do not incur additional Internet / cellular data charges while in use.
Cruise travel awards 2016
In 2016, Seabourn wrapped up the year with a total of 22 cruise travel industry awards, several of which were readers' choice nominations. Over the years, the cruise line has consistently been rated a "top choice" in the luxury travel segment.
Follows the list of the company's 2016 awards by industry's most renowned online publishers and brands.
- (Conde Nast Traveler) - "Best Small Ship Cruise Line", "Favourite Cruise Line - Small Ships"
- (Travel Weekly) - "Best Cruise Ship - Under 1000 Berths"
- (Cruise Awards International) - "Best Boutique Cruise Line"
- (Cruise Critic) - "Best Luxury Cruise Line"
- (Magellan Awards) - "Small Cruise Ship", ""Spa Design", "Seabourn Blog", "Shore Excursion", "Itineraries", "Direct Marketing", "Luxury Ship" (Seabourn Quest), "Loyalty Program", "Entertainment"
- (Luxury Travel Advisor) - "Luxury Small Ships"
- (Porthole Magazine) - "Best Small Ship" (Seabourn Sojourn), "Best Service"
- (SHAPE Healthy Travel) - ""Best Cruise to Refresh and Rejuvenate"
- )Town & Country Travel / in the Classic Luxury category) - "Design", "Active Travelers", "Food", "On-Shore Activities".
Itinerary of Seabourn
South America (Antarctica) cruise excursions
In July 2016, Seabourn added new South Pole cruise excursions to the line's South American itinerary program. The new experience is available on select Patagonia and Antarctica cruise itineraries during season 2016-2017 on the Seabourn Quest ship. There are two new (optional) shore excursion packages available for booking, that are price-inclusive of Transantarctic flight to South America plus landing in the South Pole and visiting UNESCO World Heritages Sites.
- 14-night tour itinerary (Polar Quest and Patagonia") visits the "Torres del Paine National Park" (Chile). Departure is on December 4, 2016 and includes the Seabourn Quest ship's cruise on December 19. Package pricing started at USD 51,000 PP (double occupancy based rates).
- 16-night tour itinerary ("Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego and Iguazu Falls") starts from Santiago (Chile) to Buenos Aires (Argentina) and visits the Iguazu Falls National Park (touring is by foot, Zodiac boat or helicopter). Departure is on December 26, 2016, before the Seabourn Quest ship's cruise on January 12, 2017. Package pricing started at USD 54,000 PP (double occupancy based rates).
- Both cruise tour packages include camping in Antarctica at Union Glacier Camp (southern Ellsworth Mountains). The full-service camp is seasonally occupied and operated by the private company Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). These excursions include as amenities double-occupancy sleeping tents, gourmet cuisine, nature activities.
"Extraordinary Opportunity Event" cruise deals 2017-2018
Seabourn Cruises offers value-added enticements and savings on select itineraries. These discounted deals are available on all bookings through June 13, 2017, on Seabourn itineraries between June 2017 and May 2018. "Extraordinary Opportunity Event" deals offer significant benefits, including:
- Complimentary "Three Veranda Suite" cabin upgrade
- Complimentary "Veranda for Oceanview" cabin upgrade
- "Premium Suite" cabin onboard credit of USD 1000 per stateroom (USD 500 pp / per person)
- Onboard credit of USD 400 per stateroom (USD 200 pp)
- Air credit pp on round-trip flights booked through Seabourn's "Flight Ease" fly-cruise program.
- "Extraordinary Opportunity Event" deals are offered on select itineraries in the regions of Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America (Antarctica and Patagonia), repositioning cruises (Panama Canal and Transatlantic crossings), Asia, Canada - New England, Caribbean.
On June 1, 2017, was the Seabourn's first Alaskan cruise (since 2002) on Seabourn Sojourn. The company's 2017 Alaskan program included a series of oneways and roundtrips leaving from Vancouver Canada and Seward (Anchorage) Alaska.
The following table shows the "inaugural" 25-night / 26-day roundtrip Vancouver itinerary (themed "Exploration Of The Last Frontier") as ports sequence and port times. Suite prices started from around USD 400 per night.
|01 Jun||Departing from Vancouver, BC Canada|
|03 Jun 08:00 - 23:00||Ketchikan, Revillagigedo Island, Alaska|
|05 Jun 08:00 - 17:00||Wrangell, Alaska|
|06 Jun 08:00 - 17:00||Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska|
|08 Jun 08:00 - 18:00||Haines, Alaska|
|09 Jun 08:00 - 23:00||Juneau, Alaska|
|10 Jun 07:00 - 17:00||Glacier Bay, Alaska|
|12 Jun 07:00 - 20:00||Seward, Alaska|
|15 Jun 14:00 - 20:00||Icy Strait Point, Hoonah, Alaska|
|16 Jun 08:00 - 22:00||Juneau, Alaska|
|17 Jun 08:00 - 18:00||Haines, Alaska|
|19 Jun 10:00 - 18:00||Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska|
|20 Jun 08:00 - 17:00||Wrangell, Alaska|
|22 Jun 08:00 - 22:00||Ketchikan, Revillagigedo Island, Alaska|
|23 Jun 08:00 - 18:00||Prince Rupert, Kaien Island, BC Canada|
|24 Jun 08:00 - 17:00||Klemtu, Swindle Island, BC Canada|
|25 Jun 06:00 - 16:00||Alert Bay, Cormorant Island, BC Canada|
|26 Jun||Arriving in Vancouver, BC Canada|
The cruise line's Alaskan program included a series of 11-, 12- and 14-day long itineraries. All deals were inclusive of professionally guided seakayaking and Zodiac tours lead by world-class expedition teams.
With its smaler-sized and top-luxury ships, Seabourn is the perfect way to explore the world. The vessels' maneuverability and low draft assures a privileged waterfront cruising experience in pristine destinations with shallow waters where bigger ships cannot access.
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