Seabourn Cruise Line
Seabourn was founded in 1987 to compete at the top end of the luxury cruise market. It has six ships in two categories. The older three, Pride, Legend and Spirit are compact ships carrying just 208 passengers as a maximum. They are traditional cruise ships operating very top of the market service and accommodation whereas the three newer ships of the Oddyssey class are approximately double the size and have such modern facilities as suites with balconies, pools, a variety of restaurants and a vast spa. Passengers tend to be wealthy, well-travelled, well-educated and sophisticated. Seabourn is an American company and most of the passenger list will be from that country. Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and Brits make up the balance.
The smaller ships tend to offer longer cruises and are able to visit exotic places. The larger trio still visit small ports but offer more modern amenities such as private balconies and a wide choice of dining venues.
Whichever of the ships chosen, life aboard is one of pure luxury emphasising the sophisticated yet simple pleasures of life. The company insists that the staff know the name of each passenger and get to know their likes and dislikes. It is therefore surprising to new Seabourn cruisers that their requests are anticipated and they receive a drink or snack almost before they realise that they wanted it.
Suites on the smaller ships are decorated in an understated way but are extremely comfortable and large. They do not have balconies but many have floor to ceiling opening windows to enjoy not only the views, but the fresh sea air. Each suite has a flat screen TV, Bose CD player able to play DVDs, adjustable coffee tables and a mini-bar. This is refilled as required. Queen beds can be converted to singles if required and the bedding is of the highest quality. Bathrooms are marble and some have whirlpool tubs. A range of up-market toiletries is provided as are luxury bathrobes and fluffy slippers.
The main restaurant is just one of several eating venues on board each ship. Breakfasts and lunch are served buffet style and the range of choices is wide. Some “Made to order” dishes are available but not during dinner. Dinner tables are hosted by senior officers of the ship. They issue invitations to passengers each day so that one meets varied cruisers each evening. There is a smart casual dress code of jackets and ties in the evenings but the captain’s night requires black tie rig. The alternative dining venues are less formal but the food is excellent. Menus change each day and there are themed evenings when the cuisine of one or another regions of the world are featured. One feature of eating that must be mentioned is afternoon tea. Waiters serve crust-free sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones with real clotted cream!
Dinner or any other meal may be taken in the cabin. Indeed, room service is 24/7 with most meals available at any time. If dinner is eaten in the suite, it is served course by course, not all at the same time ensuring that hot food is served hot.
All that is experienced on the smaller ships is also found on their three larger sisters. The newer ships have suites with balconies and more entertainment but are still not particularly family orientated, being most suitable to couples. Singles are welcome and well cared for and never allowed to feel left out. Seabourn are undoubtedly a line operating at the top end of the luxury cruise market. Service is excellent as is the food and facilities. The price is all inclusive and there is a no gratuities policy.
The Yachts of Seabourn
Line: The Yachts of Seabourn
Tonnage: 10,000 - 32,000
Passengers: 208 - 456 by 2011
What's included in the price:
- All meals
- Complimentary beverages
- Port taxes
- Government fees
- Room service
- In-suite beverages
- Onboard activities